Spanakopita (Greek Spinach pie)


  • 1 lb. fresh spinach (you can use some of the beet greens as well or substitute spinach entirely)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped ( you can use the scallions instead)
  • 1 lb. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup chopped mint
  • 1/3 cup chopped dill ( you can omit if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg or allspice ( I often omit this)
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 12 sheets phyllo pastry, defrosted


Rinse the spinach and trim off any big tough stems. Place it in a large pot and cook, adding no additional water, just until wilted – about 5 minutes. Place in a colander and squeeze out the excess liquid. Chop coarsely and set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet, and cook the chopped onion until soft. Add the chopped spinach, and sauté for a couple of minutes. Let cool slightly, then add the feta, ricotta, and the beaten eggs. Mix well. Melt the rest of the butter in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, unroll the phyllo pastry (see note below) and remove 12 full sheets of phyllo. Set them aside, covered with a dish towel. Immediately (quick, before you forget!) roll up the rest of the dough, and return it to the package. With a pastry brush, brush a 9 x 13-inch baking dish generously with melted butter. Lay one sheet of phyllo on the bottom of the dish, letting the extra climb up the sides of the baking dish. Brush this sheet with butter, and lay another one on top. Repeat this procedure, until you have lined the bottom of the pan with 6 layers of phyllo, each one brushed with butter. Spread the spinach filling over this. Now cover the filling with a sheet of phyllo, letting the excess overhang the sides of the dish. Brush it with butter, add another sheet, brush with butter (etc. etc. etc.) until you’ve used up all the rest of the phyllo – making 6 layers on top. Very gently, using a rubber spatula, tuck the excess overhanging pastry down along the sides of the baking dish – as if you were tucking sheets under a mattress. Brush the top thoroughly with butter. There may be butter left over – save it for another use.
Bake at 350o F for 45 minutes, until the top is golden and slightly puffed in the middle.