3 Steps to Make the Perfect Spanakopita Greek Spinach Pie

Spanakopita, the beloved Greek spinach pie, is a dish that combines crispy, golden phyllo pastry with a flavorful spinach and feta cheese filling. Perfect for any meal, this traditional Greek recipe can be enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or main course. Here, we guide you through the three essential steps to create an authentic and delicious spanakopita.

Step 1: Prepare the Spinach Filling

Gather Your Ingredients

To make the perfect spinach filling, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of fresh spinach
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound of feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil


  1. Wash and Prepare the Spinach: Start by thoroughly washing the spinach to remove any dirt or sand. Spinach can hold a lot of grit, so multiple rinses may be necessary. After washing, pat the spinach dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen cloth.
  2. Cook the Spinach: In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach in batches, cooking until wilted, about 2-3 minutes per batch. Transfer the cooked spinach to a colander and let it cool. Once cooled, squeeze out any excess moisture with your hands or a clean kitchen cloth.
  3. Sauté the Aromatics: In the same skillet, add the remaining olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and green onions until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Mix the Filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked spinach, sautéed onions, garlic, dill, parsley, crumbled feta cheese, beaten eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Set the filling aside while you prepare the phyllo dough.

Step 2: Prepare the Phyllo Dough

Ingredients for the Phyllo Layers

  • 1 package of phyllo dough (16 ounces)
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil


  1. Thaw the Phyllo Dough: If using frozen phyllo dough, be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to use, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare Your Workstation: Set up a clean, dry workspace. You will need a damp kitchen towel to cover the phyllo sheets to prevent them from drying out, a pastry brush for spreading the melted butter, and a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Layer the Phyllo Dough:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Lightly brush the bottom and sides of the baking dish with melted butter.
    • Place the first sheet of phyllo dough in the baking dish, letting the edges hang over the sides. Brush the sheet with melted butter and a little olive oil.
    • Repeat this process, layering and buttering each sheet, until you have about 8-10 sheets layered at the bottom.

Step 3: Assemble and Bake the Spanakopita

Assembling the Spanakopita

  1. Add the Spinach Filling: Spread the prepared spinach and feta filling evenly over the layered phyllo dough in the baking dish.
  2. Top with Phyllo Layers: Continue layering the remaining phyllo sheets over the filling, buttering each layer as you go. Use about 8-10 sheets for the top layer.
  3. Seal the Edges: Fold the overhanging edges of the phyllo dough over the filling, sealing the edges well. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter and a bit of olive oil.
  4. Score the Top: Using a sharp knife, score the top layer of phyllo dough into squares or diamond shapes. This will make it easier to cut after baking and allow steam to escape, preventing the pastry from becoming soggy.


  1. Bake the Spanakopita: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden brown and crispy.
  2. Cool and Serve: Remove the spanakopita from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. This allows the filling to set and makes it easier to cut.

Serving Suggestions

Spanakopita can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature. It pairs wonderfully with a crisp Greek salad, a side of tzatziki, or even a bowl of lemony avgolemono soup. For a full meal, serve it with a variety of Greek meze, such as hummus, olives, and grilled meats.

Tips for the Perfect Spanakopita

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh spinach and herbs will give your spanakopita a vibrant flavor. If fresh spinach is not available, frozen spinach can be used as a substitute. Just be sure to thaw and squeeze out all the excess moisture before using.
  • Handle Phyllo Dough with Care: Phyllo dough is delicate and can dry out quickly. Keep it covered with a damp towel while working to prevent it from becoming brittle.
  • Don’t Skimp on Butter: Generously brushing each layer of phyllo with melted butter ensures a crispy and golden crust. Olive oil can be mixed with the butter for added flavor.
  • Let it Cool: Allowing the spanakopita to cool slightly before cutting helps the filling to set and makes slicing easier.

Spanakopita is a versatile and delicious dish that brings the flavors of Greece to your table. Whether you are serving it as a main course or an appetizer, following these steps will ensure that your spanakopita is perfectly crispy and flavorful every time.