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Spanakopita and Spanakopitakia with store bought phyllo

Spanakopita and Spanakopitakia with store bought phyllo

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Spanakopita pronounced (spa-nah- KOH -pee-taa), in Greek “σπανάκι + πίτα”, meaning spinach + pie, is a Greek pastry with a filling of spinach, feta cheese (sometimes in combination with anthotyro, which is a soft white cheese similar to ricotta), onions and green onions, eggs, herbs and seasoning.

Spanakopita scored and baked image

With the same filling we can make Spanakopitakia (spa-nah- koh -pee-TAA-kia), which is the diminutive of spanakopita, which are individual, small spinach pies.  

However, in this post I am giving you two recipes, each with a different filling so that you can have two different choices.

spanakopitakia mini spinach pies image

The filling is wrapped in layers of phyllo pastry brushed with clarified butter and the other with olive oil.

One is made in a large baking pan from which individual servings are cut and the other is made into individual triangular servings.

It can be made with fresh or frozen spinach but frozen spinach reduces the time of preparation considerably but make sure to, defrost in the fridge before using, preferably from the previous day.

It is mostly eaten as a snack in Greece, and it can be an alternative to tyropita.

You can make your own dough for pies and make your own homemade phyllo (see step by step instructions  How to make phyllo, using a dowel) and also see How I make phyllo on the Pasta Maker and a recipe for Spanakopita Strifti (twisted).

How to make Spanakopita

Wash the spinach, removing the stems or any damaged leaves and drain.

spanakopita ingredients image

Sprinkle with salt and after half an hour squeeze it with your hands to remove all liquid. 

Alternatively, when still wet you can put them in a big saucepan, without any additional water, and bring to a soft boil for about 5 minutes, until it wilts. It will become soft and its volume will be reduced. Place it in a colander to cool and when it can be handled, drain any water by squeezing it and then cut it into smaller pieces.

Place the spinach in a large bowl and add ¼ cup of the olive oil, the onions and herbs, as well as the eggs, feta, herbs and spices and mix well.

spanakopita filling image

Grease a 32 x 23 x 6 cm / 12.5 x 9 x 2.5 inches – baking tin (preferably a shallow one) with olive oil. The remaining olive oil will be used to brush the phyllos.

Phyllo sheets oiled image

Brush each phyllo with olive oil placing it on your baking tin with part of phyllo overhanging on all sides.  Continue with 3/4 of the phyllo sheets, brushing them again with olive oil.

Add the filling.

Adding the spinach filling image

Fold the overhanging phyllos on top of the filling, lightly brushing them with olive oil.

Folding the phyllos on top of filling image

Fold the remaining phyllos in the middle and continue adding them on top, oiling each phyllo.

Adding the remaining phyllos on top image

Tuck the edges to the side of the baking pan with your hands or using the top of your brush.

With a very sharp knife, score the top layers of phyllo, taking care to not cut through the filling, into diamond or square pieces.

Scoring the phyllo sheets image

Wet your hands and sprinkle some water on top of the phyllo.  Repeat once more.

Preheat oven to 180o C / 350ο F.

Lower temperature to 160o C / 320oF and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is crisp and golden.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before cutting all the way through to the bottom.

Spanakopita with store bought phyllo photo

Note:  Phyllo Choriatiko (village style phyllo) is thick and comes in a package with two sheets.  One is inserted as the bottom layer and the other on top.  This phyllo is soft, so whatever comes out of the baking tin is cut and twisted the join the two phyllos together.

Spanakopita with phyllo choriatiko image
Spanakopita with phyllo choriatiko

Read also my instructions on How to Make the Perfect Spanakopita.

spanakopita with puff pastry image
spanakopita with puff pastry


spanakopita cut

Spanakopitakia with store bought phyllo pastry are usually made into triangles whereas those with homemade phyllo are made into turnovers, coils or bourekia.

Spinach turnovers
Spanakopitakia

Spanakopitakia (mini spinach triangles)

The spanakopitakia are made with choriatiko phyllo (village style phyllo) which is thicker than phyllo kroustas.

Village style phyllo package image
Village style phyllo image

The filling for these mini spinach pies is different, so you can use whichever you prefer best.

Spanakopitakia image

Spanakopitakia (mini spinach pies)

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Spanakopitakia are mini spinach triangles, which are perfect finger food for parties or as a snack for any time of the day.

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets phyllo pastry (kroustas) or choriatiko phyllo (village type)

Filling:

  • 250 grams fresh or frozen spinach (or mixed with other greens such as endives, kale or silverbeet)
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, white part, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 150 grams anthotyros or myzithra (similar to ricotta)
  • Olive oil or clarified butter for frying or baking

Instructions

  1. If using frozen spinach, thaw and squeeze out all liquid.  If using fresh spinach, blanch it for 2 minutes with other greens just to wilt and drain.  Allow to cool and squeeze out all the liquid.  wilted spinach image
  2. Cut the spinach and other greens into smaller pieces.
  3. Heat the olive oil and sauté the red onion, leek and green onion, until translucent.  Add the spinach as well as any other greens as well as the green part of the spring onions, finely chopped and sauté for a few minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool. 
  4. Add the dill, the parsley, the cheese (anthotyros) and the egg, salt and pepper and mix.
  5. Cut the long side of the phyllo into 2 inches wide stripes and place a spoonful of filling.  spanakopitakia folding 0 image
  6. Cover the spinach forming a triangle to the left.  spanakopitakia folding 1 image
  7. Then continue folding going front, then right and then left, repeating until all the phyllo is folded. spanakopitakia folding 2 image spanakopitakia folding 3 image spanakopitakia folding 4 image
  8. Heat the olive oil and fry until golden on both sides. 
  9. Remove on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. spanakopitakia on kitchen paper image
  10. Serve as snacks or appetizers. Spanakopitakia with horiatiko phyllo image

Notes

If you want to bake them, as I did, brush each stripe of phyllo with
clarified butter (or olive oil) and then add the filling and fold as
above.  Line your baking tin with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven to 180oC for about 35 - 40 minutes or until golden on top.



Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 58Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 18mgSodium 53mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 2g

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Spanakopita with store bought phyllo kroustas image

Spanakopita with store bought phyllo

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Spanakopita pronounced (spa-nah- KOH -pee-taa), in Greek "σπανάκι + πίτα", meaning spinach + pie, is a Greek pastry with a filling of spinach, feta cheese (sometimes in combination with anthotyro, which is a soft white cheese similar to ricotta), onions and green onions, eggs, herbs and seasoning.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams phyllo pastry or rustic village phyllo*
  • ½ cup olive oil for brushing

Filling:

  • 1 kilo (2.20 lbs) fresh or frozen spinach
  • 5 spring onions, including green part (or 1 red onion), finely chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dill, finely chopped
  • 1 cup kafkalithres (Mediterranean hartwort), optional
  • 1 cup myronia (chervil), optional
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 300 grams (0.65 lbs) feta, crumbled (or a mixture of feta and anthotyros (whey cheese similar to ricotta))
  • 3 large eggs
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash the spinach, removing the stems or any damaged leaves and drain.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and after half an hour squeeze it with your hands to remove all liquid. Alternatively, when still wet you can put them in a big saucepan, without any additional water, and bring to a soft boil for about 5 minutes, until it wilts. It will become soft and its volume will be reduced. Place it in a colander to cool and when it can be handled, drain any water by squeezing it and then cut it into smaller pieces.
  3. Place the spinach in a large bowl and add ¼ cup of the olive oil, the onions and herbs, as well as the eggs, feta, herbs and spices and mix well.
  4. Grease a 32 x 23 x 6 cm / 12.5 x 9 x 2.5 inches - baking tin (preferably a shallow one) with olive oil. The remaining olive oil will be used to brush the phyllos.
  5. Brush each phyllo with olive oil placing it on your baking tin with part of phyllo overhanging on all sides. Continue with 3/4 of the phyllo sheets, brushing them again with olive oil.
  6. Add the filling.
  7. Fold the overhanging phyllos on top of the filling, lightly brushing them with olive oil.
  8. Fold the remaining phyllos in the middle and continue adding them on top, oiling each phyllo.
  9. Tuck the edges to the side of the baking pan with your hands or using the top of your brush.
  10. With a very sharp knife, cut through the top layers of phyllo, taking care to not cut through the filling, into diamond or square pieces.
  11. Wet your hands and sprinkle some water on top of the phyllo. Repeat once more.
  12. Preheat oven to 180o C / 350ο F.
  13. Lower temperature to 160o C / 320oF and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is crisp and golden.
  14. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before cutting all the way through to the bottom.

Notes

Note: Village phyllo is thick and comes in a package with two sheets. One is inserted as the bottom layer and the other on top. This phyllo is soft, so whatever comes out of the baking tin is cut and twisted the join the two phyllos together.

Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 320Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 72mgSodium 248mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 2gSugar 7gProtein 5g

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

GREEK PITES (PIES)

Greek pies (pita plural pites) are a staple in Greek cuisine. They are very versatile and can be either savory or sweet. You can make a "pita" with vegetables, meat, fruit, etc.

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