The Best Spanakopita Recipe

  • by XpatAthens
  • Friday, 20 February 2015
The Best Spanakopita Recipe

If the phyllo pastry doesn’t melt in your mouth, the filling of spinach and ricotta cheese surely will.


60 ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bunch shallots (spring onions), finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1.2 kg baby spinach
2 tbsp chopped dill
250 gm feta cheese, crumbled
150 gm full-fat ricotta cheese
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten
½ tsp grated nutmeg
12 sheets phyllo (filo) pastry
120 gm butter, melted

For phyllo pastry
200 gm unbleached flour
A pinch of salt
7 tbsp water, plus more if needed
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
½ tsp cider vinegar


Combine the flour and salt. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add this mixture to the flour and knead the dough till soft. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally.

Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes.

Flour well and roll it out as much as you can. Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.

Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Cut out 12 sheets of 15cm x 15 cm measurement.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Add onion, shallots and garlic. Cook for 1 minute until softened, then add spinach and half the dill. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 1-2 minutes or until spinach has wilted. Drain in a colander and cool, then combine with cheeses, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 2 ½ litre baking dish with butter. Lay one sheet of phyllo on base and sides and brush with butter. Repeat with 5 more sheets. Spread cheese mixture over top. You can make this dish by layering it like a puff or using the filling in samosa-shaped pastries. Cover with remaining phyllo, brushing each sheet with butter. Trim excess pastry with kitchen scissors and tuck edges into sides of dish. Brush top with butter and score in diamond patterns.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden. Rest for 10 minutes. Warm remaining butter, add remaining dill and, when serving, pour over sliced spanakopita.

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