As someone who loves to entertain, I’m always looking for easy and delicious appetizers to serve guests. Spanakopita is my go-to dish – I always have a batch in my freezer ready to bake whenever needed.
You’re in for a treat with this simple Spanakopita recipe. A delightful fusion of Mediterranean cuisines. This spanakopita recipe, Greek spinach pie, combines spinach and feta cheese enveloped in crispy phyllo dough. This crowd-pleaser has always shone at gatherings and events alongside Mediterranean classics like Roasted beet hummus, baba ganoush, and Greek salad. But did you know other cultures have their take on this dish? In the Middle East, the spinach triangle or “Fatayer Sabanekh” features sumac, lemon, and olive oil but no cheese. These savory pastries hold a special place at family gatherings.
As a lover of both Mediterranean cuisines, I’ve crafted a recipe that marries the best of both worlds. Get ready to savor the delectable blend of crispy phyllo dough, savory spinach, feta, and a hint of lemon and sumac in my Simple Spanakopita Recipe for Beginners – a surefire crowd-pleaser.
Ingredients for your Easy Spanakopita Recipe
- Frozen Chopped Spinach: Thawed, drained, and pat dry, the spinach contributes a vibrant green color and earthy flavor.
- Shallots: Chopped shallots bring a mild oniony aroma and sweetness to the dish.
- Garlic Cloves: Minced garlic cloves add a pungent, savory note.
- Fresh Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley lends a fresh, herbaceous element to the spanakopita.
- Green Onions: The white and green parts of chopped green onions provide a mild flavor and a touch of color contrast.
- Feta Cheese: Creamy and tangy, feta cheese is an essential ingredient that enhances the overall flavor profile.
- Dry Dill: Dry dill infuses the filling with a gentle herbal flavor.
- Lemon Zest and Juice: Lemon zest adds a bright, citrusy aroma and flavor, while lemon juice provides a zesty, tangy kick.
- Spices: A blend of spices includes salt, black pepper, sumac, nutmeg, and chili flakes. These spices together add depth, warmth, and a hint of spiciness to the filling.
Fresh vs. Frozen Spinach
Preparing the spinach properly is essential before diving into your Simple Spanakopita Recipe. We’ve covered you with easy steps whether you’re using frozen or fresh.
- Using Frozen Chopped Spinach: Frozen spinach is a convenient choice. Here’s how to get it ready: Thaw it as per package instructions, drain off excess water, and pat it dry with paper towels.
- Working with Fresh Spinach: Opting for fresh greens? Follow these simple steps: Wash the spinach thoroughly, sprinkle a pinch of salt over the leaves, give them a gentle massage, rinse under cold water, and squeeze out excess liquid. This ensures your Spanakopita filling stays delightfully dry and the dish turns out just right.
Preparing Phyllo Dough for Spanakopita
Handling it carefully is essential when working with phyllo dough for your Spanakopita. Follow these steps to ensure your dough remains perfectly pliable and doesn’t dry out:
- Thawing the Dough: Start by taking the phyllo dough out of the freezer and allowing it to thaw. You can do this by placing it in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a few hours.
- Keep It Covered: Phyllo dough dries out quickly, so it’s crucial to keep it covered. Use a damp towel or plastic wrap to cover the dough while you work.
- Working in Pairs: To assemble your Spanakopita, simultaneously work with two sheets of phyllo dough. This helps create a sturdy base for your savory pastries.
- Cutting the Dough: Cut the phyllo dough into 3-inch wide strips using a ruler or a sharp knife to create individual Spanakopita. Each set of two sheets should yield four small Spanakopita.
- Brushing with Butter: Before adding the spinach mixture, brush each layer of phyllo dough with melted butter. This step adds flavor and helps create a delightful, crispy texture.
- Folding with Precision: Fold the corner of the dough over the spinach to form a triangle shape. Continue folding until you reach the end of the strip, creating a neat and attractive pastry.
- Sealing with Egg Mixture: Brush both sides of the Spanakopita with an egg mixture to ensure they hold together during baking.
- Baking Perfection: Place your beautifully assembled Spanakopita evenly on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, ready for the oven.
- These steps will guide you in working with phyllo dough to create the perfect Spanakopita, combining layers of delicate pastry with a delicious spinach filling.
Variations of the Spanakopita recipe:
Spanakopita is a versatile dish that allows for creative variations. If you want to change things up, consider experimenting with different types of cheese. While feta is the classic choice, you can try using ricotta, cottage, or goat cheese for a unique twist. For a vegan version, substitute dairy-free cheese or nutritional yeast. Additionally, you can vary the greens in the filling. While spinach is traditional, kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens can add a different dimension of flavor and texture. Don’t be afraid to play with spices, too; a pinch of nutmeg, dill, or red pepper flakes can elevate the spanakopita and make it unique.
Troubleshooting Your Spanakopita
Creating the perfect spanakopita may reSpanakopitatrial and error, but we’re here to help you troubleshoot common issues and provide solutions:
Why is my spanakopita soggy on the bottom?
- Possible Issue: Soggy bottoms can result from excess moisture in the spinach filling.
- Solution: Ensure you’ve thoroughly drained the spinach to remove excess water. Using fresh spinach can also help prevent sogginess.
How do you keep Spanakopita Crispy?
- Possible Issue: Spanakopita can lose its crispiness if exposed to moisture.
- Solution: Store spanakopita in an airSpanakopitainer at room temperature for up to aSpanakopitat in the oven to restore its crispy texture.
Can I Make Spanakopita in Advance?
- Possible Issue: Making spanakopita ahead can affect its freshness.
- Solution: You can assemble spanakopita in advance and freeze it before baking. Bake from frozen for a convenient and fresh snack or appetizer.
How can I prevent the phyllo Spanakopita from Sticking to the towel?
- Possible Issue: If the top layer sticks to the towel while covering the assembled spanakopita, iSpanakopitawhen you remove it.
- Solution: Lightly coat the towel with cooking spray or butter before covering the spanakopita to prevent sticking.
Should I defrost Spanakopita before baking?
- Spanakopita is typically defrosted before baking, but you can bake it directly from frozen. Remember that baking from frozen may require more time in the oven, but it can help prevent the bottom crust from becoming soggy.
Addressing these common questions and solutions lets you know how to create the perfect spanakopita every time. Enjoy your delightful Greek spinach pie!
Tell Me How I’m Doing?
Have you made this simple yet delicious spanakopita? I love to hear from you; please feel free to leave me a comment below.