This easy spanakopita recipe is made with buttery, flaky layers of phyllo dough and a bright and tangy filling made with fresh spinach, feta cheese, and pine nuts for a savory two-bite appetizer everyone loves.
In my book, a great party should always have strong drinks, a solid playlist, and at least one of these four appetizers: shrimp cocktail, a hot and cheesy dip, a crostini, or spanakopita. But full disclosure, if there’s spanakopita, I’m going in for seconds.
These handheld triangles are pure party food that taste like like Greek spinach pies. They’re light and decadent, with the crunch of flaky phyllo dough pastry, stuffed with fresh spinach filling, chunks of feta, and earthy pine nuts brightened up with lemon zest and shallot. They’re easy to make too, especially thanks to storebought phyllo, and always the first thing to disappear from the appetizer table.
What’s in This Spanakopita
- Phyllo dough (I use frozen)
- Fresh spinach (some recipes call for frozen spinach, but I prefer fresh)
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Feta cheese (choose feta sold in chunks instead of the pre-crumbled variety)
- Pine nuts (toast them before for a deeper flavor)
- Flaky sea salt
How to Make Spanakopita
Don’t be intimidated by spanakopita––it’s an easy dish to make. Here’s how:
Wilt the spinach. In a non-stick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and cook the shallot for 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach in 3 batches, wilting it and adding more as will fit in the pan. Season with salt as you go. Cook until all of the spinach has wilted, about 8 minutes.
Squeeze those leaves. Spinach is a moisture-rich veg, and you don’t want your spanakopita to be soggy, so transfer the spinach to a colander and gently squeeze the excess liquid from the leaves. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
Make the spanakopita filling. Add the lemon zest, eggs, panko bread crumbs, feta, and toasted pine nuts. Stir to combine.
Assemble the Spanakopita
Butter the phyllo. In the microwave or in a small pan, melt the rest of the butter. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough flat on the counter and brush lightly with butter. Repeat the process 2 more times, brushing the next layer with melted butter but leaving the top layer plain. Be sure to carefully position each phyllo sheet on top of the other.
Cut and fill. After layering, cut the phyllo into 3-inch wide strips. Place ¼ cup of filling in the bottom corner of the dough strip and fold from corner to corner, diagonally, like a flag. Fold again over the flat end, then on the diagonal again, continuing folding to the top of the sheet.
Brush and bake. Brush the edge of the corner with butter to seal and place on a baking sheet then cover with a kitchen towel. Continue folding the phyllo triangles in the same manner until the filling is gone. Brush the tops of the spanikopita with butter and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Make Spanikopita Ahead of Time
Prep the triangles to the point before baking, place on a cutting board or baking sheet, and freeze them individually. Place them in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
To cook the spanikopita from frozen, do not thaw. Brush with butter and bake at 375°F for 40-50 minutes.
Or, bake the spanikopita ahead of time and reheat them before serving. Reheat at 400°F for 5 minutes. Do not microwave or the phyllo crust will become soggy.
How Healthy Is Spanakopita
Spanakopita is a reasonably healthy dish since it’s loaded with superfood ingredient spinach, which is high in protein, iron, and magnesium, and boasts an array of health benefits.
What Do You Eat Spanakopita With
Whether enjoying spanakopita as an appetizer or a side dish, here are some ideas for what to serve it with:
- Greek Salad with Avocado
- Berry Delicious Fruit Salad
- Horiatiki (Traditional Greek Salad)
- Baba Ganoush
- Mediterranean Kale Salad
- Greek Chickpea Salad
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
- 1 8-ounce sleeve frozen phyllo dough, thawed at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons plus ½ cup butter , divided
- 1 shallot , chopped
- 1 pound fresh spinach leaves
- zest of one lemon
- 2 eggs , beaten
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 ½ cups feta cheese , crumbled
- 1 cup pine nuts , toasted
- In a non-stick fry pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach in 3 batches tossing and cooking each batch until it wilts before adding the next batch. Season with kosher salt and cook for about 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a colander and gently squeeze excess water from the leaves. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
- Mix the spinach mixture with the lemon zest, eggs, panko bread crumbs, feta, and pine nuts. Stir to combine.
- In the microwave or in a small pan, melt the remaining ½ cup of butter. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough flat on the counter and brush lightly with butter. Repeat the process 2 more times, brushing the next layer with melted butter but leaving the top layer plain. Cut the stacked phyllo sheets into 3-inch wide long strips. Place a scoop of filling in the bottom corner of the dough strip and fold from corner to corner, diagonally, like a flag. Fold again over the flat end, then on the diagonal again. Continue folding to the top of sheet. Brush the edge of triangle with butter to seal. Place each triangle on a baking sheet and cover lightly with a dish towel. Continue folding hand pies in same manner until the filling is gone.
- Brush the tops of the triangles with butter. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
More Classic Party Appetizers You’ll Love
- Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Pigs in a Puff Pastry Blanket
- Easy Shrimp Cocktail
- The Best Clam Dip Recipe EVER!
- Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms with Hollandaise
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