Spanakopita, made the modern way!
This version still has the buttery, flaky filo with a cheese and spinach filling, but it takes a fraction of the time to prepare.
I grew up in a household without a bread basket on the dinner table. Instead, we had spanakopita. As a young kid, I had no choice but to like spinach. My mom would painstakingly make super thin layers of dough for her spanakopita or “pita” as we call it. The entire process would take a good portion of the day with the mixing, the rising, the resting and the rolling. In our house, store bought filo dough was only used on special occasions.
Eating this Greek spinach pie meal after meal throughout my childhood left me taking it completely for granted. And with it my mom. I ate it so often, I never truly appreciated the time and effort it took to construct such a dish. That is until my mom insisted I learn how to make it myself. She is always preaching to me and my sisters that one day she will be gone and we must learn her recipes from the “old country” while we can. She’s probably right. But here’s the problem, I’m a modern mom with a busy schedule. I do not have the time to spend an entire day on one single dish. The Babas (old ladies) from the “old country” had nothing BUT time. There had to be a way for me to savor these traditional recipes in a fraction of the time.
I’ve recreated my favorite Greek meal, and my favorite Greek dessert, why not this Spanakopita?
Turns out this is the simplest, most impressive remake yet! Lazy or smart? I’m going with smart.
This recipe use filo dough. Filo dough is velum thin dough that tears easily. When buttered and baked it yields the flakiest pastries ever. Arrange your dough on a baking mat. Work quickly with filo (it will dry out) and carefully, but most of all, be sure to use lots of butter. You will use two sheets of dough at a time and butter them excessively. Rotate each pair of filo in a clock wise manner until all sheets of dough have been used up. Place your spinach filling in the center, fold over the phyllo dough as if you were making a tart and voila! This spinach pie takes less than 30 minutes to bake.
Serve this spanakopita as an appetizer, side dish or AS the meal.
You can tell your guests you worked all day if you want. I promise I won’t tell.
Spanakopita (Quick and Easy)
Spanakopita for the modern family! This pie has a flakey, buttery phyllo crust and is filled with feta and spinach!
- 1/2 a 16 oz package of frozen Filo Dough
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 10 oz package frozen spinach thawed
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1 teaspoon greek seasoning
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Add diced onion and cook until translucent. Add spinach and cook until heated through. Remove and let cool slightly.
- In a bowl combine spinach mixture, garlic, cottage cheese, feta, seasoning, nutmeg and salt.
- To assemble, lay two filo sheets vertically on a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Take two more filo sheets and turn them so that they are at the 11:00 and 5:00 positions. Continue to arrange filo sheets in a clockwork fashion. Butter the tops of each new pair of filo dough as you go. When all sheets have been used, place spinach mixture in the center and spread out into a circle. Carefully fold phyllo over the edge of the spinach mixture allowing a majority of the center to be visible. Butter the edges. Bake for 25-30 or until edges are golden and center is set.