Spanakopita spiral with spinach and feta

7
1256 views
Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe

Do your children say ‘yuk’ whenever a bowl of spinach goes near their plate? If so then presenting spinach in a tasty spiral pie with crunchy filo pastry may make them reconsider.
 
Packed full of flavour this is a delicious and filling pie to serve for family dinners or as a side together with some grilled chicken or fish.

Spinach pie is a traditional Greek dish that is enjoyed everyday. This authentic spanakopita spiral recipe has been passed down through several generations of a Greek family and is one of their favourite dishes. We hope you enjoy it too.

 

Summary

Prep: 20 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Ages: Toddlers to Teens
Difficulty: Intermediate
Makes: 1 spinach spiral pie

How to make spanakopita spiral pie?

A spanakopita spiral pie is easier to make than it looks. First need to prepare the spinach and feta cheese filling in a saucepan.

When that is ready you spoon a little of it along an oiled sheet of filo pastry and roll it up tightly into a tube. You then curl that tube around itself into a spiral and place it on a round pie dish.

You continue adding spinach filled filo ‘tubes’ and curling them around the centre until you have filled the dish.

Then you simply brush it with oil and add it to the oven until golden.

Follow our step by step guide which includes images of each stage of making this pie.

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe

Is spinach and feta pie healthy?

As pies go, this spinach and feta cheese pie is very healthy.

Leafy green vegetables are well known for being packed full of nutrients and spinach is a star among them. Containing manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, calcium, potassium and vitamins C, 3, B2 and B6 all in significant quantities, it’s full of all the good stuff. It’s also thought to help prevent disease and to be good for your skin.

This pie has 600 grams of fresh spinach leaves, which together with leeks, dill and egg in its filling, makes it a nutritious and healthy pie.

Feta cheese is also lower in fat and calories than other yellow cheeses and is considered to be a healthier option for that reason. It also has vitamins and minerals including calcium which can help with bone health too.

 

Ingredients

Spinach and feta filling:

  • 3 leeks – white parts diced
  • 600 grams fresh spinach leaves – washed
  • 150 grams Greek feta cheese
  • 60 grams fresh dill
  • ½ lemon – juiced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt

Filo crust:

  • 1 x 250 gram packet filo pastry
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil (90 mls)
  • Sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

Equipment:

  • Ceramic round quiche dish about 25 cm/9 inch diameter
  • Pastry brush

 

Instructions

Spinach and feta cheese filling:

This step is optional but it softens the spinach and removes a lot of the water from the leaves: 

  • About 30 minutes before starting, wash the spinach leaves and place them in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and make sure the leaves are covered with it. Leave for 30 minutes.
  • At the end of the 30 minutes, take the leaves, rinse the salt off and ring them dry with your hands or in a cotton kitchen cloth. Drain the water from the leaves as well as you can and pat them dry at the end.
  1. When the spinach is ready, take a large saucepan and add the 2 tablespoons olive oil over a low heat.
  2. Add the diced leeks (white parts only) to the saucepan. Sautee for a few minutes until they are soft and yellow.
  3. Add in the washed spinach leaves a handful at a time until they collapse into the saucepan, followed by the dill. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. If you didn’t drain the spinach leaves in the earlier step, there may be a lot of excess water in the mixture at the end of the simmering time. If this is the case, drain some liquid from the saucepan until the mixture is moist but not too wet. You shouldn’t be able to see any pools of water in the mixture, so if you can, spoon those off.
  5. After you’ve drained the mixture to the right consistency and removed it from the heat, add in the juice of half a lemon and the egg and stir. You do not need to cook it further in the saucepan.
  6. Crumble your feta cheese into a large mixing bowl. You can either do this by mixing it in a blender for a minute, or by mashing the feta cheese with a fork. It should be crumbled into small balls about ½ cm in size without any large chunks in it.
  7. Empty your spinach mixture into the bowl of crumbled feta cheese and it stir well until everything is combined. Set it aside. Your spinach and feta filling is ready.

Make the spanakopita spiral:

  1. Take a round oven dish and grease it well with butter or oil spray. Ceramic dishes work best as they mean that you can keep the pie in the dish when serving it.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan setting. Clear some space on your worktop and get your filo pastry ready.
  3. Remove one sheet of filo pastry at a time and lay it out on a clean worktop with the long end in front of you. Keep the remaining filo sheets rolled up and cover them with a slightly damp kitchen cloth to prevent them drying out. Filo dries out very quickly and if this happens you can’t use them.
  4. Place 5 tablespoons of oil in a small bowl next to you with a pastry brush. Brush your first filo sheet with a light layer of olive oil.
  5. Take a tablespoon of your spinach and feta cheese mixture and spread it out along the long end of the filo pastry sheet. You want it to be about 2 cm thick so that there is enough to fill the coil, but not so much that it’s packed full and can’t bend. You need to be able to roll it up into a spiral later on. Leave 1-2 cm at each end with no filling.
  6. Roll the filo pastry sheet tightly around the filling and continue rolling until you get to the end. You should now have a long round tube of filo pastry filled with spinach.
  7. Coil the tube up to make a tight spiral and place it in the middle of your baking dish. This is your first coil which is the start of your spiral. Your other ‘coils’ will move out from that first one.
  8. Repeat the process with the remaining sheets of filo pastry and spinach filling, working out from your first coil until the oven dish is full.
  9. Brush the top of your spinach pie with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional).
  10. Cook the spanakopita spiral on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes or until the top is golden. Remove and enjoy while warm!

Spanakopita spiral with spinach and feta – our step by step guide:

1

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe
1

Drain the spinach leaves

This step is optional but it does help to drain the excess water from the spinach leaves before cooking, as well as making them softer.

About half an hour before you start cooking, place the washed spinach leaves in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Mix it with your hands to make sure all the leaves have some salt on them, and leave to rest.

After half an hour, return to the colander and rinse the salt off of the leaves. Then grab the leaves and ring them tightly over the sink like wet clothing, to squeeze the excess water out.

If you prefer, you can also do this by placing the leaves in a cotton tea towel and squeezing it until the water comes out.

Make sure the leaves are completely drained and dried before beginning.

2

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe
2

Sautee the leeks

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a low heat in a large saucepan.

Dice the white parts of the leeks and add them to the saucepan. Cook for a few minutes until softer and slightly golden.

3

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe
3

Add the other ingredients

Slowly add in the spinach and the dill. Mix until combined and simmer for about 15 minutes.

At the end of the simmering time check the consistency of the mixture. It should be moist but there should not be pools of water in it.

It it looks too wet then drain the excess water from the mixture before continuing.

When it’s the right consistency, remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the juice from half a lemon (take care to not let the lemon seeds fall in) and the egg. Stir until combined.

4

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe
4

Prepare your feta cheese

Crumble your feta cheese until it’s in small, uniform pieces about half a cm in size. You can do this using a blender or with a fork.

Place it in a large mixing bowl.

5

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe
5

Add in your spinach mixture

Pour your cooked spinach mixture into your bowl with feta cheese.

Stir it all well until the cheese is evenly distributed. Your filling is ready. Put it to one side.

6

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe
6

Prepare your oven dish

You will need a round oven dish for this recipe. We recommend a ceramic one which is about 25 cm (9 inches) in diameter.

Grease it well with either butter or an oil spray.

Preheat the oven to 180°C fan setting.

7

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe
7

Brush your first filo sheet with oil

Clear some space on a clean countertop.

Have a bowl with your olive oil and a pastry brush next to you. Place your spinach and feta cheese filling next to that.

Take out one sheet of filo pastry and lay it out in front of you with the long end facing you. Make sure the remaining filo pastry sheets are rolled up and covered with a moist kitchen towel as they dry out very quickly.

Brush the whole filo sheet with your olive oil.

8

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe
8

Spoon out the mixture along the filo pastry sheet

Take one tablespoon of your spinach and feta cheese mixture.

Carefully lay it out along the length of your filo pastry sheet until it is evenly spread out with a little space at either end.

The filling should be about 2 cm thick. This is so that the coil that you will be creating is full enough, but not so packed full that you can’t bend the filo pastry roll into a spiral.

9

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe
9

Roll it into a filo pastry ‘tube’

Starting with the end nearest you, roll the filo pastry sheet tightly around the spinach filling and keep rolling until it makes a long tube.

10

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe
10

Make your first spiral

Curl the tube around itself into a spiral and place it in the middle of your greased pie dish.

11

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe
11

Make the spanakopita spiral

Make more filo pastry ‘tubes’ and curl them into more spirals.

Place these so that they curl out from that first spiral in the middle.

Keep adding until you have filled the dish.

Brush some oil over the top of your spinach spiral pie, and if you like sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

Cook in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden.

Remove and let it cool slightly. Serve while warm.

You can store this spinach pie in and airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Enjoy this delicious and healthy spanakopita spiral pie!

 

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe

 

Spanakopita spiral pie - make this healthy spinach and feta cheese filo pie from a traditional Greek recipe

Print
Pin

5 from 5 votes

Spanakopita spiral with spinach and feta

Do your children say ‘yuk’ whenever a bowl of spinach goes near their plate? If so then presenting spinach in a tasty spinach and feta cheese pie with crunchy filo pastry may make them reconsider. This authentic spanakopita spiral recipe has been passed down through several generations of a Greek family and is one of their favourite dishes.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Greek
Keyword spanakopita spiral, spinach and feta
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 1 spiral pie
Author Mas & Pas

Ingredients

Spinach and feta filling

  • 3 leeks white parts diced
  • 600 grams fresh spinach leaves washed
  • 150 grams Greek feta cheese
  • 60 grams fresh dill
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt

Filo crust

  • 1 250 gram packet filo pastry
  • 5 tbsp olive oil 90 mls
  • sesame seeds optional

Equipment

  • Ceramic round quiche dish about 25 cm/9 inch diameter
  • Pastry brush

Instructions

Spinach and feta cheese filling

  • This step is optional but it softens the spinach and removes a lot of the water from the leaves:

    About 30 minutes before starting, wash the spinach leaves and place them in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and make sure the leaves are covered with it. Leave for 30 minutes.

    At the end of the 30 minutes, take the leaves, rinse the salt off and ring them dry with your hands or in a cotton kitchen cloth. Drain the water from the leaves as well as you can and pat them dry at the end.

  • When the spinach is ready, take a large saucepan and add the 2 tablespoons olive oil over a low heat.
  • Add the diced leeks (white parts only) to the saucepan. Sautee for a few minutes until they are soft and yellow.
  • Add in the washed spinach leaves a handful at a time until they collapse into the saucepan, followed by the dill. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • If you didn’t drain the spinach leaves in the earlier step, there may be a lot of excess water in the mixture at the end of the simmering time. If this is the case, drain some liquid from the saucepan until the mixture is moist but not too wet. You shouldn’t be able to see any pools of water in the mixture, so if you can, spoon those off.
  • After you’ve drained the mixture to the right consistency and removed it from the heat, add in the juice of half a lemon and the egg and stir. You do not need to cook it further in the saucepan.
  • Crumble your feta cheese into a large mixing bowl. You can either do this by mixing it in a blender for a minute, or by mashing the feta cheese with a fork. It should be crumbled into small balls about ½ cm in size without any large chunks in it.
  • Empty your spinach mixture into the bowl of crumbled feta cheese and it stir well until everything is combined. Set it aside. Your spinach and feta filling is ready.

Make the spanakopita spiral:

  • Take a round oven dish and grease it well with butter or oil spray. Ceramic dishes work best as they mean that you can keep the pie in the dish when serving it.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C fan setting. Clear some space on your worktop and get your filo pastry ready.
  • Remove one sheet of filo pastry at a time and lay it out on a clean worktop with the long end in front of you. Keep the remaining filo sheets rolled up and cover them with a slightly damp kitchen cloth to prevent them drying out. Filo dries out very quickly and if this happens you can’t use them.
  • Place 5 tablespoons of oil in a small bowl next to you with a pastry brush. Brush your first filo sheet with a light layer of olive oil.
  • Take a tablespoon of your spinach and feta cheese mixture and spread it out along the long end of the filo pastry sheet. You want it to be about 2 cm thick so that there is enough to fill the coil, but not so much that it’s packed full and can’t bend. You need to be able to roll it up into a spiral later on. Leave 1-2 cm at each end with no filling.
  • Roll the filo pastry sheet tightly around the filling and continue rolling until you get to the end. You should now have a long round tube of filo pastry filled with spinach.
  • Coil the tube up to make a tight spiral and place it in the middle of your baking dish. This is your first coil which is the start of your spiral. Your other ‘coils’ will move out from that first one.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining sheets of filo pastry and spinach filling, working out from your first coil until the oven dish is full.
  • Brush the top of your spinach pie with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional).
  • Cook the spanakopita spiral on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes or until the top is golden. Remove and enjoy while warm!
15405