Spanakopita – Old-fashioned way

Spanakopita, a traditional Greek savory pastry, is a dish that embodies the essence of Mediterranean cuisine. This old-fashioned recipe has been passed down through generations, maintaining its timeless appeal. The delicate layers of flaky phyllo pastry embracing a rich and hearty spinach and feta filling create a harmony of flavors and textures that is simply irresistible. In this blog post, we will take you on a journey through the art of making Spanakopita the old-fashioned way, celebrating the culinary traditions of Greece.


For the Filling:

  • 2 pounds of fresh spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for sautéing

For the Phyllo Pastry:

  • 1 package of phyllo dough sheets (16 ounces), thawed
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, melted


Preparing the Filling:

  1. Start by wilting the spinach. In a large pan, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, sauté until translucent.
  2. Gradually add the spinach to the pan. It might seem like a lot, but it will wilt down significantly. Stir occasionally until all the spinach is wilted and most of the moisture has evaporated. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove the spinach mixture from the heat and allow it to cool. Once cooled, use your hands to squeeze out any excess moisture.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the wilted spinach, chopped dill, chopped parsley, crumbled feta cheese, ricotta cheese, beaten eggs, and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything thoroughly, and your filling is ready.

Assembling the Spanakopita:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Unroll the phyllo dough sheets and cover them with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
  3. Take one sheet of phyllo dough and brush it generously with melted butter. Layer another sheet on top and repeat the process until you have about 6-8 sheets layered.
  4. Spread a portion of the spinach and cheese mixture evenly over the layered phyllo sheets.
  5. Fold in the sides of the phyllo pastry and carefully roll it up, creating a log shape. Place it seam side down in a greased baking dish.
  6. Repeat the process with the remaining phyllo sheets and filling until you have used up all the ingredients.

Baking and Serving:

  1. Brush the top of the Spanakopita with more melted butter for a golden, crispy finish.
  2. Using a sharp knife, score the top of the Spanakopita into individual portions.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.
  4. Once done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing along the scored lines.
  5. Serve your homemade Spanakopita warm, and enjoy the delicious blend of flavors and textures that pay homage to the old-fashioned Greek culinary traditions.


  • Phyllo pastry can dry out quickly, so keep it covered with a damp towel while working with it to prevent it from becoming brittle.
  • Don’t skimp on the butter when layering the phyllo sheets. It’s what gives Spanakopita that delightful crunch.
  • You can add a pinch of nutmeg to the spinach and cheese mixture for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Spanakopita makes a fantastic appetizer or side dish, but it’s also hearty enough to be the star of the show for a vegetarian meal.

For a unique twist on this old-fashioned Spanakopita recipe, consider adding some crumbled cooked bacon to the filling. The smoky, savory flavor of bacon pairs wonderfully with the creamy cheese and earthy spinach. Simply cook the bacon until crisp, crumble it, and mix it into the spinach and cheese filling before assembling your Spanakopita. It’s a delightful fusion of Greek and American flavors that’s sure to be a hit at your next gathering.

In conclusion, Spanakopita prepared the old-fashioned way is a testament to the enduring appeal of traditional Greek cuisine. With layers of flaky phyllo pastry enveloping a luscious spinach and cheese filling, this dish is a savory masterpiece. Whether you’re sharing it with friends and family or savoring it as a meal on its own, Spanakopita is a culinary journey worth taking. So, roll up your sleeves, embrace the traditions of Greece, and indulge in the comforting flavors of this timeless classic. Your taste buds will thank you for it!

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