Spinach & Feta Pastry Recipe (Spanakopita)

 

Having recently returned from a holiday in Cyprus, I wanted to recreate some of the tasty Greek-Cypriot-style pastries at home.

This is my take on spanakopita (spinach triangles) – little pastries stuffed with spinach, feta cheese, pine nuts and fresh herbs.

Spinach, feta, pine nut pastries (spanakopita)
Spinach, feta & pine nut pastries (spanakopita)

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 250g strong white flour
  • 7g salt
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 20g olive oil
  • 130g water

Filling

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 medium leek, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 400g fresh spinach leaves
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 3 tbsp fresh fresh herbs (dill, mint or parsley), finely chopped
  • salt
  • freshly crushed pepper

How to bake them

For the dough

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Once you have a rough dough, turn it out onto a lightly oiled work surface
  3. Knead for 7 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft and no longer sticky
  4. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with cling film
  5. Set aside at room temperature for at least an hour

For the filling

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan
  2. Stir fry the garlic, leek and spring onions for a few minutes
  3. Put the mixture on a plate and set aside
  4. Add the spinach leaves to the pan and stir until wilted
  5. Simmer until all excess liquid from the spinach has evaporated (you can speed up this process by straining the excess liquid through a colander before placing the mixture back in the pan to dry it out further), stir frequently
  6. Set aside to cool
  7. Combine all ingredients: the garlic, leek and spring onion mixture, the spinach, crumbled feta cheese, toasted pine nuts and finely chopped herbs in a bowl
  8. Season to taste

For the pastries

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C
  2. Divide the dough into eight equal parts with a dough scraper
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough piece into a round about 15 cm in diameter, one at a time.
  4. Place 1/8 of the spinach and feta filling onto the dough round.
  5. Pick up 3 “corners” of the dough and bring together to form a dough triangle.
  6. Shape the dough parcel by bringing together the sides of the triangle, sealing them carefully. Use a little water to make this process easier.
  7. Place the dough parcels on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Cool on a wire rack or eat warm.

Spinach, feta and pine nut pastries filling (spanakopita)

Here they are – great spinach pastry appetizers!

Spinach, feta, pine nut and dill pastries (spanakopita)
Spinach, feta, pine nut and dill pastries (spanakopita)
  • Lisa

    Thank you for this lovely recipe. I made these tonight and they tasted great and looked beautiful. -Lisa from Portland, Oregon, USA

     
    • paemsn

      That’s great, thanks for the feedback Lisa! I love baking these as well and will be making a big batch for New Year’s Eve 🙂

       
  • Emma

    Made these at the weekend , in fact twice since the first lot went at the speed of light. I first encountered the spanakopitas when they appeared at the GBBO as a Technical Challenge (oh the faces of the bakers, bless them!). I’ve got the book for this series and the spanakopita recipe involve some rather fiddly handling of the dough through a pasta machine (but to make one big crown-shaped spanakopita). I can see that it’s nice to have some lamination in this sort of parcel-shaped so I have tried to roll my dough and then pull on it as I form the parcels, using olive oil every time two layers of dough come in contact. Although they taste divine, my parcels dont look anything as beautiful as yours Pam, mind you and Ithink I go rather thin since the dough become transluscent in places as the parcels bake and one can see the colour of the spinach coming through. Still an exceptionally tasty little pastry, kids love them and eat a good portion of spinach this way.

     
    • paemsn

      Hi Emma, great to hear. Spanakopitas are such a nice snack, glad you and your family liked them 🙂 I’m working on a very different kind of pastry at the moment: the Austrian Topfengolatsche. Early results are quite good, but I’m trying to get my hands on my grandmother’s recipe at the moment to bake the real deal. Here’s to pastry baking! Pam