A very (very) good Spanakopita

PREP TIME: 40mins


A spanakopita is a traditional greek spinach & feta pie using filo pastry. As with most good traditional recipes there are lots of versions of this scrumptious pie.

This recipe is from a talented chef Georgina Hayden. In her book Taverna she revisits recipes and stories from her Cypriot kitchen including her ‘yiayia’ Martha’s very, very good spanakopita. I love the fragrant taste the dill adds to the dish.

I love the ‘no fuss’ approach of salting the greens before hand to extract the moisture rather than cooking them. This removes the water, which can make your pie soggy, but keeps the flavour.

Getting ahead: We reheated the rest of the leftover pie the following day (20min on 180c) with beautiful and crispy results.

Seasonal swaps: You can use any soft leaves here like chard and/or spinach. If you want to use kale, I would cook the kale separately until soft, squeezing out all the liquid and chop finely.

Serving Suggestion:

Serves 8

A glass of chilled wine.

Spanakopita will sit beautifully on a mezze inspired lunch table along with some roasted pepper, olives and perhaps a pickle/chutney.

What you'll need:

  • a 25cm x 30cm roasting tray or oven dish, any shape will work here.
  • large colander for the leaves (sieve can work too)
  • pastry brush


  • 500g washed chard, stalks removed, and finely shredded (+- 3 bunches)
  • OR 800g washed baby spinach leaves
  • 6 spring onions, roughly diced
  • 1 leek, washed, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 250g ricotta, drained
  • 200g feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • good pinch of nutmeg (opt)
  • 20g dill, finely chopped
  • 250g filo
  • olive oil


  1. Place the chard/spinach, leek and spring onions in a large colander (if your colander is not large enough no problem you can do this in stage), sprinkle over the salt (or half if you are doing this in stages) and toss. Leave in the sink for 15 minutes.
  2. Now use your hands (nothing else will work here!) and really start to crunch and squeeze the leaves trying to get as much moisture out of the leaves. Repeat step 1 & 2 if you are preparing your leaves in batches.
  3. Preheat your oven to 190c.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, add the feta and ricotta and whisk. My ricotta was very dry so I used an electric whisk to smooth it out a bit before adding. In any event the mixture will not be smooth so don’t worry about it.
  5. Season the egg mixture with the nutmeg, white pepper and the chopped dill. Add the spinach and stir well.
  6. Assemble your pie: Add a few tablespoons of oil to a small dish, using your pastry brush, generously coat the dish all over including the sides.
  7. Lay out enough filo (one large sheet) to cover the base and drape over the sides, brush the sheet with oil (all over). Repeat until you have used HALF the filo, for me it was 4 layers.
  8. Spoon the filling into the tray, spreading it out evenly including the corners.
  9. Top with the remaining filo, like above brushing each layer with olive oil.
  10. Scrunch the overhanging filo into the edges of the pie. If this seems daunting you can always cut away any excess pastry and only fold in the bits that are left. Do make sure the pie is sealed at the sides. Brush the top layer, including the tucked in bits, with oil.
  11. Gently score the pie into pieces (8-12 depending on your dish) with a sharp serrated (fruit) knife, being careful not to cut through all the filo layers. This will make it easier to dish the pie later but you can leave this step out.
  12. Place the tray in the oven and bake for around 45minutes until golden all over (especially the middle), remove and leave to rest for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy.
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