Spanakopita (also known as spinach pie), features a yummy spinach and feta filling nestled in layers of crispy phyllo dough. In our opinion, it also happens to be one of the best ways to eat your greens. Because who can resist anything that’s wrapped in a flaky, golden brown crust?! This version uses a skillet pan to streamline the assembly process.
While the crust may seem like the biggest hurdle to making homemade Spanakopita, the truth is, store-bought phyllo is available in the grocery store freezer aisle. It's the assembly process that can take time—if you're diligently folding the phyllo around spoonfuls of filling to make individual hand pies. We love an individual hand pie, but we rarely (if ever) have the time on a weeknight. So instead, we make one large spinach pie directly in a skillet pan. This method is a lot less finicky and cuts down on prep time. Now, we often enjoy homemade Spanakopita throughout the week!
- Phyllo dough: You can buy phyllo dough in the freezer section of your grocery store. For the best results, thaw the package in the fridge overnight. Then, let the package sit at room temperature while you prepare the filling. Phyllo dough dries out easily, so keep it in its package or covered, until you need to use it.
- Frozen spinach: The frozen spinach gets briefly heated on the stove to defrost it—then it's important to squeeze out as much liquid from the spinach as you can to avoid a watery filling. Go for packages of frozen spinach here because you'll need a lot of it.
- Kale: This recipe really packs in the greens! While kale isn't a traditional Spanakopita ingredient, we love to add it. The kale helps to bulk up the filling and keeps it extra green, without releasing a ton of extra water in the baking process.
- Eggs: Whisked eggs help bind the filling.
- Scallions (green onions): This filling gets its flavor from lots of fresh herbs and aromatics, like thinly sliced scallions.
- Fresh dill: Dill adds fresh, herbaceous flavor to the filling. You can use leftover dill in tzatziki for serving, and it's also delicious sprinkled over roasted potatoes.
- Feta: Crumbled feta adds a salty and tangy element to the filling—and it's extra pretty as a garnish on top!
How to make
To make the filling: You’ll start with frozen spinach and defrost it in a skillet pan. Once the spinach is defrosted, let it cool and drain in a colander. It's important to squeeze out as much water from the defrosted spinach as possible—this helps avoid a watery filling. Then, combine the spinach with sauteed onion and garlic, kale, eggs, fresh herbs, feta, and seasonings.
To assemble: The crust is made by laying down alternating sheets of phyllo dough in the skillet pan. The sheets of phyllo are bigger than the pan, so let it hang over the edges (this is what you want!). A light brushing of olive oil in between the layers helps everything get crispy and golden brown. Once you’re done layering, spoon in the filling, and fold over those extra edges. Pop the skillet in the oven, forget it, and then 40-45 minutes later pull out your beautiful golden brown Spanakopita!
Watch the video below for how to assemble this Skillet Pan Spanakopita!
How to serve
Spanakopita is best served warm. We like to crumble extra feta cheese on top and serve it with a generous dollop of tzatziki. You can serve Spanakopita as a main or side dish. It pairs especially well with roasted potatoes and Greek salad.
Skillet Pan Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)
- 32 oz frozen spinach, chopped (see note 1)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups lacinato kale, thinly sliced (or curly kale)
- 3 large eggs, whisked
- 2 scallions/green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup crumbled feta (more for garnish)
- 8 sheets phyllo dough (thawed, see note 2)
- Best Vegan Tzatziki (or other tzatziki, for serving)
- Preheat: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Cook spinach: Heat 1 (12-inch/30 cm) oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add spinach, and cook, stirring frequently, until spinach has defrosted and stated to release water, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer spinach into a colander set in the sink. Let spinach drain as it cools.
- Cook aromatics: Return skillet to stove over medium-high heat. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add onion. Sauté until golden brown around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
- Squeeze spinach and mix: Use the back of a rubber spatula or stirring spoon to press the spinach against the sides of the colander to squeeze out excess water. Add drained spinach to the onion mixture. Add kale, eggs, scallions, dill, thyme, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir well to mix. Fold in feta.
- Layer phyllo: Give the skillet a quick wipe clean. Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, lightly oil the sides and bottom of the pan. Place the first piece of phyllo dough horizontally across the pan. Use your fingers to gently press the phyllo into the bottom and up the sides, allowing the excess to hang over the edge of the pan. Lightly brush oil on top of the phyllo. Then, lay down the second piece of phyllo, in the opposite direction (vertically). Repeat with layers of oil and phyllo dough, alternating directions, until all 8 sheets have been used.
- Fill and bake: Spoon the spinach filling into the skillet. Then, start folding the overhanging edges of phyllo towards the center of the pan, dabbing a bit of oil in between the layers. Brush the top edges of phyllo with remaining oil. Bake until the center has firmed up and the phyllo crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Garnish with extra feta, and serve warm with tzatziki.
- Frozen spinach: Package sizes vary but frozen chopped spinach is often sold in 16 oz/454 g bags, so this recipe will require 2 bags of that size. If you're working with a different size of bag and don't have a scale, measure out 9 loosely packed cups of frozen chopped spinach.
- How to thaw phyllo dough: For best results, transfer the frozen package of phyllo dough to the fridge to defrost overnight. Then, take the sealed package out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter to come up to room temperature before you begin cooking. Phyllo dough dries out quickly, so unwrap it just before using it and work quickly.
- Serving suggestions: Roasted potatoes and Greek salad pair well with this Skillet Pan Spanakopita.
Kate S says
This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. It’s so delicious and it feels special - I often make it for guests. The layering of the phyllo dough can take getting used to, but the rustic look of it is very forgiving and it gets easier each time I make it. I love this recipe!!
Hi Kate! Wow, love that this is one of your all-time favorite recipes! How special!! And that you make it often for guests too:) Thank you for taking the time to write such a sweet note. It really means a lot! Have a great weekend ahead.
Fantastic recipe, been making this for ages. Goes great with homemade tzatziki!
Hi Shannon! So happy to hear you make this recipe often:) And yes, SO great with homemade tzatziki. Thanks so much for taking the time to write a review!
OMG THIS recipe! I'm not the most confident cook but I really wanted to make this. I felt so proud bringing it to the dinner table tonight — I looked like a true chef! This dish looked amazing and tasted even better. Thank you thank you!
Hi Alice! Congrats on nailing this dish! We're so happy to hear you were proud to serve this for dinner. Thank you for taking the time to write in and share. Big hugs!
Can you use fresh spinach?
Hi Sally! You likely can. But since spinach is subject to a lot of shrinkage, you'll need a significant amount for this recipe. I haven't tested the conversion myself, but online resources seem to say 1 1/2 lbs of fresh spinach is equivalent to one (10 oz) bag of frozen. So for this recipe you'd be looking at just over 4.5 lbs of fresh. It's a lot! But if you give it a go, let us know. Do make sure to saute the spinach so that it releases most of its water (frozen has already been blanched). And then you can follow the rest of the recipe as written:)