Spanakopita, or Greek Spinach Pie, is easily on one of my favorite all-around meals. Dress it up and serve it warm for dining in, slice and serve for an easy lunch, or eat it cold for a fast meal on the go. This recipe has less than half the calories and only a quarter of the fat of my original recipe, and Mr. B and I honestly don’t miss a bit of it.
I used to be a little intimidated by phyllo dough. It is so fragile, and many recipes warn of its fragile nature and dramatically demand that you keep it covered at all times like a sickly newborn. Well, I am here to tell you, don’t worry! Phyllo dough is very forgiving, and my experience is that the results are always better than I imagine they will be when I put whatever I am making into the oven.
Tips for Working with Phyllo Dough
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If you forget, you can put it out on the counter for four or five hours (or all day if you are at work). Don’t thaw it in th e microwave though. Keep the package closed while you are thawing it.
- Prepare all your ingredients before you open it. Make sure your hands are dry when you handle it.
- When you unroll it, cover it with wax paper or kitchen cloth. You can put a damp cloth over the wax paper or cloth, but don’t put it directly on the phyllo dough. I never use a damp cloth, and everything always works out fine. I do, however, have everything ready ahead of time and I work very fast when it is uncovered.
- If you tear a piece, just patch it – no worries. Unless it is the top sheet, no one will ever know.
- If you have sheets left over, just roll them back up and cover them tightly with plastic wrap. They will keep in the fridge for at least a week. I have also refrozen them (more than once) with no ill effects.
- 2 Tbls vegetable oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb frozen spinach thawed and drained
- 2 Tbs fresh dill chopped (or 1 Tbls. dried dill)
- 2 Tbs flour I use Wondra
- 8 oz feta cheese
- Zest of one lemon
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp. Cavender's Greek Seasoning or Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 15 sheets phyllo dough
- Olive oil or butter flavored Pam
- 1 Tbs butter melted
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Slowly cook and stir onions until softened. Add minced garlic and cook one minute more. Mix in spinach, dill and flour. Cook approximately 5 minutes, or until most of the moisture has been absorbed. Remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, mix feta cheese, eggs, salt and pepper. Add feta mixture to warm spinach mixture and stir to combine.
Spray the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough flat in pan. Spray lightly with Olive oil or butter-flavored Pam. Lay on 4 more sheets in the same way. Brush top sheet lightly with melted butter. Spread on 1/2 of spinach mixture. Layer on 5 more sheets of phyllo, and spread on remaining spinach mixture. Brush top layer with melted butter. Top with the last 5 sheets of phyllo and brush with remaining butter. .
Bake in the preheated oven 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until golden brown.
One generous serving (1/9th of a 9x13 pan) is just 7 PointsPlus, calculated on Food PointsPlus Calculator.