Spanakopita is the classic Greek pie that is made with fresh spinach, herbs, feta cheese, and phyllo pastry. This uses all of the same ingredients to create a rustic galette. Perfect for entertaining!
What is a galette?
A galette is basically a free form tart. It can be savory or sweet. Galettes consist of a crust and a filling. The best thing about them is that they can be assembled on a sheet pan and not other special equipment is needed. Unlike tarts, that are usually made with tart pans or sometimes cheesecake pans, the beauty of the galette lies in its rustic nature.
What is spanakopita?
Spanakopita translates to spinach pie. You can find so many different versions of spanakopita in bakeries and cafes across Greece. There are delicious! The most common spanakopita is made with flaky phyllo that is usually brushed with either olive oil or melted butter. The filling is juicy and fresh tasting due to the spinach, dill, and creamy feta cheese. My mom taught me to add ricotta cheese to make the filling extra creamy and to balance out the brininess of the feta. It’s such a good combination. Just be sure to use high quality full-fat ricotta. The low-fat variety tends to taste sweet and to release more liquid. If you do not have ricotta, cream cheese works well as a substitute.
Unlike most spanakopita fillings, my mom taught me to never cook the spinach. I know what you’re thinking, Will uncooked spinach release a lot of liquid and cause the pie to become soggy? The answer is no. It doesn’t happen. Instead, the filling tastes so fresh and stays green. It also makes it so much easier to do.
I’ve been making this same exact filling for over 10 years. We used this recipe to make thousands of pies when we had our Greek restaurant and I only use this recipe for dinner parties. Everyone loves the spinach pies every single time.
It is much easier to combine the filling using a tabletop mixer. I own a Kitchen Aid so, that’s what I use. Here’s a link (affiliate) of the same exact machine that I’ve owned for the past 10 years. I love this brand!
You can make the filling without a mixer too! Just combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix them together with your clean hands.
Which phyllo pastry should I use to make this galette?
If you have a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern market nearby then, use the thicker country phyllo (#10). It will bake up to be heartier and more crisp. Most supermarkets sell the #4 phyllo which are much thinner phyllo sheets. I used the #4 in the video and as you will see, it works perfectly. I just prefer the thicker heartier country phyllo.
If you’re using the regular thinner sheets (#4) you will not need to use the entire pack. 10-12 sheets will be enough.
Tips on working with phyllo:
- Phyllo is usually sold in the freezer section so, be sure to thaw it overnight (in its packaging) in the refrigerator.
- An hour or two before you’re ready to work with it, leave it at room temperature in its packaging.
- Once the phyllo is out of its packaging it must not be left out exposed to air for too long otherwise it will dry up and begin to crumble. So, once you start working with it complete the recipe before moving away from the kitchen. If you must move away from the phyllo, cover it with a dry kitchen towel and then with a damp towel.
- Any leftover phyllo can be rolled up and wrapped in plastic then, placed in a freezer safe bag and stored in the freezer or the refrigerator.
How to bake the galette to prevent a soggy bottom crust:
- Once the galette is assembled, place it on the center rack and bake at 415 °F, 215 °C for 40 minutes.
- Move the galette to the bottom rack so that it is closer to the heating element and bake for 10-15 more minutes.
- Keep a close eye on it since oven temperatures vary.
Remove the galette from the oven and let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Serve with creamy tzatziki.
Call some friends over and enjoy this flavorful spinach and feta pie.
I hope that you give this recipe a try and if you do, I would love to know what you changed abut it and what you think. Share your pictures with me on Facebook & Instagram because seeing your recreations makes my day!
Watch the Video Tutorial Here:
- 10-12 phyllo sheets
- 4 ounces (113 grams) salted butter, melted
- For the filling:
- 1-pound baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- • 6 scallions, finely sliced
- • 3 teaspoons dried dill
- • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- • 1-pound feta cheese, crumbled
- • 3 eggs
- • 1/3 cup olive oil
- • ½ teaspoon salt
- • Black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 415 °F, 215 °C.
- Line a half sheet baking pan with parchment paper.
- Make the filling:
- Combine the feta cheese, ricotta, eggs, oil, salt, pepper, and dill in a tabletop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until combined.
- Add the scallions and beat until combined.
- While the mixer is running on low add a handful of chopped spinach at a time until all of the spinach is incorporated.
- Mix everything together with a spatula and set aside.
- Assemble the galette:
- Place one sheet of phyllo vertically in front of you on the prepared baking pan, at the 12:00 position. Drizzle with some melted butter.
- Place another sheet vertically at the 6:00 position and allow a small portion to hang outside of the pan. Drizzle with melted butter.
- Place a sheet of phyllo horizontally to form a cross at the 3:00 position and drizzle with butter.
- Place a sheet at the 9:00 position and drizzle with butter.
- Now fill in the spaces diagonally (2:00, 7:00, 11:00, and 5:00) and drizzle each sheet with butter.
- Place the spinach filling in the center and gather the phyllo to cover the edges of the filling in order to form a border and crust.
- Brush all around with the remaining butter. You may wet your hands to help the phyllo stick together and stay in place.
- Bake in the center rack for 40 minutes.
- Move the pan to the bottom rack and bake for 10-15 additional minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes to set.
- Serve with tzatziki. Enjoy!