Skillet Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Feta Pie)

4.75 from 12 votes
1 hour 30 minutes
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Skillet Spanakopita is an easy way to prepare this Greek vegetarian classic. Also known as Greek Spinach and Feta Pie, layers of flaky, buttery phyllo pastry envelope a savory, seasoned spinach and cheese combination for an impressive dish you’ll be proud to serve!

Photo of Skillet Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Feta Pie) cast iron skillet with gray striped towel.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

Hey, all! Sharing Skillet Spanakopita, the easiest way I’ve found to prepare this classic Greek vegetarian dish otherwise known as Greek spinach and feta pie.

Back when I was a vegetarian all those years ago, this was my go-to in Greek restaurants. I’ve made it several times since then, but found the two levels of phyllo (one on the bottom and one on the top) in the traditional preparation of a spinach and feta pie to be on the “picky” side.

Making this dish in a cast iron skillet cuts the picky phyllo process in half and I think it looks pretty to boot!

What is Spanakopita?

Spanakopita (pronounced span-ah-KO-pi-ta) is a savory Greek spinach and cheese pie made with phyllo (also fillo or filo) dough. Feta is the cheese most often used, but other cheeses such as kefalotiri may be used.

The filling also has onions, fresh herbs, other seasonings and eggs bind the entire combination together.

How to Make Skillet Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Feta Pie):

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make a skillet spanikopita recipe along with how to prep. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Frozen Chopped Spinach: Frozen chopped spinach is a great inexpensive convenience item. The main advantage is it’s already cooked, so you can get a good idea of your spinach end-game amount. (It’s hard to tell with fresh spinach.) Be sure to squeeze as much moisture as possible from the thawed spinach. Nothing beats good old elbow grease. You can also use fresh spinach, but it has a lot of water in it so you’ll need to drain it well.
  • Fresh Dill: Nothing beats the flavor of fresh dill, but you can use dried dill if you need to.
  • Phyllo / Fillo / Filo: Phyllo, also known as fillo or filo, means “leaf” in Greek and is a tissue-thin unleavened dough made with flour, water and a small amount of oil. The sheets of phyllo are brushed with oil or melted butter, layered and baked. Making it yourself is very labor-intensive but no worries! Great frozen phyllo dough can be purchased. You’ll find it in the frozen desserts section. Because it’s so thin, phyllo dough can dry out quickly so it’s important to work quickly or keep it covered with a lightly damp towel.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep the ingredients:
  • Squeeze as much moisture as possible from the thawed spinach.
  • Cook the onions in olive oil and butter until soft and turning golden.
  • Add the garlic and the spinach and cook briefly.
Photo of spinach and onions being cooked in cast iron skillet.
  • Transfer that to a mixing bowl and let cool slightly, then add the remaining ingredients except for the Parmesan and the phyllo.
Photo of ingredients for spanakopita combined in glass bowl.
  • Give that a good stir until everything is evenly combined.
Photo of ingredients for spanakopita combined in glass bowl.
  • Give the skillet a generous brushing of olive oil.
  • Start preparing the phyllo crust. Melt the remaining butter, place a sheet of phyllo on a work surface, brush it with the melted butter and place it horizontally in a prepared cast iron skillet.
  • Don’t worry if it tears; more layers will be going on top in alternating directions so any tears will be covered up.
Photo of one piece of phyllo dough being buttered in cast iron skillet.
  • Continue the layering process, brushing each layer with melted butter (you don’t need to saturate, just give it a decent brushing).
  • The next layer should be the opposite direction (perpendicular), the third at a 45-degree angle, the fourth at a 45-degree angle the opposite direction. Repeat with the other four pieces.
Photo of phyllo dough over the bottom of a cast iron skillet.
  • Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the bottom of the crust. This places a barrier between the filling and the crust to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
Photo of all the phyllo dough placed in the cast iron skillet covered with a layer of Parmesan cheese.
  • Top with the spinach-feta-egg combination…
Photo of spanakopita before being baked and before phyllo is placed over the top.
  • Fold the phyllo dough overhang up and over the filling.
  • Dab on a little olive oil or any remaining butter…
Photo of spanakopita before being baked.
  • And bake!
Photo of Skillet Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Feta Pie) on cutting board after being baked with gray striped towel.
  • That’s it! Skillet Spanikopita or Greek Spinach and Feta Pie! Cut into wedges and serve!
  • Serve with lemon wedges if desired.
Photo of baked spanakopita on light gray background with a slice cut and placed on a white plate.

Let’s eat!

Photo of Skillet Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Feta Pie) with a piece removed to a plate.
Photo of one slice of Skillet Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Feta Pie) on small white plate with rest of the pie in the background.

Chef Tip:

  • As mentioned earlier, phyllo is paper thin and will tear when you are working with it. For best results, place phyllo dough sheets between two slightly damp kitchen towels and work quickly when brushing it with butter. And don’t skimp on the butter!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How healthy is spanakopita?

Overall, spanakopita has a lot of vitamins and minerals because of the spinach and cheese. It’s high in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and calcium.

Can skillet spanikopita be made ahead?

Unless you’re using an enamel cast iron skillet, I don’t recommend making the spanakopita ahead of time.

What to serve with Spanikopita:

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Skillet Spanakopita (Greek Spinach and Feta Pie) - Overhead shot in cast iron skillet with gray striped towel

Skillet Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Feta Pie)

4.75 from 12 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Skillet Spanakopita is the easy way to prepare this Greek vegetarian classic! Also known as Greek Spinach and Feta Pie, layers of flaky, buttery phyllo pastry envelopes a savory, seasoned spinach and cheese combination for an impressive dish you'll be proud to serve!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Vegetarian / Vegan Entrees
Cuisine Greek
Servings 8
Calories 311 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil - plus more for brushing the skillet
  • 1 stick unsalted butter - divided
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 3 boxes (10-ounce each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess moisture
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill - or 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes - or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough - (fillo dough) thawed
  • Lemon wedges - for serving (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened and starting to turn golden.
  • Add the garlic and the spinach. Cook 1-2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant.
  • Transfer to a bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Add the eggs, dill, salt, crushed red pepper flakes and feta cheese.
  • Wipe out the skillet and generously brush the skillet with olive oil.
  • Place a sheet of the phyllo dough on a work surface. Lightly brush a sheet of the phyllo dough with the melted butter and place it horizontally in the skillet. Gently work the phyllo into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
  • Brush the second piece of phyllo with melted butter and place it perpendicular to the first.
  • Repeat with the remaining pieces of phyllo, placing the third at a 45-degree angle, the fourth at a 45-degree angle the opposite direction until all 8 sheets have been used.
  • Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the bottom of the crust. Spoon the spinach filling over the cheese.
  • Fold the overhanging edges of phyllo over the filling and toward the center of the pan.
  • Brush the top edges with any remaining butter or olive oil.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center is firm and the crust is golden brown.
  • Serve warm with lemon wedges if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 876mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 724IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 1mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this for a while now. It’s delicious and nutritious and looks pretty cool to boot. I’ll throw in other interesting greens sometimes (like beet greens) after wilting and chopping. Also, have been known to add cottage cheese (apologies to anyone of Greek descent) as it bumps up the protein quotient, makes it a little lighter in texture, and it’s something my mom used to do 🙂

    1. Hi, Tim, Thanks so much and so happy you enjoy this recipe and have made it your own. Love that you added other greens and love the idea of the cottage cheese. Thanks again!

  2. 5 stars
    We can hardly wait to try this! Very explicit instructions. However, my friend with whom I cook, is a “cooking purist” and really doesn’t like to use frozen spinach in his dishes. Can we use FRESH spinach from the produce department and cook it until well wilted? THANK YOU!!

    1. Hi, Molly, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, you absolutely can! However, remember that with fresh spinach, you will need a lot. I haven’t tested this with fresh spinach, so I can’t tell you how much. Also, you’ll need to drain it really well. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

    1. Hi, Linda, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, definitely freeze BEFORE baking and use something besides cast iron like a round baking dish. Wrap it tightly. You can even bake it from frozen–just add some additional time. Keep an eye on the phyllo so it doesn’t get overly browned, however. Thanks again and let me know how it goes!

  3. There was some general puzzlement and joking in our kitchen about why and how that second layer of filo vertically. I expect you meant to place it perpendicular to the first layer, at least that’s what we did. 🙂
    Not having a 10″ skillet, I used my 9″ one. No problem at all. The gap in the center wasn’t as big, but that’s not really a problem.
    I love making the spanikopita in my skillet. Easy to clean, and actually not a bad presentation.