This easy spanakopita recipe is made with buttery, flaky layers of phyllo dough and a bright and tangy filling made with fresh spinach, feta cheese, and pine nuts for a savory two-bite appetizer everyone loves.


In my book, a great party should always have strong drinks, a solid playlist, and at least one of these four appetizers: shrimp cocktail, a hot and cheesy dip, a crostini, or spanakopita. But full disclosure, if there’s spanakopita, I’m going in for seconds.

These handheld triangles are pure party food that taste like like Greek spinach pies. They’re light and decadent, with the crunch of flaky phyllo dough pastry, stuffed with fresh spinach filling, chunks of feta, and earthy pine nuts brightened up with lemon zest and shallot. They’re easy to make too, especially thanks to storebought phyllo, and always the first thing to disappear from the appetizer table.


What’s in This Spanakopita

  • Phyllo dough (I use frozen)
  • Fresh spinach (some recipes call for frozen spinach, but I prefer fresh)
  • Butter
  • Lemon
  • Shallot
  • Eggs
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Feta cheese (choose feta sold in chunks instead of the pre-crumbled variety)
  • Pine nuts (toast them before for a deeper flavor)
  • Flaky sea salt

How to Make Spanakopita

Don’t be intimidated by spanakopita––it’s an easy dish to make. Here’s how:

Wilt the spinach. In a non-stick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and cook the shallot for 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach in 3 batches, wilting it and adding more as will fit in the pan. Season with salt as you go. Cook until all of the spinach has wilted, about 8 minutes.

Squeeze those leaves. Spinach is a moisture-rich veg, and you don’t want your spanakopita to be soggy, so transfer the spinach to a colander and gently squeeze the excess liquid from the leaves. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

Make the spanakopita filling. Add the lemon zest, eggs, panko bread crumbs, feta, and toasted pine nuts. Stir to combine.


Assemble the Spanakopita

Butter the phyllo. In the microwave or in a small pan, melt the rest of the butter. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough flat on the counter and brush lightly with butter. Repeat the process 2 more times, brushing the next layer with melted butter but leaving the top layer plain. Be sure to carefully position each phyllo sheet on top of the other.

Cut and fill. After layering, cut the phyllo into 3-inch wide strips. Place ¼ cup of filling in the bottom corner of the dough strip and fold from corner to corner, diagonally, like a flag. Fold again over the flat end, then on the diagonal again, continuing folding to the top of the sheet.

Brush and bake. Brush the edge of the corner with butter to seal and place on a baking sheet then cover with a kitchen towel. Continue folding the phyllo triangles in the same manner until the filling is gone. Brush the tops of the spanikopita with butter and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Make Spanikopita Ahead of Time

Prep the triangles to the point before baking, place on a cutting board or baking sheet, and freeze them individually. Place them in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

To cook the spanikopita from frozen, do not thaw. Brush with butter and bake at 375°F for 40-50 minutes.

Or, bake the spanikopita ahead of time and reheat them before serving. Reheat at 400°F for 5 minutes. Do not microwave or the phyllo crust will become soggy.


How Healthy Is Spanakopita

Spanakopita is a reasonably healthy dish since it’s loaded with superfood ingredient spinach, which is high in protein, iron, and magnesium, and boasts an array of health benefits.


What Do You Eat Spanakopita With

Whether enjoying spanakopita as an appetizer or a side dish, here are some ideas for what to serve it with:

More Classic Party Appetizers You’ll Love

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