Spinach Pie

$7.29 recipe / $0.91 serving

Mmmmm… I LOVE spinach pie. Whenever I eat at Greek restaurants, I always make sure to order some spanikopita. I love the flakey crust and the rich, warm, spinach filled interior. Popeye totally knew what was up.

This spinach pie isn’t really Greek flavored, but I love it all the same. There are many, many ways to make a spinach pie and this weekend I was most interested in finding the fastest, easiest route to this spinach heaven.

My mom made baklava fairly often when I was growing up and ever since watching her wrestle with those finicky phyllo dough sheets, I’ve never wanted to go near them. So, for this recipe I chose puff pastry. It’s much thicker and way more forgiving than phyllo, but you still get a nice flakey crust. Puff pastry is definitely not inexpensive, but most of the other ingredients in this recipe are, so the overall cost per serving remains low. Puff pastry can be found in the freezer section, usually near frozen fruit and other ready to eat desserts. For this recipe I only used one sheet out of the box. The other sheet can be wrapped tightly and re-frozen for later use.

You can make spinach pies in a square, or as individually folded rectangles, but I like this easy “fold over” pie dish method. No cutting the dough, simply roll it out, fill it, and fold it over top to make the top crust. Super easy.

I stuck to a basic cheese and spinach filling, but this recipe is just asking for a million variations. Add some feta cheese for a Greek flare, green onions or other fresh herbs for a fresher flavor, or you can even try adding something tangy like sun dried tomatoes. Of course, more ingredients mean higher cost, so try to use ingredients that you have laying around waiting to be used up.

Spinach Pie

Spinach Pie

4.7 from 7 reviews
spinach pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $7.29
Cost Per Serving: $0.91
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1 small yellow onion $0.57
  • 1 clove garlic $0.04
  • 1 cup cottage cheese $1.20
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese $0.42
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg $0.02
  • ½ tsp salt $0.02
  • 10-15 cranks fresh cracked pepper $0.02
  • 2 large eggs $0.44
  • 16 oz. frozen cut spinach $1.63
  • 1 sheet (8 oz.) puff pastry $2.50
  • 2 Tbsp flour for dusting $0.05
  • 1 large egg (for glaze, optional) $0.22
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Dice the onion into small pieces and mince the garlic. Cook both in a small skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until soft and transparent (about five minutes).
  2. While the onions and garlic are cooking, prepare the rest of the filling. In a bowl combine the cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix well. Before adding the spinach, strain it in a colander and press out as much moisture as possible (squeezing handfuls in a fist works well too).
  3. Once the onions have softened, add them to the cheese/egg mixture along with the squeeze dried spinach. Stir until well combined.
  4. Dust a clean work surface with flour and unfold a sheet of puff pastry onto it. Using a rolling pin, roll the puff pastry into a 12 inch by 12 inch square. Drape the rolled dough over a standard 9 inch pie dish.
  5. Spread the spinach filling evenly inside the pastry lined pie dish. Fold the corners of the pastry back over top of the filling. It’s okay if they do not fully reach to meet each other. If desired, brush a whisked egg over the top (this will give the surface a glossy appearance after cooking).
  6. Bake the pie for 45 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven. Allow the pie to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting to allow the filling to set.
Notes
Allow both the puff pastry and frozen spinach to thaw in the refrigerator over night.

Spinach Pie

Step By Step Photos

cook onions garlicStart by cooking down the onions and garlic. This serves to remove moisture because moisture is the enemy of puff pastry.

fillingWhile the onions are cooking, mix together the rest of the filling. In a bowl combine the cottage cheese, parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir well.

eggsYou can actually stir the eggs in at the same time as the cheeses, but I wanted to taste the mixture before I added in raw egg. So, I just added them after.

chopped spinachYou’ll want one pound of frozen chopped spinach. Make sure to let it thaw before you begin.

squeeze spinachPlace the thawed spinach in a colander and press it against the sides to squeeze out the water. I went a step further and picked up handfuls and squeezed as hard as I could. Again, moisture is the enemy of the puff pastry, so you need the spinach to be pretty dry.

cooked onionsBy now the onions have cooked down, are soft, and transparent.

combineCombine the cheese/egg mixture, the squeezed spinach, and the cooked onions and garlic.

spinach fillingMix it all together really, really well. This is your delicious spinach pie filling.

puff pastryThis is the puff pastry I used. You can find it in the freezer section near the frozen fruit. Make sure to put it in your refrigerator the night before so it can thaw. It’s kind of expensive (mine was $5 per box), but you’ll only be using half and the second half can be re-frozen (or used to make dessert, like I did!).

open puff pastryWhen you open the box of puff pastry, you’ll find two sheets, each folded into thirds. Dust your countertop with flour and unfold one sheet onto it. The other sheet can be wrapped tightly with plastic and refrozen.

roll pastry doughRoll the pastry dough out a bit until you have a 12×12 inch square. Go slowly and you’ll be able to maintain the square shape that it came in.

drape pastry, fillCarefully lift up the pastry dough and drape it over the center of the pie dish (this is easier if you carefully fold it in half first, carefully lift it and place over half of the pie dish, then unfold to cover the whole thing). Evenly distribute the spinach filling inside.

fold dough, glazeTake the points of the square pastry dough and fold them in over the top. It’s okay if they don’t reach so that all of the edges meet. In fact, it probably would have looked better if I didn’t roll mine out quite so big! If you’d like, whisk up a third egg and brush it over top. That will give it a nice brown, glossy appearance.

bakeAnd then bake the whole thing in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the pie crust is fully puffed and is a nice golden brown. It won’t really start puffing until the last 15 minutes, so don’t get scared while watching through your oven window. Also, the center will puff last, so don’t take it out too early! I almost took mine out and then decided to leave it for 5 more minutes… it REALLY puffed a lot in those last five minutes!

side viewHere’s a side view so that you can see how it puffed up. Let the pie sit for about five minutes before you cut it. It will deflate some as it cools, so don’t let that surprise or disappoint you.

Spinach PieCut the pie into 8 pieces and try not to eat them all. It will take strength. Great strength.

Spinach PieYUM.

64 Comments

  1. Allison says:

    Hi , Never used frozen pastry before- do you have to grease the dish first ?

  2. Marsha says:

    I made this tonight and it was fabulous. I tweaked just a it by baking it at 400 and put it in the lower rack in the oven just to make sure the bottom crust got crispy. SO much easier than phyllo!

  3. Jenn says:

    Hi Beth,

    I am so glad I found this recipe via Pinterest! It looks fantastic and I can’t wait to try it. My only question is, can you use fresh spinach instead of frozen spinach? If I use fresh spinach, does it need to be blanch first? Thank you!

    • Hi Jen,

      Yes, you can use fresh spinach if you prefer. :) I would just sauté it down in a skillet first to remove some of the moisture. That should only take about 5 minutes.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Hi Beth,

    Can I use ricotta instead of cottage cheese?

  5. I made this a few times for myself and loved it. Last night I went to a holiday party and made it with fillo dough which I have done before. A few guests at the party said it was the best spinach pie they have ever had. I added mushrooms in with the spinach for more texture.

  6. Can this be made ahead?

    • I would think so, yes. You might have to adjust the baking time slightly, since it will be refrigerator cold when going into the oven. :)

  7. This recipe is awesome. So far I’ve made it twice. The first time I made it following the recipe to a T. The second time I I added 1-3/4 cup of cubed ham to the onion & garlic. I also used 1/4 teaspoon of Nutmeg. OMGosh, to die for!!!

  8. Meghan says:

    Beth, my third grader and I loved this!! If she were a character in Harry Potter, they would call her She Who Would Not Eat Spinach. I added a heavy shake of dill and 6 oz of feta (adjusting cheese accordingly). It was amazing. Thank you for doing this blog!

  9. Danie says:

    So, funny story: I went had almost everything for these at home except for spinach and cottage cheese. Was rushed when I went to the store, and ended up coming home with cottage cheese with pineapple chunks already in it! The cottage cheese wasn’t sweet though, so I used it…they still turned out really yummy :D

  10. Sarah says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I haven’t made spinach pie in so long because retain cheese is so expensive. I used the cottage cheese and that cheap parnesan you get in a plastic container. The only thing I added from my old recipe was dill, otherwise I followed your recipe exactly, even using the same puffed pastry. It came out exactly like your pictures! And so delicious. I live alone and will be snacking on this for a few days! Love your website and will continue to try your dishes. Thanks again.

  11. What a great way to make a smaller portion of spinach pie without making a big sheet pan of it. Love the puff pastry idea too !

    monica.

  12. Christina says:

    This blog is awesome! It is now in my favorites. Can’t wait to make something! Thanks

  13. Amanda says:

    A quick tip the get the water out of the spinach: take a heavy-ish bowl (not plastic) that is approximately the same size as the inside of your strainer. Place it on top of the spinach and press. The weight of the bowl and the pressure you put on it will force the water out of the spinach quickly, and means less squeezing by hand for you! 10 years of working in restaurants have taught me many shortcuts like this, and having to make 5 pounds of spinach dip every day would have been a KILLER if I had to squeeze the water out by hand…lol

    • Excellent tip! Thank you!

      • Amanda says:

        The other option is cheesecloth. Twist it up tight into a ball, then press the ball in between your fist and the side of the colander or the sink.

    • Champlainvalley says:

      This is a wonderful recipe! I’m doing it this month- i love the pics on dough placement-phyllo is somewhat difficult to work with .

      One suggestion-& this is something I always do-
      I NEVER use frozen spinach
      I get regular spinach or baby , chop it and add- No Need to Cook- it will cook in the pie.

      thanks for a nice blog

  14. I really want to try this because I love me some spanakopita but– is the nutmeg necessary? Should I just bite the bullet and buy it? Thanks!

  15. Do you think I can make this crustless for a low carb option? Would you happen to know if there are a lot of carbs in the pastry?

    Thank you!

    • There probably is a lot of carbs in the crust. I’ve never tried it crustless, so if you do, let us know how it turns out!

    • Monica says:

      Try phyllo dough for a slightly lower carb option. Its paper thin dough and you could use just a few sheets.

  16. I just ate my first bit of this and it is SO FREAKING GOOD! And ridiculously easy!

  17. Anastazia says:

    I’m wondering how I could get this recipe to be dairy-free?? (at least as far as the filling) I love the idea of using cottage cheese but I cant! wah!

    • Ooh, that would be very difficult and take a lot of experimenting. The cheese is a MAJOR part of the filling… I don’t think I even have any ideas off hand :P

  18. I don’t think cooking it longer will help the bottom, unfortunately. The best way to prevent a soggy bottom is to cook the onions long enough so that most of their moisture is out, and to squeeze as much water out of the frozen spinach as humanly possible. I take handfuls of the spinach and squeeeeze it until it’s dry.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The bottom came out a bit soggy, I was wondering if there was any way to avoid that or is the only solution cooking it longer? The top looked great, golden and flaky, but don’t think it cooked through all the way in the bottom.

  20. Amanda Wrege says:

    This was so delicious and came out as beautifully as your pictures. I don’t particularly enjoy cooked spinach, but I’ve already planned a menu around having it again! It was also very healthy. I’m on Weight Watchers, and I just subbed Fat Free Cottage Cheese, and I had 2 pieces of it.

  21. This came out really well! The only thing I did differently was add a little bit of feta I needed to use up. This was way easier than making traditional spinach pie with phyllo and tastes just as good! Thanks for the tasty recipe!

  22. I couldn’t find puff pastry at my store, so I just grabbed some pre-made pie crusts. I ended up having to bake it an extra 10 minutes, but it came really well. My 2 year old is chowing down on it right now. :)

  23. I made this last Friday and my husband said it was better than any he’s had at a restaurant. I added in a touch of feta. Thank you so much!!!

  24. Looks yum!
    Today’s Menu – Today’s menu spinach pie!!

  25. cindy says:

    Trader Joe’s sells 2-pack puff pastry sheets for $3.99…of course, I found this out AFTER I spent $6.99 for it at Safeway. D’oh!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Love the tutorial. I make spinach pie all the time using PF puff pastry, but as individual little turnovers, not in a pie plate. Looks beautiful that way. Can’t wait to try it.

    FYI, I make mine with feta cheese instead of cottage or parmesan, plus fresh squeezed lemon juice and fresh or dried dill weed. Learned this from my Greek friend.

  27. This looks absolutely incredible! I’m vegan so I’ll need to tweak the recipe a bit but I can’t wait to try it! Your blog is amazing by the way :) :)

  28. This looks absolutely incredible! I’m vegan so I’ll need to tweak the recipe a bit but I can’t wait to try it! Your blog is amazing by the way :) :)

  29. This was awesome! I couldn’t find the same puff pastry so I used a pillsbury pastry sheet in a tube. Worked well. I love all your recipes!

  30. Love the recipe, Beth :-) I made it with phyllo pastry, so I thought I should share it. The secret is to keep a moist towel over the pastry sheets, so they don’t dry out and crack. Hope you like it :-) Spinach Pie

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I made this last night and it was delicious! Great reheated for lunch. I too added Trader Joe’s Tzatziki sauce and it was great. Thanks!

  33. I made this last night for this weeks lunch. I added feta and made some quick Tzatziki sauce to go with it. It reheated well and was very good, I only wish I had packed another piece!

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  35. Anonymous says:

    Re: egg product, pan size & ham…THANK YOU! – Mary

  36. Anonymous says:

    I love your blog and I am so happy you mad this. I LOOVE spinach pies but was always afraid to try them. :)

  37. I am from the Mediterranean and this is something we do on a weekly basis. Already following your blog :)
    I’ve started a food blog too, so please check it out for some more deliciousness :) http://tastymediterranean.blogspot.co.uk/

  38. Anon – I’m not sure about the egg product, as I’ve never used that before. My pie dish was pretty shallow and it worked out okay (and definitely could have handled more volume). But, you could use square also, if you’d like :) Stick to an 8×8 inch or around that size. Ham would be delish!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Can I use kirkland real egg white product instead of real eggs? Would it work to add ham? And, would a square baking dish be better than a SHALLOW pyrex pie dish, or do you think it could accommodate the added volume of ham (if ham is ok)? Thanks! Making this with my 6 year old son for dinner tomorrow =)

  40. Christy – Yes, most spinach pies are made with filo/phyllo, but I didn’t feel like bothering with buttering all of the layers :)

    Sara – It does! The crust is no longer crispy, but it’s still so good that I can’t stay out of it. I even like it cold!

  41. oooh this looks yummy. does it hold up well for leftovers?

  42. Would fillo dough work with this, too? I just happen to have hat on hand in my freezer.

  43. Thank you so much!!
    I adore spanikopita, but the phyllo and triangle time make me avoid it.
    I feel empowered to make it a lot more now!! =)
    Winning at NOMS!

  44. Hummm
    I wonder if I have to add the cost of a special trip to the store to the base price of this Pie?…
    Cause I am telling you right now its going to be dinner tonight… breakfest tomorrow morning and If I am a real good girl Lunch …lol

  45. I’m not sure about the bottom crust, but you could always pour the pot pie filling into individual ramekins and then just top them with a piece of puff pastry. The top piece should work just fine :)

  46. Anonymous says:

    Can this technique be used with pot pies or will the puff pastry get too wet from the “gravy” in the pot pie? I love how golden and puffy the crust got and would love if my pot pies were this gorgeous!!!

  47. This sounds fabulous! I love how easy it is!

  48. Looks great Beth, this is my type of pie!

  49. Anon – you’d want a pound *after* cooking and I’m not sure how much fresh it would take to get that. You’ll definitely have to cook it down first to remove all of that moisture, though. I’m going to estimate that it was about 3 cups after I squeezed out all of that water.

  50. Anonymous says:

    If you used fresh spinach, would it be the same amount? Thanks!

  51. Edward – I would use a mixture of ricotta and mozzarella. The ricotta will be nice and moist like the cottage cheese, while the mozzarella will help glue everything together.

  52. What can I use as a substitute for cottage cheese? I really dislike the stuff, but this recipe sounds great.

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