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Recipe Category: Snacks » Savouries » Main Courses

Yiayia’s Spanakopita

This recipe is my Mum’s (Yiayia’s) very famous Spanakopita. It is a recipe that originated from the northern region of Greece and my Mum is an expert at rolling out the home made filo pastry with her special dowel rolling pin.


Serves: 10-12
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • 1 large bunch spinach
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 250g sheep's milk feta cheese, crumbled
  • 200g ricotta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups water (or more, as needed)
  • extra olive oil, for brushing
  • softened butter, for buttering tray
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Pick off spinach leaves, wash well and chop roughly. Combine with spring onions and salt and squeeze together with hands, to bruise and soften leaves. Mix in feta, ricotta and eggs.

Mix flour and salt together. Make a well in the centre, add oil and gradually mix in enough water to make a firm dough. Knead lightly until smooth and divide into 5 pieces. To make filo, use a thin dowel rolling pin (2cm thick) to roll each piece of pastry out onto a floured surface to 1 mm thickness, to suit the size and shape of the oven tray you are using (eg. 40 x 60cm rectangle or 60cm round). You will need to flour as you roll to stop the dough from sticking. Bake the first and second sheet of filo on separate oven trays for 10 minutes at 200°C until crisp but not coloured. Lay the third filo over a well-buttered and oiled oven tray ensuring it is rolled large enough for the edges to overlap the tray. Brush with oil, layer with the fourth filo, again overlapping the tray, and brush with oil. Spread one third of the spinach mixture on top, layer with a cooked filo sheet, another third of spinach, the second cooked filo sheet and remaining spinach. Fold the overlapped edges into the tray and top with the last layer of filo, brush liberally with oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 180°C for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.


Note: If you wish to use store-bought filo pastry you can layer 12 filo sheets brushed with melted butter into two piles (6 sheets on each). Spoon filling equally between the two piles and roll up into log shapes. Brush with butter, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Author: Naomi Crisante
Date Created: 31/07/2021