Originally published September 7, 2010. Updated on 6/11/2021
Here we go, another LONG-needed update to a very old blog entry - this one being a decade old. I had a big, 2 lb bag of baby spinach and no plans for it, so here we are!
The original title was “Making Spanakopita in the Tornado Kitchen”, and it was a .... ride.
This recipe was first put together on the floor of what used to be a kitchen, while I was going through heatstroke recovery, and ... Despina Vandi factored in.
I’ll get to that whole story in a bit, as I definitely want to keep it here, for posterity!
How to Make Spanakopita Triangles
This recipe has been tinkered with over the years, and has been updated. Originally, it contained a mixture of about 50/50 feta and ricotta - I have no idea why I went that way?
I’ve also since adjusted the way I make them - 4 strips instead of 3, 2 sheets of phyllo instead of 3, etc.
The whole recipe will follow at the end of the post, but this is a pictorial overview, as it’s kind of a visual thing to make!
Prepare the Spinach and Feta Cheese Filling
In a large pot, saute garlic, onion, and green onion together over medium heat until soft and translucent.
Add spinach and parsley, continue to cook until wilted down to almost nothing.
Depending on the size of the pan, you may need to do this in batches - cooking the first pan full until it’s wilted down, adding more spinach, and so on.
Once it’s fully wilted, drain well, cool to room temperature.
Once cool, add dill, feta, ricotta, and eggs, stir until everything is well incorporated.
Form The Spanakopita
Preheat oven to 375, line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
Unroll one tube of phyllo sheets carefully. If the sheets break, it's not a big deal - just quicker and easier to use if they don't!
Lay one sheet out on your work surface. Lightly but completely brush with melted butter, lay another sheet on top, and brush once again with melted butter.
Cover the remaining sheets with plastic wrap and a towel to keep them from drying out.
Cut the sheet pile lengthwise into 4 long strips.
Place a heaping Tablespoon of spinach filling at one end of each strip.
Fold one of the end corners over the filling, meeting the short end up with the long side of the strip. (IE: That end of the strip will now have one point, with a covered triangle-shaped "dumpling".)
Fold the triangle "dumpling" up along the length of the strip, "flag style", until reaching the end.
Tuck under any remaining overhang of phyllo sheet, place on lined baking sheet.
Continue with remaining dough and filling, until you run out of one, the other, or both*.
Lightly brush the tops of each spanakopita with melted butter, bake for 17-20 minutes.
Pastries should be golden brown. Serve warm, preferably with some tzatziki to dip them in!
* Leftover Filling
I generally have a bit of filling left over, but this varies WILDLY based on the brand of phyllo used.
When I have leftover filling, I’ll usually mix it with a bit of ricotta or cottage cheese, and stuff some large pasta shells with it, cover with sauce, and bake.
Reheating Spanakopita Triangles
Microwaving baked spanakopita heats it up fine, but gets rid of all the crispiness.
We like to microwave, then put them in the air fryer.
The microwaving heats it up, so it doesn’t have to be in the air fryer all that long - you don’t want to burn the pastry!
30 seconds in the microwave, then 2 minutes at 400F in the air fryer is what we tend to do.
You can assemble these ahead of time and bake them later, if that’s more convenient for you.
Just get them made right up to the point of baking - final brush with butter and all - but DON’T bake them.
Freeze the spanakopita triangles on the parchment-lined pan, until frozen through.
Transfer to a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible from the bag before sealing it.
Baking Frozen Spanakopita
To bake, arrange frozen spanakopita on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving some room between each.
Bake as normal, just add 5 minutes or so to the time - keep an eye on it! You want it hot inside and golden brown outside. Don’t let it burn!
Making Spanakopita in the Tornado Kitchen - Original Post
Can I just say that I'm sick of not having a kitchen?
Yesterday I had a bit of a meltdown. I got myself out of bed (I was on day 2 of bedrest on account of heat stroke, and bored out of my mind!), went down to the grocery store* with a rough idea of what should be in Spanakopita, and set about to make some - for the first time.
I'd been craving it recently, and had a fairly disappointing experience with the ones we picked up at a local café.
Yes, I'm aware that it was a stupid move with regard to the heat stroke, and I'm paying for it this morning. It sounded like a good idea!**
Yes, I'm aware that the kitchen was NOT ready to be cooked in.
We have no cabinets or counters, we haven't even grouted the floor, and shouldn't be doing anything messy/dirty in there at ALL until we do.
It's more accurately an unfinished room with a fridge and a stove randomly tossed in it, rather than an actual kitchen.
Yes, I realize that one would traditionally follow a recipe the first time.
Gleaning a basic idea and winging it from there is FAR more my style, though. I don't know that I had the reading comprehension skills to follow a recipe yesterday, anyway...
No, I didn't have any measuring utensils, and all of the ingredients listed below are a "best guess" on what I did, from eyeballing it...
Oh, but it was SO worth it! (I do think I earned some Badass Points as a result of the whole deal, too!)
For the first time since the tornado, the house was filled with the smell of good, PROPER food cooking in our "kitchen"... not just the smell of whatever takeout we brought home to survive on.
The look on my husband's face when he came home to the final few minutes of wilting the spinach, the grin on his face at the aroma - THAT made all the effort worth it, before we even tasted it.
Oh, and they tasted fabulous.
Home-cooked food! By my hand! Only the second time I'd actually cooked something in the two months since the tornado ripped our house - and lives! - apart!
(The first time being that giant pot of jambalaya in a funeral home parking lot, a week after the tornado).
They were crispy, hot, savory, and just so good. MMMMmm.
We know we can't really be cooking in there again until it's more finished, but "misbehaving" like that just tasted so good. I think it did us a world of cook to eat real food, at HOME again. 2 months is far too long.
My apologies for the lack of a professional photo. The kitchen isn't the only thing we're not set up with at the moment.
Honestly though, even if we HAD been set for proper photos? We were kinda ravenous as they were coming out of the oven, and there's no way they would have made it to the studio table.
* The Despina Vandi Thing
A funny thing happened on the way to the grocery store.
By the time I got out of bed, got dressed, and got down to the car, I was second guessing my ability to pull off the "feat" of actually shopping for the ingredients. It was hot out, and I was still SUPER weak.
Then I turned my car on, and Despina Vandi's "Come Along Now" started playing. (Vandi being a famous GREEK singer). Kinda felt like a cool little cosmic urge to power through!
Here, let me share:
** “Good” Ideas
Then again... buying a pair of Zubaz sounded like a GREAT idea yesterday.
I managed not to, but... damn. This is what happens when you fry a few billion brain cells, I guess.
Spanakopita and Zubaz. Does it GET more random?
More Fancy Recipes
Planning for a special dinner, whether Valentine’s Day, a special date, or a fancy dinner party? Here are a few recipes to consider!
Balsamic Mushroom Baked Brie
Beet & Goat Cheese Ravioli
Boozy Crème Brûlée
Chocolate Dessert Ravioli
Clementine Mousse with Champagne
Easy Kahlua Panna Cotta
Fancy Tea Sandwiches
Gluten-Free Crab Cakes and Horseradish Sauce
How to Make Cream Puffs & Croquembouche
Jalapeno Beer Baklava
Maple Walnut Baklava
Mushroom Brie Turnovers
Mushroom & Goat Cheese Braid with Balsamic Glaze
Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce
Phyllo Crab Triangles
Savory Tomato Shortcake
Shrimp & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
Traditional Raspberry Mousse
White Chocolate Almond Amaretto Truffles
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- 1 Large Onion finely chopped
- 1 bunch Green Onions finely chopped
- 4 Garlic cloves minced
- 2 lbs Fresh Baby Spinach chopped
- 1 bunch Fresh parsley chopped
- 2 Tbsp Dried Dill
- 1 lb Feta cheese crumbled
- 2 Large Eggs beaten
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Phyllo Sheets (1 lb) thawed
- 1 cup Butter melted
- In a large pan, saute onion, green onion, and garlic together over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add spinach and parsley, continue to cook until wilted down to almost nothing.
- Drain well, cool to room temperature.
- Squeeze out any remaining liquid, transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add dill, feta, and eggs, stir until everything is well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Preheat oven to 375, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Unroll one tube of phyllo sheets carefully. Lay one sheet out on your work surface. Lightly but completely brush with melted butter, lay another sheet on top, and brush with butter.
- Cover the remaining sheets of phyllo with a lightly damp towel to keep them from drying out.
- Cut the sheet pile lengthwise into 4 long strips.
- Place a heaping Tbsp of spinach filling at one end of each strip. Fold one of the end corners over the filling, meeting the short end up with the long side of the strip. (IE: That end of the strip will now have one point, with a covered triangle shaped "dumpling".)
- Fold the triangle "dumpling" up along the length of the strip, "flag style", until reaching the end. Tuck under any remaining overhang of phyllo sheet, place on prepared baking sheet.
- Continue with remaining dough and filling, until you run out of one, the other, or both.
- Lightly brush the tops of each spanakopita with melted butter, bake for 17-20 minutes. Pastries should be golden brown.
- Serve warm, preferably with some tzatziki to dip them in!