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Spanakopita with Handmade Phyllo from Culinary Flavors

So how's everyone? I know it has been two weeks since my last post and though I know you all understand, I want to apologize for that. Summer is keeping me really busy and I just can't find enough time for everything. But anyway, I'm here today...and I must say, it truly feels great! Summer isn't over, so expect me to be MIA again...but today, allow me to bring you another delectable recipe for our PiTCC's Favorite Dishes from Around the World Series... 

Greek Cuisine is one of those that I didn't get to enjoy when I was still in the Philippines. I don't even remember seeing a Greek restaurant there. It's only here in the US that I've tried it, and though my family don't frequently eat Greek food, we always enjoy it when we do. Among the Greek dishes that I fell in love with are the Moussaka, Gyros, Souvlaki and of course, the Spanakopita and Baklava. Today, one of my admired bloggers is sharing with us her recipe of Spanakopita, which is a savory pie made of spinach. Spanakopita came from the words spanáki which means spinach and pítta which means pie. I only get the chance to eat this at restaurants, and I would really like to be able to make this at home. I am glad that Katerina of Culinary Flavors is kind enough to do a guest post on Spanakopita for PiTCC.  Katerina is a wonderful blogger who I find really kind and supportive. Despite her busy schedule, she frequently leaves inspiring comments here on my blog and that's something I really appreciate. The best thing I admire about her is how she perfectly balances blogging with working full-time and being an awesome mom and wife. She's one of those that I consider "super Mom" in the blogosphere! Words are not enough to express how honored I am to have her here. So, are you ready to learn how to make Spanakopita with me??? Without further ado, I give you Katerina Delidimou...
Hi everyone! I am Katerina, a working mother and wife living in Athens, Greece. As a child I watched and helped my mom and grandmother cooking and baking. Food has always played a major role in my life and at some point in 2008 I decided to start my own food blog. I always try to experiment with traditional and new recipes. My husband and son are my 'guinea pigs' but as they say they wouldn't want to be anything else. When Tina contacted me and asked me to do a guest post for her blog regarding a traditional dish of Greece, I jumped right in to it. She gave me a few choices and I immediately picked Spanakopita.

Spanakopita is a staple in the Greek kitchen and is a pie that most of the Greek households make at least once every month. Usually, these days spanakopita is made with store bought phyllo, as most women work and do not have the time to make it at home. I myself, whenever I make this pie, I use phyllo from the supermarket. Well, this time I decided to change a bit things up. I thought that in order to present this pie correctly and exactly as it is supposed to be, I should make my own phyllo. And so I did. The recipe for the phyllo dough comes from Dina Nikolaou a Greek chef working in Greece and Paris. The filling is how my grandmother, mother and consequently I do it at our home.

This is a beautiful pie, with spinach and feta cheese to be the dominant ingredients. I know many of you hesitate to open your own phyllo. I was the same, I always felt intimidated by dough. But if you have the time, do try this recipe. It is very easy and I am sure it will work for you just like it worked for me. Just like in any other case handmade has absolutely no comparison to store bought one.

For the Phyllo Dough:
  • 500 gr. / 17.5 oz. all-purpose flour 
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 envelope dry yeast, about 9 gr. / 2 tsp 
  • 2 Tbsp ouzo or white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper (I used 1 tsp salt and no pepper)
  • 100 ml/3 fl. oz. of warm water plus 50 gr. /3 tbsp Olive oil to brush the phyllo
For the Filling:
  • 700 gr. / 21 oz. spinach
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 400 gr. /14 oz. feta, crumbled
  • 1 egg 
  • a bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 handful of cracked wheat 
  • Olive oil for sautéing the onions
First, we make the phyllo dough...

For the Phyllo Dough:
1. In a non-reactive bowl, pour the warm water and the yeast and allow it to dissolve and foam for 5 minutes. In the mixer bowl put the flour after you have shifted it. Make a hole and put the olive oil and the egg in it. With the hook begin to slowly, slowly mix these ingredients. Pour the milk, the vinegar and add salt and pepper. Continue to mix. Add the yeast and continue to mix.If you see that the dough is not coming together, add from the 3 Tbsp of water, spoon by spoon until a soft dough is formed around the hook. It may not need all three Tbsp. 

2. Let the mixer work it for about 10 minutes and then test the dough by pressing gently your finger on it. If the hole by your finger disappears in 2 to 3 seconds then the dough is ready, if not then just mix it a little bit more. Let the dough relax for an hour. 

In the meantime, let’s make the filling...

For the filling: 

1. Wash the spinach and drain it. 

2. In a skillet pour 3 tbsp of olive oil in medium heat. Add the onions, scallions and dill and sauté them until they become soft. Remove from fire and add the cracked wheat and the egg and mix well. 

3. In a bowl throw the raw spinach after you have squeezed the excessive water and cut it roughly with your fingers. In this pie we do not sauté the spinach; we add it raw in the pie. Add the onion mixture, the feta cheese and the salt, mix and set aside. 

Let’s make the phyllo now...

For making the Phyllo:

1. In the bench in which you will work with the dough, throw a little bit of flour from corn or semolina. These two ingredients make it easier to open the phyllo. 

2. Divide the dough in two balls one a little bit larger than the other. Take the rolling pin and start working with the larger one. If you will use a rectangular pan work by moving the rolling pin back and forth. If you use a round pan move it towards all directions. Take a rectangular pan about 25x35 cm / 10x14 in. or a round one about 32 cm / 12 in. and oil it with olive oil.

3. Place the phyllo sheet on the pan. It should be larger than the pan and its sides must fall outside the pan. Pour the filling in. 

4.  Then work with the other ball of dough. Open it to phyllo and place it on top of the filling. Cut the edges of the dough so as to just cover the filling from side to side. Turn the sides of the bottomed phyllo, which extend beyond the pan, in such a way as to cover the upper phyllo around its edges. 

5. Brush the surface of the phyllo with olive oil. Cut it in squared pieces. Finally just sprinkle some drops of water on the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 175° C/ 350° F on the lowest part of your oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until the two phyllos become golden.

~ ~ ~ o o o ~ ~ ~
That Spanakopita looks delish! Thanks again Katerina for sharing your recipe here on PiTCC!

To all of you out there who haven't been to Katerina's website, do check it out! Culinary Flavors features the healthy and tasty meal choices that Katerina offers her family which shows her great love for food and cooking. I'm sure, you'll love it there! For more updates, you can also connect with Katerina via Google+ and Facebook.


  1. Hey Tina , glad you're enjoying this hot , hot summer ! :D .... This spanakopita looks very tempting ! I wouldn't mind some of that ! lol

    1. I actually hate hot weather, Anne...but summer means more family time, and that's what makes me enjoy it! :)

  2. Hi Tina thank you so much for your kind words! I love what I am doing and I love blogging and following you and all my favorite blogs. It is sometimes overwhelming but I wouldn't change it! I am so glad you liked my spanakopita! Have a great day!

    1. It's a pleasure to have you here, Katerina! Once again, thanks so much for sharing your Spanakopita recipe with us! It's very much appreciated!

  3. Delicious guest post! The Spanakopita looks so good. Enjoy your summer :)

  4. This sounds like such a fun, interesting series! Katerina is one of my favorite bloggers...her spanakopita looks delicious! Thanks for sharing your grandmother's filling recipe, Katerina -- it sounds very flavorful! (And of course it's so much more special because it's a family heirloom.)

  5. Tina, thanks for the wonderful guest post and for introducing Katerina :)
    Katerina, thanks for this delicious recipe, you have a beautiful blog and I'll be stopping by regularly now :)

  6. Oh dear, that is one of the best spinach pies ever!!! Katerina, bravo and thanks for sharing this recipe with us. Tina, thanks for inviting Katerina with her fantastic recipe. :)

  7. Beautiful post, homemade phyllo awesome. Sure If I get time I will try this recipe. Thanks for introducing Katerina.

  8. I's SO tough to keep up with blogging in the summer! So I'm delighted to have the time to visit you today...especially since you have our sweet friend, Katerina, guest posting!

    Katerina, I'm so excited to see an authentic Greek recipe for looks fantastic!! I'm nervous about making me own phyllo, but hope to try it one day!!! Thank you, both!

  9. Yes, bravo Katerina! Seeing this post has motivated me to make this amazingly delicious-looking dish. Without the detailed photos, I would have thought that this recipe would be difficult for me to make, but it looks like a dish I can make and be successful. I'm excited to try this!


  10. Hi Tina...nice guest post...I've know Katerina for a while and love her blog...this is indeed a nice dish and I sure love the step-by-step pictures :)
    Hope you are having a great week!

  11. Hi Tina! I hear you... I've been so busy too and I really need some time off as I'm getting tired from juggling everything. It looks like you are having a wonderful summer with your family!

    Glad to see Katerina on your blog! Katerina, I had fun watching how you made Spanakopita! I too didn't eat Greek food until I came to the US. But I haven't had Spanakopita yet. I love spinach so I want to taste this next time at a restaurant. One day I even dream to make phyllo on my own too! Wonderful guest post ladies!

  12. What an absolutely stunning guest post my friend - this looks like a perfect entree :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  13. Hi Tina, Nice guest post. wow... this look so perfect. I like the phyllo sheet, thanks for sharing the recipe. The filling look awesome, yummy.

    Have a nice week ahead. Regards.

  14. Tina, what a wonderful idea to invite Katerina! I love discovering the Greek cuisine on her blog.
    Katerina, you have outdone yourself! I have always been amazed by our culinary skills, but making your own phyllo pastry! The step by step photos are as impressive as your final accomplishment. Congratulations for this perfect guest post!

  15. Homemade phyllo dough! What a brave woman you are! It looks great; in fact the whole pan of spanakopita looks fabulous and something I wouldn't be able to get enough of!

  16. GReat guest post ,Tina,,,just like you I never have greek foods when I was live in Indonesia,but now I enjoy them,I had one of my favorite greek restaurant here,and I like to try everything on the menu,these spanakopita looks nicely done,and sound delicious,good job,Katerina !!

  17. phyllo from scratch looks wonderful lovely meal

  18. Hope you had a great break and yes, time is never enough with the list of things we have to do. I don't eat Greek food very often but that baklava is my fav, just a small piece will do.

    A lovely pie and spinach is one of our fav, also reasonably priced over here. Nice and wonderful cheese topping.

  19. that looks wonderful and much easier than one would think! Hope you had a great break and so glad you are back!

  20. Love Katerina's blog and nice to discover yours. Wow homemade phyllo. Great recipe.

  21. This looks really good! I like it because this dish reminds me of laing (gabi leaves with coconut milk) one of my favorite dishes. Maybe instead of spanakopita, a layer of dough over laing would be great as well! hahaha! And I love how everything is made from scratch. Cheers to slow food! :D

  22. Katerina, this really looks so amazing! I love your homemade phyllo too, will try it one day when I am feeling more hardworking lol! WOuld love to sample your delicious dish if i could, yum! You have a great supply of recipes that I love to drool over Tina! :D

  23. This dish looks scrumptious:) I would like to guest post on your blog too. I have a big selection of Russian dishes and other cuisines. Check it out

  24. I am a Texan now living in Greece. Spanokopita is one of the things I wonder how I ever lived without. lol Your recipe is perfect. It was good to have you here.