Are you looking for a good go-to recipe for a potluck? Something that’s easy to make up, but seems a bit special? Why not consider spanakopita? It’s really easy to make, especially since you don’t make the phyllo dough, travels well, and tastes good even when it’s just lukewarm. It’s surprising that potluck dinners don’t end up with a dozen batches of spanakopita. Not a bad thing to happen, mind you.
We modified a recipe from the Southern Living Cookbook for Two, by Audrey P. Stehle, primarily to make it a better size for a potluck dinner. Try it for your next potluck and see if it doesn’t get rave reviews. And, sorry about the photos; we were in a rush to get to an actual potluck.
Makes a 9×13 inch pan.
- 3 (10-ounce) packages frozen spinach, thawed
- 1/3 cup onion, diced
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 Tbs all-purpose flour
- 1 pound feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup cottage cheese
- 2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 15-20 sheets phyllo pastry dough, thawed and ready to use
- 1 cup butter, melted
The biggest thing that stands out in the taste of spanakopita is the feta cheese, so buy one you like. Other than that (you know where we stand on eggs), you’re good to go. As far as phyllo goes, we’ve had the best results with the Athens brand.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Squeeze spinach. Squeeze out the excess liquid from the spinach. Just use your hands, pick up a wad of spinach, and squeeze. You don’t want soggy phyllo on the bottom of your spanakoptia.
Mix ingredients. In a large bowl, mix together the spinach, onion, feta, olive oil, salt, pepper, eggs, flour, cottage cheese, and Parmesan cheese; basically, everything except the phyllo and melted butter.
Lay out 7-10 phyllo sheets. With phyllo you need to work quickly. We’ve found that this step is easiest with an assistant; if you don’t have one, make do. Without an assistant, your phyllo may dry out and crumble a bit, but no worries, because it’ll still taste good. On the bottom of the baking pan, lay out a sheet of phyllo, allowing it to come up the sides, then pour or scoop some melted butter on top, and have your assistant spread the butter around. Then do the next sheet, and so on, until you have 7 -10 sheets of pyllo layered and buttered on the bottom of the pan.
Add filling. Now add the filling mixture and smooth out the top. If any parts of the phyllo sheets are visible, fold those over the top of the filling.
Add 7-10 sheets of phyllo. Working as you did before, you and your assistant should layer 7-10 buttered phyllo sheets on top of the filling, tucking them in along the edges, if necessary.
Bake. Slide the spanakopita into the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the top puffs and browns.
Now, cover with foil and bring to your potluck dinner. Just make sure to bring the recipe; someone will ask (of course, we’d be happier if you pointed them to this post).
We just love spanakopita. It is so easy, and so good, that it really deserves its five stars.