Spanakopita Casserole

Spanakopita, or spinach pie, is a classic fixture in Greek cuisine, most often sold as individual triangular pastries. Enjoy our casserole version as a light snack or appetizer, or pair it with a lentil soup or fresh tomato salad for a more filling main for the whole family.
Spanakopita_article

Photo: Yvonne Duivenvoorden

By Diane Welland MS, RD

Serves: 6
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large bags fresh spinach (9 oz each) or 36 cups loosely packed spinach
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 4 sheets whole-wheat phyllo dough (13 x 18 inches each; Try: The Fillo Factory)
  • Olive oil cooking spray

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add pepper and onion and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add spinach in batches, waiting 2 or 3 minutes between intervals; cover tightly and cook, tossing frequently, for about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain spinach mixture in a colander, removing any excess liquid, before placing it in a large bowl; set aside. When spinach mixture is cool, mix in dill, mint and egg white. Then fold in feta until well blended. Set aside.
  3. Working quickly, roll phyllo out onto a clean work surface. Carefully cut each sheet lengthwise into approximately 4 3-inch-wide pieces. (TIP: Or cut each sheet in half lengthwise, then half each of the 2 sections again to create 4 equal pieces.) Place 3 or 4 strips across the center of a 1 1/2-qt or 9 x 9-inch casserole dish misted with cooking spray, leaving about 3 to 4 inches of excess hanging over on both ends. The strips should be overlapping slightly. Mist strips with cooking spray. Turn the casserole dish clockwise and place 3 or 4 strips across the original layer, at a 90-degree angle. Mist strips with cooking spray. Continue turning and layering until all strips have been used, about 4 layers in total, misting with cooking spray after each layer.
  4. Spoon spinach mixture into center of phyllo-covered dish. Fold phyllo hanging over edges into the center of spinach mixture, covering the top (no spinach should be visible). Mist with cooking spray.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly brown and crispy. Let casserole sit for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Cut into 6 pieces and serve. TIP: Phyllo can be cut with a knife, kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter.

Nutrients per slice of Spanakopita Casserole: Calories: 140, Total Fat: 3 g, Sat. Fat: 1.5 g, Carbs: 24 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 7 g, Sodium: 450 mg, Cholesterol: 5 mg

TIP:
As you’re assembling the spanakopita, keep phyllo strips not in use covered with a clean dishtowel so they do not dry out.