Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mini Spinach and Feta Pies {Spanakopita}

I'd like to dedicate this recipe to all the boxes of phyllo dough that expired in my freezer over the years.  You see, I've always wanted to try my hand at making Spanakopita, spinach and feta pies, but honestly the task always seemed a little too daunting.  So I procrastinated this recipe, or a version of it, for a few years and then quite honestly another few years. Cause that's how I roll.  I'm pretty much the Queen of Procrastination.

So here it is.  My rather lazy approach to Spanakopita. I couldn't possibly be bothered to make the recipe as directed, which was to make one large and enclosed rectangular pie.  That task seemed entirely too fussy for me.  Instead I cut the phyllo dough into squares and made mini pies in a muffin tin.  I supported my laziness by telling myself my pies would be prettier than the enclosed version because you'd actually be able to see the filling in my version.  One excuse wasn't enough to make myself feel better about not making the full-fledged version, so I also told myself that my version would be easier to eat.  I've noticed that I need a minimum of two excuses to feel better about things.  

Mini Spinach and Feta Pies
Adapted from The Guardian
by Nigel Slater 
Makes 8 mini pies 

6 sheets of filo pastry
melted butter, for brushing
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
250g spinach
8 ounces of feta, crumbled

Set the oven at 200C/375F.  Saute onion and garlic a pat of butter.  Add spinach and cook until wilted and combined with onions and garlic.  Once the spinach is cooked down add the feta cheese and combine in pan.  Set filling mixture aside to cool.

Butter a muffin tin well.  Roll out the 6 sheets of filo pastry and brush with melted butter, somewhat generously (Nigel's instructions call for brushing each sheet of pastry individually with butter.  I did not do this.  I just buttered the top sheet generously and noticed the butter seemed to sink through).  Cut the filo pastry into 8 squares.  Place a filo square into each muffin tin.  When the filling has cooled somewhat fill each filo square with the spinach mixture.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until pastry is golden and filling is set.  Cool well before eating to avoid burns. 

Theme:  A Little Cheese, Please!


  1. I love the idea of making individual servings in a muffin pan. Definitely going to be trying this one!

  2. I love how you roll :-) I'm pretty sure no-one has got anything on me when it comes to procrastination - "why do today what can be put off till tomorrow?" has long been my motto. And I must confess many a packet of filo pastry met its doom in my fridge too until I discovered just how incredibly easy it is to use. As a quick tip, I have found on occasion that spraying each layer of pastry with baking spray instead of brushing with butter is quite effective - it's very quick and much less fuss, though it's hard to beat the flavour of real butter. Anyway, I'm loving your take on little individual spanakopitas - they do look pretty and individual portions are always a joy to eat.

  3. A quick and no fuss recipe, I like the combination of filo and feta, which has to come from Greece in Europe

  4. Hi Kim,
    Your first sentence makes me grin!
    I have my fair share of discarded phyllo dough, feel really bad each time I toss them out.
    And there's one more actually still in my freezer, but it has just passed the expiry date, I checked last week, when I found it right at the bottom of all the other stuffs on top, when I was "clearing" my freezer! You know how flat boxes always end up at the bottom, easier to stack the odd shapes ones on top! And always end-up the forgotten ones! Yikes!
    Making your spanakopita into mini pies is a great idea. It makes serving easier and I like the idea of a whole pie to myself! :)
    Looks and sounds delicious!

  5. Love your pan! And the tarts look and sound wonderful as well!

  6. Make all the excuses you want, girl! I think these are way cuter than one big honkin' pie. And daintier to eat. At least that will be my excuse.

  7. Works for me!! The last time I made spanakopita I made triangles of filo wrapped around the filling - like folding a flag. Fast. But not as fast as these. Good idea.

  8. these make spanakopita SO MUCH EASIER!! Plus if we're being honest, everything is better in mini form!

  9. Mini anything is always more fun! ;-) Plus they are good portion control--unless you eat more than one. I like the ease of this recipe--I made the folded spanakopita with a friend and her mom once and again in a cooking class and don't like all of the 'fiddling.' These look fabulous.

  10. I need to pay a tribute too, to all the ideas that expired in my freezer ( refrigerator too). I like the approach you took to your spanakopita-nice job! Cheers.


  11. What a wonderful idea!! These look delicious! Blessings, Catherine


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