Autumn, Main

Autumn spanakopita

I have titled it 'Autumn spanakopita', but I am pretty sure butternut squash is available all year round. However, I do try to eat the seasons and currently squashes, and pumpkins are in full swing.

Please feel free to use either pumpkin or squash, if you are using the former, peel the skin off, but if your using a butternut squash I just leave it on.

There is nothing complicated about this dish, just a few separate elements, please don‘t be too precious about your rolling, if it cracks it will just add texture and taste.

One word of advice would be not to roll too tightly when rolling into a sausage, as this will mean you will get rather a lot of cracking when it comes to coiling.

Makes 6


700g squash or pumpkin diced and peeled if necessary

4 garlic cloves

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tbs light oil

½ tsp each of Salt and pepper

700g fresh spinach

1 small white onion diced

2 fat garlic gloves crushed

300g vegan cream cheese I use Nush Foods

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

¼ nutmeg finely grated

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

Approx. 10 sage leaves thinly sliced

¼ cup light oil I used ground nut

12 sheets of filo pastry

2 tbs mixed sesame seeds or either


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Line a baking tray and add the squash, garlic cloves (skin on), chilli flakes, a good pinch of salt and pepper and the light oil. Mix to combine and place in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is cooked through and lightly caramelised.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare your spinach. In a large frying pan or wok and a splash of light oil and as much spinach as the pan can take, with the heat on medium, wilt the spinach down, adding more handfuls as each wilt, until its all done.
  4. Empty the spinach into a sieve over a bowl and using the back of a spoon, push as much liquid as possible out of the spinach and set aside.
  5. In the same pan add a little oil and the diced onion, Sautee until translucent and lightly golden, add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minute or two. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl add the cream cheese, lemon juice, grated nutmeg, nutritional yeast, toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
  7. Take the spinach and roughly chop, add this to the cream cheese and mix to combine.
  8. The squash should be ready now, remove from the oven and squeeze the garlic out of its skin and discard the skins, add this and the squash to the pan with the onions and the sage leaves, stir to combine.
  9. Add the squash and onion mix into the creamy spinach and fold everything together.
  10. Take the ¼ cup of oil and a pastry brush, lay one sheet of filo out and lightly brush with oil, top with another sheet and lightly brush again.
  11. Add 1/6 of the squash and spinach mix in a long sausage length way on one side. Roll the pastry up but not too tightly to form a long thin log. Then coil the log into a spiral. Place on a lined baking tray brush the outside with a little more oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. You should make six in total.
  12. Place them in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
  13. Serve with a green or mixed salad. A vegan tzatziki works well too.

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