Light Meals, Main


I often make this classic Greek dish with swiss chard, a mix of chard and spinach, or sometimes spinach and leeks. It tastes delicious in all combinations, but this recipe is for a traditional spinach version.

As we all know, spinach is notorious for its ability to shrink during cooking, but as long as you have around 1kg to hand, you should be fine. I've included a recipe for almond feta 'cheese' here, but you can use shop-bought plant-based feta if you're short on time.

Ideal for a light dinner or lunch, especially when served with a fattoush-style salad on the side, spanakopita is also great taken on picnic, as it's just as delicious at room temperature as hot out of the oven. The leftovers, if you're lucky enough to have any, are also pretty yummy.



For the almond feta
200g blanched almonds
160ml lemon juice
20g nutritional yeast
2 tsp sea salt
5 tbsp olive oil
100-120ml cold water

For the spanakopita
1kg fresh or defrosted frozen spinach
1 tbsp light oil, such as groundnut
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
1 x 270g pack filo pastry sheets
2 tbsp olive or groundnut oil for brushing
1-2 tsp black sesame seeds

To serve (optional)
Mixed or Greek salad


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. Make your almond feta by blending all the ingredients until very smooth, adding the water a bit at a time until you have a thick, spreadable consistency.
  3. If you're using frozen spinach, place it in a sieve over a bowl and push out as much of the excess water as possible, using the back of a spoon.
  4. Place the fresh or drained spinach in a large microwave-safe bowl with a good pinch of salt, and cover with cling film. Microwave for 1 minute on full power, or until it's just wilted and still bright green.
  5. Transfer to a sieve or colander over a bowl, and squeeze out as much of the excess water as possible, then tip the spinach in a clean bowl and set aside.
  6. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the onion and garlic, and sauté gently, until soft and translucent.
  7. Add the onion and garlic to the spinach, along with the almond feta, lemon zest, nutmeg and pine nuts. Season well, then stir until fully combined.
  8. On a clean work surface, lay out 4 sheets of filo pastry in a square, overlapping them by about an inch so there are no spaces. Lightly brush the pastry with oil, making sure you brush under the overlapping sides to help them stick together.
  9. Lay another 4 sheets of filo on top of the others, brush with oil as before, and repeat until all the pastry has been used.
  10. Spoon the spinach mix along the length of the pastry a couple of inches from the edge, as evenly as possible. Starting at one end, roll the pastry up and over the filling, then continue to roll up the pastry into a long sausage. Try not to roll too tightly, as this can encourage splitting.
  11. Next, starting at one end, curl the sausage inwards to create a spiral shape. Slide your spanakopita onto your lined baking sheet, lightly brush with oil, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  12. Bake for 35-40 mins, until golden and crispy, and serve with a mixed or Greek salad on the side, if you like.

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