Spanking Spanakopita

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Spanakopita is a traditional Greek Pie – both rich and delicious – stuffed with spinach, onions and ‘feta cheeze’, as well as a herb filling, and encased beautifully within a flaky filo pastry – it makes it a very attractive and decadent dish to serve.  Once your ingredients are on your kitchen worktop, it’s a relatively easy dish to prepare.

TIP : Serve with a Greek salad.  Or a tomato and onion salad, with a hummus side dish, for a more traditional and authentic Greek experience – oh, and don’t forget the black olives.

Serves 4 to 6 portions

*IMPORTANT NOTE :  Kindly note that there was was a typo/error for the amount of cornstarch used in the recipe, it is 1 and a half Tablespoons of cornstarch and not one and a half Teaspoons of it – we noticed this in the abbreviated terms Tsp versus Tbsp – this has now been corrected.  Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

INGREDIENTS

olive oil for frying

10 oz (285 g) frozen spinach, thawed and drained from its water (squeeze into your palms to do this) – you may use fresh spinach if you like

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

½ cup fresh parsley

1 x 350g (12.35 oz) pack firm tofu, drained

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

juice of ½ lemon

* (see note)  1 and a half  Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)

salt to taste

1½ cups vegan cheese of your choice, grated (I use my own homemade)

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp dried dill or better still fresh

½ tsp dried oregano (optional)

½ tsp dried mint

pinch of nutmeg

FOR THE PASTRY

around 16-20 vegan Filo sheets (thaw from frozen – I use Jus-Rol, which is 100% vegan)

http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=255774009

3 to 4 Tbsp melted margarine (and a pastry brush for brushing it on the filo sheets)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC), and lightly oil a square baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over a medium heat.
  3. Now sauté the onions and garlic, until soft and very lightly browned.
  4. Next, stir in the spinach, and continue to saute for around 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  5. Now place your tofu in a medium sized bowl, and crumble half of it into small pieces (you may use a fork to do this).  Then place the remaining tofu in a food processor, together with the rest of the ingredients (except for the freshly chopped parsley and your grated cheese), and whizz for a few seconds until smooth.  Now pour this mixture in with your crumbled tofu.
  6. Add the spinach mixture in with the tofu, taste for salt and lemon, and add more of either if you want to.
  7. Now carefully fold in your grated cheese, and mix gently with a fork.
  8. Your filling is now ready to set aside.
  9. Next, place a sheet of filo on the base of your oven dish, brush with the melted margarine, and repeat this process with around 5 more sheets. Don’t worry about the overhang of the pastry, as this will be folded in as I describe later on.
  10. Now spoon in your filling, and flatten gently with a spatula or the bottom of a spoon. Add the fresh parsley on top of this mixture, and drizzle with very little olive oil.
  11. Fold the edges of the filo pastry on top of this (it will only cover some of the filling, but don’t worry).
  12. Add the remaining filo pastry sheets on top of the filling, using the same process of brushing each one with margarine once it’s laid on to the topping, and then when you have placed them all, cut the edges with a knife, or simply tuck the remaining filo overhang into itself.
  13. Place in your preheated oven for around 35 minutes or until it’s golden.  Do not overcook it !
  14. Remove, allow to cool for 15 minutes, before cutting into square portions.
  15. Bon Appétit !

All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell mouthwateringvegan.com 2010

These are free recipes for your pleasure – all we ask in return is that you take a few moments to leave us a constructive comment !

suitable for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike

72 Responses to “Spanking Spanakopita”

  1. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche Says:

    This looks yummy! Another successful veganisation of a traditional recipe :)

  2. Barbara Says:

    I am a huge fan of Greek food. I never made it, also had problems working with phyllo. This looks so easy to make, I have all the ingredients. I hope I can freeze it and use at a later date. Miriam, can I warm this up in a confection oven and how long do you suggest,

  3. Michael (from Facebook) Says:

    Shared on Facebook! :-)

    Now here’s a spanking that children will love! LOL! :-D

    This Spanakopita looks like a Greek version of quiche, and would be well served at a brunch or social get-together along with cold purified water, or a light lemon or white grape beverage. :-)

  4. Miriam Says:

    Hi Michael and thanks for your comment. I think what you have said is actually spot on on all accounts – kids do love it and the drinks you suggest are more than apt. Thanks for your input and your sharing on FB, that’s very kind of you ! Always best your way Michael and have a much deserved super weekend too !

  5. Miriam Says:

    Barbara Hi there and thanks for dropping by here. Personally there are too many ingredients that I cannot say how they would react once frozen, thawed and reheated in this recipe. I suggest you make the filling and refrigerate that, it will keep for a couple of days, then add the pastry directions once you wish to make and consume it. Once cooked, it will keep in the fridge for 3 days. But as i said the filling may be made in advance. I don’t see why your convection oven wouldn’t work with this recipe. Be guided by your eyes on this one – after all the filling is already cooked, being vegan it has no eggs or dairy so there’s nothing to worry about – it’s the pastry you need to watch out for – once golden, then you’re there !!! Good luck and let me know how it goes as and when. Enjoy !

  6. Miriam Says:

    Thanks Becca, I hope you make the opportunity to taste it at some point ! Best your way !

  7. Carole N. Says:

    Can’t wait to try this. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thanks!

  8. Vegiegail Says:

    That looks great, Miriam! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  9. Miriam Says:

    Carole Hi there and welcome here. Let me know how it goes and best wishes your way !

  10. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Gail and thanks so much for dropping by here. It’s my pleasure to share this recipe. Sending Best wishes your way !

  11. Tina Says:

    Hi Miriam,
    This (and everything else here) looks and sounds delicious! I think I will need to try each recipe, looking for more and more vegan options, still eating some dairy products if they are “in” something (but wanna get off that!), and eggs from really happy rescued chicken a friend has.
    Love your header!

  12. Miriam Says:

    Tina hi there and welcome here. I am glad that you like my recipes here on my blog. I think you are on the right road with increasing your vegan repertoire, at least you have come to the right place, so kudos to you for that. I look forward to your feedback an future comments on my blog as and when. Best wishes your way in the meantime.

  13. Peter Rowe Says:

    You mention you make your own vegan cheese… Care to share the recipe please?

  14. Lauri Says:

    Hi Miriam, looks great and can’t wait to try it as my son loves spinach. One question though, what’s nutritional yeast, and is it different to normal yeast? Thanks

  15. Lauren Says:

    Hi Miriam,
    Can you offer a recommendation for cheese to use in this recipe? You listed that you use a homemade veg cheese. Is it in cream or block form? I have used both Daiya and Follow Your Heart veg ‘mozarella’ in other recipes, but wonder how these would sub for feta. I am anxious to try this recipe and have phyllo waiting =) This looks delicious! Thanks!

  16. Miriam Says:

    Lauren Hi there and welcome here. If you are able to get hold of the cheeses that you mention they will more than do well in this recipe – pick your favourite and see how it goes. My own feta cheese recipe will be published in my upcoming book. Enjoy and let me know how it goes as and when. Remember personal taste is just that, some people put more cheese, some less, some omit, so adjust according to your preference. Best wishes your way in the meantime !

  17. Miriam Says:

    Lauri hi there and welcome here. Nutritional yeast is a must in a vegan pantry, here is some info that will help you understand what exactly it is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutritional_yeast – meantime if you cannot get hold of it soon but can get hold of vegan cheese, then follow the recipe and add a little more vegan cheese to make up for not using the nutritional yeast. Best wishes your way and let me know how it goes.

  18. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Peter and welcome here. I do indeed make all my own vegan cheese/s and have selected my best including my feta cheese to be published in my upcoming book, which is due out in April. I therefore cannot share my cheese recipes online at the moment. Best wishes your way and hope you are able to purchase some commercial vegan cheese for the moment and also make and enjoy my spanakopita.

  19. Lauri Says:

    Hi Miriam. I have some in my larder I realise called something like enovita. Thanks. And I’m very excited to see your cook book when it’s out.

  20. Miriam Says:

    Lauri Hi there, I am very happy you have found it, how convenient, and it’s sitting there waiting to be used. Wonderful, and I look forward to your feedback as and when. Enjoy !

  21. Brett Cummins Says:

    One word for this dish – AWESOME ! This was so tasty, and I love the combination of the succulent full-flavoured spinach filling (and what amazing spices) with the crispy filo pastry – (I added more vegan cheese as only had half the amount of tofu at home, but it was perfect all the same !).
    I can’t gaurantee being your number 1 fan, as I suspect I have a fair bit of competition there. But I know your site is number 1 for me ! Please keep them coming, Please !!

  22. Miriam Says:

    Hi Brett and thanks for dropping by with your comment. I am delighted that you have enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for your compliments and best wishes your way. I look forward to your future comments on my blog ! Cheers !

  23. Anu Says:

    Absolutely wonderful. Can’t wait to try this. A million thank yous for sharing these delicious recipes :)

  24. Miriam Says:

    Hi Anu, hope you try it and enjoy it – let me know how it goes, as and when !

  25. Beatrice Says:

    This looks fantastic!! I cannot wait to try it!

  26. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Beatrice, I hope you make and enjoy it, let me know how it goes. Best wishes your way in the meantime.

  27. Andrew Says:

    …Hello Miriam, this is my first visit to your site which a friend posted. I would like to thank you for giving out such wonderful recipes, especially this one, which I must have. I have been considering a Vegan way of eating and this site is great. Thank you for sharing and continued success…

  28. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Andrew and welcome here. I am delighted that you have found my site and that you will be trying out this recipe, I hope you enjoy it and come back with your feedback. I look forward to your future comments on my blog and thank you for your kind words. Best wishes your way in the meantime !

  29. Steph Says:

    It’s in the oven! Where’s your book Miriam I need it ;) x

  30. Miriam Says:

    Steph Hi there and welcome here. I am delighted that you are trying out my Spanakopita. I am going to be posting up the most awesome Baklava known to mankind (well I’d like to think as much) tomorrow, so stay tuned for dessert ! I very much look forward to your future comments on my blog Steph dear and a Huge Bon Appetite your way ! P.S. My book is out next spring (Random House are my publishers) I will be emailing you just to let you know closer to the time.

  31. Carolyn Says:

    Hi will try this as it looks great , can I use chedder in this as I dont like tofu
    keep posting as we all enjoy

  32. Miriam Says:

    Carolyn Hi there and welcome here. As this is a vegan site, I cannot suggest what non-vegan cheese you can use for this recipe. What I can say is that the way the tofu is used with the nutritional yeast, you cannot tell it’s tofu, as it’s disguised. That said one can use commercial vegan cheese. The brand Sheese is very nice. Otherwise it’s up to you what to use. The non-vegan spanakopita is usually made with Feta Cheese. Best wishes your way and hope you make and enjoy this (let me know how it goes as and when).

  33. Sarah Says:

    I am looking forward to making this dish!! It made my mouth water just reading the recipe.

  34. Steph Says:

    Turned out a huge success! Thank you! Can’t wait to make this again!

  35. Rene Says:

    Can you share your Feta Cheeze recipe?

  36. Rene Says:

    I just read your previous reply about the recipe, waiting on recipe book information. Thanks

  37. Miriam Says:

    Rene Hi there and welcome to my blog. Many thanks for dropping by here. The recipe as is tastes delicious although I would let you be the judge of that. My feta recipe will be found in my forthcoming book this coming spring, together with other cheese recipes as well in the main new food recipes and some very popular ones from here. Best wishes your way Rene.

  38. Miriam Says:

    Rene Hi there and thanks for your 2nd comment here. I can inform you closer to the time that my book is due out, I have a list and will include you if you so wish. Kind regards and I very much look forward to your future comments on my blog in the meantime !

  39. Miriam Says:

    Steph Hi there and very much appreciate your dropping by here with your comment and feedback. I am delighted that you have made and enjoyed my Spanakopita and that it was a success – furthermore that you will be making it again ! That’s awesome news. I look forward to your future comments on my blog and send best wishes your way in the meantime !

  40. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Sarah and welcome here. Many thanks for dropping by here with your comment and I very much look forward to your feedback on it once you have made and tasted it. Best wishes your way in the meantime !

  41. Rene Says:

    Yes, please include me on your list. Thanks
    Just made it back from the store, I am going to attempt it tonight wish me luck.

  42. Miriam Says:

    Hi Rene, all should go well if you follow my recipe, others have done so too – it will all be fine and best wishes until I hear back from you again ! Bon Appetite !

  43. Karyn Says:

    Hi Miriam,
    I just love all of your recipes..truly mouthwatering! I have yet to try this recipe, but I definitely will be making this for my family’s next big Greek event. Thank you! :)

  44. Karyn Says:

    Oh…and Spanakopita is one of my absolute favorites from childhood..so happy to find it veganized to such a mouthwatering degree!

  45. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Karyn and welcome here – I am delighted that you love my recipes and that you have earmarked this for your next Greek family event. I hope you and your guests/family all enjoy it. A Greek salad to accompany it with vegan cheese might be an idea too ! Best wishes your way !

  46. Miriam Says:

    It really works Karyn, and I hope you make and enjoy it, do come back and let me know how it goes as and when. Very best wishes your way in the meantime (have you seen my Galaktoboureko ? It’s on my home page. Cheers !

  47. Karyn Says:

    YES! I have your Galaktoboureko bookmarked! I will be making a lot of you recipes for next year’s Vegan Greek Easter Feast with my family. thank you so much!

  48. Miriam Says:

    Sounds ideal Karyn. Kudos to you for this and I will be looking forward to your future comments on my blog !

  49. Lennea Aurilia Says:

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it. :)

  50. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Lennea and welcome here. I look forward to your feedback on this recipe. Best wishes your way !

  51. Novella Says:

    I will try it! Thank you!!! :D

  52. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Novella and thanks for dropping by here. I look forward to your future comments on my blog and best wishes your way in the meantime.

  53. Steph Says:

    This just looks amazing!! I cannot wait to pick up some vegan cheese and try it.
    Actually, I cannot wait for your book!! Wonderful, I’m sure.
    Thanks for all the creation and sharing. :)

  54. Miriam Says:

    Steph Hi there and welcome here. Let me know how this goes as and when you make it ! I can add you to my list Steph if you wish to be notified closer to the time about my book – it will be a brief e-mail. You may also like to know that besides great new recipes featured in the book and lots of the images, I have included some of the best vegan cheese recipes that are easy to make at home. Meantime, Best Wishes your way and enjoy the recipes !

  55. Brenda Montgomery Says:

    I love this. How do you make vegan cheese?

  56. carmella Says:

    newsletter please

  57. Karen Says:

    Hi Miriam,

    I would love to be notified when your book comes out. We are in Canada. I tried Vegan Rella in a recipe. It was more moist than I thought it would be. I am looking forward to trying your recipes and those for cheese. Will your new book have nutritional information for servings? i.e. calories, sodium, fat, etc.? As for filo sheets which I have never used before, do you have any more possible suggestions other than the one you suggested? It will help me to search for products. Also, if you don’t mind, since making vegan/vegetarian recipes, I seem to be doing lots of chopping and pureeing. Can you recommend a food processor that works for you? Mine was very old and threw it out yesterday. I used a blender to make a tofu lasagna but kept having to stop and mix the ingredients around to get the right consistency. Thanks so much and bless you for sharing and helping others!

  58. Miriam Says:

    Dear Karen, many thanks indeed for dropping by here with your comment. Firstly my book is published by ‘Appetite’ a new imprint of Random House (Canada) and is out in the late spring – pre-orders will be available on Amazon some weeks from now. It will not have the fat and calorie content. I will however say as a nutritionist that healthy eating and in this instance eating in the main without refined flours (there is always a choice of choosing brown flour over white, wholewheat pasta over plain pasta, brown rice in place of white and choosing sweeteners wisely, ie Maple syrup instead of white sugar, molasses instead of white sugar, may be even stevia or agave) – once these choices have been established in one’s diet and the remaining majority of it consists of fruit, vegetables, complex grains, in other words healthy ingredients and choices with added protein and calcium from nuts, beans, tofu (in moderation) green leafy vegetables and minerals from being on a plant based diet then there really is no reason to calorie count. There are kind fats and dangerous ones, once we know the difference then we are on the right track and our bodies can break down the necessary (kind) fats and distribute the vitamins, minerals, fibre and other substances to maintain a healthy body, healthy tissues, healthy nervous and immune system. I concentrate on as many healthy ingredients as possible. If one’s diet consists of healthy ingredients, then the rest will take care of itself – in addition to this I recommend exercise, the drinking of water to flush the system out and good company and good thoughts and kindness – a recipe for longevity, or at least increasing the chances of that in our lives. I hope you enjoy my recipes, and you will be happy to know that my book has over 150 irresistible recipes and many, many new and exciting ones, lots of photos, tips and links. May I also suggest my other FB recipe page if you are health orientated called ‘Vegan Rejuvenation’ – I don’t have a website for this as yet, but the information is invaluable there. I am also starting up a new monthly newsletter due out some weeks from now – I shall add you to that for more information, tips etc unless I hear to the contrary. Very best wishes to you and your loved ones for Christmas & the New Year too, and I look forward to your future comments on my blog ! P.S. My food processor is s Magimix and I love it !:)

  59. Miriam Says:

    I have added you Carmella, it will be some weeks from now before it’s out as the response has been somewhat overwhelming, but bear with us !

  60. Miriam Says:

    Brenda Hi there and welcome here. I have not yet published my cheese recipe/s but if I add you to my new monthly newsletter there will be some information there for you together with lots of other tips, etc. I will add you now unless I hear to the reverse. Best wishes to you and your loved ones too and I look forward to your future comments on my blog !

  61. Karen Says:

    Thank you Miriam for your wonderful response. I was wondering why tofu is to be had in moderation? We are new to the vegan/vegetarian world. Our Aunt said there were negative things about soy and this is why she drinks almond over soy milk. I look at the nutritive content in soy and I am impressed by the overall protein content compared to almond. Some vary in the amount of calcium though. Thanks for helping us on our journey to better health. My husband is completely vegan and has been for almost a month now. Gearing our younger children in that direction but it is difficult, so primarily vegetarian for the rest of us.

  62. Miriam Says:

    Karen dear thanks for dropping by with your thanks. Moderation is the key, I use soya milk and nut milk – that way we get the best of both worlds. You are all doing great as a vegan/vegetarian family. If you have any questions or problems for the kids, drop by and let me know, in time you can ween them off dairy, but one step at a time, kids need good substitutes, but the advantage is that whilst they are so young, they are easier to adapt to a vegan palette. Do join my newsletter if I haven’t added you already, as it will help your journey further. Best wishes to you and your family and hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas ! I look forward to your future comments on my blog.

  63. Kim Says:

    This looks totally divine! Will definitely give it a try.
    You mention you use your own homemade vegan cheese in the recipe. Tried hunting for it on your website – have you posted it? Would you mind sharing it with us?
    Your awesome recipes make it so much easier for us to be vegan and not miss out on delicious food!

  64. Elizabeth Says:

    Thank you, Miriam, for such a fabulous collection of recipes!! I really enjoyed this, and I added a bit of sumac for that little extra “M!”

    I’d like to ask you which “margarine” you use. I know most commercial margarines are not vegan, and many people don’t know that the gelatin ingredient is derived primarily from meat. I’ve used Earthbalance for a while with great success and I enjoy the taste. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    I’d also love to receive your newsletter!

  65. Miriam Says:

    Hi there Elizabeth and thanks for your feedback – I am delighted that you enjoyed this ! Provamel is a vegan margarine, we use it from time to time – we are not lucky enough to get Earth Balance, I hear it is very good ! I am adding you to our new upcoming monthly newsletter now ! Stay tuned for more. :)

  66. Miriam Says:

    Kim Hi there and welcome here. My cheese recipes are included in my upcoming book of 304 pages “Mouthwatering Vegan” (see more on my right hand side margin on my homepage) – I cannot publish them here as they are in my book. That said join our new upcoming newsletter for more vegan info in this area, all you have to do is say ‘add me please’ and I will do so :) . Best wishes your way in the meantime !

  67. Sarah Wheeler Says:

    add me please =)

  68. Miriam Says:

    You have been added Sarah !

  69. Fily Says:

    Miriam:
    I love reading your recipes and think you have a fabulous approach to food! Thank you for sharing all these goodies.

    My family is Greek and before becoming vegan I ate spanakopita on a fairly regular basis. I’m afraid to try it without feta cheese for fear I’ll be disappointed, but if I can find a reasonable substitute I plan to give this a try. There are many other recipes for pitas made with greens, some have rice, some have no cheese, and some are made with squash – they are all delish. The Lenten versions especially don’t have cheese. But for me spanakopita and feta are synonymous :(

    One note – traditional spanakopita has copious amounts of fresh dill in it, which gives a distinct and “Greeky” flavor to the pita.

    Thanks again for your lovely blog and fab recipes! Yassou!

  70. Miriam Says:

    Fily Hi there and thanks for your gracious comment. I know what you mean about the feta and I agree totally. I have a feta cheese published in my forthcoming book entitled ‘Mouthwatering Vegan’ out this June, published by Random House and sold on Amazon. In the book 304 pages one finds a good handful of staple cheese/s amongst many other recipes. Regarding the dill, I agree some people love it some do not – one doesn’t always find the fresh dill so that is why I have given the dried as an option/alternative. You must find a vegan cheese you are happy with before you taste this for the reason that you mentioned. Best your way in the meantime and thanks for your input. :)

  71. kitty Says:

    It might be the pregnancy talking but the sheeze is hideous to my palate! I prefer cheezly.
    Otherwise, a fun looking recipe and I might make it for the big hungry Greek boyfriend tomorrow. :-)

  72. Miriam Says:

    Kitty Hi there and welcome here. My feta cheese (for future reference) is very easy to make, but meantime I have to agree with you about the cheese you mention, it is not the pregnancy in this case, and most of the ‘cheeses’ out there are barely palatable, it is for this reason that I have created my own (Mature cheddar, mozzarella, feta etc). Hope your boyfriend enjoys this ! Best your way in the meantime. :)

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