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These homemade Greek spanakopita triangles are a delicious appetizer bursting with flavor that can be likened to Middle Eastern spinach pies . Phyllo (filo) pastry is filled with seasoned spinach and feta cheese for a delicious vegetarian snack. You’ll be sure to impress your guests with these!
Have you ever had spanakopita before? This traditional Greek food made with spinach and feta cheese can often be found in a pie form, but I love making them into triangles for a delicious hand-held appetizer.
This is a bit of a labor of love, compared with buying frozen from the store, but they are so much more fresher and bursting with flavor! It’s worth the effort, I promise!
How to make spanakopita
Make the filling
- Soften the onions in a skillet with a little oil.
- Add the garlic and dill and cook until the onions are caramelized.
- Add the rest of the filling ingredients to the pan,
- Stir to combine to make sure the spinach is well blended with everything.
Assemble the triangles
- Lay out the pastry and cut it into long strips. Brush one layer with butter and lay a second layer of pastry on top.
- Place a tablespoon of the filling at the end of the strip.
- Fold the corner of the pastry with the filling to reach the opposite edge to form a triangle.
- Keep folding the triangle until you have wrapped the whole strip of pastry into a triangle.
Bake the triangles
- Place the spanakopita triangles onto a lined baking sheet.
- Bake until golden brown. There’s no need to butter the top and there’s no need to flip them.
Tips for making the recipe
- Always keep any phyllo pastry covered with a damp cloth or paper towel. It is also helpful to assemble the triangles on a barely damp paper towel to reduce breakage. Don’t get the cloth or paper towel too wet, just barely damp otherwise it will stick to the pastry.
- Substitute fresh spinach instead of frozen if you’d like . You’ll need about 16 ounces and add it to the pan during the last 5 minutes of cooking the onions. Allow them to wilt completely and cook off any moisture released before removing from the heat. And make sure to cool for at least 10 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients or the feta cheese will melt.
- Work like an assembly line. Instead of preparing one from start to finish, I think it’s faster to lay out 3-4 at once, brush the butter all at once, fill all at once and then roll up all at once. It makes it go by faster.
- Don’t over fill the phyllo pastry. When you make the first fold, make sure that the filling is well enclosed inside the first triangle and remove the extra if needed.
- Use cream cheese in the mixture to improve the texture of the stuffing. I got this tip from one of my Greek followers on Instagram telling me it’s her family’s secret tip to make the spread more creamy and more easily spreadable. She recommends adding it before adding the feta cheese.
Frequently asked questions
Once baked, I don’t recommend freezing them because after reheating, they will not retain their crispness. Instead, assemble them and freeze on a baking sheet (covered). Then they can be baked directly from frozen. It will take 10-15 minutes longer to bake from frozen.
You can make the spinach filling for the spanakopita up to 3 days ahead of time and keep it covered in the fridge. You can make the triangles a day ahead of time and then bake them when you are ready to serve.
Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days in an airtight container, and you can reheat them in the oven or in a toaster oven for a few minutes so that they crisp up again.
They might seem a little intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, these spanakopita appetizers are simple to make. They are a great appetizer to serve a crowd especially during the holidays.I love you can make them a little ahead of time too!
More appetizer ideas:
- Chicken Taco Cups
- Creamy Feta Dip
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Zucchini Fritters
- Roasted Cauliflower Bites with Tahini
- Broccoli Cheese Hand Pies
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Spanakopita recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
- 16 ounces frozen spinach defrosted drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium red onion diced
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons dried dill
- ½ cup loosely packed parsley leaves finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped green onions about 5 – white and light green portions
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 ½ cup crumbled feta about 6 oz
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- About 20 sheets one sleeve phyllo pastry, defrosted
Make the filling:
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring regularly, until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes
- Add the garlic and dill. Cook with the onions, stirring frequently, until caramelized and soft, about 5 more minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Squeeze the defrosted spinach to drain all the water possible. You should end up with around 1 cup of spinach. Chop the spinach and transfer to a large pan.
- Add the parsley, green onions, lemon zest, ground pepper, feta cheese to the pan and stir to distribute mixture evenly.
Assemble the triangles:
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- On a clean surface, roll out the phyllo pastry. Cut into 2 ½-3” wide strips lengthwise using a pizza cutter. Cover the pastry with a barely damp towel to prevent it from drying out.
- On a clean surface, layout 1 layer of phyllo pastry and brush it down with a small amount of butter using a pastry brush and very gentle motions.
- Place a second layer of pastry directly on top of the first and brush that with a small amount of butter.
- In one corner of the pastry layers, place 1 heaping tablespoon of filling mixture. Squish it into an approximate triangle that nearly reaches the edges.
- Fold the corner of the pasty with the filling over to reach the nearest opposite edge of the pastry. Then, roll the filling triangle towards the empty end of the pastry. Again, fold the triangle to the nearest opposite side. Repeat these last two steps until you reach the end of the pastry rectangle.
- Place the triangle on the prepared baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Repeat the assembly with all the pastry sheets and filling. The triangles can be placed fairly close together on the baking sheet, about ½”.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Instead of frozen spinach, you can use 16 ounces fresh spinach. You’ll need about 16 ounces and add it to the pan during the last 5 minutes of cooking the onions. Allow them to wilt completely and cook off any moisture released before removing from the heat. And make sure to cool for at least 10 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients or the feta cheese will melt.
- Instead of green onions, you can use more red onions, or vice versa.
- Feel free to switch out the herbs per your taste.
- Make it vegan by leaving out the feta cheese.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.