Vanya’s Spanakopita (spinach and feta pie)

On my sister’s last night she cooked for us. Inspired by a friend’s recipe, she made a version of Spanakopita, which is a spinach pie. Spinach is in season at the moment and you can pick up 3 bunches from Everfresh for R12 at the moment, so now is a good time to shove spinach into everything. I even juiced some spinach the other day and it was surprisingly good (mixed with beetroot, orange, carrot, ginger and cucumber).

This is also a surprisingly quick pie to throw together.


  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bunches of spinach
  • 1 bunch dhanya (coriander / cilantro)
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 4 rounds of feta (at least)
  • Melted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Filo pastry
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Chop the onion and garlic and fry in some olive oil. Wash and chop the spinach, cutting out the rough stem. Add the spinach to the browned onions. Wash the mint and the dhanya, chop coarsely and add to the wilting spinach. Allow to wilt, but not disintegrate. Chop the feta and add to the pot. When I remake this I will add a lot more cheese, possibly someĀ ricotta.

Line an oven dish with a layer of filo pastry and brush with the butter and sprinkle a small amount of cinnamon and sugar. Have a look at the pictures as they indicate how to lay the filo to ensure there are extra layers to fold back over the filling. Be careful not to add too much sugar and cinnamon as it can get quite overpowering. Add the spinach mixture and fold the filo over the mixture. Butter and sprinkle again between layers and then again on the top of the pie. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top and pop into the oven for around 20mins or until the filo is crispy and brown. Serve with a salad. This works well with a tomato salad of any kind.

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3 Responses to Vanya’s Spanakopita (spinach and feta pie)

  1. astrid says:

    You forgot the filo in your list of ingredients…
    i am relieved you uttered the warning about ‘too much cinnamon’ – I really DON’T like the cinnamon in this recipe – there is already a competition between the dhania and the mint – why add another competitor?! Instead, I add a drop of lemon….it also helps to absorb the iron in the spinach: if not, please eat this with tomato salad or something very high in vitamin C – or else all te good iron gets lost / not absorbed…

  2. astrid says:

    oh – and salt / pepper?!

  3. Vanya says:

    I also add parsely to the mint and danja, and also a beaten egg to the cooled mixture at the end to keep filling from getting watery. Plus layer a lot of cinnamon on – that’s what brings everything together (it’s a traditional Morrocan pastry style that can be done with a range of savoury fillings).

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