Greek Spiral Spanakopita Recipe

If you're looking for an appetizer that will knock your socks off, it needs to highlight a few different elements to really stand out. As Food Republic recipe developer Milena Manolova shares, "My favorite thing about spanakopita is the perfect combination of flavors and textures." Manolova brings us this Greek spiral spanakopita recipe which pretty much amplifies everything you love about spanakopita with its unique coiled shape. 

As she describes, "The flaky layers of phyllo pastry encase a savory filling made with spinach, feta cheese, onions, and various herbs and spices." Not only are the various components delicious on their own, but Manolova points out how they work in harmony too: "The richness of the feta cheese perfectly complements the earthiness of the spinach, while the onions and herbs add a burst of aromatic goodness." If that doesn't have you running to the kitchen, then you may never be satisfied! Aside from the unbeatable taste, "When baked to golden perfection, the phyllo pastry becomes wonderfully crisp, providing a satisfying contrast to the tender filling," Manolova remarks. Oh, and did we mention this dish is a total stunner? 

Gather the ingredients for this Greek spiral spanakopita

For this recipe, you'll need fresh spinach leaves — avoid frozen spinach as it has a lot of water. Next, get salt, a medium-sized yellow onion, garlic, fresh herbs (dill, parsley, mint), scallions, freshly grated nutmeg (it's so much more flavorful than the powdered stuff), feta cheese, a large egg, black pepper, melted butter, and sheets of phyllo dough.

You'll find the phyllo in the frozen section of your supermarket, but be sure to defrost it first. Manolova suggests, "It can be left in the fridge overnight or at room temperature until soft, and each layer should peel apart easily."

Prep the spinach and cook the alliums

Get out a cutting board and chop the spinach into 1-inch pieces. Next, place a cheesecloth in a bowl and toss in the spinach, leaving the edges of the cloth hanging over the sides for easy access. Sprinkle the spinach with 1 teaspoon of salt and mix to distribute it throughout the leaves. Set the spinach aside to sweat for 5 to 10 minutes. This will ensure excess water doesn't sabotage your deliciously flaky spanakopita. 

Next, chop the onion and saute it in a pan until it turns golden. Mince the garlic and toss it in with the onions, cooking for another minute or so before removing the pan from the heat.

Combine the filling ingredients

Finely chop the fresh dill, parsley, and mint, then slice the scallions thinly. Turn back to the spinach bowl and lift the cheesecloth to bring the edges together, then squeeze the spinach to drain off all the liquid. Transfer the leaves to a dry bowl and add in the sauteed onion and garlic, fresh herbs, and scallions. Next, add the freshly grated nutmeg, crumble the feta cheese into the bowl, and sprinkle the rest of the salt and black pepper. Stir the filling ingredients until they are evenly distributed and set the bowl aside.

Spread the filling onto the phylo sheet

Now that the filling is ready, it's time to start assembling the spiral. First, preheat the oven to 400 F — this will ensure a flaky golden crust. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 11-inch round baking dish with a bit of melted butter. 

Manolova shares a few tips about working with phyllo dough, as it can be stressful the first time around. "Make sure the phyllo dough is fresh. Once the dough is out of the package, make sure to work with it quickly, as the layers can dry out, break easily, and become harder to work with," she warns. Still, she comments, "that's the beauty of it; it doesn't have to be perfect," and adds, "Once baked, all the imperfections will blend with the flaky and delicate crispy top." 

Lay the 12 sheets flat in a stack and brush the top one with some melted butter. Flip it over so that it's laying on top of the stack and brush the other side with butter too. Then, place ¼ cup of spinach filling on the long side of the sheet, leaving 1 inch free from the edge. Spread the filling along the length of the sheet in a narrow line.

Roll the sheet into a tube and start to coil

Take the top two sheets together and roll them over the filling to make a tube shape. Transfer the tube to your greased dish and shape it into a spiral starting in the center. Then, go back to your phyllo sheets and repeat the process, brushing both sides of the top sheet with butter and spreading the filling on top. Each time you roll a tube of filling, add it to the spiral in your dish. Continue until there is no more filling left.

Bake once the spiral is complete

When the spiral is ready, brush the top with the remaining melted butter to guarantee a golden crust. Transfer the dish to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the color is a pleasant golden brown.

Serve the spanakopita warm

Once you remove the spanakopita spiral from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes before slicing it. Serve it warm or at room temperature. Manolova suggests serving it as an appetizer, or it would make a great lunch or snack. 

Although you might be tempted to prep this ahead of time for guests, our recipe developer warns against it: "Because the layers are so thin, the moisture from the filling will make the layers wet and soggy, and the layers will stick to each other." The result? "Once baked, you won't have thin and delicate layers of dough, but a thick and not very pleasant texture." That's not what comes to mind when we think of spanakopita! 

While we can't imagine anyone would have leftovers, if you do, Manolova recommends storing them "covered at room temperature until the next day." You might be tempted to refrigerate the spanakopita, but she says it's a no-no "due to the moisture that will cause the layers to become wet and soggy." Just follow Manolova's advice: "It's best to be eaten the day it's baked."

Greek Spiral Spanakopita Recipe
5 from 39 ratings
This Greek spiral spanakopita is made with deliciously flaky phyllo dough with feta cheese and spinach filling baked to perfection.
Prep Time
Cook Time
closeup sliced spanakopita
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • 14 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint
  • 2 scallions
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 14 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 12 sheets phyllo dough
  1. Chop the spinach into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Place a cheesecloth into a bowl with the edges hanging out and add the chopped spinach on top.
  3. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt, mix, and let it sweat for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, chop the onion and sauté it until golden.
  5. Finely chop the garlic, add it to the pan, and cook for an additional minute then remove from the heat.
  6. Finely chop the dill, parsley, and mint, and thinly slice the scallions.
  7. Squeeze the sweated spinach through the cheesecloth to drain out any liquid and transfer it to a dry bowl.
  8. Add the sautéed onion, chopped herbs, and scallion.
  9. Add the freshly grated nutmeg, crumbled feta cheese, egg, remaining salt, and black pepper and mix, then set aside.
  10. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  11. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the bottom and sides of an 11-inch round baking dish with some of the melted butter.
  12. Lay the phyllo sheets flat in a stack and brush the top layer with melted butter.
  13. Flip the top sheet over, place it on the stack, and brush that side with butter as well.
  14. Spread about ¼ cup of the filling on the longer side of the phyllo sheet, about 1 inch from the edge.
  15. Roll the top two sheets of the stack into a tube, around the filling.
  16. Starting from the center of the dish, place the first rolled phyllo tube into a spiral. Repeat the same with the rest of the filling and phyllo sheets until you have used all the filling.
  17. Brush the top of the spiral with the rest of the melted butter.
  18. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown.
  19. Remove the spanakopita from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing.
Calories per Serving 466
Total Fat 33.0 g
Saturated Fat 19.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 130.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 28.2 g
Dietary Fiber 3.0 g
Total Sugars 1.3 g
Sodium 1,006.6 mg
Protein 15.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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