Spanakopita triangles are a great finger-food version of the classic Greek spinach and feta phyllo pie. They're much easier to make than you might think, and perfect to serve on an appetizer plate. The combination of crisp pastry and smooth, tasty filling is so good.
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If you're a regular around here, you may know that I'm quite a fan of phyllo or filo pastry. It's one of those ingredients that can seem a bit intimidating, but if you follow a few simple pointers (mainly keep the pastry covered until you need it and work relatively quickly), you can get some great results.
Filo is a wonderfully versatile ingredient, being great for desserts like pumpkin strudel (tikvenik) and savory pies like pastilla. It is great for bite-sized appetizers as well, whether using the ready made cups, as in my hot crab phyllo cups, or sheets like my pesto goat cheese filo parcels.
What is spanakopita?
Spanakopita is a traditional Greek pie made with spinach, herbs and feta cheese. It is often made in a large slab, then cut into pieces. You will find it in bakeries across Greece as a firm favorite.
Pies have been part of the Greek diet for many centuries, and this is one of the older versions. The exact timing of its creation is a little unclear, but it is most likely during the Byzantine era, when both spinach and phyllo came to Greece.
As with many traditional recipes, the exact ingredients vary. You can change the herbs, cheeses and type of onion that you use to get slightly different flavor profiles.
Here I have gone with a fairly common mix of herbs - dill, mint and parsley. This gives a lovely balance of aromatic flavors, with none taking over.
In cheeses, I have used mainly feta with a little ricotta just to help bind it together a little better and give a slight creaminess.
Bite sized spanakopita
While making a large pie is probably the most traditional way to make this, making smaller bite-sized triangles is also popular.
These bites are perfect for entertaining as they are a lot easier to serve up than slices that you really need a fork to eat. The balance of pastry to filling is great, with a lovely crisp shell and soft filling.
While to a point, rolling them up individually takes a little more time, I think the result is worth it. Once you get in the swing of things, it's really not difficult to do.
As well as the photos and description here, if you want to look at the video in my tiropita, which are made the same way, it will show you just how to form these little bites.
These spanakopita triangles have a deliciously flavorful filling, light and crisp pastry outside and make an addictively good appetizer. They are great for entertaining, enjoying as part of a meze meal or really any excuse you want. They're addictively tasty.
Try these other tasty finger foods:
- Pan con tomate (Spanish tomato bread)
- Chorizo cheese twists
- Baked coconut shrimp with mango dipping sauce
- Savory palmiers with fig jam and cheese
- Plus get more appetizer recipes in the archives.
- 8 oz spinach 225g
- ¼ red onion
- 1 tbsp dill (chopped quantity)
- 1 ½ tbsp parsley (chopped quantity)
- 1 ½ tbsp mint (chopped quantity)
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 ½ oz feta 75g
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 ½ tbsp ricotta 25g
- 1 pinch nutmeg
To form triangles
- 9 sheets filo pastry
- 3 tbsp olive oil (or a little more as needed)
- wilt spinach, soften onion in oil, add herbs & spinach, mix feta and eggs, add in plus ricotta; 3 sheets filo at time, cut in 6, fold up; 400F 15min EXPAND
- Trim any thick or tough stems from the spinach and place the leaves in a bowl. Pour over boiling water and press the leaves down so they are covered with the water and wilt down. Drain water, then let the spinach cool. Once cool, squeeze the spinach well to remove as much remaining liquid as you can then finely chop the spinach.
- While the spinach is cooling, finely chop the onion and herbs.
- Warm the ½ tbsp oil in a medium skillet/frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook the onion for a few minutes until it has softened. If it starts to brown, add extra oil and reduce the heat if needed.
- Add the chopped herbs and spinach to the onion and mix well. Cook a minute more then remove from the heat.
- Break up the feta and add it along with the egg, ricotta and nutmeg to the spinach mixture, off the heat. Mix to combine, without breaking up the feta completely and set aside.
- Take three sheets of filo pastry out and lay one flat on a clean surface. Brush it all over lightly with oil, lay another sheet on top, brush again, then lay the third sheet on top.
- Cut the three-layered filo pastry into six roughly even short but wider pieces, ie so their length is the short side of the pastry.
- Put a tablespoon of the spinach-cheese mixture at one end of each strip, fold over a corner into a triangle shape then continue folding over the triangle to use up all the pastry. Seal the end with a little oil. Transfer each triangle to a lined baking sheet, folded edge down, and brush with more butter.Repeat with the rest of the pastry strips, then with more sheets to use all the cheese mixture.Bake the pastries for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
- Transfer each triangle to a lined baking sheet/tray, folded edge down, and brush with a little more oil. Fold up the rest of the pastry strips in the same way, then repeat the layers and filling with another three sheets of pastry, then again, to use all the spinach-cheese mixture.
- Bake the pastries for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
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