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This week’s challenge is Greek – and thankfully, my boyfriend has actually been to Greece so I was able to gain some useful insight to real Greek cuisine. I hope we can one day travel there together, mostly so I can eat my way through the country.

Nick suggested spanakopita, a simple spinach and cheese filled pastry that he ate frequently while he was there in college. With his input, I gathered up the ingredients: spinach, eggs, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, green onions, garlic, onion, lemon, and phyllo dough and set to work recreating one of his favorite snacks from Greece.

Start by sautéing the onion, green onion, and garlic until the garlic is fragrant and the onion is turning translucent. Basically anything with this much onion and garlic is bound to be good, so I knew right here I was going to really enjoy this recipe.

While the onions cook, whisk together the eggs and ricotta cheese with a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice. I recommend adding the lemon juice last, as to not curdle the ricotta cheese.

When the onions are tender, add the spinach to the same pan and gently turn with a wooden spoon. In just a minute or two, the spinach will begin to wilt and be about a fourth of the size. Stir in the garlic and onions. Then set aside the mixture to cool for five to ten minutes, or at least until it is no longer steaming. Room temperature is preferential, but if you are anything like me, waiting is hard when something like this smells so delicious.

The main benefit to letting the filling cool longer is that you don’t risk cooking and scrambling the eggs in the cheese mixture. Whatever method you choose, stir the the spinach mixture into the cheese mixture until the spinach is coated and completed incorporated.

Next is the secret to flaky spanakopita dough, without all of the mumbo jumbo other recipes might suggest. Simply take two sheets of phyllo and fold them in half length wise. Brush the top of the phyllo with olive oil, then place about three tablespoons of filling at the end, top center. I also might mention here that it is extremely important to keep the phyllo dough you are not working with covered with a damp towel, otherwise it will dry out very quickly.

Fold the top left corner over the top of the filling, pressing the filling in with your fingers. Then take the right corner and fold the pastry again to form a triangle. When you take this corner, you will be flipping the filling over in the center as well. If you need some extra help, here’s the video I watched on how to create this simple fold.

Continue this motion, left-over-right, until a triangular pocket takes shape. Seal the edges with some extra olive oil.

I gave the triangles an extra brushing of olive oil and double checked all of the edges we sealed as to not lose any of that delicious spinach filling.

Arrange the spanakopita triangles on a baking sheet, then cook until golden brown.

I was so pumped with how this recipe turned out – and I know Nick was singing it’s praises after tasting it. As someone who has never visited Greece before, I think I did a pretty great job of recreating the simple spinach stuffed pocket.




The Starving Chef
I gathered up the ingredients: spinach, eggs, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, green onions, garlic, onion, lemon, and phyllo dough to make this Greek snack.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, International
Cuisine Finger Food, Greek
Servings 10 spanakopita


  • 1 roll phyllo dough
  • 5 cups spinach
  • ½ cup ricotta
  • ½ cup yellow onion chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add the onions, green onion, and garlic.
  • While the onions and garlic cook, whisk together the ricotta and Parmesan cheese with the eggs. Add the lemon juice last and stir to combine.
  • When the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant, add the spinach. Use a wooden spoon to stir the spinach until it has wilted to about a fourth of the original size. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat and let cool for five to ten minutes, or until no longer steaming on top.
  • Stir the spinach mixture into the egg and cheese mixture. Fold the spinach into the cheese until it is completely covered.
  • Roll out the phyllo dough, keeping what is not being used covered with a damp towel. Take two sheets of dough and lay them on top of each other. Brush with olive oil to the edges. Fold the phyllo in half and place 3-4 tablespoons of filling in the top center. Fold the dough, corner over filling, alternating sides, until a triangle has taken shape. Fold in the edges as you work then brush the outside with olive oil.
  • Arrange the spanakopita on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the spanakopita is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Keyword Greek, phyllo dough, ricotta, spinach
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