I grew up with Spanikopita being a normal weekend dinner. No, I’m not Greek, but I did grow up with adventurous parents who experimented with a whole range of different foods when we were growing up. For anyone not familiar with Spanikopita, or Spinach Pie, it is a Greek dish that is typically made of spinach and feta, rolled up into either a log shaped roll or smaller triangular shapes. My parents would make one big Spanikopita that had spinach, feta, and mushrooms all wrapped up in layers of phyllo brushed with oil and baked until crisp. I remember it being so so delicious — but, it took a while to make. Even making a vegan Spanikopita which eliminated the need for egg or cheese always seemed to be more complicated than it needed to be. Craving crispy phyllo and the slightly salty filling I wanted to make a vegan Spanikopita that was easy and quick to make and could even be made on a weeknight!
This vegan Spanikopita does not disappoint. Its easy, and even though it looks like there are many steps, none of them are difficult and are simply there to guide you through the process of rolling. The filling comes together quickly and once rolled and baked, you’re ready for a fancy looking dinner that seriously took no effort and is ready in an hour! Whats more, I use minimal oil in this Spanikopita so its even dare I say healthy?! I find the phyllo gets crispier without being completely covered in oil. This is of course personal preference, so feel free to use as much or little oil as you like.
This is scrumptious paired with my Vegan Tzatziki and Lemon Greek Potatoes, or a quick, fresh Greek Salad. This recipe makes 2 rolls, but you could easily make 4 if you wanted individual portions. You could even make this into an easy appetizer by cutting the phyllo dough into 4 strips length-wise and rolling the Spanikopita into triangle shapes instead and serving with Tzatziki for dipping (a family favourite of ours!). This recipe is so versatile, you’re sure to be a fan. So, here it is!
- 1 box phyllo (filo) dough (you will use about 8 sheets, or 1/2 a box for this recipe)
- 10oz (1 block) Frozen Spinach
- 6 oz (1/2 block) medium-firm to firm tofu
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable both for cooking, or 1 tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, copped (appx 3/4-1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- pinch of nutmeg (less than 1/8 tsp)
- 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil for brushing the phyllo dough
- 1/2 tsp salt for sprinkling, if desired
- Defrost the Phyllo dough in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours. Don’t defrost in a microwave, or the sheets will stick together.
- Defrost the box of spinach. Once defrosted place the spinach in a fine mesh strainer and press to drain out the excess water. You can also squeeze the water out with your hands.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celsius or gas mark 5)
- Make the tofu feta:
- In a bowl, crumble the 1/2 block of tofo
- Add salt, garlic powder, oregano, vinegar, and milk. Set aside.
- In a pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp oil, or vegetable broth if oil-free. Add chopped onion and sautee until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sautee another 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Turn the heat off.
- Add lemon juice, spinach, dill, nutmeg, pepper and the tofu feta mixture. Mix well to combine. Set aside.
- Prep your rolling station.
- Pull the defrosted phyllo out of the fridge and unroll. It will be delicate and may rip. This is okay.
- Cover the phyllo with a damp towel so it doesn’t dry out
- Put the 2-3 tbsp olive oil for brushing in a bowl with a pastry brush so it is ready
- Have a parchment lined baking sheet ready for your 2 rolls
- This is the set up:
- Take 2 sheets of phyllo and place in front of you with the short edge facing you. Sprinkle a bit of oil all over using a pastry brush then brush the oil lightly over the phyllo. It doesn’t have to cover all of it.
- Add 2 more sheets of phyllo on top of the sheets you just oiled, and add a bit more oil and brush all over.
- Take 1/2 of the spinach mixture and place in the lower section of the phyllo sheets like this:
- Fold the two long edges of the phyllo over the filling, then fold the edge closest to you over the filling and roll away from you.
- Place the roll seam side down on the parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with olive oil to coat and sprinkle with a bit of salt if desired. Repeat for the 2nd roll.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned and crispy. Serve immediately.