We love all different kinds of food at my house—from Italian to Irish to American fusion… and Greek food is no exception. Mediterranean flavors are just so yummy, and we’re crazy for Greek dishes. My Spanakopita Bites with Spinach and Feta Cheese recipe makes a perfect appetizer for a group. They’re a bite-size finger food option that’s perfect for holiday entertaining—seems like it’s always a challenge to make enough!
What is spanakopita, and why is this appetizer recipe different?
Spanakopita is a traditional Greek dish usually made in pie form. It’s a savory spinach pie made with flaky phyllo (sometimes spelled filo) dough. Feta cheese is often added, and the version with cheese is sometimes called spanakotiropita—try and say that five times fast.
In this easy appetizer version of spanakopita, you’ll combine spinach and feta with egg and flavorful seasonings, then wrap them into individual bite-sized triangles. Garlic and dill create a rich flavor profile that’s brightened up with a little lemon—and I have to say, it really hits the spot! And who doesn't love the buttery crispiness of perfectly-baked phyllo?
Phyllo Dough Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Spanakopita Bites
I’ve got two quick tips for you on this one. First, you can use pre-made phyllo dough found in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Second, you can make them ahead and freeze them. Unbaked spanakopita triangles can be frozen for up to one month.
Make sure to read my article on how to work with phyllo dough so you can master your technique before you get started!
Pro Tip: Make Spanakopita Bites Ahead of Time and Freeze Them for Later Use
Here’s how to freeze unbaked spanakopita bites: Just place them in a freezer-safe container with parchment paper or wax paper between layers. Alternatively, you can freeze them in a single layer on a sheet pan. Once frozen, carefully transfer them to a freezer bag.
When you want to bake them up, pull out the number of pieces you need directly from the freezer and pop them into the preheated oven. Just make sure to add an extra 5 minutes to the baking time for a total bake time of 25 minutes. What a treat to have hidden away for those unexpected holiday guests!
These bite-sized spanakopita triangles are the perfect appetizer or finger food when you’re having company. They’re easy to make ahead and freeze for later, so they’re one of my faves for the holidays, too.
16 ounces of frozen spinach, defrosted and drained in a colander
1 tablespoon olive oil
⅔ cup finely diced red onion
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 teaspoons dried dill
½ cup packed Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
5 green onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
4 ounces ricotta cheese, drained in a colander
1 large egg, lightly beaten
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
20 sheets of phyllo dough, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
Using paper towels, squeeze out as much excess water from the drained spinach as possible. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. When hot, add the onions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic. Cook, stirring often, for about 30 seconds, until softened
Transfer the onion and garlic to the bowl with the spinach. Add the dill, parsley, green onions, lemon zest, black pepper, feta cheese, drained ricotta, and egg. Stir gently to combine.
Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a clean work surface and brush with melted butter. Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the first and brush it with butter. Place a third sheet of phyllo on top of the stack and brush it with butter, too.
Using a chef’s knife, carefully cut the phyllo into thirds. The strips of phyllo should be cut long ways. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling on the end of each strip of phyllo.
Starting at the end where the filling is, fold one corner of the phyllo over the filling to form a triangle. Continue folding the dough over itself, keeping the triangular shape—like folding a flag.
Place each finished triangle on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush the top with melted butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo dough and filling.
Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven until brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Store leftover baked triangles, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes to get them warm and crispy again. Enjoy!
Mary DiSomma, Foodie, Author, Philanthropist, Mother, Wife and so much more...
Mary DiSomma, an enthusiastic and imaginative baker of cookies, is the author and publisher of A Gift of Cookies: Recipes to Share with Family & Friends. She is also a philanthropist, podiatrist, entrepreneur, and mother of four grown children.
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