During my discovery of Greek food this summer, I tried spanakopita. I loved the combination of feta and spinach and decided to learn to make it myself. One thing I wanted to change in my recipe for spanakopita was ease of eating. I prefer my appetizers to be bite-sized finger foods – no utensils. So spanakopita became Spanakopita Bites.
This recipe is adapted from What’s Cookin, Chicago?. Homemade phyllo cups are filled with a mixture of spinach, onion, feta, and ricotta. The cups are light and flaky and the filling has the perfect balance of spinach and cheese. Plus, you’re eating spinach – yay, dark, leafy greens!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes per batch
Serves: 4 dozen bites
1/2 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
5 oz. (1/2 package) Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and squeezed
3 oz. crumbled Feta Cheese
1/2 c. Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Egg, lightly beaten
12 sheets Phyllo Dough
4 tbsp. Butter, melted
1. Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden (~5 minutes).
2. Transfer the onions to a bowl and combine with the spinach, feta, ricotta, and egg. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix well. Store the filling in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Tip: Make sure you squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible. It also helps to separate the spinach with your hands as you add it to the bowl to make it easier to mix everything evenly.
Need ideas for what to do with the other half of that package of spinach? Check out our Spinach Ricotta Gnudi – so delicious!
3. Now it’s time to work with your phyllo dough. The key to working with phyllo dough without pulling your hair out is to keep it damp. Keep a piece of plastic wrap over the dough you’re not working with and cover it with a damp paper towel. Of the brands I’ve tried, Athens has been the most cooperative.
Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a cutting board. Sometimes you have to toss the first few sheets of phyllo if they’re torn or stuck together. Just be patient and gentle as you work to separate the sheets. Don’t sweat it if you get a little tear somewhere, and if the best you can do is separate two sheets from the other sheets, just go with it and work with your double sheets.
Once you’ve got your sheet(s) on the board, brush it with melted butter. Top with another sheet of phyllo and press down. Brush with more melted butter and continue this procedure until your phyllo is 6 sheets thick, making sure to finish with melted butter.
4. Using a pizza or pastry cutter, cut the phyllo into squares ~ 2″ x 2″. My phyllo sheets were 14″ x 18″ and I got 24 squares out of them (6 squares by 4 squares).
5. Brush mini muffin pans with melted butter and push the phyllo squares into the pan to make cups. Fill the cups with ~1 tsp. of the spinach mixture and bake at 375º for 15-20 minutes until the phyllo is golden.
6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. I like to serve them warm but they are equally as good at room temperature.
This appetizer is guaranteed to tickle everyone’s tastebuds. Even people who break out in hives when they see any green food won’t be able to resist these treats. They’re quite addictive… bet you can’t have just one!
Interested in trying another Greek dish? Check out our Cinnamon-Stewed Chicken!