Bulgarian Spanakopita Recipe (Greek Spinach Pie Spin Off)

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This spanakopita recipe reinvents the classic Greek pastry by using a variety of herbs that are traditional for Bulgarian cuisine.

The pita has a mouthwatering filling of ricotta, feta cheese and spinach, which is seasoned with fresh scallions, spearmint, parsley and dill.

Everything is baked in the oven until the pastry sheets turn golden brown and crumbly.

Close-up of a baking sheet with spanakopita

Bulgarian Spanakopita Recipe (Greek Spinach Pie Spin Off)

Most spanakopita recipes you’ll find online closely resemble traditional Bulgarian banitsa or Turkish börek.

They’re made with pastry sheets that are covered in a cheesy filling and rolled into a log.

However, in this recipe I’ll show you an easier and more authentic way you can make spanakopita.

Instead of rolling the pastry sheets, you’ll simply need to divide them in half, stack them together and spread the spinach and cheese filling between the two halves.

This in my humble opinion, provides better texture to the spanakopita and gives the spinach filling enough room to shine.


  • Phyllo Dough – You can find phyllo dough or filo sold at Greek and Turkish shops. If you buy it from the frozen section, you’ll need to thaw it before assembling the spanakopita.
  • Spinach – Spinach turns this dish from a simple banitsa recipe to a true spanakopita.
  • Butter – Melted butter enriches the taste of the spanakopita and prevents the pastry sheets from drying. I’m using unsalted butter as the Feta has a high sodium content.
  • Olive oil – You’ll need a bit of olive oil for both the butter and egg mixtures. If you don’t have olive oil you can swap it for vegetable oil.
  • Ricotta – Mixing in a bit of ricotta into the egg and cheese mixture will give the filling a slightly creamy texture.
  • Feta – Spanakopita is traditionally made with white Bulgarian cheese, but I’m using Feta as it’s easier to find.
  • Fresh Herbs – The filling is seasoned with chopped scallions, spearmint, parsley and dill.

Ingredients for spanakopita

How to make

Check out the recipe card at the end of this article for detailed, step-by-step instructions.

Start by melting the butter in the olive oil using a large sauce pot. In the meantime, crumple the spinach and season it with a pinch of salt.

A pot with diced up butter next to a round pan with spinach

Continue by beating the eggs and ricotta into a glass bowl, then gradually add the spinach, herbs and the crumbled feta cheese.

A glass bowl with whipped eggs and ricotta next to a glass bowl with whipped eggs, ricotta and spinach

Once you’re done with the egg and cheese mixture, take half of the pastry sheets and begin stacking them in a greased baking sheet.

Each pastry sheet should overlap a side of the baking sheet so that you can tuck all four sides once you’ve stacked five sheets.

Make sure you brush each sheet with the butter mixture. After you layer the first five pastry sheets, crumple the remaining phyllo dough, place it on top and brush it with butter.

Proceed by stirring the spinach mixture over the pastry sheets. Unroll the rest of the phyllo dough and layer the sheets in the same way as you did the first half.

Layering spinach mixture over baking sheet with pastry sheets next to a pan with spanakopita ready for baking

When you’ve finished layering all of the pastry sheets, brush the top of the spanakopita with butter and tuck in the overlapping sheets.

Once you’re done, cut up the spanakopita into twelve pieces and bake in an oven preheated to 325°F (170°C).

A serving of 4 pieces of spanakopita

Pro Tips

  • Don’t overwork the filling – All of the ingredients for the filling must be well combined, but not to the point that feta has completely dissolved into the mixture. In other words, the feta should retain its grainy texture after you incorporate it into the filling.
  • Serve with a dipping sauce – You can serve spanakopita with a dedicated sauce that resembles tzatziki made with yogurt or skyr and garlic. However, what I’m about to recommend as an alternative will probably sound like heresy to my Bulgarian audience, but this dish also goes extremely well with a creamy garlic parmesan BBQ dip. If you don’t have anything in mind, I recommend you check this garlic parmesan dip.
  • Roll unused sheets into a log – It’s a good idea to roll any unused sheets back into a log. This will prevent them from drying out and allow you to use them for any of your future projects. You can also follow this advice with the second half of the pastry sheets in this recipe.

Three pieces of spanakopita served with creamy garlic dip

Try these next

If you’d like to try more traditional Bulgarian pastries you should definitely check out a few of my other recipes:

  • Banitsa – this is essentially phyllo dough rolls with feta cheese, savory and cumin. It’s close to the spanakopita but there’s no greenery in it.
  • Leek Pie – this is tender layered pastry sheets with a rich leek filling. If you liked the spanakopita you will probably love this one as well.
a slice of spanakopita

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Bulgarian Spanakopita Recipe (Greek Spinach Pie Spin Off)

This spanakopita blends a variety of Bulgarian herbs and spices into a creamy spinach filling. Serve it over breakfast, a large family gathering or as an afternoon snack.
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Resting Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
by: Aya
Servings: 12
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast
Cuisine: Balkan, bulgarian


  • 16 phyllo pastry sheets
  • 1 pound spinach leaves chopped
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dill chopped
  • 6 spring onion stalks thinly sliced
  • 250 g ricotta cheese
  • 300 g feta cheese crumbled
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup parsley chopped
  • 1/3 cup spearmint chopped


  • Preheat oven to 325 °F / 170°C.
  • Wash the spinach and squeeze the excess liquid off.
  • Melt the butter along with 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large pot.
  • Season the chopped spinach with salt and crumple it with your hands.
  • Whip the eggs and ricotta into a large glass bowl.
  • Mix in the black pepper and the rest of the olive oil.
  • Stir in the spinach and keep stirring until it's well combined, then add the fresh herbs and crumbled feta cheese.
  • Grease a baking sheet with the oil and butter mixture.
  • Unroll the phyllo dough and take half of the pastry sheets. Roll the remaining pastry sheets to prevent them from drying out.
  • Stack five of the pastry sheets on the bottom of the baking sheet so their ends overlap its edges. Layer each sheet with some of the melted butter.
  • Crumple the three remaining pastry sheets, layer them on top, and brush them with melted butter.
  • Spread the spinach mixture on top and level it with a wooden spoon.
  • Unroll the remaining pastry sheets and layer them on top. Don't forget to brush each sheet with melted butter.
  • Tuck in the edges of the pastry sheets that stick out and brush the top of the spanakopita with melted butter.
  • Using a sharp knife, divide the spanakopita into 12 even-sized pieces.
  • Place the spanakopita in the oven and for an hour or until golden brown.
  • Let the spanakopita cool for at least 20 minutes.
  • Serve with garlic dipping sauce.


  • Avoid overmixing the filling for the spanakopita. Overmixing will ruin the texture of the feta cheese. 
  • Roll the second half of the phyllo dough sheets back into a log. This will keep the sheets fresh.   

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Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 780mg | Potassium: 452mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 5265IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 325mg | Iron: 8mg

I do my best to provide you with the nutritional information for recipes but I'm not a certified nutritionist. The nutritional information provided should only be treated as an estimate since it will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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