I used to love eating Spanakopita before I went vegan, so when my garden gave me loads of greens to use up, I decided to make this Vegan Spanakopita! This Greek Spinach Pie is utterly delicious and perfect for using up lots of delicious green leafy veggies! This vegan twist on the classic Greek pie, full of juicy greens with a lemony salty creamy hit of Veganised feta and ricotta that contrasts amazingly with the crunchy filo pastry crust.
I've made various pies with a filo crust since properly going vegan (see the Butternut squash one here.. and the Chilli filled hand pies here) which have all been super yummy, but none were quite the Spanakopita that I craved. This Vegan Spanakopita really hits the spot, and is perfect for taking along on a picnic or to serve as snacks for a BBQ or party.
- Spinach/Greens: In Greece, the pie would be made with mature spinach, not the soft floppy stuff you get in bags in the supermarket. It would also likely be made with other local herbs and greens. I use a mixture of chard from my garden and shop bought spinach
- Vegan Feta/Ricotta Mix: Of course you can now buy quite good vegan feta, but it doesn't have the bulk that this pie needs, also, I like to use whole foods where possible. To make the ricotta, simply blend up soaked cashews and firm tofu. The tangy cheesy taste is created by adding in some salty green olives and nutritional yeast, plus some lemon juice for good measure. Keep the mixture quite nubbly for the best texture.
- Herbs: The overall flavour of this Vegan Spanakopita should be quite herbal and earthy/ spinachy, so fresh herbs such as dill and oregano are wonderful chopped up into the greens. Substitute dried dill and oregano if that's all you have.
- Filo Pastry: Filo pastry (sometimes called phyllo pastry) comes either frozen or in the chiller. If you buy it frozen, you will need to defrost it first. Different brands are different sizes. Just chop or rip the pastry to the size you need as you place it in the pie. The rustic look is lovely, so don't panic if it isn't 100% perfect!
- Make the Feta/Ricotta mix by either soaking cashews overnight, or boiling them for 10 minutes. Then quickly whizz them, the tofu and the olives into a rough but soft mixture. Taste and add more lemon or olives if you want it saltier or tangier!
- Make the spinach mix by first sweating an onion and lots of garlic in a pan.
- Then chop up the spinach and/or chard and sautee with the onion.
- You might need to add the spinach in batches, keep pushing it in until it all wilts down.
- Drain off any excess liquid from the spinach.
- To assemble the pie: You can either make a big round pie in a springform pan, or use a baking try. If you use a baking tray, line it with baking paper.
- Then simply slick olive oil over layers of filo and arrange them in tin. Use 4-5 layers., with a little bit of oil between each layer.
- Then add the ricotta and greens, spreading them out in a layer.
- Finally add a few more layers of filo on top. You can scrunch up the final layer for a pretty ruffled effect.
Yes! I make it up to a day in advance and then pop it in the oven to crisp up when needed.
Yes, you can either freeze the whole pie, or freeze in pieces. Let it come to room temperature before warming up in the oven.
Simply omit the cashews and use just tofu instead. You might like to add more olives to the mixture.
Yes, double the amount of cashew nuts and add a few more olives.
Yes! You can use single pieces of pastry to wrap up the pie. Check out our recipe here for full instructions :Vegan Spinach Triangles
We hope you love making this Vegan Spanakopita Pie as much we do! It's definitely a favourite of ours to take to parties, so we hope it inspires you to do the same!.
Let us know in the comments below what you think, and please like and share! xx
Vegan Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)
For the Spinach mix
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 500 g Spinach (NB: this would be equivelant to 2 bags of spinach, or a large bunch of chard)
- chilli (optional)
- 3 garlic cloves (finely diced)
- 2 tablespoon fresh dill (you could also use parsely or fresh oregano)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Squeeze of lemon
For the Vegan Ricotta/Feta
- 100 g firm tofu
- 100 g cashew nuts (soaked for at least 3 hours OR boiled for 10 mins)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
- 6 green olives
- Juice and zest half a lemon
To assemble the pie
- 1 pack filo pastry (you will need 7-8 sheets total)
- 4 tablespoon Olive Oil (you might need more. This is to brush between the pastry layers)
Make the Vegan feta/ricotta
- In a food processor, make the 'ricotta' by whizzing up the soaked cashew nuts, then add the tofu and other feta/ricotta ingredients. Taste and add extra salt, a bit of dried dill or another olive to add more zing.
To make the spinach/greens filling
- Saute the onion, garlic and chilli until soft in a big frying pan. If you're using chard, add the chopped stems now too so they soften.
- Add the greens and wilt them down to a big squishy mess. Taste and add salt & lemon juice.
- Remove from the heat and drain off any excess liquid (this avoids a soggy pie).
To assemble the pie
- Use a large baking dish and line with baking paper.
- Lay one piece of filo pastry out into the pan and using a pastry brush, brush with oil.
- Repeat with 3-4 more pieces of filo pastry, scrunching them up slightly to fit in the pan.
- Mix the vegan ricotta in with the now slightly cooler greens and spoon into the pie dish.
- Spread the vegan ricotta and greens out into a single layer, to cover the pastry.
- Add an extra 2-3 layers of pastry over the top of the greens and ricotta - 2 or 3 pieces should be plenty.
- Scrunch one more piece of pastry up and slick with olive oil. Arrange attractively over the top of the pie (this makes the pretty looking top).
- Cook in a pre-heated oven at 220°C / 430°F / Gas Mark 7 for around 20 minutes, or until the pie is a pretty glossy brown on top.
- Serve in slices with a herby tomato salad.