A vegan Greek spanakopita with it’s golden filo pastry oozing cheese & spinach is a dish to behold and savour. Now that you can buy vegan feta cheese, it’s quite easy to veganise this dish. I’ve added a few nuances like the tofu weiner sausages which add extra depth of flavour and texture.
The spinach mixed with the nutmeg and dill & other herbs & spices is the key component. When it’s all assembled, it’s a perfect snack, main meal or comfort food. My only regret is that it’s not possible to buy ready made wholemeal filo pastry. Sadly, I think making your own wholemeal filo would be too difficult. So I’ve had to opt for the white version in this recipe.
It’s all in the layering. When you put layers of filo, brushed with extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, interspersed with the spinach & feta mixture it just works. Adding in the weiner sausages, makes it even more tasty and satisfying.
Making sure you take the filo out of the fridge a little before you need it makes it much easier. If you leave it too long out of the fridge it dries out and cracks. If you take it out too soon and it’s not flexible enough.
Make sure to cut the filo pastry dish before you cook it because it’s very difficult to do afterwards.
A nice big baking dish that fits the filo sheets is also essential as you don’t want to waste the pastry or filling. I’ve used my “go to” deep stainless steel dish for this vegan Greek spanakopita, and it’s pretty much perfect. It measures 28cm by 32cm but anything close to that should be ok.
Vegan greek spanakopita
- 1 baking tray 25cm by 38cm,
- 1 wok or large pan
- 500 g fresh spinach chopped (can also use a mixture of spinach and chard)
- 1 bunch spring onions chopped (about 8-9 spring onions but a whole bunch is fine)
- 30 g bunch of dill – chopped medium fine
- 30 g bunch/bag of parsley chopped medium fine flat leaf preferably
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 15 g Olive oil for sautéing
- 220 g pack or thereabouts of filo sheets
- 35 g of olive oil for brushing filo sheets
- 200 g 1 pack of Sainsbury’s or other brand of vegan Greek feta style cheese.
- 2 whole tofu wiener smoked sausages cut length-ways, then into 1 cm half-rounds –optional item
- Preheat the oven to 350° F/ 175° C.
- In a wok or other pan, brown the spring onions in olive oil until soft - about 3-5 minutes.
- Add spinach, salt and pepper and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Add chopped dill and parsley and mix well.
- Chop the wiener sausages into pieces as described – optional but tasty.
- Chop the feta style cheese into small cubes – around ½ cm in size, - so quite small – add cheese pieces (and sausage if using) to spinach mixture and mix well.
- Pour the olive oil for brushing in a cup or small bowl. Use straight from the pan or transfer to a smaller bowl.
- For Sainsbury’s brand filo you want a large deep baking dish, that is around 28 by 32 cm long – annoyingly they don’t put the size if the sheets on the packet!!!!!
- You can trim the filo long ways to fit the length of your pan, once you’ve unrolled them – if you wish. But don’t unroll the sheets until you are ready to assemble the dish or they will start to dry out and break.
- Brush the bottom of a 28cm by 32cm baking pan with a little bit of oil.
- Count the sheets – usually 11 or 12 – depending on numbers, work out how many sheets to have in each layer. Could be 4, 3 and 4 if 11 sheets in pack or 4, 4 & 4 if 12.
- Then line the pan with one filo sheet, and brush the top with a thin coating of olive oil.
- Put a total of 4 sheets in the bottom brushing the top of each sheet like the first one.
- Then spread half the spinach and feta mixture evenly on top of the sheets, then add another 3 or 4 sheets also brushed with oil.
- Then spread the remaining feta mixture.
- Then add the last 4 sheets – brushing with oil as before.
- When assembly is completed, cut into squares – I suggest 3 lengthways and 4 across the width – but whatever works for your number of guests/portioning is fine.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes until it is golden brown on top. Begin checking at 50 minutes as ovens vary.
- You can serve it hot as a main dish, or it can be eaten cold or warm as a snack or starter – works brilliantly with hummus.
- This dish keeps very well - to re-heat, cover and place in microwave oven for around 60 secs on full power - then place under grill for a minute or 2 to crisp up.