Spanakopita is a traditional Greek dish with a savory filling of spinach and feta cheese wrapped in layers of crispy filo pastry. This is the best and easiest vegan recipe.
About this recipe
The traditional preparation of spanakopita includes a mixture of cooked spinach, onion, garlic, feta cheese, and herbs, all wrapped in several layers of phyllo and baked until golden brown and crispy. It is often served hot and can be enjoyed alone or with a Greek salad.
This is a vegan option because I replaced the feta with tofu, a vegan alternative.
- Olive oil is a staple in Greek cooking and adds a rich, fruity flavor to the dish.
- Chopped onion, this aromatic vegetable, provides a savory, slightly sweet base for the spinach filling.
- Extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled. For the vegan version of spanakopita, you can use tofu or vegan feta, or any other vegan cheese as a substitute for traditional feta cheese.
- Spinach or mixed greens: Spinach is the main ingredient in spanakopita, and it provides a good source of nutrients such as iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C. Look for fresh, organic spinach leaves at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Spinach is packed with nutrients and adds a rich, earthy flavor to the dish. You can use fresh or frozen spinach or a mix of leafy greens for the vegan version. Be sure to drain them well before using them to avoid excess water in the filling.
- Herbs: dried oregano, dried dill, and dried spearmint are the ones I use. Traditional spanakopita has dill or parsley. Herbs may also provide additional nutritional benefits, such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Phyllo is a thin and delicate pastry dough traditionally used in spanakopita. It can be found in the frozen section of most supermarkets. When working with the filo dough, keep it covered with a damp cloth to prevent drying, and brush each layer with oil or melted vegan butter to add flavor and prevent sticking.
How to make spanakopita rolls
Prepare the stuffing: Put the olive oil and the onion in a frying pan. Add the tofu, green leaves, herbs, and salt when it browns.
Leave in the pan until the leaves are wilted; taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Leave until the mixture is completely dry.
Prepare phyllo pastry: Open the phyllo pastry packages and take the dough out. Unroll the sheets, so they are in a single layer. Fold them in half and cut them along the fold.
Assemble the spanikopita rolls: Brush two sheets of phyllo with olive oil. Put 2-3 tablespoons of the spinach and tofu mix, fold to the center, then the edges, and roll it all up. Repeat until the mixture is finished.
Place them on a tray and brush the top with olive oil.
Bake the spanakopita: Bake the spanakopita in a preheated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Serve: Let the spanakopita cool for a few minutes. You can accompany it with a Greek salad, or if you crave something spicy, serve it with harissa or a vegan tzatziki sauce.
tips and variations
Use other vegetables: While spinach is a staple ingredient in spanakopita, you can experiment with other vegetables, such as kale, chard, or broccoli. This can add more nutrients and flavors to the dish.
Add nuts: Add chopped nuts such as walnuts or almonds to the spinach and cheese mixture to add more texture and protein to the dish.
Try different vegan cheese alternatives: Many vegan cheese alternatives are available, from vegan feta to vegan cream cheese. You can try different varieties to find the one that suits your taste preferences.
Make it gluten-free: If you’re sensitive to gluten, use gluten-free filo pastry or substitute it with gluten-free puff pastry or rice paper wrappers.
Serve with a dipping sauce: To add flavor, you can serve vegan spanakopita with a dipping sauce such as harissa, vegan tzatziki, or flavorful hummus.
Make it ahead of time: You can assemble the spanakopita rolls and freeze them for later. When ready to bake, place them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven as directed.
Frequently asked questions
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SPANAKOPITA, SPINACH AND phyllo ROLLS
- 1 Baking sheet
- 1 pastry brush
- 1 Pan
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 200 gr 8 oz of extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
- 350 gr spinach or a mixture of spinach and greens
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried mint
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 package of filo pastry sheets
- olive oil as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a pan, heat the olive oil and onion. Add the tofu, greens, herbs, and salt when the onion is translucent and starts to brown.
- Leave in the pan until the leaves are wilted; a taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary. The mixture should be well-dried.
- Open the filo pastry and open all the sheets in a single layer. Fold all the sheets in half and cut them along the fold.
- Take two filo sheets and brush olive oil between them. Put 2-3 tablespoons of the greens and tofu mixture, fold towards the center, then the edges, and roll everything up. Repeat until the mixture is gone.
- Put them on a tray and brush the top with olive oil again. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
Can I use a different type of vegan cheese in the recipe? You can experiment with different kinds of vegan cheese in the recipe.
Can I prepare vegan spanakopita in advance? Yes, you can assemble the spanakopita in advance and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake it. Cover it well with a cloth or clean pack, so the filo pastry doesn’t dry out. When you put it in the oven, you should slightly increase the cooking time if the spanakopita is cold.
Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
This recipe first appeared in Piloncillo&Vainilla in February 2017.