Gluten Free Savory Greek Spinach Pastries Recipe
I almost never lament my gluten free diet and lifestyle. I am perfectly happy with the abundance of food I can eat and beyond thrilled with the health benefits. But every once in a while I will be at a party and see something I can’t eat and get this little pang of remorse.
Fortunately that pang is short lived because I just get into the kitchen and re-create the coveted dish gluten free.
Such was the case when I attended a party where someone made Spanakopita, savory Greek pastries filled with spinach and cheeses and wrapped in filo dough. I can’t really call my version Spanakopita since they aren’t wrapped in filo – I know of no gluten free prepared filo dough and I am way too lazy to try and figure out how to make it. No matter, these Savory Greek Spinach Pastries are so tasty and a lot easier to make.
The filling is traditional, or at least what I think of as traditional – I am sure every Greek person has their own way of making it, but instead of filo I made my dough from Chebe All-Purpose Bread Mix, rolled the dough thin, encased the filling in the dough, formed triangles and baked them. It is a lot easier to do this than it is working with filo which is not gluten free and can be a little temperamental.
Of course these pastries don’t have the layer upon layer of paper thin dough bathed in butter so the crust does not have the same crunch of Spanakopita but these pastries have all the flavor. And that little pang of regret is gone!
This recipe makes 12 pastries. I served 2 per person to each adult which is admittedly a very healthy portion. If this seems like too much for you, you can always freeze the pastries; wrap them up well unbaked, let them thaw a bit then brush with butter and bake them off.
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts – omit for nut free
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small white or yellow onion chopped
- 2 scallions sliced
- 1 (10 ounce) box frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 (7.5 ounce) boxes Chebe All-Purpose Bread Mix
- 4 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons melted butter – divided use
- ½ cup water
- Coarse salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet until warm and fragrant, about 3 minutes, stirring often so they don’t burn. Let cool.
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions and cook for another minute. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
Put the spinach in a kitchen towel of several layers of paper towels and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. Add the spinach to the onion mixture in the mixing bowl. Add the ricotta, feta, and parmesan cheeses, nutmeg, salt, pepper and walnuts and mix until combined.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the Chebe mix, eggs, 4 tablespoons melted butter and ½ cup water. Mix with a fork until combined, the mixture will be crumbly. Dump the mixture onto a clean work surface and knead until fully combined, smooth and not sticky, a minute or two. Divide the mixture into two equal portions. Place a large piece of waxed or parchment paper on a work surface, place one of the dough portions on top and place another piece of paper on top. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is slightly larger than 9 by 13 ½ inches. Trim the edges of the dough so they are straight and cut into six 4½ by 4½ inch squares (make 3 cuts across the long way and one cut through the middle.) Repeat with the remaining dough.
Divide the mixture between the dough squares placing the mixture on one half of the dough almost up to the edges of the dough. Brush a little water on all of the edges and fold the dough over making a triangle. Press the dough together firmly then flatten the edge with the tines of a fork. Stick the fork into the top of the dough 3 times to allow the steam to escape while baking. Place the triangles on the prepared baking sheets, brush with melted butter and sprinkle a little coarse salt on top.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the crusts are starting to brown. Let cool and serve.
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