Recipe Difficulty: Medium
Fresh Start Fauxmage
shop organic sesame seeds
What is Spanakopita?
Spanakopita is a Greek savory pastry made with phyllo dough and filled with a mixture of chopped spinach, feta cheese, and onions. The filling is typically seasoned with dill, parsley, and other herbs and spices. It is easily veganized using vegan butter and vegan feta. The pastry is then baked until the phyllo dough becomes crispy and golden brown.
Spanakopita is a popular appetizer or snack in Greece and is often served at celebrations and special occasions. It can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature and is often served with a side of yogurt or tzatziki.
My Vegan Spanakopita Recipe Notes
These vegan spanakopita are so freaking delicious. I teamed up with Fresh Start Fauxmage to develop this recipe. Often times you will find feta in spanakopita, but I opted to use their creamy herb cheese instead. It has flavours of lemon and dill and works perfectly here. These spanakopita are simple and let me tell you.... addictively good. Crispy flaky phyllo, and a bright, creamy filling with Fauxmage, spinach, garlic, red onion & lemon zest. I can't get enough.
I love these for a simple meal with a salad, or as something to serve along with other munchies. You can pop them in the freezer for another time. (Just freeze flat on parchment, then transfer to another container), or make a head and refrigerate until ready to bake. (I made mine a couple days ahead, I put them on a parchment lined baking sheet and covered the whole thing with saran wrap.) Cooking times will be a bit longer if refrigerated/frozen, but just keep an eye on them. They are ready when crisp and you can hear the sound of the filling bubbling a bit. I flip them over halfway for even baking.
Sesame seeds aren't in the recipe, but it was a last-minute addition that I find really delicious and work well with the flavour profile of spanakopita. I just sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds on them after baking. They don't stick super well but unless you're trying to eat and do cartwheels at the same time you can make it work. Next time I will try adding them before baking when I brush the tops with melted butter.
My suggestion is don't over stuff the spanakopita triangles. The recipe yield is 28. I made them once and got 20 bundles, and I wished I put less filling, they were still insanely delicious, but I think the right ratio of flaky pastry to filling is to try and get more than the 20.
Using other vegan cheese in your Spanakopita
While I haven't tested this recipe using another type of vegan cheese, I definitely wouldn't hesitate to do so if I couldn't get my hands on Fresh Start Fauxmage Creamy Herb Cheese. Find a vegan feta that you generally like the taste of. Then, use it instead of the creamy herb that I use. (you can adjust the amount if necessary) Add fresh dill, maybe some parsley and perhaps a squeeze of lemon if you think it needs it. (the cheese I use has a bit of brightness to begin with, then I also add lemon zest.) The mixture is cooked so just give it a taste and adjust as necessary. If it tastes rich with a bit of brightness, I think you will have delicious vegan spanakopita to eat in no time.
Freezing my Vegan Spanakopita
These spanakopita freeze really well and are a great thing to have on hand for impromptu appetizers or an easy meal with a salad. Simply freeze them flat on parchment, then once frozen transfer to a bag and store in freezer until you're ready to eat them. I bake them from frozen, following the normal baking instructions except you'll probably have to bake them a bit longer on each side. If you are unsure you can just cut one open, but I find I can tell just by taking a look. They will be crispy on the outside and hot in the middle.
Hey! I'm Trisha