My delicious Greek Spanakopita-inspired Spinach Tart will bring a smile. Eat hot or cold for an easy mid-week meal, brunch, lunch or to take on a picnic. Make it round for a Spanakopita Galette. And if you’re Coeliac (like me) make it with gluten free pastry too.
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First published 15th June 2017… Updated 20th January 2023
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Spanakopita or Spinach Tart – An easy Greek Pie
My Spinach Tart was originally posted on the blog back in 2015 as a gluten free ‘Spanakopita Galette’. And it has remained one of my favourite tarts ever since because it’s super-delicious… Stuffed with freshly-wilted iron-rich spinach, leek, red onion, aromatic garlic, sharp Feta cheese and a sprinkling of pungent oregano, it always leaves me with a smile.
The pastry is turned up and over the edge of the luscious green filling, so it’s both simple to make and tempting to the eye. It’s a tart that says ‘dig in and I’ll make you happy’.
With nostalgia for travel to Greece, my Spinach Tart is deeply inspired by memories of many happy Spanakopita pies. If you have never heard of or eaten Spanakopita before, then you seriously need to try it. But while the ease of grabbing Spanakopita from a local Greek bakery disappeared with the arrival of Coeliac, my love of the spinach-filled wonder has remained. And with that, my Spinach Pie came to be. After all… being gluten free should NEVER mean missing out!
What is Spanakopita?
Spanakopita is classic Greek magic. It’s the best spinach pie… Iron-rich earthy spinach with sweet onions and/or leek, set against salty, crumbly feta cheese… all encased in crisp, wafer-thin layered filo pastry sheets.
If you’ve visited Greece (as a non-Coeliac), it’s very likely that you’ve grabbed a slice from the local bakeries or street sellers. It’s also probable that it has been devoured on the beach or while visiting antiquities in the hot sun. It’s cheap and filling sustenance.
Sadly, gluten free Spanakopita is a very rare find (not least because traditionally, it relies on filo pastry)… But filo or not, Spanakopita Pie is divine with any gluten free pastry and well worth making at home.
Spinach Tart or Spanakopita Galette… It’s all a matter of shape
As I mentioned above, my original 2015 post was titled Spanakopita Galette… And was made with the then new and very round Jus-Rol gluten free ready-rolled Puff Pastry. I have no idea why they originally made the pastry sheets round. But it did mean that one of the best uses for it was to make galettes.
Superbly rustic in appearance, the galette is of French origin. While it can take many forms (from pancake to pie), it is generally round, with an open top and folded edges. One of my other galettes of the Jus-Rol round era was a divinely simple mid-week gluten free Pizza Galette… It always went down a storm with the kids. But they are also easy to make with shortcrust pastry too… like my amazing Tomato Galette.
Of course, Jus-Rol eventually saw sense and realised that round pastry sheets were rather impractical. And with that, they started producing gluten free rectangles in line with their standard ready-rolled pastries. Thus, my Spanakopita Galette was re-worked into a simple gluten free Spinach Pie. (Although if you still want Spanakopita Galette, it’s easy enough to make your own gluten free pastry (it doesn’t need to be ‘puff’) and roll it round!)
What’s the best pastry to make Spinach Tart?
Which brings us on to consider what pastry is the best pastry to make a Spinach Tart… And indeed, there are many options, whether bought or made and depending on your dietary needs.
Whether or not you are gluten free, there are now a number of ready-made rolled or ready-to-roll pastries available in supermarkets. Some are found in the chiller cabinets and others in the freezer. If you are able to eat wheat and gluten, the choice is huge.
If you are Coeliac and looking for puff pastry, both Jus Rol (in the UK) and Schaer (in the US and many other countries) have gluten free ready-rolled products. And Genius also have a ready-to-roll version.
Or you can make Spinach Tart with homemade pastry. For the Coeliacs and gluten-avoiders among us, my basic Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry works wonderfully. Although my Gluten Free Flaky Shortcrust Pastry with Gram Flour (shared at the bottom of the post just linked) offers extra lightness, if you prefer.
But then again… You can always try your hand at Gluten Free Puff Pastry (if you’re feeling adventurous).
Can I use frozen spinach?
When I make Spinach Tart, I almost always use fresh spinach which I wilt down in a lidded pan with a drop of water.
However…frozen spinach is also good to use too. Use frozen ‘whole leaf spinach’ as this is an open-topped pie and it looks better than the fine chopped, rather mushy variety.
But whether fresh leaves or frozen, be sure to squeeze out as much liquid as possible once wilted, to ensure the pastry remains crisp.
Is this Spinach Tart safe for Coeliacs?
Providing my Spinach Tart is made with gluten free pastry (see above) then yes… it’s safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac). The Spanakopita filling is made with fresh ingredients, none of which contain wheat or gluten.
To make the tart dairy free or vegan, use a vegan/dairy free pastry at the base and sub the cheese and milk wash for diet-safe alternatives.
Top Tips for the best Spanakopita Tart
There are very few tips needed to make a Spanakopita Tart as it’s honestly that easy… However, here are my tokens of wisdom (in case they help)…
- Get ahead with making the Spanakopita fillings as they need to be cold before filling the tart.
- If using ready-rolled or ready-to-roll pastry, take it out of the fridge and let it stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on whether the room is very warm or not). This will make it more malleable and less prone to cracking when it is unwrapped or rolled.
- Make absolutely sure to squeeze excess liquid from the spinach before lining the pie, so that the pastry doesn’t get soggy.
- Let the oven pre-heat to full temperature before the tart goes in (and don’t put the fillings on the pastry until ready to bake!). This too will support a crisp pie.
How to serve Spinach Tart
Spinach Tart can be eaten hot and straight from the oven… or cold! Both are equally delicious. It can be eaten on its own… Or paired with salad or potatoes. I can definitely vouch for a side of baby Hasselback Potatoes.
Spinach Tart is also the perfect sustaining dish to pop in the lunch box, or to take on a Gluten Free Picnic too.
And because it’s savoury and versatile, you may just find that it fits the menu at any time of the day… breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner!
The recipe to make Spinach Tart…
The recipe for my Spinach Tart (or if you prefer a round pie, my Spanakopita Galette) is below. I hope you love it. Do let me know what you think or if you have any further questions. Leave a comment, rate or like the recipe, or message me via social media. Instagram or Facebook (@glutenfreealchemist) are the easiest.
For lots more recipes and gluten free inspiration, head over to our AMAZING Gluten Free Recipe Index. It’s all shared for free!
With my love
More delicious recipes that celebrate spinach
Spinach Tart with Feta (or Spanakopita Galette)
- chopping board
- sharp vegetable knife
- large saucepan
- Rolling Pin If not using ready-rolled pastry
- oven + hob
- 300 g fresh baby spinach or frozen whole leaf spinach
- 2 medium leeks washed, trimmed and finely sliced
- 1 small onion red or white (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tbsp olive oil to sauté
- 120 g Feta cheese crumbled (or dairy free/vegan alternative)
- 1 tsp dried oregano or a few fresh finely chopped oregano leaves
- salt and ground black pepper to season
- 280 to 300 g ready rolled puff pastry (gluten free as required) or alternative pastry (including shortcrust) of choice. See NOTES for shortcrust pastry links.
- milk wash to seal and glaze the pastry (dairy free as required)
Prepare the leek filling first
- In a large saucepan, sauté the sliced leeks and chopped onion in a little olive oil, stirring frequently, until soft, but still pale in colour.
- Add the garlic and a little salt and pepper and sauté a little longer, stirring through thoroughly.
- Set aside to cool completely. If pushed for time, transfer to a bowl and stir frequently to cool more quickly.
Prepare the spinach
- Wilt the spinach by placing in a large saucepan with approx 60 ml simmering water over a low heat for a few minutes.
- Drain in a colander or sieve, pushing down to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set aside to cool completely.
Making the tart
- Pre-heat the oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas 7 (210 C Fan)
- Prepare your chosen pastry by unrolling (ready-rolled) or hand-rolling the pastry into a rectangle approx 38 cm (15 inch) x 25 cm (10 inch). If making a galette, roll into a large roughly round piece. Prepare the pastry on a large piece of baking paper that can be lifted and transferred to the baking tray.
- Transfer the pastry sheet (still on the baking paper) to the baking tray and prepare the tart in situ. (the tart will bake on the paper).
- Pour the cold leek-onion mixture into the centre of the pastry and spread evenly, leaving a clean pastry edge (all round) of approximately 5 cm/2 inches wide.
- Scatter the cold, drained spinach on top and (using hands to avoid snagging the pastry) mix slightly with the leek, making sure you keep the wide pastry rim clear.
- Sprinkle with oregano.
- Top with crumbled Feta.
- Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
- Brush the pastry edge with milk to dampen and roughly fold, crinkle, bunch or roll the edges to form a lip over the sides of the filling. Pinch where necessary to help the pastry stick to itself.
- Glaze the top edge of the pastry with a little milk wash.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp.
- Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a serving plate if eating hot. Or if cooling for lunch boxes etc, transfer to a cooling rack. Eat hot or cold.
© 2019-2024 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist