Chicken Spanakopita with Greek Feta Potatoes
I love Spanakopita, the Greeks really know what’s up when it comes to flavor and texture with that crispy pillow of spinach and cheese, but for me, it’s just not dinner. While we often eat meatless Monday, we're carnivores in my house, we need meat, all the proteins and if we can find a way to combine our favorite things WITH meat it’s a good day. I used filo dough but puff pastry or even plain old pie crust could be substituted in this recipe easily depending on availability and how easy and quick you want to cook dinner! You can also use shredded pre cooked rotissierie chicken in place of cooking your own and just fold it into the spinach mixture. Steam in bag potatoes come in clutch for a side dish with this one by adding a simple Greek touch! This recipe is simple enough that you won’t even need the Windex!
2 bags Dole baby spinach, sautéed, and squeezed dry (you can use frozen spinach too, make sure to squeeze it dry!)
6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1 lemon, zested
1 small onion, minced, and sautéed
2 cloves garlic, minced, and sautéed
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp. dill, chopped (optional)
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into cubes or rotisserie chicken meat
Salt and Pepper to taste
1⁄2 stick of butter, melted
8 ounces packages Filo dough, thawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sautee the spinach with the garlic and onion in a large pan. Pour into a strainer and press with a spoon to drain the water out of it.
In the same sauté pan begin to cook the chicken until all sides begin to brown but the chicken is not 100% cooked inside, about five minutes. In a large mixing bowl combine sautéed and dried spinach mixture with the cottage cheese, feta, dill, lemon zest, and eggs and stir to combine. Add the chicken and season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and fold together.
On a baking sheet lay out 2 sheets of filo dough and brush them with butter, add two more sheets and repeat one more time. Place about 1/3 of a cup of the spinach mixture in the filo and roll them up. Brush the tops with butter. Repeat until you are out of filo and spinach mixture. I liked making individual portions so that I could use them easily for lunch for the week but you could also do this in a baking dish line the bottom and top with the Filo and fill the inside with the spinach mixture, whatever works best for you.
Bake until the Filo is golden brown, approximately 20 to 30 minutes, remove from the oven and let cool about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
I served this with very simple Greek style potatoes. Simply use a bag of Simply potatoes, steam them before you begin cooking so that once the pies go in the oven they have cooled a bit. Slice them in half and drizzle with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, dried or fresh oregano and the zest of a lemon. Bake on a baking sheet lined with foil while the spinach pie bakes. When the spinach pie comes out, remove the potatoes from the oven and toss with some crumbled feta cheese, and the juice of a lemon. An easy side dish that you can jazz up as much or as little as you like. No extra feta? Leave it out! Have parmesan cheese instead? Use that. A simple side salad would also make an excellent accompaniment, want to make it “Greek” throw some Kalamata olives, stuffed grape leaves or pepperoncini peppers on it with some feta cheese!
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