This 5 ingredient Spanakopita or cheese and spinach pie came about by pure, serendipitous accident from random things that I had in the fridge! Cheese and spinach are an undoubtedly winning combination and you can make this easy spanakopita using frozen pastry, tasty cheese, spinach and vegetables. This has no eggs and onion and is just five ingredients!
Full disclosure Dear Reader, if you want an Authentic Greek Spanakopita then this is the recipe you want to follow. This is an inauthentic cheese and spinach pie. I always thought that you needed to use feta or another type of cheese for spanakopita but this is a basic cheese and spinach made using tasty cheese. Yup that's right, the old faithful block of tasty cheese.
I had a bag of baby spinach that I had shoved in the freezer (it was made the week that we were going to auctions and my stress levels were sky high and I couldn't deal with rapidly ageing spinach). I had some kohlrabi that I had just boiled in chicken stock and hollowed out and stuffed for this recipe and I had some tasty cheese that was threatening to become blue cheese. I also had some dough that in my genius moments, had forgotten to add yeast to (see highly stressed auction week). I even had a pan of tomato sauce from the stuffed zucchini that I thought I'd brush over at the end just because.
I know that this recipe has some random ingredients in it but it actually came about when I was not expecting much of anything. Note: if you don't have kohlrabi you can substitute the same weight with turnip, stems of broccoli, celeriac or radish. Don't get too caught up in being exact with the ingredients as it all tends to work out in the end because the cheese and garlic does its thing. Where would we be without cheese and garlic? In a very sad place I suspect.
To deal with all of these random ingredients I decided to make Mr NQN a cheese and spinach pie with very few expectations. I was so happy with how it looked and it turned out to be so delicious that he asked for it every day and then asked me to make it again. It heats up and freezes like a dream and I've since made it with shortcrust pastry, puff pastry, cheese pastry and this dough and nobody shows any sign of being sick of it. The dough recipe below almost tastes like pasta and I kind of love that.
And sometimes, just sometimes, being stressed works out!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever end up making really tasty things out of leftovers that ends up being part of your cooking repertoire? Do you always have a block of tasty cheese in the fridge? And does being stressed work out for you at times?
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5 Ingredient Cheese Spinach Pie
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 3 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 150g/5ozs. kohlrabi, peeled and cubed
- 70g/2.5ozs. baby spinach
- 150g/5ozs. tasty cheese, shredded
- 2 fat garlic cloves, peeled
- 30g/1oz. zucchini
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Dough (see recipe below), you can also use 2.5 sheets of frozen puff or shortcrust pastry
- 2 tablespoons pasta sauce (optional)
- 275g/9.7ozs. plain or bread flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 150ml/5flozs. warm milk or water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
Note: I normally double this recipe and make the filling and then either make 2 pies or freeze half of the filling and use it when I have pastry.
Step 1 - Make the dough by kneading the flour, sugar, milk or water, oil and salt together until elastic (around 5 mintues in a mixer or 8-10 minutes by hand). Cover and rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
Step 2 - Spray a 30cm/12inch round tin or pizza tray with oil and preheat oven to 200C/400F. Put a pot of water onto boil and add 1 teaspoon chicken stock powder. Add the kohlrabi pieces and cook until soft. Add the baby spinach leaves and cook for about 15 seconds until soft and then drain these and press out excess water. Process the spinach, kohlrabi, cheese, garlic, zucchini and salt until a paste forms.
Leaving a border around the edge to help seal up the logs
Forming a coil
Step 3 - Cut the dough into four pieces and roll out 2 rectangles around 40x30cms/16x12inches in size. Spread with the spinach and cheese paste leaving a small border to roll up at the end and roll up into a log sealing the ends. Start forming a coil in the centre of the tray and repeat with the remaining logs until you almost fill the tray. Brush with pasta sauce and bake for 30 minutes until golden and baked through. Cool and cut into slices.