7 min read

Making Spanakopita With Mum

A "hands on" guide to making this famous pie.


I finally get a chance to show off my mum making home made spanakopita!  Watch as she rolls out the fillo pastry and make this iconic Greek pie.

This post is way overdue!

In all the years I’ve been blogging I can’t remember ever featuring my mother in a blog post.  How very Freudian!  Jokes aside, I’m quite proud to present you “Mrs G” rolling out some home made fillo and making a simple home made  spanakopita.

A few years ago she suffered a stroke and I never thought I’d see her in the kitchen again. Through much rehabilitation she is back walking and talking and I have to say a real trooper!  I’m so proud of her!

Getting the pictures was quite a feat!  I had to stand on a variety of chairs whilst my father yelled at me (some things never change!). Greek fathers don’t understand “getting the perfect shot”.  It was a lot of fun and I hope to do this again with some of her other recipes.

Let’s talk about this home made spanakopita recipe.  Again, this was quite a challenge in itself.  My mother is “old school” where weights and measurements are pretty non existent.  Whenever we talk recipes, it’s always “a bit of this”…”a bit of that”…”I think it’s one cup”… She mostly cooks from memory and feel.  You get the idea.

As frustarting as it was I managed to get something. Just be wary that it may need to be tweaked from your end slightly.  The fillo itself is not perfect.  And in a funny way, I’m glad about that.  There is a real skill involved in getting the right consistency with fillo and my mother uses a “plasti” to roll her sheets out.

The “plasti” is very similar to a rolling pin except it’s long and thin and resembles a curtain rod.  If you want your sheets super thin, you could always use a pasta machine to help out with the process.

In these pics my mother likes to roll her sheets out quite large, fill them up and shape them into a coil before cooking them in the “taps”.  This pie is similar to the “traditional” spanakopita but like all recipes it varies. The first time she made it I complained about the lack of herbs so when she made it a second time she included the dill and mint for me!

Anyway, I do hope you like the pics.

Enjoy your wekend and I’ll see you all next week.


Scroll down for the recipe.

5 from 1 reviews
Home Made Spanakopita Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is the real deal. Home made spanakopita crafted by my very own mother. You can't get more traditional than that.
Cuisine: Greek
Serves: 3
Home Made Fillo:
  • 3 cups plain flour plus extra for dusting
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 cup water plus extra to bring the dough together

For the filling:
  • 1kg English spinach, washed and stems removed
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 250g feta cheese
  • 100g ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch white pepper
  • ½ tbsp chopped dill
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  1. Place the flour in a large bowl and add the olive oil. Rub the olive oil through the flour until it is fully incorporated. Add the salt, sugar and enough water to form a dough.
  2. Knead the dough on a large floured surface for ten minutes until soft and elastic. Place it back into a large bowl, cover and allow to rest for ten minutes.
  3. Place the spinach leaves into a colander and sprinkle over the salt. Allow the spinach to rest for ten minutes. Squeeze excess water from spinach using your hands. Place the spinach in a new bowl along with the feta, ricotta, pepper, eggs and herbs. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  4. To make one coil or “snake” divide the dough into 3 pieces. Place one piece of dough onto a well floured surface. Using your “plasti” or wooden curtain rod proceed to roll the dough to form a circle. Continue rolling ensuring there is enough flour between each roll. You should end up with one large thin piece of fillo.
  5. Drizzle a little olive oil over the newly rolled fillo sheet and place ⅓ of the spinach mixture at the bottom end of the fillo sheet leaving a few cms from the border. Roll the fillo up gently ensuring it is shaped like a coil and place into a well greased round baking dish. Repeat with the remaing fillo sheets and filling. Brush a generous amount of olive oil over the pita and bake in preheated 200 deg C oven for 45 mins until golden. Allow to rest for 10 mins. before slicing and serving.

  • Liz Posmyk

    Bless! You are so lucky to have your mum with you to share recipes, Peter. Enjoy this. A lovely recipe, thank you for sharing it, and for the warm introduction to your beautiful mum. x

  • Monique Centrone Stefani

    Great that you got these photos after her recovery. This post was moving. You photos did justice to her hands and her hard work, rolling out the thinnest fillo I’ve ever seen made by hand!! And she included the dill and mint for you the second time – how special. It all makes me think that the word philos/ia – one word for love in Greek – must be related to the word for the dough – filo. I don’t believe they are related (filo=leaf) but you both make it true in these photos. Cheers.

    • Roelline Bint Nicolaas

      I so agree with Monique Centrone Stefani about your moms work… the photo’s speak of warm love for her. Well done

  • Ivana Petrovic

    Thanks for sharing! It’s like I’m watching my granny <3

  • Maya Abramsky Chulpaev

    Peter, what a wonderful and moving post!! I wish your mother many healthy years, so that the two of you can cook together 🙂

  • Rosa

    Wonderful! A lovely lady.

    Spanakopita is ever so scrumptious, especially when it’s made with homemade filo dough.



  • My favourite post ever. I know you’ve been all over the world and seen a lot of things but seeing Mama in the kitchen making dough is just the best.

  • Love this post! Looks like a very fun dish to make, and delicious too 🙂

  • A beautiful post. I have had a similar experience making pita with my mum and yiayia and it’s the most precious recipe and memory I own. I’ve only ever made it in a traditional rectangle though so am keen to trial the snail!

  • Milton

    Best post ever Peter. Your mum looks great, the photos are gorgeous !

  • ironchefshellie

    Simply gorgeous <3

  • Your photos add so much life to your recipes. This one is so special! Cooking with Mum is something to be cherished 🙂

  • Penny

    Loved the post! Makes me remember cooking with my mother when I was a kid, and never really appreciated it until she was gone. You are lucky to still have your mother: get as many photos and recipes from her as possible. These photos are a treasure (for you…and all your followers!

  • Andrea Crane

    Ive never seen it rolled like this…. Very neat.

  • Tony Antoniou

    Peter these pics are priceless!

  • Wow, special, especially after a couple of no doubt tough years, looks delicious too, and warming. And she rolls the filo so thin… !

  • Antonia

    Love this! Made me miss my yiayia and her home cooking

  • Trigona

    A beautiful article with such wonderful photos. Makes it a must to photograph your mother doing more cooking.

  • Alison Borgas

    Love it! She looks so frail, but I bet it was delish! 😉 Thanks for sharing. 😉

  • Tutti Dolci

    I love the photos, this post is such a treasure!

  • Debora Troni

    Such a great post. I love your pictures and your mother dexterity with that rolling pin. Fillo pastry is something I can’t find here in Italy where I live, and I have to make it myself with mixed results….
    I’ll try this recipe and celebrate all cooking mother of the world, yours and mine included! ^_^

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    Firstly Peter, you’re complaining to your mother about her cooking? Lacking in herbs? Me smacks you one on her behalf! Secondly, I would have paid good money to have been in the kitchen when you were taking photos, sounds hilarious. Loved this post, thank you for sharing, recipe and story are heart warming. (PS, I do agree more herbs the better ;p )

  • gingerway

    Love this post! Mama is fantastic!!

  • I found myself smiling and happy while reading this post. Not only is the filo perfect but there is so much character in the way your mother is rolling it. Your photographs do justice.

  • Catherine Neary

    Love this ty! May your mom and you have many more years cooking together.. God Bless