A delicious and light recipe for vegan spanakopita. My take on the traditional Greek spinach and filo pie uses tofu in place of cheese and is packed full of fresh herbs.
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What is spanakopita?
It’s a traditional Greek pie made with:
- filo (sometimes spelt phyllo) pastry
- feta cheese
- eggs, and
- plenty of fresh herbs.
I’ve also seen recipes that include ricotta. The herbs used can vary as well but usually include dill and mint.
How have I veganised this dish?
This recipe for vegan spanakopita uses silken tofu in place of the cheese and egg but don’t think for a second that this means that you lose out on flavour.
The tofu is prepared with garlic, lemon juice and nutritional yeast to give it maximum taste.
Nutritional yeast* is a great ingredient for vegans. It’s a deactivated yeast that’s said to add a nutty or cheesy taste to food. When you open the packet you would be forgiven to think that it looks like sawdust but try not to let that put you off! It’s a good source of B vitamins. If you don’t have any you can leave it out of this recipe but I think it’s a worthwhile addition to your vegan pantry.
There is actually a traditional vegan version of spanakopita that is served during Lent (the Christian fast before Easter) which just uses the spinach, onions and herbs but no eggs and cheese. However, I prefer this version and I hope that you love it too if you try it!
More vegan Greek recipes
Check out these 30 vegan packed lunch ideas.
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How to make vegan spanakopita
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A delicious and light recipe for vegan spanakopita. This take on the traditional Greek spinach and filo pie uses tofu in place of cheese and is packed full of fresh herbs.
- 6 sheets filo pastry
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For the spinach
- 500 g fresh spinach
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 leek finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- large handful fresh parsley, dill or mint or a mixture
- 2 spring onions finely sliced
- zest of one lemon
- 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
For the tofu
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 350 g pack of silken tofu
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, optional
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (fan)/220°C/gas mark 7.
Place the spinach in a large pan with a dash of water and heat over a low-medium heat until wilted. You may need to add it in stages. Stir frequently so that it doesn't stick.
When all the spinach has wilted place it in a colander and leave it to drain and cool for a few minutes. Then place some sheets of kitchen towel on a board and spread the spinach over it. Cover the top with more kitchen towel and leave it to dry out while you get on with the rest of the recipe.
Heat the olive oil in a pan (you can use the same one you wilted the spinach in to save on washing up). Add the onion and leek and fry until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes then set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the garlic and cook for a minute before adding the silken tofu, the lemon juice and the nutritional yeast. Break down the tofu with a wooden spoon and cook for a further minute or two. Set aside.
Return to the spinach. If it's fairly dry go ahead and chop it up. If it's still quite wet then use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible. Finely chop and place in a mixing bowl.
Add the leek and onion mixture to the spinach along with the freshly chopped herbs, the spring onion, the lemon zest and the nutmeg. Finally add the tofu and mix everything well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Grease a 20cm round pie dish with olive oil. Uncover your filo pastry and remove one sheet. Place the rest underneath a clean tea towel while you work so it doesn't dry out. Place the sheet of pastry in the pie dish so that half of it is in the centre and half is hanging out. Brush it with oil then lay another sheet next to it so that it is is partially overlapping. Brush this with oil and repeat with the remaining sheets - it should look a bit like the spokes in a wheel.
Pour in the filling then fold over the filo pastry that is hanging over the sides - do the last one you added first. Brush the top of each with oil once folded.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature with plenty of salad.
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