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Made with crispy layers of phyllo dough and a cheesy spinach filling, this Vegan Spanakopita is the ultimate savory Greek appetizer! We’ll teach you how to make this traditional Greek pie free of animal products with just a few simple ingredients and recipe steps. 

stack of crispy vegan spanakopita on white plate
crispy vegan spanakopita in large baking dish

Tofu is an obvious choice for a delicious plant-based dinner, but have you ever experimented with making appetizers with tofu? Today is the day! We quickly thought of tofu when brainstorming what ingredients to use in a convincing vegan spanakopita recipe.

Spanakopita’s spinach mixture is traditionally made with dairy feta cheese, and some of our favorite homemade vegan cheese recipes are made with a base of tofu: vegan Feta CheeseTofu Ricotta, and this Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip loaded with silken tofu. 

Tofu is essentially a vegan’s best friend, and it’s not letting us down in this Greek Spinach Pie! It’s cheesy, buttery, and flaky, and it’s one of the best vegan phyllo dough recipes for beginners. Serve spanakopita as an easy vegan appetizer, or serve it with a few other Greek finger foods, like pita bread, hummus, marinated olives, and fresh produce, and dig in! 

labeled ingredients for vegan spanakopita on blue board

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Tofu: For the best texture and moisture level in the filling, you’ll need extra-firm tofu. Any softer tofu risks making the spanakopita soggy.  
  • Nutritional yeast: Adds a natural cheesy flavor without dairy. If you are buying nutritional yeast for the first time, it is typically stocked near the spices. Just be sure to pick up nutritional yeast – it is often mistaken for brewer’s or active yeast, but these ingredients differ. 
  • Lemon juice: Brightens and adds a subtle acidity and tanginess that replicates the tanginess in feta cheese
  • Miso paste: Rich in salty, umami flavor, we recommend white miso paste. If you don’t have miso, we’ve heard it can be substituted with additional sea salt. We can’t confirm because we haven’t tried it, but if you’d like, add more salt to taste. It will miss the full-bodied fermented flavor from the miso paste, but it will be similar. 
  • Fresh spinach: We have only tested this vegan spanakopita recipe using fresh baby spinach. You may be able to use frozen spinach, but make sure to defrost, then squeeze out any excess moisture before adding it to the filling. 
  • Aromatics: You’ll need a simple mixture of diced yellow onion, green onions (spring onions), and minced garlic. 
  • Fresh herbs: Traditional versions of this vegan appetizer are made with fresh parsley, fresh dill, and sometimes fresh mint. We chose to use fresh parsley and dill, but if you have fresh mint, feel free to add some! Fresh basil would also be delicious. 

For Assembly 

  • Frozen phyllo dough: Most phyllo dough (filo dough) sold in the freezer section of large chain grocery stores is accidentally vegan. This means it usually won’t say it’s vegan on the packaging, but if you read the ingredients, it is commonly free of any added animal products and, therefore, vegan. Always read the ingredients list, just in case! 
  • Vegan butter: We love Country Crock Plant Butter, but have also had great success baking with Earth Balance. Use your favorite vegan butter sticks. 

Equipment Needed

How to Make Vegan Spanakopita

  1. Press the tofu for 10-15 minutes. You can skip this step if your tofu is in an airtight vacuum-sealed bag. But pressing the tofu will help remove any excess liquid if it is packed in water. If you are unsure how to do this, check out our Tips to Perfectly Press and Prepare Tofu
  2. Process the tofu into a rough paste. Add the pressed tofu to a large cup food processor along with the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, miso paste, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. This combination of ingredients will act as a variation of our vegan feta cheese. Process until a rough paste forms – it’s okay if this mixture is not entirely smooth. Transfer the tofu cheese to a large bowl and set aside. 
  3. Sauté the spinach. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add the spinach in batches and sauté until completely wilted. Transfer the spinach to a colander and set aside to drain and cool. 
  4. Sauté the aromatics. While the spinach cools, cook the aromatics. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the diced yellow onion, green onions, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Sauté until translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool. 
  5. Squeeze the moisture out of the spinach. Working in batches, transfer the spinach to cheesecloth or a lint-free kitchen towel and squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Transfer the strained spinach to a cutting board and roughly chop it into bite-sized pieces. 
  6. Combine the filling ingredients. Add the chopped spinach to the bowl with the tofu mixture, along with the cooked onion mixture. Add the chopped parsley and dill and mix. Taste and season with salt and black pepper, as needed. 

Assemble

  1. Preheat and prep. Preheat the oven to 350 F and brush the bottom and sides of a 9×13″ baking dish with melted vegan butter. 
  2. Layer in the phyllo dough. Lay 2 sheets of phyllo dough in the baking dish and brush with vegan butter. Repeat thrice until there are 8 layers of phyllo dough in the baking dish. 
  3. Add the filling. Transfer the filling to the baking dish. Spread evenly over the layers of phyllo. 
  4. Top with 8 additional layers of phyllo dough. Lay 2 sheets of phyllo dough on top of the filling and brush with melted butter. Repeat three more times until there are 8 layers.
  5. Score the top layer of the pastry. Once the top layers of dough are added and buttered, cut the spanakopita into individual squares halfway through, only cutting through the top 8 layers of phyllo. This makes it easier to cut completely and serve once baked and enhances the appearance of the final baked dish. Additionally, these cuts in the top of the dough allow steam to escape during the baking process, ensuring that the filling does not make the phyllo dough soggy. 
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes. It is ready when the crisp phyllo pastry is golden brown and flaky! 
  7. Cool and serve. Let the spanakopita cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Then, cut the pieces all the way through and enjoy! 
spatula holding crispy vegan spanakopita slice over large baking dish

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this recipe into vegan spanakopita triangles?

We have not tested a vegan version of spanakopita triangles and cannot recommend it at this time. We think you’ll love this fuss-free method of vegan spinach pie because it requires less prep time yet packs the same flavor! 

What can I make with the remaining sheets of phyllo dough?

If you have leftover phyllo dough, use it to make our Vegan Baklava

Can I replace the layers of crispy phyllo dough with puff pastry sheets?

Although somewhat similar, puff pastry sheets are not a good substitute for phyllo dough and are not recommended. If you only have access to puff pastry sheets, we recommend giving one of our puff pastry recipes a try: Asparagus & Cream Cheese Puff PastryVegan Puerto Rican QuesitosSavory Pumpkin Hand Pies, or this Vegan Pot Pie with Puff Pastry!

horizontal photo of crispy vegan spanakopita in large baking dish with spatula

Serving Suggestions 

Traditional spanakopita is often served warm or room temperature as an appetizer or side dish. It can also be served as a delicious vegetarian main course alongside your favorite roasted vegetables or green salad

We love to serve spanakopita during the holiday season, particular for Christmas or Easter. It’s a great addition to a vegetarian mezze platter or Mediterranean board and pairs beautifully with our Homemade PitaBaked FalafelVegan Feta Cheese, crisp vegetables and fruits, and a few types of hummus. Try our Classic HummusLentil Hummus, or Pesto Hummus

Storage Instructions

Leftover spanakopita will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To preserve the freshness, tightly cover the baking dish with plastic wrap (or a similar reusable wrap) or transfer the leftover appetizer to an airtight container. 

Reheat in the toaster or conventional oven heated to 350F for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through again. Leftovers can also be microwaved, but the flaky phyllo dough will not be crispy. 

Helpful Tips

  • Keep your phyllo sheets moist. These delicate pastry sheets are easy to rip. Keeping the phyllo sheets covered with a damp kitchen towel is helpful. This keeps them moist and less likely to tear. 
  • Make sure you properly drain and squeeze the moisture out of the spinach. If you rush this step, the excess water in the spinach will make the filling too watery. 
  • Rest before serving. The longer the spanakopita rests, the easier it is to slice into clean squares.

More Mediterranean-Inspired Recipes You May enjoy:

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you make this recipe. We love to see your photos! 

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stack of crispy vegan spanakopita on white plate

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe


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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Made with crispy layers of phyllo dough and a cheesy spinach filling, this Vegan Spanakopita is the ultimate savory Greek appetizer! With just a few simple ingredients and recipe steps, we’ll teach you how to make this traditional Greek pie free of animal products.


Ingredients

Filling:

  • 1 block (14 oz) extra-firm tofu
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 30 oz spinach
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dill, chopped
  • Black pepper, to taste

Assembly:

  • 16 sheets phyllo dough
  • ½ cup vegan butter, melted

Equipment:


Instructions

  1. Press the tofu for 10-15 minutes. If your tofu is in an airtight vacuum-sealed bag, you can skip this step. But pressing the tofu will help remove any excess liquid if it is packed in water. If you are unsure how to do this, check out our Tips to Perfectly Press and Prepare Tofu.
  2. Process the tofu into a rough paste. Add the pressed tofu to a large cup food processor along with the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, miso paste, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. This combination of ingredients will be a variation of our vegan feta cheese. Process until a rough paste forms – it’s okay if this mixture is not entirely smooth. Transfer the tofu cheese to a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Sauté the spinach. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add the spinach in batches and sauté until completely wilted. Transfer the spinach to a colander and set aside to drain and cool.
  4. Sauté the aromatics. While the spinach cools, cook the aromatics. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the diced yellow onion, green onions, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Sauté until translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool.
  5. Squeeze the moisture out of the spinach. Working in batches, transfer the spinach to a cheesecloth or lint-free kitchen towel and squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Transfer the strained spinach to a cutting board and roughly chop it into bite-sized pieces. Discard the liquid.
  6. Combine the filling ingredients. Add the chopped spinach to the bowl with the tofu mixture, along with the cooked onion mixture. Add the chopped parsley and dill and mix. Taste and season with salt and black pepper, as needed.
  7. Preheat and prep. Preheat the oven to 350 F and brush the bottom and sides of a 9×13″ baking dish with melted vegan butter.
  8. Layer in the phyllo dough. Lay 2 sheets of phyllo dough in the baking dish and brush with vegan butter. Repeat thrice until there are 8 layers of phyllo dough in the baking dish.
  9. Add the filling. Transfer the filling to the baking dish. Spread evenly over the layers of phyllo.
  10. Top with 8 additional layers of phyllo dough. Lay 2 sheets of phyllo dough on top of the filling and brush with melted butter. Repeat three more times until there are 8 layers.
  11. Score the top layer of the pastry. Once the top layers of dough are added and buttered, cut the spanakopita into individual squares halfway through, only cutting through the top 8 layers of phyllo. This makes it easier to cut completely and serve once baked and enhances the appearance of the final baked dish. Additionally, these cuts in the top of the dough allow steam to escape during the baking process, ensuring that the filling does not make the phyllo dough soggy.
  12. Bake for 40-50 minutes. It is ready when the crisp phyllo pastry is golden brown and flaky!
  13. Cool and serve. Let the spanakopita cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Then, cut the pieces all the way through and enjoy!

Notes

  • Storage: Leftover spanakopita will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To preserve the freshness, tightly cover the baking dish with plastic wrap (or a similar reusable wrap) or transfer the leftover appetizer to an airtight container. 
  • Reheating: Reheat in the toaster or conventional oven heated to 350F for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through again. Leftovers can also be microwaved, but the flaky phyllo dough will not be crispy.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop and Oven
  • Cuisine: Greek

Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

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