Spinach and Feta Turnovers


My favorite thing about traveling is the food. And of all the places I’ve traveled, I love the food in Greece the best. I really don’t know much about Greek food except that I have loved everything I’ve ever tasted. I don’t even have any Greek cookbooks (I really need to do something about that!). But I do occasionally create “Greek-inspired” dishes and snacks.

This “Greek-inspired” snack came about because I’ve never baked with phyllo (filo) sheets before and I decided it was about time I try! I bought the phyllo last week and it has been sitting in my freezer since. What finally spurred me on was a recipe over at La Tartine Gourmande. The recipe Bea used was pretty different than the one I ultimately used but as soon as I get my hands on some goat cheese and fresh mint, I plan to try the Feta and Mint Cigarettes. What I had on hand was frozen spinach and feta cheese so that became the base of my filling and I’ve found that you really can’t go wrong with spinach and feta!

It will probably be a while before I attempt some baklava but these Spinach-Feta Turnovers were pretty easy to put together, even for a phyllo virgin. The worst thing that happened was I tried to unroll the sheets before they had completely defrosted and accidentally broke about three inches of the end of the stacked sheets. To keep the sheets from drying out, I covered them with a paper towel and then spritzed it with water occasionally to keep it damp. It worked pretty well and that way I didn’t have to dampen one of my big kitchen towels.


Well here’s the recipe I used for these yummy, flaky, spinach-feta treats:
Spinach and Feta Turnovers

1/2 onion, chopped
1 T. butter
2 small cloves of garlic, chopped
1 package frozen chopped spinach, drained and squeezed dry
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
dash of fresh-grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of salt
20 sheets store-bought phyllo dough
1/2 C. butter, melted

1. In a small skillet, saute onion in butter over medium heat until soft. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds and then remove from heat.
2. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, feta, egg, onion and garlic, nutmeg, pepper and salt. Stir until well combined. Set aside.
3. Remove one sheet of phyllo from stack (cover the remaining sheets with a damp cloth to keep from drying out) and lay it on a work surface. Brush entire sheet with a thin layer of melted butter. Place another sheet on top, brush with butter and repeat two more times (you will have four sheets stacked with a layer of butter on the top sheet). Cut this stack in half lenghwise with a knife.
4. You now have two long rectangles of phyllo in front of you. Place about 2 Tablespoonfuls of filling on the bottom right side of one of the rectangles. Fold the bottom left corner up and over the filling so that the bottom edge is now even with the right side. Continue folding up and over until you end up with a triangle. Brush triangle with melted butter and place on a baking sheet.
5. Repeat this procedure with the other phyllo rectangle.
6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have 10 triangles on your baking sheet.
7. Place baking sheet in preheated 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Cool on wire rack and eat either warm or at room temperature.
9. Enjoy!

Yield: 10 turnovers

Note: These can also be made as bite-size appetizers. Proceed with the recipe as directed except instead of cutting the stacks of phyllo in half lengthwise, cut them crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Use only one spoonful of filling for each strip and roll up just as directed for the larger ones. You will end up with 20 small turnovers, perfect for a party!

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  1. Connie

    it’s been so long since I’ve used phyllo and yet its so fun! you’ve done a great job here, they seem like wonderful appetizer like treats. and get yourself a Greek cookbook! you’ll be eating great for weeks!

    7:13 pm  Aug 23rd, 2006
  2. rachel

    I love anything with spinach!

    9:55 pm  Aug 23rd, 2006
  3. Bea at La Tartine Gourmande

    They look very well done! For a first time, you did absolutely great!

    10:56 pm  Aug 23rd, 2006
  4. utenzi

    With feta and phyllo in a recipe, it’s hard to go wrong. These look very yummy.

    2:34 pm  Aug 24th, 2006
  5. bloglily

    Wow. Those look really tasty. I’ve always been a little afraid of filo. Your instructions are clear and calming and make me want to get over my filophobia. xxoo, BL

    4:12 am  Aug 25th, 2006
  6. Helen

    ohh what a daun way to break into the filo pastry! They look and sounds very yummy!

    6:56 am  Aug 25th, 2006
  7. Susan in Italy

    Hi Nicole, great job! You left a kind comment on my blog and I just got back from vacation in Greece (!) to read it. Spanakopita is so delicious and I can only imagine ow good feta, mint cigarettes must be. Do tell when you try it.

    4:40 pm  Aug 25th, 2006
  8. Cate O'Malley

    Those turnovers look delicious.

    2:34 am  Aug 26th, 2006
  9. Cynthia Earle

    I made these last night. Wow! This is one of the most perfect recipes I have ever found online! The ingredients are exact and soooo delicious! I ended up with nothing leftover and nothing that needed to to be “stretched”. Assembly took a little while, but totally beautiful and perfectly golden little turnovers were the reward. Thank you so much for this great recipe!

    12:58 pm  Sep 18th, 2006
  10. pauline

    Hi Nicole – I found your blog address in my morning Sacramento Bee newspaper. I live in Citrus Heights, CA. Love to cook and bake but love to eat even more!! I am a widow living alone near my sister and brother-in-law so use them as guinea pigs for all the new things I make.

    8:56 pm  May 16th, 2007
  11. Peter

    Nicole, being Greek, I can suggest to you some “tweaking” of your recipe & your own your way to having it truly Greek!

    2:30 pm  Jun 6th, 2007
  12. Dalidigger

    Good stuff—first tim cooking with Phylo but overall turned out great–edible!

    3:46 pm  Jan 14th, 2008
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  14. Karen Santana

    This sounds very good and looks scrumptious. Great for a first timer!

    9:17 am  Aug 28th, 2009
  15. Kim P

    These were delicious. A little time consuming but it didn’t take me long once I got the hang of it. Will definitely make again.

    6:07 pm  Nov 10th, 2011
  16. Sharron

    This looks great I think I will add some shredded chicken to it and make it a meal

    12:32 am  Sep 17th, 2012
  17. Lisa

    Try this time saver and lighter on calories… Spray each sheet with a butter spray ie like a PAM spray, instead of melted butter. Quick, easy, less mess and works great!!!

    1:32 pm  Jan 15th, 2013
  18. Anne

    Could these be made with a different cheese other than feta?

    5:13 pm  Jun 1st, 2013
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  21. Rebecca

    I have never used filo before but it really wasn’t that hard. Next time I will discard the top sheet of dough, now that I know what it is supposed to look like. I was heavy handed with the filling-I only got 6 turnovers. I didn’t measure, just used what looked like a good ratio of filling to filo. They smell fantastic in the oven and I can’t wait to try one!

    3:16 pm  May 17th, 2015
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