Spinach and Artichoke Pie

by on April 18, 2006
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I rarely rave about a recipe, or at least I don’t think I do. But I have to rave about this one because it was quite simply the best thing I’ve eaten in a long time. (And that is including decadent deserts, too!)

This was something that was both long in the planning and thrown together at the last minute. I’d been planning to make a spinach pie for days; I’d gotten the phyllo dough out of the freezer on Wednesday, but then I got all bogged down looking at other people’s recipes. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make something similar to the spinach pie we get at our local Middle Eastern restaurant (just spinach, no tofu or feta cheese) or more like a spanakopita, with tofu instead of feta. I looked at several recipes on-line and consulted Vegan with a Vengeance. I even toyed with the idea of using chickpeas instead of tofu (and I may yet try that). After days of indecisiveness, I decided on Saturday to throw away all recipes and just do it–trust my instincts and go it alone.

My instincts told me to add artichoke hearts and Kalamata olives, and I’m glad I did. They, along with the lemon juice, give a salty tang to the filling. My instincts also told me to add pinenuts, but unfortunately I was out of them; the sliced almonds I substituted may have actually been better, with their more substantial crunch.

I used to be worried about working with phyllo dough, but I’ve found the secret is to have everything in position on my workspace before I even get the dough out of the fridge. I spread it out on a moist towel and cover it with another damp towel. I put the 9X13-inch baking dish right in front of the dough, between me and the phyllo, so it’s a short distance to lift the delicate pastry into the baking dish. I have a spray bottle of olive oil ready, and as soon as the the phyllo is in the dish, I spritz it very lightly. I move so quickly on to the next sheet that there’s hardly time, or need, to re-cover the dough.

This turned out to be so good that even E., our resident hater-of-anything-new, loved it. She named it “a different kind of lasagna.” And if E. equates something to lasagna, you know it’s good!

Spinach and Artichoke Pie

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kanchb March 10, 2010 at 12:41 am

I wanted to make an eggless spinach pie using filo and found your blog/recipe site. i made this tonight and my dad, who is a picky eater loved it. The cumin added a great flavor. Thank you!

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2 Anonymous April 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Hi Susan,

I'm new to your site and love what I'm reading. Could you suggest a method to reduce this recipe to serve two? I'm thinking of making it in a 8×8 pan instead, but I'm not sure how to adjust the ingredients.

Any ideas? Thanks!

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3 SusanV April 10, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I think you could just divide the measurements in half and cut the sheets of phyllo to fit your pan. (I would cut the whole stack at once with a sharp knife.) I wouldn't reduce it any further than that. One 8×8-inch panfull is probably just right to feed 2 people and have leftovers for the next day.

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4 Valrie June 30, 2010 at 12:02 pm

This is a great recipe. It provided several “firsts” for me. I had never used phyllo before, and I had never had nutritional yeast or tofu before or Kalamata olives. I was hesitant, but I love spinach and artichokes, and this recipe turned out fantastic — just a little too much for just me, so I will take the suggestion of just making half. Your photographs make everything look so delicious.

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5 Melissa November 7, 2010 at 9:12 am

This was the first recipe I made from this site and it was absolutely fabulous!! I had to leave out the nuts b/c of my son but it was still great!!

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6 SusanV November 7, 2010 at 9:16 am

This is still one of my family’s favorites, too. My husband was talking about it just last night, said I should put it on my blog. I told him it was one of the first recipes I’d posted. :)

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7 Anita W January 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

I made a half-recipe of this last night, but left the garlic the same because I’m a garliholic. I tried it with chickpeas instead of tofu by coarsely processing the chickpeas in my Cuisinart to get a hummus-type paste, but chunky. This was good, but I’m realizing I just put the slivered almonds in there as-is and didn’t crush them. And while I normally like nutritional yeast, it didn’t seem to work for me in this recipe.

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8 Anita February 27, 2011 at 8:15 pm

This looks really delicious. I was wondering if you have a specific brand of oil spray bottle that you can recommend…one that actually sprays a mist, instead of dribbles?? Thanks.

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9 sharron sussman July 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Don’t have phyllo, but I do have lots of everything else. I just made a batch of vegan “feta” and was looking for a home for it when I found this recipe. Gonna mess with it tonight. I like phyllo too but this time it will be a vegan Greek lasagna – bet it’s great!

Your site was the first place I looked, because I know if I find it here it will be wonderful. I’ve been eating/cooking vegan for 15 months now, and may enjoy the cooking even more than the eating! Thanks for all the great ideas…

Sharron

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10 Erica July 5, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Made this today! Super delicious and light. I left out the olives due to personal taste but wow! I know spinach and artichoke go amazing together, but to have a recipe outside of dip for them is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thank you for putting this together for us! I’m in love with your site and ever so thankful for the nutritional info you always provide. I direct every vegan I know to your site. Lovely recipe!

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11 Michelle B October 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Did anyone else feel like the spinach-to-tofu ratio was off? (too little spinach for this amount of tofu). I used 2 packages of fresh baby spinach. Each was labeled 1 lb, but weighed closer to 8 oz. on my kitchen scale. Still, together they were 16 oz, as recommended in the recipe. I think next time I may even double the spinach. That way, it will be mostly spinach with everything else as accent, rather than vice-versa.

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12 Glenda October 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm

This looks DELICIOUS!!
How many servings is the nutritional information based on ? 9 or 12?

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13 SusanV October 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Good question! I just ran the ingredients through my software, and it looks like that is for 9 servings.

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14 Jocelyn March 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I recently found your blog and this is the first recipe I’ve made from it.

I made a few changes. One, the tofu in my freezer was 2 years old and the grocery store I went to didn’t have tofu. So I omitted the tofu and added portobella mushrooms.

The grocery store also didn’t have phyllo so I used puff pastry.

I didn’t feel like paying the price for the kalamata olives so used black instead.

In addition to the spices you listed, I added a little organic no-salt seasoning mix. And I quadrupled the garlic because I can’t get enough of it. Next time, I’ll add more cayenne because I love spicy.

It’s very yummy!

Thanks!

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15 Heidi April 15, 2012 at 8:03 am

I made this last night and we were extremely happy with it! The only change I made was to leave out the cayenne because I can’t tolerate spicy heat and I did use toasted pine nuts- yum! The only thing I would do next time (because I WILL make this again) is to use a bit more phyllo. Thanks for this fabulous and healthy recipe. Can’t wait to try out more recipes!

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16 Tracy April 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Can i make this ahead of time…I have the filling made..want to assemble and then refrigerate for about 2 hours…then bake. What do you think?

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17 Susan Voisin April 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I think it should work. The only thing that concerns me is that it might get a little soggy, but baking should take care of that.

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18 elyse May 8, 2012 at 10:22 am

OH MY. I made this last night and it was a huge hit at my kitchen table. Probably one of the best vegan dishes I’ve ever made. I do a ton of cooking and this is some good stuff! I can’t wait to cook more recipes from you outstanding blog.
Elyse

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19 Susan May 14, 2012 at 1:35 am

This looks wonderful – has anyone tried it without the filo? I can see trying this as a frittata, maybe even over a shredded potato crust – what do you think?

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20 Theresa July 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Should the tofu be pressed?

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21 Susan Voisin July 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm

No, no need to press the tofu.

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22 Theresa July 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Thank you for your speedy reply! I used to love spanakopita when I was a vegetarian (which I haven’t been for almost two years now). I can’t wait to try your Spinach and Artichoke Pie I think it is just what I’ve been looking for. I’ll be making it for dinner tonight.

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23 Leslie Martin October 7, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Susan,

I love your website. I bought my husband the Eat For Health book series by Dr. Fuhrman for Father’s Day and we have been following a very low-fat, low-sodium mostly vegan lifestyle ever since. (We are still eating eggs once or twice a month)

I was wondering if you had any suggestions for substituting the kalamata olives in this recipe for something else. My husband absolutely detests olives. I realize there is a small amount of minced olives in the recipe and chances are he wouldn’t even notice, but I would hate to go through all of the trouble (you know phyllo dough) to make this pie and have him not like it.

I realize I can just leave the olives out, but thought you might have a creative substitute.

Thanks,
Leslie

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24 Susan Voisin October 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Leslie, my best advise it to just leave them out. They just provide a little olive flavor that would normally be provided by olive oil and salt. If your diet allows it, you could just add a touch of salt instead.

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25 AllisonM October 15, 2012 at 7:02 pm

My 7 yo actually devoured this! I almost fell off my chair…most dinners involve him gagging at one point or another. In our prevegan days we used to eat tons of spanokopita from Costco…so this was a familiar friend with a much healthier twist!

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26 hrgdane December 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Just tried this last night and LOVED it!! I went ahead and made it with hummus instead of the tofu and since I’m not a fan of olives, I substituted capers to still give it a salty taste mixed in. My kids were their normal usual picky selves with it, hubby thought it was ok. I think they’re crazy not to love it like I do. I plan on making this a lot (if only just for me).

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27 madelyn miller February 3, 2013 at 12:33 am

found a recipe that uses oat flour. It suggests using a dry attachment for a Vita Mix. I only have a blender so I hoped to figure out a way to subdtitute something. Oat bran?steel cut oatmeal?
Thanks for any suggestions

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28 Susan Voisin February 3, 2013 at 8:11 am

You can probably make oat flour in a regular blender. Just blend up regular rolled oats until powdery.

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29 Kathleen Shepard February 25, 2013 at 8:09 am

Susan, My husband and I read Esselstyn’s book and are now changing our eating habits to low fat, plant based foods. I found your web site and made your corn bread last night…it was amazing. I will be making our meals from your recipes because they are full of flavor .. Thank you so much. Kathy

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30 MaryLou March 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Had some left over phyllo so I tried this recipe. It was great! My husband (can’t-get-enough-meat guy) actually had two servings! Very flavorful. Thanks so much for working on such great recipes. I can always count on you to have something interesting and flavorful. Makes vegan eating so much easier when you know it will taste good.

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31 deborah September 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

can you use no boiling oven ready rice lasagna noodles for celiac issues…. would you add water or ??? thanks i love the spinach tofu combo and add a bunch of basil!

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32 Debra November 25, 2013 at 5:51 am

I made this last night (cut in 1/2 and used a 9×9 pan). It was SO good! You have the BEST recipes!!!!! I’ll be making this one for guests in the future!

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33 Nancy December 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Susan, this was another huge hit. I absolutely love one dish meals that give lots of leftovers and this one fits the bill. Delicious, and easy to make. This is so good that non-vegans would happily devour it. I changed things up a bit, because of picky eaters:
1) I put six kalamata olives in with the tofu and blended it to ensure a super silky, smooth filling (my family will NOT touch tofu chunks), with each and every bite scented with the hypnotic taste of the kalamatas (but so as to be UNDETECTABLE by my olive haters). It worked. they all ate black olive but didn’t know it. The flavor was out of this world.
2) I cut off the ‘tails’ of the artichoke hearts and finely diced the hearts themselves, so, again, the artichoke hearts couldn’t really be detected (and picked out) but their brightness would flow though out the entire casserole, into every bite.
3)I snipped the spinach, so no biteful would have a tail of spinach dragging out of the rest of the food on the plate
4) I used the pine nuts because that’s all I had and they tasted fantastic.
Mine went into a 9×13 dish and worked perfectly. This is a pretty dish to make and if I cut the squares much smaller, I could have easily brought this to a party as a beautiful and delicious appetizer. This is really versatile. Thank you as always. Now off to order some red lentils and panch phoran to make your Cauliflower Dal. Give our sincere gratitude to “E”. Everytime you say she loves your recipe, so do we. I watch closely for E approved dishes!

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34 Livie Leonard December 25, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I tried this out today as a spur of the moment Christmas entree. Thanks so much Susan! Absolutely great recipe. I didn’t have tofu and replaced it with a handful of chickpeas. I added some vegan parmezan to the filling as well. It came out great and everyone loved it!

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35 SONJA NIKEL March 29, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Thanks for this really tasty recipe! I have a 16 year old daughter who decided to go vegan, much to my annoyance, as I’m a cheese loving meat eater and have no intention of changing. I also dislike tofu with a passion. HOWEVER – this recipe is so great that I love it and have made it several times already. And I don’t need to add that of course my daughter loves it too. Thanks again!

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36 Debra August 29, 2014 at 3:15 pm

I see one person asked if this could be made ahead of time and refrigerated until using… do you know if anyone actually tried this & what results they had? I’d like to make it for a dinner party, and just will not have time to do it just prior to baking.

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37 Raquel September 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm

I tried this recipe today for lunch and my entire family loved it! even my picky son.
Thank you for sharing this great recipe.

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