Further Proof that God Loves Us: Gluten-Free Spanakopita

10 Feb

Years and years ago, I watched this video of someone making gluten-free phyllo dough–truly, God’s work. Despite how easy he makes it look in the video, I have neither the patience nor the pastry skills required to roll out that dough into fine sheets and usually end up with a doughy mess.

Enter Emily, of Goldilocks Goodies. I first met Emily through a mutual friend at a birthday party, and later ran into her at an awesome gluten-free happy hour she organized for local businesses. The point here is that Emily is not only a giant in the local gluten-free scene; she’s also a big supporter of other women entrepreneurs, and that is just awesome.

ANYWAY, back to the life-changing product at hand. Right before Christmas, Emily teamed up with Kat from Baklava Couture (another DC-area woman who’s work is as awesome as it is enviable) to make gluten-free baklava, which earned enthusiastic approval from ChampagneOnlyKef. This got my little wheels turning, and I asked Emily if she would sell me a batch of gluten-free phyllo. Because she is the loveliest woman alive, she had a batch ready for me within a couple days.

For the first few days after I picked up the dough, I would just open the refrigerator and bask in the knowledge that I was staring at my heart’s fondest dream. I finally took this baby for a spin last night, and I am so excited to share the results!

photo(3) This dough is awesome. Though It is not the paper-thin phyllo gluten-eaters know and love, and doesn’t quite produce the signature flakiness of spanakopita, Emily has gotten us as close as humanly possible. I am sure of that. Eaten immediately from the oven, it has almost the taste/texture of very thin puff pastry dough (which is also really delicious but not really in the style of spanakopita). However, eaten the next morning it has EXACTLY the texture of next-morning spanakopita!

!!! !!! !!!! REAL NEXT-MORNING SPANAKOPITA GOODNESS !! !!! !!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I knew had to use emojis, I would totally add some Greek woman doing backflips to all that overpunctuation.  Seriously–those of you who have a 90-year-old Aunt Stella who cooks enough for an army every time you visit know all about the morning race to the breakfast table to snag the last piece of leftover spanakopita. And if you don’t, well… now you have a thirty-something Aunt Emily who can help simulate that experience. Thank you, Emily!

Gluten-Free Spanakopita


  • 4-5 sheets of gluten-free phyllo dough from Goldilocks Goodies
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 leek (white part only), minced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4-5 c fresh spinach
  • 4-5 oz feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 c cooked rice


1. Preheat oven to 425F. Use olive oil to lightly grease a small casserole dish (I used a 10×6 glass one, or you could use more than one piece of dough for a layer to fit the dish you have) In a deep pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until fragrant. Add garlic and leeks and saute 2-3 more minutes, until mixture is tender.

2. Add lemon zest and juice. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Remove from heat. Add feta and stir until well combined.

3. Pour mixture into colander or strainer and press out as much liquid as possible.

4. Carefully place your first piece of dough in the pan. Put about a quarter of the spinach mixture on top of the dough and all of the rice. Spread evenly. Repeat for another 2-3 layers (just dough and spinach, no more rice). For the top layer, use two pieces of dough on top of each other to finish. Lightly grease the top of the pie with olive oil and slice as desired, going through only about half of the pie’s thickness.

5. Bake at 425 for 17-20 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Definitely let cool to let flavors come together–if possible, refrigerate overnight and enjoy the net day for that awesome leftover spanakopita taste.


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