More than Spanakopita – Hortopita

We love pies. Feta cheese pies are the family favourites but the adults prefer herb pies like spanakopita (spinach pie). This hortopita, i.e. herb pie, a lovely recipe. We usually stuff it with whatever herbs we have wilting away in the fridge as well as some spinach and some leeks. If you stick to mostly spinach and some leeks you can definitely call it spanakopita. But the recipe given below is a great guide.

Ready-made, frozen fillo sheets are super convenient and very tasty. We always have some lying around in the freezer. You can probably pick up lots of different kinds but the thin, village-type ones are ideal for this recipe.

This is a vegan pie, i.e. does not include any egg or cheese. It is also suitable for Greek-Orthodox lent period.

More than Spanakopita – Hortopita

5 from 4 votes
Course: Snacks, Lunch, BreakfastCuisine: Greek


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Traditional yet versatile pie recipe


  • 1 packet traditional, thin, fillo sheets (6 sheets) 1 b

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 leeks, sliced

  • 700 grams leafy green vegetables like spinach, white beet leaves, nettles – usually more than half is spinach in our pies

  • 2-3 scallions, chopped

  • 1/2 bunch dill, chopped

  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint, chopped

  • 1/2 bunch chervil

  • 1/2 bunch fennel leaves

  • 2 tbsp semolina (fine or coarse) or rice

  • 1-2 tbsp salt

  • 3/4 cup olive oil

  • pepper


  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C, 340F.
  • Wash and drain all the greens, herbs and leafy vegetables. Leave in a colander dry for a few minutes.
  • In a pan heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil.
  • Add the onion and leek and saute until soft.
  • Add a pinch of salt, some pepper and leave to the side.
  • Chop and your greens and add them to a large bowl.
  • Add the salt and some pepper. Mix well and leave for a few minutes so that the shed some water and shrink.
  • Drain the excess liquid from the bowl. Add the onion and leek mix, and then the semolina or rice and mix.
  • Add half the remaining olive oil.
  • Open up the fillo box and unfold the fillo sheets.
  • With a brush give your baking tin a coating of olive oil.
  • Place the first fillo sheet in your pan, leaving the excess fillo hang off the edges. Brush with some olive oil. Repeat with the other two sheets. Make sure they do not completely aling. The corners of the edges will form something resembling a star pattern.
  • Emplty the herb mix in the pie.
  • Add the remaining three fillo sheets brushing all of them with olive oil. Turn the edges in.
  • Place the baking sheet at the bottom rung of your oven and let the pie bake for an hour, till the top turns golden brown.
  • Let the pie rest for 5 minutes before you cut into it!


  • You want to cut off teh top, drier parts of your leeks and scallions and remove the top layer or two with the knife so that you keep the fresh, tender parts.
  • If you have a centrifugal bowl that dries salads, dry the greens and herbs well there.
  • The semolina or rice will help absorb the liquids that the herbs will invariably produce while cooking.

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