This Chicken Spinach Filo Pie is delicious and easy to make. Easily customizable to use up different leftovers in the fridge. Perfect for a casual supper or fancy dinner.
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I worked at a Greek restaurant during high school and I promptly feel in love with Greek cuisine. All the bright, mediterranean flavours were simple yet complex and so comforting.
We didn’t have filo dough in Russia when I was growing up so that Greek restaurant was when I first tried filo pastry. I was blown away.
Filo was flaky and crunchy and oh, so addictive. Yet much lighter than puff pastry that I so love.
It was years before I tried cooking with it myself. I finished high school, started and finished university, got my first and then second job, learned to cook. Only then I started using filo.
I now always have a package of paper-thin filo sheets in my freezer. For emergencies. Food-related emergencies, I mean.
This Chicken Spinach Filo Pie is one of those emergency, cleanup-the-fridge recipes. It is very versatile and can be adapted many different ways to accommodate what you have in the fridge.
The resulting concoction will be delicious no matter what. The Chicken Spinach Filo Pie is filling and satisfying.
Serve it with a side salad for a complete lunch or dinner. Great hot or cold. Creamy and tangy filling contrasts nicely with the crunchy filo pastry sheets. This Chicken Filo Pie is so good that you will be looking forward to leftover chicken to make it.
How to work with Filo Pastry
Before I go into explaining on how to make this Chicken Filo Pie, let me start by talking a little bit about Filo Pastry.
Filo dough is easy and it is made from flour and water. However, the dough is then rolled and stretched into the thinnest pastry that is about as thin as a piece of paper, maybe even thinner.
Because filo pastry is so thin, it dries out very fast, so, although working with it is not difficult, it requires a few extra steps to make sure that the dough is pliable.
Main point about working with filo pastry: it needs to be kept covered with moist towel so that it doesn’t dry out.
I usually get paper towel that I moisten and then squeeze out the water. Then I cover my filo pastry with it.
You can use a clean kitchen towel as well. Just remember to wet it and then squeeze out the water from it.
Fun fact: filo, fillo, phyllo – all correct spellings for this paper-thin dough.
Tips for working with Filo
Here are a few tips for working with filo dough in general and for making this Chicken Spinach Pie.
- Keep unrolled filo dough covered with a moist paper towel or moist kitchen towel.
- Work quickly to make sure that the dough for your pie or pastry doesn’t dry out.
- Don’t worry about filo sheets tearing, just patch a bit. Filo dough is very forgiving.
- For this particular Chicken Spinach Filo Pie, feel free to increase the number of filo layers for a sturdier and thicker pie.
- You can oil every other sheet of filo if you are doubling the layers.
What to do with leftover Filo dough?
I used to rarely cook with filo dough because I didn’t know that it could be re-frozen or stored in the fridge and I didn’t want to throw out half a package.
- If leftover filo dough was covered by damp towel and did not dry out, then you can re-roll it, tightly wrap in plastic wrap, place in a ziplock bag and re-freeze.
- If the leftover filo dough did not dry out, then you can re-roll it, tightly wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks. NOTE: I have seen articles stating that filo dough should be used up within 2-3 days but I personally had it in my fridge for 2-3 week with no issues. It was still pliable and perfect.
More recipes with filo dough
Here are a few recipes that you could make with your leftover filo pastry.
- Spinach and Feta Borek from The Little Ferraro Kitchen
- Iberico Parmesan Asparagus Fingers from Garlic & Zest
- Baklava Yogurt Parfait with Homemade Baklava Crumbles from Two Purple Figs
- Vegan Baklava from Champagne Tastes
How to make Chicken Spinach Filo Pie
Making Chicken Spinach Filo Pie is quite easy but you have to remember to defrost your Filo dough in advance. It is better to defrost it in the fridge, otherwise the sheets could get stuck together. I usually defrost mine overnight.
It is better to keep the dough in the fridge all wrapped up right until you are ready to assemble the Chicken Filo Pie. This way it will have less chance to dry up.
Start by making the Chicken Spinach Filling for the pie. Just mix up the ricotta, which is the base for the filling, with a little bit of goat cheese, thawed and squeezed spinach, cooked and chopped leftover or rotisserie chicken, spices, and an egg.
Get the filo dough, carefully unwrap it and cover it with damp towel. Oil the baking pan, layer one sheet of filo pastry, oil it well and cover with another sheet of pastry, turning it slightly, so that the corners overlap instead of stack.
Repeat oiling the pastry and adding layers, turning them slightly until all six are added to the baking form. Spread the filling inside and wrap the edges of the pastry around the filling, fully covering at the top.
If your pastry sheets aren’t long enough then you might need to crumple another 1-2 sheets of filo on top to fully cover the filling. Brush the remaining oil over the top of the Chicken Spinach Filo Pie and bake until beautifully golden and crispy.
Ingredients and variations for Chicken Spinach Filo Pie
The beauty of this Chicken Pie is that it is very versatile and you can change up the ingredients to suit your taste and whatever you have in your fridge.
- Depending on the store, there could be just one type of filo available in the freezer section or many different kinds. If there are different kinds then use medium thickness sheets.
- You can double the number of filo sheets for a sturdier and thicker crust. If so, then feel free to oil every other sheet instead of every sheet.
- You can use puff pastry instead for a different flavour and texture. Will be super delicious also!
- I use Canola oil because it’s light, neutral, and easy.
- You can use melted butter instead.
- You can also oil just every other sheet of filo pastry to save up on the calories a bit.
- Both regular and low fat ricotta will work.
- Goat cheese
- I like the tang of the goat cheese with spinach.
- Feel free to use feta instead of goat cheese.
- Alternatively, add some cream cheese, use brie, blue cheese, or omit altogether.
- If you aren’t using goat cheese or any other substitutions, then I would add a squeeze of lemon and increase the seasonings a little bit.
- I like using mozzarella here because it’s very neutral in taste, yet cheesy.
- Feel free to use any other shredded cheese you’d like for stronger flavour.
- You can use leftover rotisserie chicken, leftover soup chicken, leftover roast chicken.
- If you don’t have chicken, you can use other cooked leftover meat, such as beef or pork. Preferably, something very soft.
- You can omit the chicken and make this Savoury Filo Pie vegetarian but you’d need to double the ricotta, goat cheese, and mozzarella most likely.
- You can add cooked chopped eggs to the filling instead of chicken.
- I use frozen chopped spinach. Defrosted and squeezed.
- You can use fresh spinach, but you would need to blanch it first and then squeeze.
- You can double the spinach for extra nutrients.
- It won’t be a spinach pie anymore but you could omit the spinach altogether also.
- Egg is used as a binding agent to keep the filling together.
- Egg could be omitted in case you have egg allergies.
- Alternatively, you could use two eggs for extra protein.
- Seasonings and spices
- Use your favourite spices and adjust seasonings to taste.
- I love using nutmeg with spinach and oregano with chicken.
- I also just recently discovered white pepper and I like how it adds slight spiciness without an overwhelming flavour.
- Feel free to use thyme, chili powder, rosemary, basil etc.
If you like Savoury Pies then try my other savoury pie recipes:
- Cabbage Pie
- Pulled Pork and Peppers Pie
- Turkey Pot Pie
- Beef Pot Pie with Cheddar Crust
- Vegan Lentil Pot Pie
Don’t forget to watch the video to see exactly how easy it is to make this Filo Pie
Chicken Spinach Filo Pie
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup Goat Cheese
- 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
- 1/3 cup frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and squeezed)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 6 sheets defrosted filo dough (or more)
- 1/4 cup Canola oil
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the Chicken Spinach filling.
- Lightly oil a 8-inch diameter round cake form or a 8x8-inch square pan.
- Layer one sheet of filo pastry in the form, press it so that it gets right into the edges of the pan. Lightly brush with oil.
- Place another sheet of filo pastry on top, turning it slightly so that the corners overlap and do not stack. Lightly brush with oil.
- Repeat with the rest of the filo sheets, turning each of them slightly so that all corners overlap. Do not oil the last sheet of filo pastry.
- Spread the Chicken Spinach Filling on top of the prepared filo crust.
- Wrap all the hanging edges around the filling, creating a top crust. It will be crumpled.NOTE: if the filo sheets aren't long enough to create a sufficient top crust, then add another 1-2 filo sheets on top to fully cover the filling.
- Brush the top crumpled filo crust with the remaining oil.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the Chicken Spinach Filo Pie is beautifully golden and the top layer is crunchy.
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