This easy Spanakopita Pasta recipe (Spanakopasta!) comes together in only 20 minutes and is packed with yummy Greek flavor! Spinach, feta, dill, and lemon are the stars of this quick and easy recipe, with eggs stirred into the sauce like a carbonara. It’s got all the flavor you love about spanakopita with barely any effort, in a fraction of the time!
Spanakopita has to be one of my favorite Greek recipes, and I enjoyed it a lot throughout my childhood. But I rarely spend the time or effort to make it.
I prefer shortcut spanakopita recipes, like using puff pastry to make mini spinach feta pies in a muffin pan or putting all the flavors together in this DELICIOUS pasta recipe.
(For the real deal, check out this spanakopita recipe).
You guys- this is one of my favorite things I’ve ever cooked. Immediately after tasting it, I added all the ingredients to my grocery list so I can make it again. My kids gobbled it up. There were no leftovers. And it was SO easy to make.
You’re going to love this easy Greek pasta recipe with spinach and feta!
How to make spanakopita pasta
This spanakopita pasta is made similarly to a carbonara, since it uses eggs in the base of the sauce. Here’s how to do it.
- First, cook pasta in heavily salted water until just BEFORE it’s al dente. This is important, as it will finish cooking in the sauce, which will enhance the flavor as well as thicken the sauce a bit.
- While it’s cooking, mix together the base for the sauce. Eggs, feta, fresh dill (or other herbs), lemon zest, and black pepper. No salt needed here- the feta is salty enough.
- Sauté some green onions in butter. Cook them gently- you want to infuse the oniony flavor and soften the onions, rather than brown them completely. This will only take about a minute.
- Add frozen spinach to the skillet. No need to defrost it! It will thaw in the skillet. Just make sure to cook it so most of the liquid evaporates.
- Once the pasta is finished cooking, add it to the skillet, and reserve some pasta water.
- Add the egg and feta mixture to the skillet as well as a little of the pasta water, stirring everything together. The eggs will cook up and form a thick, delicious sauce.
- Let the pasta finish cooking in the sauce for a few minutes.
- If the pasta seems dry, or the sauce seems too thick, just add more pasta water until you get the right consistency.
- Once it’s done, turn off the heat and melt butter into everything and stir in some fresh lemon juice. Top with extra feta and herbs, and a drizzle of EVOO if you want, and you’re done!
- If you don’t have eggs, no worries. Just add the feta, dill, lemon zest, and juice directly to the skillet when you add the pasta, along with the pasta water. The sauce won’t be as thick or hearty but the feta will melt down and the starch from the water will give it a nice base.
- If you don’t have feta, use another salty farmers cheese. Goat cheese, queso fresco, and cotija cheese are all worthy substitutes for feta.
- If you don’t have dill, use other herbs, or a mix. Mint, oregano, and/or parsley would all be delicious!
- You can use olive oil in place of the butter if you prefer. Spanakopita is made with layers of buttered filo dough, so I love the butter in this recipe because it tastes more like the real thing. But olive oil works too!
What kind of pasta to use
I recommend spaghetti, but you can use any kind of pasta you want.
I actually ended up using angel hair pasta (capellini), because it’s all my grocery store had at the time. It was a little TOO thin. It tasted great, but the pasta was a little too delicate to stir aggressively with the heavy(ish) sauce with feta and spinach.
The good thing about using angel hair pasta? It cooked up SO quickly!
Keep in mind the time it takes to make this recipe will depend on how long it takes to cook the pasta you’re using.
Other Greek recipes
- Greek Spaghetti (with ground beef, cinnamon, and brown butter)
- Manestra (orzo with tomato and ground beef)
- Tzatziki sauce (cucumber yogurt sauce)
- Keftedes (Greek meatballs)
- Greek Lamb Tacos
- Greek Lentil Soup
Check out all my Greek recipes here!
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Spanakopita Pasta (Spinach and Feta Pasta)
- 8 oz. spaghetti or any other pasta shape, regular or whole wheat
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 3 green onions white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 12-16 oz. frozen spinach or fresh- see notes
- 2 eggs
- 6 oz. feta cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill and/or other herbs, such as mint, oregano, or parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- juice and zest of one lemon
- kosher salt
- extra-virgin olive oil and extra herbs for serving, optional
- Cook pasta according to directions in heavily salted water until one minute BEFORE it's al dente.
- Meanwhile, melt two tablespoons of the butter in a large deep skillet or pot.
- Add the three sliced green onions (white and green parts) and sauté over medium heat in the melted butter until softened (about 1 minute)
- Add the frozen spinach to the skillet with the onions. Sauté until completely defrosted and most of the liquid has completely evaporated (about 3 minutes)
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the chopped fresh dill or other herbs (1/4 cup), the eggs (2), lemon zest, about half of the crumbled feta, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
- When the pasta has finished cooking to almost al dente, reserve 2 cups of the cooking water and add the pasta to the skillet with the spinach.
- Continuing to cook over medium heat, add the feta, egg, and dill mixture to the skillet, as well as 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Stir to coat, and continue stirring, until the egg has cooked and covered every part of the pasta. If the sauce seems too thick or the pasta seems too dry, add it more pasta water 1/4 cup at a time (you'll probably need about 1 cup pasta water total). The pasta will finish cooking in this liquid and the sauce will thicken up- this will likely take about 3-5 minutes.
- When the sauce has thickened and the pasta has completely finished cooking, turn off the heat and stir in the remaining two tablespoons of butter and the lemon juice until butter has melted. Top with remaining crumbled feta, extra fresh dill, olive oil, and season to taste.
- To use fresh spinach, add it to the skillet according to the directions and cook until wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated. You can use whole baby spinach leaves or chopped mature spinach for this.
- You can use other greens, such as kale, instead of spinach. Chop it up really finely and cook it for a bit longer so it's very tender. Arugula would work nicely as well.
- I found this recipe didn't need any added salt, since the feta is salty and the cooking water from the pasta is as well.
- If you don't have eggs, just leave them out. Add the pasta water to the skillet as directed, and add the feta, lemon zest, pepper, and dill directly to the pasta, stirring to melt all together.
- You can use olive oil instead of butter, if you prefer.
- Feta substitutions: goat cheese, queso fresco, and cotija cheese are similar to feta and can be used as a substitute.
- Large pot
- Large Skillet