Nettle spanakopita

Nettle spanakopita

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 50 mins plus cooling


Serves 6

Using nettles instead of spinach gives the classic spanakopita a spring time twist. Young nettles are a sweet, nutritious and free alternative to spinach

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal421
  • fat26g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs30g
  • sugars2g
  • fibre4g
  • protein15g
  • salt1.8g
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  • 150g nettle leaves
  • 100g butter, 25g solid, 75g melted



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 200g feta, crumbled



    A creamy soft white cheese with an ancient history - nomadic tribes who needed to preserve the…

  • 50g parmesan, finely grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 1 egg, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • grated nutmeg
  • 7 sheets filo pastry
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • green salad, to serve


  1. For the filling, wash the nettles well but don’t drain them too thoroughly. Heat the solid butter in a large frying pan. When it’s sizzling and has turned a nutty brown, add the nettles and cook for about 6 mins until wilted. Leave to cool.

  2. Using a tea towel, squeeze as much liquid out of the nettles as you can, then roughly chop and tip into a bowl. Mix in the feta, parmesan, lemon zest and juice, about two-thirds of the egg and some nutmeg, and season generously. The filling should be loose but not sloppy.

  3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. To assemble the spanakopita, lay three sheets of filo end-to-end on your work surface, overlapping by about 5cm. Brush each piece with melted butter and top with three more sheets, then brush with more butter and add the final sheet to the middle for extra support. Spoon the nettle mix along the edge, about 2cm wide, and tuck over the short ends to stop any filling from coming out. Roll the pastry into a long sausage shape. Starting with one end, roll up the sausage into a spiral shape about 20cm wide. Put the spanakopita in a shallow round pan, like an ovenproof frying pan, if it fits. If not, slide it onto a buttered baking tray.

  4. Brush the pie liberally with the remaining egg and scatter with the sesame seeds. Bake for 40-45 mins or until golden brown. Leave to cool until just warm, then serve in slices with a peppery salad.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Aga girl
14th May, 2017
Another newbie nettle cook here... Great to be able to use nettles from the garden. It went down so well last night guess what's for dinner tonight? I added a garlic clove to the filling and topped with poppy seeds. Lovely with a peppery rocket salad (again from the garden).
13th May, 2017
Delicious! First time cooking with nettles and I was nervous about that sting - but shouldn't have been. An amazing smell while stir-frying but with the lemon and feta in the filling, you really couldn't tell it from spinach. Still, nettles are free and I will be looking out for them earlier in the season next year to do more stuff with them. Can anyone tell me why you don't use them when they're in flower?
Barney Good Food's picture
Barney Good Food
22nd Feb, 2018
You should only use young nettles as older nettle leaves taste bitter and may have laxative effects. Flowering is an indication that they have past their eating prime. Hope that's helpful & thanks for cooking the recipe. Barney
13th May, 2017
Deeelish! First time cooking with nettles and was pretty nervous - I could still see those tricksy little hairs on the nettle stems even while I was stir-frying them! But it was all good - don't know that I could really tell it from spinach though it did smell great while cooking and, after all, the nettles were free! Did some other research which suggested you strip the leaves from the stems which I did before cooking. Made me look at nettles in a completely different way and I will try to do something with them a little earlier in the year next time - they're close to flowering now. Nothing to tell me why you can't cook them when they're flowering - does anyone know?
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