12 Days of Easy Appetizers: Spinach Fillo Cups
Fillo (or phyllo) dough is one of my favorite ingredients because it’s so light and crunchy when baked and it works well in both sweet and savory recipes. However, fillo can be a bit finicky and requires patience and practice to use well. When I have the luxury of time, its well worth it to make baklava, tarts, or filled triangles with sheet up on sheet of fillo. When I’m pressed for time though, pre-made fillo cups are a great substitute that you can fill and bake quickly. I’ve had great luck finding fillo shells at many stores in Texas, and the nice folks at Athens Foods who make the fillo cups have a handy-dandy store locator you can use to quickly find a supplier in your neck of the woods.
The inspiration for this recipe is a traditional Greek spanakopita, or spinach pie, that’s typically served as a triangle of fillo stuffed with spinach and cheese or as a large pie cut into squares. The pre-made fillo shells help the dish come together quickly and they add a tasty vegetable dish to holiday menus that may be otherwise overly full of cheese and sweets.
Recipe: Spinach Fillo Cups
- Difficulty: Easy
- Makes: 15
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- ¼ c. diced shallot
- 1 c. chopped frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
- ¼ c. toasted pine nuts
- ¼. tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1/8 tsp. fresh nutmeg
- 3 oz. goat cheese
- 1 package Fillo Shells
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium non-stick pan. Sautee the shallot until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the spinach to the pan and sauté briefly to warm through.
- Stir in the pine nuts, pepper, and nutmeg. Sautee for 2-3 minutes until well-combined.
- Transfer the spinach mixture to a medium mixing bowl; crumble in the goat cheese, and mix gently to distribute the cheese.
- Fill each fillo shell with a heaping 1 Tbsp. of the filling, mounding it generously on top. Place the filled shell on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining shells.
- Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until the filling is warmed through. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe for Success
- The best way I know to drain thawed spinach is to squeeze it in small batches in your hand. You can also place it in a clean dishtowel and ring the excess moisture from it.
- You can make the spinach filling and fill the cups up to an hour in advance but not much more than that. If you leave the filling in the cups too long they will get soggy on the bottom. Cover the filled cups with plastic wrap and stash in the refrigerator until you’re ready to heat them.
- You can substitute feta cheese or even mozzarella for the goat cheese.