This vegan spanakopita recipe is wrapped in delicious, buttery phyllo pastry and folded into beautiful triangles! Tofu and ground almonds make the perfect vegan replacement for feta cheese and eggs that would be in a traditional spanakopita, keeping this recipe dairy free and eggless.
Skill Level: Intermediate | Time: 45 min | Servings: 16 triangles
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Is Spanakopita Vegan?
Spanakopita originated as a Greek dish made from mixing feta cheese with spinach, herbs, eggs and other flavors. Given the main ingredient is feta cheese, and that eggs are used in the filling, it’s not traditionally vegan.
However, with a few simple substitutions, spanakopita can be made vegan. This recipe uses tofu to replace feta cheese and eggs. Ground almonds also add delicious flavor to help replace both of those non-vegan ingredients!
The other main ingredient is spinach, a tasty leafy green that adds nutrition.
Ingredients to Make Vegan Spanakopita Triangles
Most of the ingredients used to make vegan spanakopita are simple to find. Just read the ingredients on the phyllo pastry to ensure it’s vegan (many brands are “accidentally” vegan!).
- Phyllo pastry sheets: Phyllo is the star of spanakopita triangles! This super thin pastry is brushed with some melted butter (or margarine, or olive oil) then wrapped around the filling, creating many delicious, crispy layers. I buy phyllo in the freezer section of my grocery store and easily find vegan-friendly phyllo!
- Chopped spinach: Spinach is a main ingredient in spanakopita and I find it easiest (and cheapest) to use frozen spinach. Fresh spinach tends to be more expensive, and you’ll need lots of it since it wilts down quite a bit when cooked. Buy chopped spinach since it’ll be easier to mix into the filling.
- Extra firm tofu: I regularly make tofu feta cheese and vegan scrambled eggs, so I knew tofu would make for the perfect ingredient to replace feta and eggs in this recipe! Extra firm tofu has very little water content which is important to ensure the filling isn’t runny. If you only have access to firm tofu, press it really well before using to remove some of the extra water.
- Green onion: Onion is an essential flavor in spanakopita, and I prefer the mild flavors of green onion.
- Garlic: I can’t cook without garlic, especially not a Greek recipe! Two cloves goes adds a lot of great flavor to these savory triangles.
- Nutritional yeast: To add lots of delicious cheesy flavor, nutritional yeast is a vegan’s best friend! It’s key to getting that delicious dairy taste that would otherwise be missing.
- Ground almonds: Also known as almond flour, ground almonds help boost the flavor of spanakopita filling while helping bind everything together! Almonds are commonly used to make vegan feta cheese (or dairy substitutes in general).
- Olive oil: Olive oil adds delicious flavor and healthy fat content, making this appetizer super satiating and satisfying.
- Lemon juice: Adding some acidity and beautiful citrus flavor, lemon juice is perfect in spanakopita.
- Salt: Feta cheese is salty, really salty. To make tofu and almonds taste like feta, you’ll need a fair amount of salt.
- Black pepper: Some pepper rounds out the flavors in the spanakopita filling nicely.
- Dry oregano: Herbs are always a great addition for flavor. Dry oregano is something I keep on hand and is easy to use in this recipe, but you could also use fresh oregano!
- Melted vegan butter or margarine: Some melted vegan butter or margarine is brushed onto the phyllo, creating delicious, flaky layers. You could use olive oil if you prefer that flavor!
How to Make Spanakopita with Tofu: Instructions and Video Tutorial
Spanakopita triangles are easy enough to make once you understand the technique. After preparing the filling, coat the phyllo pastry with some melted butter, fold the sheet in half, then load with filling and wrap into triangles! See the video for a step-by-step visual of how to fold perfect phyllo triangles!
Step 1: Prepare the Filling
Before making filling, remove your phyllo sheets from the freezer so they have time to thaw.
In a large mixing bowl, crumble tofu into small pieces.
Next, use a microwave to thaw the frozen chopped spinach. Once thawed, place the spinach into a mesh strainer and use the back of a spoon to press out as much water as possible. Keep tossing the spinach around the strainer and press firmly to remove all the water.
When thoroughly drained, break the spinach apart into small pieces and add into the tofu.
Add the remaining filling ingredients (green onion, garlic, nutritional yeast, almond flour, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano) into the crumbled tofu and mix well. Keep breaking the spinach into smaller pieces to distribute it well throughout the filling.
Step 2: Fold Triangles
Once the filling is prepped, it’s time to wrap the spanakopita triangles! I highly recommend watching the video (above and below the recipe card) to see a how to fold the triangles.
Completely thaw the phyllo pastry before unrolling and laying the sheets flat. Begin by carefully peeling off one layer of pastry. The phyllo may tear in some spots but that’s okay! By folding this sheet in half you’ll strengthen the pastry and cover most rips, making for a great starting point.
To make the first phyllo fold, brush melted vegan butter onto one half of the phyllo in a very thin layer. Fold the phyllo over the melted butter so you have two layers of phyllo with a single layer of melted butter in between.
Now, place about 2 ½ tbsp of filling onto one corner of the phyllo. You may want to shape the filling into a triangle to help make folding easier.
Fold this corner towards the center of the phyllo, until a triangle is formed over the filling. There will be two open edges of phyllo. These edges need to be wrapped with phyllo, so the next two folds are to cover the open edges with pastry.
Keep folding over once the filling is secure. This creates plenty of delicious, buttery layers of pastry that crisp when baked!
Step 3: Bake and Serve!
Prepare a baking tray (or two) with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
Place your folded spanakopita onto the baking tray with the open edge of the phyllo pastry down to hold it together. Lightly brush remaining melted butter over the top of each triangle.
Bake for 20-22 minutes, until the tops and bottoms of the triangles are nicely golden brown.
Serve hot! This recipe is so flavorful there’s no need for dipping sauce.
How to Store This Recipe: Refrigerating and Reheating
You can store extra triangles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If reheating with a microwave, the phyllo won’t be as crispy. It’s best to reheat in the oven (or toaster oven) set to 350 °F for about 10 minutes, until warmed through.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! This is truly one of my favorite appetizers ever! If you make this recipe, I’d love to see your creations on social media, so tag me @lettucevegout!
Vegan Spanakopita Triangles
- Cutting Board
- Medium sized mixing bowl
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
- Pastry brush
- 16 sheets phyllo pastry
- 300 g frozen chopped spinach
- 350 g firm or extra firm tofu
- ⅓ C green onion , minced
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ C ground almonds (almond flour)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- ½ C vegan butter (or margarine or more olive oil)
- Take phyllo sheets out of the freezer and allow to thaw on the countertop while preparing the filling.
- Place frozen spinach into a microwave safe bowl and thaw (use a defrost or lower heat setting). Once spinach is completely thawed, place into a mesh strainer and press firmly with a fork to release all excess water possible. Add to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Crumble tofu into very small pieces and add to the mixing bowl,
- Add ⅓ C minced green onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, 4 tbsp nutritional yeast, ½ C ground almonds, 4 tbsp olive oil, 4 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper and 1 tsp dry oregano.
- Melt the vegan butter or margarine and prep the baking tray by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Fold Spanakopita Triangles
- I highly recommend watching the video below for a detailed view of how to fold the spanakopita triangles.
- To create the spanakopita triangles, carefully remove one sheet of phyllo pastry.
- Brush a thin layer of melted vegan butter over half the pastry sheet. Fold the phyllo sheet in half so there’s a single layer of melted butter between two layers of phyllo.
- Place about 2 ½ tbsp of filling onto one corner of the phyllo sheet. Fold the corner in towards the center of the sheet, forming a triangle (the edge should line up with the center of the phyllo sheet).
- Next, fold along one of the open edges of the triangle, to encase the filling. Then, fold again so both open edges of the filling are encased.
- At this point you can keep folding the phyllo so it’s wrapping around the triangle, creating lots of delicious layers. Keep folding until there’s no phyllo left then place the triangle onto a parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking tray, with the open edge of the phyllo pressed down.
- Repeat until all the triangles are folded.
- Before baking, brush any excess melted butter over the tops of each phyllo triangle.
Bake and Serve
- Bake in a preheated, 350 °F oven, for 20-22 minutes, until the top and bottom of the triangles are nicely golden brown.
- Serve hot! These are packed with so much flavor that a dipping sauce isn't needed.