Skillet Spanikopita {+giveaway}


This is my favorite one-pan, easy skillet meal.  I adore Greek food, because I generally find it to be full of flavor and mostly healthy.


Let’s get real for a second.  It’s no secret that I eat dessert daily, but I don’t battle my weight.  When I meet new people and they find out how food-obsessed I am, they are baffled that I don’t have to buy two seats on an airplane when I fly.  Can we talk about that?  This subject makes me uncomfortable, but we’re going to work through it today, ok?

First:  it’s easier to keep what you have than get what you don’t have.  So, what I’m trying to say is that it’s easier to maintain weight than lose weight.

I’m going to share all of my skinny girl secrets.  I’m doing this because I’ve noticed lots of you are doing juice cleanses in January.  I’m jealous that I can’t do a juice cleanse with you.  I have a weird allergy to raw apples, and most fresh juices rely on raw apples to keep them from tasting like…algae?


Moving on.

My Mom and I read this article in a magazine a few years ago about the secrets of skinny women, and all of the secrets rang true with us.  My Mom is another skinny minnie.  Genetics are definitely a part of the equation, but since my Mom and I both follow these rules, I think the rules are more powerful.

The Ten Rules of Skinny Chicks:

  1. Either eat dessert or have alcohol, never both.  We talked about this last week over my Balsamic marinated fresh berries and frozen yogurt.
  2. If you want dessert FINE.  Eat it, but please make it a child size portion.  I consider one cookie or 3 to 4 bites of cake to be a serving.  Furthermore, I order child size portions of entrées at restaurants all the time.  I’m sure it embarrasses my husband, but it works for me.
  3. If you splurge on a big dinner, like say, a Five Guys burger with fries, FINE.  You did it.  Move on, and make your meals lighter for the next few days.  If I eat a cheeseburger tonight, I’ll be having a salad for lunch for the next two days.  But, keep in mind that I ordered the kids’ size burgers with fries at Five Guys.
  4. Don’t take the easy way out.  I park in the furthest spot in the parking lot when I’m running errands.  I always volunteer to take the laundry from the basement to the second floor.  Why?  It burns calories.  You have the potential to burn calories during the day in more ways than just at the gym.  I love cleaning the house while racing the clock with music blaring.  I estimate that scrubbing bathrooms burns about 100 calories.  All activity in your day adds up.
  5. This is my craziest idea, but here goes:  I believe your stomach shrinks and expands.  A few years ago, I dated a guy who only ate meat and potatoes.  I gained 15 pounds while dating him.  I dumped him, but I couldn’t dump the weight.  I went back to eating healthy meals, but I was h-u-n-g-r-y.  My stomach growled, but I stuck with it.  I distracted myself from the hunger by filling my day with other activities, like shopping with a friend, getting a pedicure, reading a great book, etc.  After 2 days, my body adjusted.  I believe my stomach shrank back to the original size.  Did I starve myself for two days?  NO.  I ate whole grains, lean protein, and vegetables, but I wasn’t getting the same amount of calories as the fried pork chops and twice baked potatoes I had been eating.  It was a 2 day sacrifice at first, but then it was easy.  In about 6-8 weeks, the 15 pounds were gone.
  6. Make all of the food you eat from scratch.  This is way harder than it sounds, I know.  I eat take-out, processed, or restaurant food once per week maximum.  Home cooked food always has less salt and fewer calories.  Always.  Even Paula Deen recipes have fewer calories than chain restaurant food.
  7. Take the time to find a form of exercise that doesn’t make you want to slit your wrists as an excuse to avoid it.  Personally, I love yoga and walking.  I practice yoga once or twice each week.  I attend the mellow, relaxing yoga classes, so I don’t count it as exercise per say, but at least I’m out of the house and not eating.  Monday-Thursday, I go for a power walk after work each day.  Yes, I’m one of those people that power walks…with arms flailing and everything.  Ok, this is getting to be a little more embarrassing than I intended…
  8. Don’t count calories!  Instead, count the number of fruit and vegetable servings each day.  When I’m in a rut, I write down my servings of fruits and vegetables each day.  It’s a bit easier to reach for baby carrots than chips each afternoon if I know I haven’t met my 5 servings of vegetables per day quota.  I aim for 3 fruits and 5 vegetables each day.  By the way, a serving is only ½ cup.  When you think about it, it’s really not that much.  I eat vegetable and fruit snacks between meals.  I feel like I’m constantly eating throughout the day.  Hint:  this is why smaller portions of meals are satisfying…fiber-rich healthy snacks are never more than a few hours away!  My favorite snack combos:  hummus + carrots, seasonal fruit + stinky cheese, almonds +dates, or just a cup of yogurt.  I’m also a big milk drinker, but you can substitute your favorite cow’s milk alternative, too.
  9. Speaking of drinking…oh my GOD stop.drinking.soda.  It’s disgusting.  Soda is literally an acid saturated with sugar.  And in my opinion, diet soda is approximately one billion times worse than regular soda.  I drink soda once or twice a year (in a child-size cup, of course).  It’s always real Dr. Pepper.  I am a Texan, after all. I drink hot green tea all morning, and then iced tea or water the rest of the day.  During the winter, I love mugs of hot lemon water.  When I crave the bubbly, I add a slice of lime to sparkling water.
  10. You don’t need meat at every meal.  We eat vegetarian 2 to 3 times each week.  The key to eating vegetarian dishes is cooking full-flavored, interesting meals, like this easy skillet spanakopita.

I’m not a nutritionist.  Not even close.  So don’t sue me (especially over the stomach shrinking part. Yeesh).  I’m just a girl who manages to eat dessert daily and not have a weight problem, so take it for what you will.  And if it makes you feel better, I’ve been made fun of my whole life for being skinny.  That includes being called some not-so-nice names, so life as a skinny girl isn’t a beach vacation in a polka dot bikini skipping around with a handful of carrots.  Sometimes, my ankles hit each other when I walk too fast and it really freaking hurts.  Oh, and if you’ve never slammed your elbow into your own hip bone before, count yourself lucky.  If you think the grass is always greener, maybe try watering and fertilizing your own grass.  :)

And because I want all of us to be happy, healthy and incorporate more home-cooked food into our diets, I’m giving away an 11-piece Anolon Nouvelle Copper Cookware set!  I love the weight of these pans—they’re sturdy, but not too heavy.  I could tell the copper core was doing its job evenly distributing heat because a pat of butter melted evenly and quickly.  Great cookware makes all the difference in my kitchen!

To enter the giveaway to win this fantastic set of cookware, follow the prompt below.  If it’s not showing, give it a few seconds to load.  Feel free to email me with any questions.  Best of luck!  **If you already love your cookware, and just want the recipe for this beautiful beast of a meal, scroll down.


Before the oven:


After baking in the oven in a small pool of butter:


I feel like I can taste the crispiness just by looking at this photo!

Skillet Spanakopita
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 20 ounces frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • heaping ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. In a skillet with a 10" cooking surface, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, squeeze the water from the defrosted spinach. Do this very well--I used a potato ricer, or you could squeeze a handful at a time between your fists. Water is not your friend in this recipe.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the squeezed-dry spinach, ricotta, eggs, feta, dill, salt and pepper. Stir in the diced onion and the drippings from the skillet. Next, scrape all of the mixture back into the skillet.
  4. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small dish and have ready with a small pastry brush. Layer one sheet of phyllo dough on top of the spinach in the skillet (keep the rest of the phyllo dough covered to prevent drying out while you work). Brush the layer with butter.
  5. Next, layer another sheet of phyllo in the opposite direction to fully cover the spinach. Again, brush with butter.
  6. Finally, crumble the last 3 sheets of phyllo over the top of the dish. The more crumpled the top, the more flaky layers there will be. Drizzle the remaining butter on top. (In case you're tempted, don't skimp on the butter: phyllo without butter tastes like raw flour).
  7. Bake in the oven 35-45 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and crispy. Serve hot or warm.
Recipe is barely adapted from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food. Martha says this dish serves 4 and only has 381 calories per slice using full-fat ricotta, but I used part-skim ricotta because I'm smarter than Martha. (hah).

Check out what these other fine ladies blogged about using this same cookware:

The Law Student’s Wife – Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta

Climbing Grier Mountain – Tex-Mex Risotto with Chorizo Sweet Peppers

Rachel Cooks – Easy Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Cooking with Books – Orange Ginger Shrimp Stir Fry

Bakeaholic Mama – General Tso Cauliflower

Nutmeg Nanny – Spicy Penne alla Vodka

Garnish with Lemon – Spicy Sweet Chicken Stir-Fry

Lemons for Lulu – Orange Glazed Pork Chops






  1. says

    I love this post. And I think it rings so true. What people really need is to change their relationship with food and how they view it, and the key is definitely in appreciating it!

    Now, I’d like some spanakopita. And this fabulous cookware…I might make a soup in it!

  2. says

    What a great giveaway! And I can’t wait to try this recipe–thanks! If I win, I’ll probably break it all in by making some Maashi, a Middle Eastern dish of stuffed vegetables!

  3. Melissa says

    I would make everything with this cookware! But seriously, it would likely be a big pot of soup, which is my go-to for a week of dinners for me and my husband :) My hard anondized cookware is wearing out, so this would be great!

  4. Julie says

    This looks yummy. Here’s a secret: I’ve never worked with frozen phyllo dough. I’m not sure why, just haven’t. I need to change that. Here’s another thing: I’ve always believed that your stomach shrinks, and I think that it’s correct. That’s why the people that have that surgery gain their weight back. They don’t deal with the issue as to WHY they gained the weight in the first place, and eventually, the teeny stomach that the surgeon made stretches back, and they are right back where they began. When Papa Swope got out of the hospital after not eating anything but ice chips for 8 days, he couldn’t eat but little tiny meals (and he needed to gain about 10 pounds). It took a bit, but eventually, he was able to eat a full serving because his stomach stretched back out. Well, that’s my belief, and I’m pretty sure that since both of us believe it, it’s true. :) Have a beautiful week, my dear. Oh, and the cookware? Guess who would probably get it. ;)

  5. Wild Child says

    Saturday night is date night in our household. Looking at all those beautiful pieces, I could make an appetizer, main course AND dessert! I think I’d start with the hot fudge sauce in the saucepan =] Great giveaway, and thanks for the skinny tips!

  6. Amanda materi says

    Great blog and great advice! I’d make bananas foster crepes in this awesome cookware, I’ve had the recipe in the back of my mind for weeks. Need!

  7. says

    I love your list and thank you for sharing. My husband and I have adjusted our food habits since April 2013 and we’ve both dropped weight. I cook dinner every night and we keep going out or take out to once a week. When we do go out, we split an entree. Less calories and food portion because in America, the entrees are way too big! We also do mostly vegetarian meals in our household and add seafood 2-3 times a week. Eat breakfast daily and drink lots of water. We’re active and we feel great. And we get dessert daily as well.

    With the cookware set, I’d make a lovely frittata!

  8. Jessica L. says

    I love this list! I’ve been trying to cut back on the number of times we eat out–I’ve definitely gained a bit of weight since I started dating my bf too…but dumping him to lose the weight isn’t an option :) Instead I’ve been a lot better about cooking our meals at home and having a lot more veggies in the house. I’d make something super healthy in the cookware if I won!

  9. Jessica L. says

    I love this post! I’ve been trying to follow a lot of this advice lately–I’ve definitely gained a bit of weight since I started dating my bf too…but dumping him to lose the weight isn’t an option :) If I won the cookware, I’d make something light and healthy!

    (sorry if this posts twice, my computer is having troubles this morning!)

  10. maureen says

    I would love to make the pasta sauce my husband’s grandmother made and his mother made when he was growing up. MY cookware is not that big and I am unable to make it in what I ahve.

  11. says

    Seriously? This is the easiest contest ever. I’d make THIS with the copper core pans! I’m already scheming ways to veganize it, it just looks so delightful. And I wrote a post recently about these “rules” too! Very similar to the French women don’t get fat principles. They work! I’ve never had a weight problem either, despite being the most active cook in my family, simply because of this balance, self-control, and portion sizing. Awesome tips girl!

  12. Joy says

    I cook 3 meals a day for 3 adults 7 days a week, soooo, those pans would get lots of use. Chicken and dumplins sound good to me. Also want to make this Greek dish. Have only ate the frozen verity, and I love them. Bet your pans would cook them up great

  13. Bonnie B says

    I’d love to make some delicious soup Doria – it’s basically a hearty minestrone, but you cook up some bacon in the pan first, then add the other ingredients, so there is bacon flavor and some cut up cooked bacon enhancing the soup.

  14. says

    My mom makes the best homemade spanikopita. But she makes her own phyllo dough and while that makes it taste phenomenal, it is an all day process! I don’t have time for that! I am crazy about your skillet version! I can’t wait to try this!

  15. Alex says

    Chicken and Dumplings. My boyfriend and I tried to make it the other night but we didn’t have the right size pan. It’s always nice to have the right equipment.

  16. Caroline says

    I would make soup! It’s going to get really cold here the next few days so it’ll be the perfect, warm dinner :)

  17. Marcy Hosket says

    I would make a breakfast scramble, for dinner. We love using eggs as a protein instead of meat a couple nights a week.

  18. Andrea says

    I would probably cook everything in those skillets!!! I’d love to saute an assortment of fresh vegetables in olive oil and fresh herbs and add shrimp or chicken…yummmm! Thank you for this giveaway!

  19. LenaB says

    In celebration (and in honor) of the privilege of winning this sweet giveaway, of course I’d christen it with my first try at making this Skillet Spanikopita! Yumm.

  20. says

    Such great “skinny” tips Christina! Great inspiration. I totally think your stomach stretches and shrinks too. This spanikopita looks deee-lish. A greek restaurant opened up down the street from my house and has had me wanting to learn more flavorful greek recipes. Thanks for the giveaway too. The first thing I would make in these pans would be a stir-fry full of veggies served on top of brown rice. Yum!

  21. says

    Oh what wouldn’t I make? My pans are so beat up from all my cooking it would be really wonderful to have a new set . Thanks for this recipe I love spanakopita and was just going to make them, but your way in the skillet seems way easier !

  22. says

    I love spanikopita! When I was a kid, my mom would pick me up from baseball practice each week and bring me a slice of spanikopita from a local place that made it. I looked forward to it every time. Come to think of it, that was my favorite part of being on the team! :P

    Great tips, too. I think the most important thing for maintaining any kind of healthy lifestyle is developing good habits — like ordering smaller portions, or cutting out soda. There’s no one magic thing that will make you skinny or healthy or fit, just little things you need to integrate into your everyday routine. Sometimes it isn’t easy to make those changes at first, but it works. I agree with everything on that list. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Cassie says

    we could desperately use a new set of cookware. Oven safe would be life changing!!! I’m vegetarian, so maybe a quiche or fritatta.

  24. says

    First, I am totally going to swap out a meal this week for the spanakopita. It looks so good and so much easier than the standard recipe (super important in our house with an infant and preschooler running around). Second, I really appreciate your post. Having grown up in a family with a poor relationship with food and later struggling with my weight and battling an eating disorder it wasn’t until I met my husband that I started to realize that life isn’t about being skinny but being healthy. Food no longer was an enemy or a comfort but fuel. But I’m still a foodie. The fuel has to taste amazing! It takes hard work and discipline to treat my body with respect and eat healthy and exercise regularly. It bugs me when someone reduces it to just “good luck”. So thanks for writing this. :)

  25. Dede Jackson says

    I would love to this!!! I would probably make beef stroganoff!!! Definitely going to be making your Skillet Spanakopita!

  26. says

    Thank you so much for this post!!!! MY ANKLES HIT EACH OTHER TOO! IT HURTS SO BAD! I seriously thought I was majorly clumsy or there was something wrong with me!

    I would make with this cookware skillet lasagna, or your recipe for indoor s’mores!

  27. Brit says

    I have been frittata obsessed lately, so I would make a spinach, artichoke heart, mushroom frittata with this gorgeous cookware!

  28. says

    One of the first things I would make is an orange ginger stir fry! I have seen quite a few recipes but haven’t yet made – new cookware always spurs trying new things!

  29. says

    First – skillet spanikopita…BIG Y.E.S. Second – on your list: yes, all of it. I follow most of the same principals (including a Dr. Pepper once a year!)

  30. says

    So I’m a nutritionist with a baking blog, and I 100% agree with everything you said. Being healthy and/or losing weight never has to be about only eating carrots and water.

  31. Ellie says

    Right now I’m thinking shrimp scampi guess cuz I’m cooking salmon for dinner. Love the tips on how to be a skinny gal!

  32. Courtney Clark says

    I’m on a spaghetti squash kick as I try to balance out some of the less than healthful eating we indulged in over the holidays, so I’m probably making something with squash, no idea what though I’m a lousy planner. Dinner is either leftovers of what struck my fancy at the store on the way home

  33. susan says

    If I win and get before Valentine’s Day, I would love to surprise my husband with a romantic dinner using this new cookware. He is the usual cook, so if would be a SURPRISE!!

  34. says

    I would sp make this spanikopita; I vacationed in Greece and ate it everywhere I could find it. Plus just today I noticed that my favorite (cheap) frying pan wobbles on my flattop stove. So not right.

  35. says

    If I win I would make all of the recipes that I don’t currently have the right cookware for! I’ve been getting by with two skillets and a saucepan! :)

  36. Stephanie Gossett says

  37. says

    I eat dessert everyday myself, but I’m very much normal (very slightly under actually) weight. Aside from weight, your tips are great for staying healthy and active! I completely agree with them all – it’s all about BALANCE! Great advice!

    The spanikopita sounds delicious! I’ve always been a bit afraid to try making my own, but you make it seem very doable. Bookmarking your recipe!

  38. Stephanie says

    I would definitely make a vegetarian pasta dish if I won the cookware! I also agree with your skinny girl philosophy. Small potions, eating several times a day, no soda, drinking mostly water (and milk), and eating mostly at home (cooking from scratch).

  39. Audrey says

    Wonderful post and giveaway! The first dish I would make would be something for breakfast, either scrambled eggs or French toast–yummy!!

  40. says

    I think I would make this recipe! Love me some feta and spinach. Greta tips on keeping off the weight. I love yoga too. Even when I do a light yoga class and don’t burn many calories, it really helps me set an intention for the day which is usually to be mindful of what I put in my body.

  41. Stacy S. says

    Having a Greek husband, I would definitely like to try out the skillet Spanakopita recipe with the new Copper Cookware set! Then I’d probably cook up some yummy Vindaloo, then Chicken Marsala, then…the possibilities are endless – LOL!

  42. says

    I’d for sure make THIS! I’ve forever been intimated by spanakopita, but love the taste. This makes it look much less intimidating. Thanks for the great recipe!

  43. Annalynn says

    I would love to make fresh pasta with a fresh pesto sauce from scratch, sautéed together with these beautiful pans!

  44. says

    I think I’d make soup first…can’t get enough with this cold weather. And you’re not crazy about the stomach expanding/contracting. I’ve noticed the same thing so I try not to over-eat because after a few days like that, it no longer feels like I over-ate!

  45. Liz DV says

    Wow, I’ve never cooked with pans that have copper in them, so I’ll just say what I’m going to make for dinner- sliced brussels sprouts, stir fried in coconut oil and then topped with lemon.

  46. Jennifer says

    My daughter just moved out and has been enjoying cooking for the first time and for others. I’d give her this fabulous set to encourage her!

  47. says

    I would make your Skillet Spanakopita for my husband since he likes to eat and would simply love this wonderful dish! For dessert I would make Bananas Foster or Cherries Jublilee,

  48. Sandra Luna says

    I would love to win this cookware! And I would love to make one of my husbands favorite Peruvian meals in it. Maybe Lomo Saltado!

  49. says

    I would totally make this spanikopita! I love Greek food as well. I’ve always found it to have a nice carb to everything else balance. I need the carbs to make a meal…it’s probably an Italian thing. ;)

    I did just want to say, I’m so glad that you owned up to being a so-called “skinny girl”. I am one to because of a stomach condition and I hate justifying myself to so many people. I order child-sizes when I can (love those kids burgers at 5 Guys!) and can only eat maybe half of whatever I order out. I do it because I have to, but I do know that people who eat like me because they want to don’t battle their weight and still manage to enjoy non-healthy foods regularly.

  50. Jen Arnett says

    I would get to work making a whole bunch of freezer ready meals to start stocking up on as we get ready for the arrival of our first baby :)

  51. says

    I’d make this very same dish. It looks wonderful. This is my first visit to your site, and it is lovely. Congratulations on some very fine work!

  52. Jaye Lorton says

    I am hosting a bridal shower soon and have a bazillion dishes to prepare for 40+ ladies so I would use each and every one of these glorious pots and pans! Think I’ll. start things off with your skillet spanakopita!

  53. says

    I love what you say in this post :) It rings true for me, aside from the fact that I grew up overweight and have since slimmed down and now maintain a healthy lifestyle. I eat dessert. (I love dessert). I drink alcohol. I eat all the time. (ALL THE TIME). But dessert is homemade and small portions, alcohol is minimal, constant snacking is fresh produce, and my meals are almost always from scratch. Rock on, sista! Also, I’m excited to make this recipe – I’ve never attempted spanikopita, so I’m stoked to finally make it myself rather than relying on the corner Greek restaurant!!

    • says

      Thanks so much for writing, Christina! (It’s always nice to meet another xtina!) I feel like I’m constantly eating too, and it’s fresh produce to help keep the number of vegetable servings high! Do you feel good?

      I hope you love the spanakopita :)


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