Kolokithopita should be as well known as spanokopita! There is much more to Greek fillo pies than spinach and we should branch out to try something new. My Greek zucchini and feta pie has a tender filling full of herbs, cheese, squash, and eggs which is surrounded by a flaky fillo crust for a great vegetarian main dish. It’s also perfect for potluck, a picnic, or part of Greek-themed dinner party.
Hello all! Today was the first of school here up in Massachusetts. Or at least where I am, though I don’t think it varies by too much in nearby towns.
Our schools don’t have air conditioning (as a general rule), so we don’t start up again until most of the really hot days are done. The daughter is off to the first day of eighth grade. Can’t believe it!
Next year it will be high school. EEK. I’m not ready. It seems as though it was just yesterday that I was waiting with her for the bus to her first day of kindergarten.
This summer she worked as my summer intern. (She had a phone repair bill to pay off.) And she’s done a great job!
Though she has always helped with action shots, this summer she helped clean up from photo shoots, grabbed things from the kitchen when I needed them, made me some new backdrops, and even did a little pinning for me. Now that her bill is paid off, this will be a good way for her to earn a little money.
Anyway, with the end of August we not only have school starting, we also have cooler nights and cooler houses. Much better for sleeping and for baking. Which means you should totally make this awesome Greek zucchini pie. 🙂 Take the last of your garden zucchini and summer squash and go for it!
Or swing by the farmers’ market! There is still plenty of zucchini on offer here.
How to Make Kolokithopita (Greek Zucchini Pie)
Kolokithopita is made from layers of fillo dough brushed with oil and stacked on top of each other with a filling of cheese, eggs, herbs, and squash. Once the pie assembled, it is baked until the filling set and the fillo is golden brown. Kolokithopita can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature.
- Thaw the fillo dough.
- Shred and generously salt the zucchini/summer squash.
- Wring out all the water from the squash.
- Mix the squash with eggs, herbs and seasonings, and cheese.
- Layer the oiled fillo in your pan and pour in the filling.
- Fold over the fillo and bake until golden brown.
How to Make the Filling for Zucchini Feta Pie
Okay, before I get to the filling, you took your fillo dough out of the freezer, right? You just need one packet of the two. Save the other one for next time.
Tip: Either thaw the fillo overnight in the fridge or for 2 hours on the counter.
Once your fillo is on the way to being thawed, shred the zucchini or a mix of zucchini and summer squash. Then salt it well with kosher salt and let it sit for about an hour.
It will give up a lot of liquid, but there is more! Put the shredded squash in towel and squeeze out the liquid. You will end up doubling the amount of water once you’ve squeezed it dry.
Then mix the squash with the rest of the filling ingredients – eggs, onion, garlic, herbs, and cheese. Set the filling aside while you work with the thawed fillo.
Finishing the Zucchini Feta Pie
To oil the fillo, either pour some olive oil into a cup and have a pastry brush on hand or use spray olive oil. I prefer the spray since it’s quick and easy. I choose a brand like Bertolli or Pompeian, since they has no additives and are just olive oil. See what brands are available in your supermarket.
Lay out the fillo on the counter and cover it with a kitchen cloth. Take one sheet of fillo, spray or brush it with oil and fold it into the bottom of your spring form pan. Do this again for another 2-3 sheets.
Now take your next sheet and arrange it to it overhangs the edge of the pan along one side by about 2 inches. Continue adding sheets of oiled fillo, arranging them so they rotate and each sheet overhangs a different part of the pan. Look at the photo below. The top left has two sheets overhanging and the top right has sheets going all the way around.
Once you are done laying out the fillo, fill the pan with the squash filling. Then fold the fillo over the filling so that it looks wavy and interesting.
Bake the kolokithopita in a 350F oven until the fillo is golden brown and the filling is set.
For more info on how to arrange the fillo, check out this guide by Bon Appetit. I thought their pie looked so pretty that I wanted to model mine after it.
Can you make Kolokithopita without the fillo?
Yes, you can!
It won’t have the pretty, ruffled edges and crispy layers, but you can use a regular pastry crust around the edges. You can even move more in the quiche direction and make the zucchini pie in a quiche pan if you wish.
Or, if you line the spring form pan with parchment paper (to act as a barrier), you can make the pie completely crustless. Which is a great gluten-free (and lower calorie) option!
What to do with Leftover fillo dough?
Since this recipe uses one packet of the usual two you find in frozen fillo dough containers, what are you going to do with the other packet? Happily, I have a few ideas.
If you want some spanakopita, I made Spinach Feta Fillo Triangles. They make a great appetizer or are fun to stack up on a platter for a potluck.
Looking for dessert? I have a Pistachio and Chocolate Baklava which is amazing and full of ooey, gooey chocolate. Or, if you’re thinking ‘I’d love an apple pie with fillo,’ I have you covered with my Spiced Honey and Apple Turnovers. Yum!
If you try my recipe for Kolokithopita, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Kolokithopita (Greek Zucchini Feta Pie)
- 2 lb zucchini and summer squash, grated
- kosher salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, grated or finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped dill
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup mix of fresh chopped mint and oregano
- 5-6 oz feta
- 2-3 oz shredded fontina
- 5 eggs
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 packet fillo dough, one half of a standard box which has two packets
- olive oil, for brushing the fillo
- Make sure you have thawed the fillo before starting. Either thaw the fillo overnight in the refrigerator or for 2-3 hours on the counter.
- In a medium bowl, toss the shredded zucchini with about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and let it sit for 1 hour. Leaving the liquid behind, transfer the zucchini to a towel and squeeze tightly until the zucchini is fairly dry.
- While the zucchini is resting in the salt, heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a small saute pan. Add the onion, garlic, and a sprinkle of kosher salt and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Pour the liquid out of the medium bowl. Add the squeezed zucchini, reserved onion and garlic, the chopped herbs, crumbled feta, fontina, and eggs. Grind a few turns of black pepper over all and then mix well.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Take out your 9-inch springform pan. Unroll the fillo dough next to the pan and cover it with a kitchen cloth. Either set out a bottle of spray olive oil or put some olive oil into a cup with brush.
- Once you are organized, it's time to layer the fillo.
- Take a sheet of fillo and coat it lightly, but thoroughly, with oil. Put the sheet into the pan tucking it into the bottom and bottom edges of the pan. Repeat with 2-3 more fillo sheets.
- With the next sheet, arrange it so that it overhangs one side of the pan by about 2 inches with the rest of the sheet tucked into the bottom. Continue, turning the pan a little each time, layering in sheets to overhang until you have fillo overhanging all around.
- Spoon the zucchini filling into the pan, smoothing it down into an even layer. Fold the fillo edges up over the filling so that the fillo is wavy and folded.
- Bake the zucchini pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the fillo is golden brown and the filling is full set.
- Grating the zucchini: You can grate the zucchini either using a box grater or the grating disc on a food processor.
- Type of squash: You can use any zucchini or summer squash available which is thin skinned and had small seeds. Smaller to mid-sized squashes work the best.
- Working with fillo:
- Do Not Worry about the fillo breaking as you work. No one will be able to tell. All the layering and folding will hide any tears. (Honestly all the layering, even if you're being neat, is going to hide any problems.) And crispy, browned fillo tends to break and crumble anyway.
- That said, it is best to work quickly because fillo does dry out fast. But, back to point 1, even if you mess up because you're working fast, no one will know. Relax.
- Inspiration: The filling for my kolokithopita was inspired by both The Washington Post's Zucchini Pie and The NYT's Greek Zucchini and Herb Pie. The shape of my pie was inspired by Bon Appetit's Spanakopita.
BitofBaconHQ Pet Corner
Here is our dog, Ginny! She’s a rescue who we added to our family about 6 years ago.
One of her favorite things is to sit in a mesh deck chair when the weather is warm. Back when this chair was new, she would have great fun snagging the seat as soon as the person in it stood up. Now this chair is all hers since we have some new ones. 🙂
It’s not quite as much fun, but now no one tells her to get out and her favorite human (my husband) can sit next to her and give her scritches.