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Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals: Spinach & Feta Filo Pie recipe

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Jamie Oliver's spinach and feta filo pie, tomato salad with basil dressing and coated ice cream. Every element of this dish is delicious but I've never managed to cook it in 30 minutes.

  • Prep20m
  • Cook20m
  • Total40m

I thoroughly read the instructions for this recipe and watched Jamie Oliver effortlessly make it twice but my first attempt was still a struggle. My basil dressing was chunky instead of smooth, the cooked spinach was too wet and worst of all, the pie filling leaked through the pastry causing the filo to stick to the baking paper.

None of it mattered; it came together beautifully even if the presentation was a bit rustic*. Jamie Oliver says that the pie is the hero of the meal but the same can be said for the basil dressing and coated ice cream; they took minutes to make but tasted incredible. So much reward for such little effort.

Armed with more experience I've learnt the following:

  • Don't wet the baking paper as directed on the TV programme (the book omits this step). I think the wet paper contributed to my pastry problem.
  • Thoroughly oil the baking paper to stop the pastry from sticking to it.
  • Drain the spinach of any excess water to prevent the filling from becoming too wet. If your pie leaks like mine did, don’t worry. Once the eggs cook, everything thickens up and holds together.
  • Add less salt - the feta is salty enough.
★ ★ ★

* My ovenproof frying pan wouldn’t fit in my oven so I used a 26cm springform cake tin instead. As I wasn’t able to heat the cake tin on a hob I gave my pie an extra 10 minutes in the oven. When I cut into the pie the egg was still runny so it went back in for a further 10 minutes. This probably wouldn’t happen with a frying pan.


A recent experiment to make a bigger pie

  • I added an extra egg to the filling (6 in total, medium-sized) and two sliced courgettes cooked on a griddle pan.
  • The pie was cooked in an ovenproof frying pan rather than a cake tin. It needed 50 minutes in the oven at 200°C (fan) for the filling to set.
  • I covered the pie loosely with foil halfway through baking.

Recipe credit

Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals (affiliate link).


Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals: Spinach & Feta Filo Pie

  • Prep20m
  • Cook20m
  • Total40m
Serves: 4


Spinach and feta pie

  • 100g pine nuts
  • 5 eggs
  • 300g feta cheese
  • 50g grated cheddar cheese
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • 400g spinach
  • 270g pack of filo pastry
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 whole nutmeg (for grating)

Tomato salad

  • 1 handful basil
  • salt and pepper
  • crushed clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • around 250g assorted cherry tomatoes (on the vine if possible)
  • small handful Greek basil (or ordinary basil)

Cucumber salad

  • 1 cucumber
  • 10 black olives
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from ½ a lemon
  • ½ a red chili
  • small handful of fresh mint leaves

Coated ice cream

  • a tub of vanilla ice cream (one ball per person)
  • 4 tbsp coffee beans
  • 100g hazelnuts
  • 100g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan). Put an ovenproof frying pan (around 26cm diameter) over a medium heat.
  2. Spinach and feta pie: Toast 100g of pine nuts in the dry frying pan until they start to colour. Crack 5 eggs into a mixing bowl and crumble in 300g of feta cheese. Add 50g of grated Cheddar cheese, a pinch of salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, the zest from 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the toasted pine nuts and mix well.
  3. Heat the frying pan with a splash of olive oil and a knob of butter then add 200g of spinach (400g total). Move the spinach around in the frying pan for about a minute and once it has wilted, add the remaining 200g of spinach. Stir frequently.
  4. Cover your worktop with a 50cm piece of greaseproof paper (shiny side up). Scrunch the paper then lay it out flat. Grease well with olive oil. Working quickly, arrange 4 sheets of filo pastry in a square, making sure that the inner edges slightly overlap. Drizzle a little olive oil over the pastry sheets before sprinkling with a pinch of cayenne pepper. Repeat until you have three layers of pastry.
  5. The spinach should have wilted by now. If it's very wet, drain it in a colander then add it to the egg mixture and grate in some fresh nutmeg. Mix well then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  6. Pick up the greaseproof paper that the pastry is sitting on and transfer it to the frying pan (or cake tin in my case) so that the edges hang over the sides. Push the pastry into the sides of the pan (don't worry, filo is stronger than it looks) then pour in the filling. Fold the sides of the pastry into the middle to seal the pie then put the frying pan back on the heat for a few minutes.
  7. Transfer the frying pan into the oven to cook for around 20 minutes.
  8. Coated ice cream: Remove the tub of ice cream from the freezer to soften. Put 4 tablespoons of coffee beans and 100g of hazelnuts into a blender and blitz for around 30 seconds. Break 100g of dark chocolate into small pieces, add to the blender then blitz for another 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into a bowl.
  9. Scoop a ball of ice cream for each person, place on a dish then coat in the chocolate/hazelnut mixture. If you have any leftover mixture (I had loads) it can be frozen and eaten at a later date. Place the coated ice cream balls back into the freezer.
  10. Tomato salad: Clean the blender and add 1 handful of basil, a pinch of salt and pepper, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar and around 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Blend until you have a smooth, dark green dressing. Pour into the dish that you'll serve the tomato salad in.
  11. Wash 250g of tomatoes, slice them, then arrange them on top of the dressing but don't coat them just yet. Sprinkle over a small handful of Greek basil.
  12. Cucumber salad: Score down the outside of 1 cucumber with a fork then quarter it lengthways, cut into half inch chunks and place into a mixing bowl.
  13. Tear 10 black olives into the mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Finely slice 3 spring onions and add to the bowl.
  14. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and squeeze in the juice from ½ a lemon.
  15. Deseed and finely slice ½ a red chilli and add to the cucumber along with a small handful of sliced mint leaves. Mix everything well.
  16. Check on the pie. Once it has turned golden brown, remove it from the oven, lift it out of the pan and take it to the table along with the tomato salad, which can now be dressed. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and sprinkle with a little more chocolate/hazelnut mixture.

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