Whether you make it at home or order it at a Mediterranean restaurant, Spanakopita is one of the tastiest dishes around. Here we’ll look at how to reheat spanakopita.
While it can be a main dish in its own right, Spanakopita (meaning “spinach pie” in Greek) is often included as a warm mezze, or appetizer. Just because it is an appetizer doesn’t mean that you’re not likely to have leftovers.
What Makes Spanakopita So Special
Spanakopita is a folded pie, with phyllo dough wrapped around a filling of feta and spinach.
Phyllo dough consists of several thin layers of dough, eat thinner than a piece of paper, placed one on top of another. This allows the dough to be incredibly flaky. Occasionally other ingredients, like egg, onion, or garlic, are included, but the centrality of feta and spinach is key.
Also, it is where the difficulties of reheating spanakopita emerge. Phyllo dough is notoriously difficult to work with, and improper heating can result in it falling apart in your hands.
Meanwhile, that filling is more forgiving than the dough, but not by much. Overcooked spinach can release a lot of moisture, further comprising the crust.
Also, you’ll want to maintain the texture of the filling; too much moisture can turn the insides into a soup-like consistency.
Preserving Crispness and Moistness When You Reheat Spanakopita
Because of this, our top priority should be preserving the crispiness of the phyllo dough.
To do this, we have to apply consistent, dry heat to the spanakopita. It shouldn’t be too high, lest the dough burn, nor should it be too low, as this will cause the inside to become overly damp.
Of course, we do want to make sure that we are following proper food safety procedures. That means making sure that the spanakopita is above 140 degrees, or under 40 degrees, when we eat it. This is especially true if the spinach pie in question has egg in it.
Getting the exterior to 140 degrees is easy, but making sure that the interior reaches that temperature without getting soggy is a different story. Once again, consistent, dry heat will be our friend.
What to Avoid
An all around poor idea for spanakopita is the microwave. It will only result in a soggy interior while also turning the delicate layers of phyllo into a soft, damp mess.
Even if that were not the case, it would quickly cause parts of the interior to release too much moisture. Remember that microwaves cook by causing water molecules within the food to become steam, and steam is an enemy to crispiness.
Additionally, using too high of heat can be a bad idea. A broiler may ensure crispness, but by the time the interior was warm, the exterior would be charcoal.
Meanwhile, an air fryer can be useful only if the interior is frozen. This gives it enough time to gently warm. However, if doing this, be sure to let the spanakopita rest in the air fryer, without opening it, for 3-5 minutes after cooking in order to make sure the interior gets above 140 degrees.
Finally, because we are looking to preserve crispness, a sous vide cooker is a poor choice here. Beyond the fact that it doesn’t reintroduce any crispness lost in the cooling process, it also crushes the delicate texture of the phyllo dough.
Best Ways to Reheat Spanakopita
Instead, the single best way to reheat spanakopita is in a 325 degree oven.
Depending on the size of the spanakopita, this will take between seven and twenty minutes, but will help make sure that the crust is crispy and the filling is perfect.
If you’re in an office setting without an oven, then it may be worth trying a combination of the techniques we mentioned earlier.
Microwave the spanakopita for 30 seconds or so, then put them in the air fryer for three or four minutes. That will minimize the ability of the moisture inside to impact the phyllo.