Mom's Spinach-Ricotta Pie is one of my top-10 favorites! It's perfect as an appetizer, side, or meatless main dish. You'll love its buttery crust and cheesy spinach filling!
Behold, Mom's Spinach-Ricotta Pie. It's among my top-ten favorites of Mom's culinary masterpieces!
With its buttery crust and cheesy spinach filling, it easily makes the list of the Best Spinach Recipes for Dinner!
Mom always makes this pie in a 9x13 pan, so it feeds a crowd. We've served this at countless family gatherings!
Spinach: I highly recommend using frozen spinach, which will be easier than using fresh. If you use fresh spinach, you'll need two pounds of it, which will require cooking on the stove in batches.
Ricotta: Use full-fat ricotta for the best flavor and texture.
Romano Cheese: We always use Pecorino Romano here, but you can use regular, as long as it's freshly grated. Pecorino is made from sheep's milk and brings a salty, sharp accent to our Spinach-Ricotta Pie.
Parmesan: You just need a tablespoon of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top before baking the pie. It will help brown the surface and adds a nice flavor.
Vinegar for the pie crust: Adding vinegar to pie crust makes it more tender and easy to handle, plus helps it to brown better, as Tasting Table explains.
How to make spinach-ricotta pie
See the card at the end of this post for the full recipe, but here's an overview.
If using frozen spinach (recommended) thaw it in the microwave on the defrost setting. Drain it well by squeezing out excess liquid with paper towels or a lint-free kitchen towel.
Make the spinach and ricotta filling
- Cook the onions and garlic for a few minutes.
- Add the spinach, salt and pepper.
- When the spinach is cooked, stir in Romano cheese.
- Place the spinach mixture in a large mixing bowl and stir in ricotta and parsley. Add beaten eggs.
- Fold the egg into the filling until combined.
Make the pie dough
- Add the flour and butter to a mixing bowl.
- Use a pastry cutter (affiliate link) to cut the butter into the flour until it forms coarse crumbs.
- Stir a mixture of cold water, vinegar and egg white into the dry ingredients a little at a time.
- Shape the dough into a ball and refrigerate it for 15 minutes.
Roll out the pie crust
- On a clean surface, place the glass 9x13 pan face down and sprinkle flour around it in a rectangle two inches away from the pan's edges.
- Place the ball of dough in the center of the rectangle of flour and use a rolling pin (affiliate link) to press down the dough.
- Using the flour frame as a guide, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape.
- Transfer the dough to the baking pan. Trim any dough that overhangs too far.
Assemble the spinach pie
- Crimp the edges of dough or fold in the edges. Brush cold water on the edges of the pan so the crust won't slide down.
- Pour the filling into the raw crust and bake.
The baked spinach-ricotta pie will emerge like a work of art and fill your home with the most wonderful aroma!
- When rolling out the pie dough, if it starts splitting at the edges, use your fingertips to push the pastry dough back together. Then, roll over it with the rolling pin to smooth it out.
- Drain the cooked spinach well before using it in the filling, so you don't have a soggy pie.
- You can halve the recipe for a pie dish and even use this Olive Oil Pie Crust that you just press into place. It may take less time to bake, so start checking on it after 40 minutes.
You can prep the crust the day before, without baking it. Also the day before, you can thaw the spinach and cook it with the onions and garlic. You can grate the Parmesan and Romano cheeses.
The day of baking, drain the cooked spinach if liquid has accumulated. Add the ricotta cheese and eggs for the filling. You can assemble the pie in the morning and bake it when you're ready.
What to serve with it
- For an appetizer: Serve it on a buffet with Italian peppers, clams casino dip and bacon-wrapped dates.
- For a vegetable side dish: Serve it with rosemary pork loin, Italian cutlets, breaded cod or as part of an Italian Thanksgiving dinner.
- For a meatless meal: Cut it into large squares and serve it with a simple green salad.
Frequently asked questions
Spinach-Ricotta Pie should not be reheated in the microwave, because it will ruin the texture and flavor.
Let the pie come to room temperature first. Reheat the pie in the oven at 350 degrees F, uncovered. Start with 15 minutes and see if it needs more time.
Yes, you can freeze slices of this spinach-ricotta pie. Let the slices cool, then double-wrap them in plastic. Place the wrapped slices in a freezer bag or sealed container and use them within a month for the best quality.
You should be able to make this into a crustless spinach-ricotta pie that's gluten-free. Bake it at 350 degrees F and check on it after 25 minutes to see if it needs more time.
More recipes like this
- Authentic Italian Lasagna
- Vidalia Onion Pie
- Escarole Pie
- Homemade Manicotti
- Asiago Artichoke Dip
- Spinach-Artichoke Casserole
If you try Mom's Spinach-Ricotta Pie recipe, please leave a comment and a rating!
Mom's Spinach-Ricotta Pie
- 2 pounds frozen leaf spinach, thawed & drained (can use fresh spinach, but see notes.)
- 1 ½ pounds ricotta cheese
- 1 small yellow onion (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 7 tablespoons salted butter (if using fresh spinach, use 4 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons olive oil)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- black pepper (to taste)
- 1 ¼ cup Pecorino Romano (grated)
- 5 eggs (beaten)
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan (to sprinkle on top)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon salted butter (softened & cut into pieces)
- 5-6 tablespoons very cold water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or white)
- 1 egg white (beaten)
Thaw Frozen Spinach
- Thaw frozen spinach in the microwave on defrost, so it's still raw. Let the spinach drain in a colander in the sink.
Make the Pie Dough
- While the spinach is draining, prepare the pie dough. In a large mixing bowl, use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until coarse crumbs appear.
- In a small bowl, use a fork to beat the liquids together (5 tablespoons of very cold water, the egg white and a tablespoon of vinegar). Add a little of the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork. Continue adding a little bit of liquid at a time and mixing. Press the butter into the flour with the fork. Add an extra tablespoon of water if needed.
- Gather the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Prep the Onion, Garlic & Cheeses
- While the dough is chilling, chop the onion, garlic, and parsley and grate the Pecorino Romano and Parmesan. Set them aside.
Roll out the dough
- Prep the counter for rolling out the dough. (You can use a floured pastry cloth or parchment paper.) Place a 9x13 glass pan face-down on the clean surface and sprinkle flour in a rectangular frame around it, two inches beyond the pan's edges. This will be the outline to guide your rolling.
- Set aside the pan and place the dough in the center of the flour rectangle. Using a floured rolling pin (or a cloth-covered rolling pin), firmly roll the pastry out into a rectangle that fits into your outline (press down, roll, and lift as you go.) If the dough separates at the edges, just push it back together with your fingertips and roll over it to smooth it out.
- When the pastry is smooth and the right size, transfer it to the ungreased pan. (You can lift your cloth or parchment paper and turn the dough into the pan or partially roll the dough around the rolling pin and carry it into the pan.) Trim any dough that overhangs too far. If the dough is thin at the edges, you can fold the edges inside the rim of the pan before crimping them with your fingertips. If the dough is thick at the edges, just flute it without folding it under.
- Brush cold water on the edges of the pan so the crust will stick to the rim and not slide down. Refrigerate the pan with the raw crust while you finish the filling.
Make the Spinach-Ricotta Filling
- Dry the thawed spinach with paper towels or a lint-free kitchen towel and squeeze out any excess liquid. Melt the butter (and olive oil if using fresh spinach) in a pan on the stove. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat. Then add the spinach to the pan, sprinkling with salt and black pepper. Stir and cook on medium for 3-4 minutes. Off the heat, stir Romano cheese into the pan. If there is excess liquid, drain it in a colander in the sink so the pie won't be soggy.
- Place the spinach mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add the ricotta and parsley and stir well until blended. Fold in the beaten eggs.
- Pour the filling into the pan of raw crust. Sprinkle one tablespoon of Parmesan on top. Place the pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake uncovered, for 1 hour, or until the surface is golden brown. Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting it.
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- I recommend using thawed, frozen spinach, because you'd have to cook two pounds of fresh spinach in batches in a large skillet.
- The thawed spinach needs to be drained well, and the cooked spinach also needs to be drained so the pie won't be soggy.
- If using unsalted butter, you will need to add an extra ¼ teaspoon salt to the filling and 1 teaspoon salt to the crust.
- This pie should not be reheated in the microwave, because it will ruin the texture and flavor. You can take leftovers out of the refrigerator, let them come to room temperature, then reheat the pie in the oven at 350 degrees, uncovered. Start with 15 minutes and see if it needs more time.
- See the article that goes with this post for freezing directions and the option for a crustless pie.
(Recipe Source: This is one of my mom's signature dishes! Originally published on July 13, 2014 and updated now with additional photos and information.)