Fresh spinach and feta bake

Looking for a dish that can be both a vegetarian main and a side dish? This Mediterranean-style fresh spinach and feta bake fits the bill. It is rich enough to be a fully-satisfying lunch fix, and lean enough to serve as a side for your favourite proteins. I usually enjoy this low carb spinach and feta bake as a main and serve it with a quick yogurt dip and some yummy low carb rolls or bread. The soft and warm feta crumbs give this dish all the umami you need for a fully satisfying meal!

Wanna give it a try? It is very easy. And since you bake it, you can prepare your main while your spinach bake is in the oven. The spices I use for this recipes are Mediterranean-ish, so if you’d like to eat it with a main, it may be a good idea to check out Mediterranean food blogs, for example The Mediterranean Dish, or ideas for low carb Mediterranean cooking for inspiration.

A serving tray with baked spinach and feta on a blue napkin, with a fork

Ingredients 🥬

I really like spinach! It is delicious, versatile and very healthy. It fits all cuisines I like – Chinese, Mediterranean, traditional Northern European. Especially if you don’t eat meat, spinach is one of the vegetables that provide many of your necessary veggie nutrients.

Spinach is a great source of all sorts of vitamins, such as C and K. It also contains many minerals, for example iron, calcium or potassium. Its richness of iron has gained spinach a reputation for restoring your energy. Spinach is so loaded with healthy ingredients that it may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer, and reduce blood pressure levels.

Moreover, spinach has just 3.6 grams of carbs per 100 grams/3.5 oz. Most of these carbs actually consist of healthy fibre. Therefore, spinach is perfectly suitable as a regular to even very low carb diets such as keto. So, multiple reasons for you to regularly enjoy spinach all the time!

A bowl of spinach, a plate of feta, one leek, garlic, spices and olive oil on a wooden table

Whenever possible, I use fresh spinach. For some recipes, such as spinach salad or Chinese spinach saute, it only works with fresh spinach leaves. But sometimes, frozen spinach works as well. And this is the case for this recipe. We try to keep some spinach in the freezer so we have some at hand.

As for the spices – use any fine chili powder or sub with cayenne pepper. The crushed chiles used in Chinese cooking, on the contrary, are not so ideal for this recipe. If you don’t like spicy food, just ignore the chili and use a generous dose of black pepper from your mill.

Ras el hanout is a North African spice mix that includes cumin, cinnamon, coriander seeds, turmeric and a number of other fragrant spices. You can buy it in good grocery stores or make your own ras el hanout.

Instructions 🔪

So let’s get ready and bake our spinach! It’s good to pull out and prepare everything before you start sauteeing the spinach, as that will be super quick. So, take out a small baking tray with a lid and set aside. If you don’t have a lid, you can use aluminum foil. You do not need to grease the tray. Set your oven to 200 degrees Celsius/390 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you use fresh spinach, wash and rinse it thoroughly and coarsely chop the leaves. If you wish, remove the thickest stems. I usually just chop them into smaller pieces and add them to my pan.
Then, also cut your feta into small pieces, about 1 cm side length. Slice leek or spring onion and finely chop garlic.

Everything prepared? So now you can put a non-stick pan to medium heat on your stove, and add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add garlic and leek/spring onion slices. Fry until the garlic is slightly golden end emits its fantastic fragrance. Add ras el hanout, chili powder and a pinch of salt and stir-fry everything in your oil for another minute. The spices should be blending with the leek and garlic.

Frying garlic pieces and spices in olive oil
frying leek and spices in olive oil

Now, add the spinach. You may want to add it in batches. Add the first handful and then wait until this first batch starts wilting before adding more. It makes it a bit easier to manage. Saute your spinach until all leaves are wilting and shrinking in size. This will take roughly 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of your pan. If the mix is quite dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Stir the water in quickly to keep the spinach moist. There should be no sauce though.

If you use frozen spinach, make sure you pull it out of the freezer a little ahead of time. It is OK if it is still a bit frozen but should not be rock ice solid. You won’t need to do much chopping. It may also contain some water, so no need to add any more liquid to the pan. Apart from that, just make it in the same way.

sauteeing spinach with leek and spices in a non-stick pan
sauteed spinach with leek and spices in a pan

Baking it 🥘

Once you feel your spinach is sauteed well – all leaves wilted, water mostly evaporated – you can take the pan off the heat. Pour the spinach mix into the tray and spread it evenly. Then, sprinkle the feta pieces on top, cover the tray with lid or foil. Push your tray into the oven and bake for 10 minutes with lid on. .

A baking tray with spinach and feta on a blue denim napkin

After 10 minutes, pull out the tray and remove the lid. Bake for another 5-10 minutes to allow the feta to slightly brown. Once you can see the feta pieces turn golden, the bake is ready for you to enjoy! Pull it out and serve with your protein main, or simply with a piece of low carb bread and some yogurt. If you like, sprinkle your bake with another pinch of ras el hanout, and/or garnish both bake and yogurt with a few pomegranate seeds. I LOVE pomegranate seeds for Mediterranean cooking. They add this delicious, slightly sweet and sour flavour, plus colour and crunch. It really depends on how many carbs you’d be willing to tolerate.

One extra idea: Enrich your yogurt with anything you like. Add a bit of salt and pepper, sprinkle it with more ras el hanout, mix in a few chopped parsley or mint leaves, or top it with black sesame. No limits to your creativity! If you like to make your own yogurt, check out my recipe for home made delicious yogurt.

a serving dish with spinach and feta bake

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a serving dish with spinach and feta bake

fresh spinach and feta bake


  • Author: Christiane
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Delicious fresh spinach and feta bake! Make this Mediterranean-style low carb vegetarian lunch fix in just 30 minutes. Also great as a side for dinner!


Ingredients

Scale

For 2 servings:

300g/11 oz fresh or frozen spinach

100g/3.5oz feta

3 garlic cloves

1 leek or 2 sprigs spring onion – white parts only

1 tsp ras el hanout

1/2 tsp chili powder – use less if you prefer a milder taste

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper from the mill, to taste

water

1 cup full fat natural yogurt

A few pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)


Instructions

  1. Pull out a small baking tray with a lid and set aside. If you don’t have a lid, you can use aluminum foil. You do not need to grease the tray. Set you oven to 200 degrees Celsius/390 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash and rinse your spinach and then coarsely chop the leaves. If you wish, remove the thickest stems. I usually just chop them into smaller pieces and add them to my pan. If you use frozen spinach, make sure you pull it out of the freezer a little ahead of time. It is OK if it is still a bit frozen but should not be rock ice solid.
  3. Cut your feta into small pieces, about 1 cm sidelength. Slice leek and finely chop garlic.
  4. Put a non-stick pan to medium heat and add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add garlic and leek/spring onion slices. Fry until the garlic is slightly golden.
  5. Add ras al hanout, chili powder and a pinch of salt, and stir-fry everything for another minute. The spices should be blending with the leek/spring onion and garlic.
  6. Now, add the spinach. You may want to add it in batches. dd the first handful and then wait until this first batch starts wilting before adding more. This makes it a bit easier to manage. Saute spinach until all leaves are wilting and shrinking in size, roughly 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of your pan. If the mix is quite dry, add 1-2 tbsp of water and stir it in quickly to keep the spinach moist. This most like won’t be necessary when using frozen spinach. There should be no sauce, so make sure the water is absorbed by the spinach or evaporated before filling your mic into the tray. Your spinach is done when all leaves are wilted, and the pan is mostly dry.
  7. Pour the spinach mix into the tray and spread evenly. Now, sprinkle the feta pieces on top, cover the tray with lid or foil – and push your tray into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
  8. After 10 minutes, pull out the tray and remove the lid. Bake for another 5-10 minutes to allow the feta to slightly brown. Once you can see the pieces turn golden, the bake is ready for you to enjoy!
  9. Pull your bake out and serve it with your protein main, or simply with a piece of low carb bread and some yogurt. If you like, sprinkle your bake with another pinch of ras el hanout, and/or garnish both bake and yogurt with a few pomegranate seeds.

     

Notes

Serve your yogurt with anything you like – add a bit of salt and pepper, sprinkle it with more ras el hanout, mix in a few chopped parsley or mint leaves, or top it with black sesame. No limits to your creativity!

  • Category: meals
  • Method: saute and bake
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

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