This is an amazing Greek pita that is filled with grated zucchini, lots of fresh herbs, plenty of Greek feta and the perfect touch of lemon zest. Store-bought filo dough is layered on the bottom and top of this pita, and the result is perfection. So easy to make, and very easy to love!
I love to find recipes that help me use up a lot of zucchini! Our garden harvest of this favourite summer squash is always plentiful and finding ways to use up the zucchini is always a good idea. Fortunately Greek cooking is loaded with zucchini recipes, like the very simple zucchini salad, crispy and addictive fried zucchini chips and so many versions of zucchini fritters.
Why this recipe works
Greek zucchini pita with filo is a winning recipe. It is light, healthy and really easy to make. Personally I love making recipes with zucchini because it reminds me that we can find opportunities to eat seasonally and with vegetables we grow ourselves. My parents have instilled the love of gardening in me and my siblings. We totally appreciate how hard work really does pay off, and zucchini is one of the easiest vegetables to grow. You do need space however because the plants expand!
If you have a garden you know that sometimes zucchini can go from just perfect, to overgrown in a matter of days! It is not uncommon to miss a zucchini and wind up with a huge squash. I find that these larger zucchini are best used in recipes where they are grated, like in double chocolate zucchini cake, or this recipe! Nothing goes to waste!
If you are afraid to work with filo, this zucchini recipe with feta is a great way to get rid of your fears! There is nothing complicated about working with filo, and I will teach you step by step how to succeed.
There are only a few ingredients required to make this amazing zucchini pita with filo.
Zucchini – A main ingredient in this zucchini pita is the zucchini. I use green summer squash and I grate it using my box grater. Don’t peel the zucchini – all you need to do is wash it and cut off the stem ends.
Green onions – Also called spring onions. Since they are not sautéed before being added to the filling, green onions, with their mild onion flavour, are the perfect ingredient here.
Eggs – Eggs help to bind the filling so that it does not fall apart when you are serving your zucchini pita. I always use large eggs in my recipes, unless otherwise specified.
Fresh herbs – For vibrant and fresh flavour I add fresh parsley, mint and chives to the filling of my Greek zucchini pita.
Bread crumbs – You are going to drain as much excess water as you can out of your zucchini. The addition of breadcrumbs is going to help absorb any liquid released during the cooking process. This will prevent a soggy pita.
Feta – I only ever use Greek feta which is made with either sheep’s milk, or a combination of sheep and goat milk.
Lemon zest – The addition of the grated rind of one lemon is absolutely perfect in this recipe. Don’t skip it!
Filo dough – Sometimes spelled phyllo dough. This is the paper-thin dough that is used to make many Greek savoury pitas and desserts. I usually find it fresh although it can also be purchased frozen. If you do purchase frozen filo dough be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Leaving it on the counter to thaw may make it soggy, and easy to tear.
Olive oil – I use Greek olive oil to brush the layers of filo dough. This ensures that they get nice and crispy.
I like to use fresh parsley, mint and chives in this recipe but you can use other fresh herbs if you like. Fresh basil would be lovely as would some fresh thyme and oregano.
You could use yellow summer squash in this zucchini pita, or a combination of green and yellow zucchini. In either case, do not peel your zucchini and grate it coarsely.
How to make
- Squeeze out as much liquid as you can from your grated zucchini. The easiest way to do this is to use cheesecloth, a mesh bag or clean kitchen towel. Alternatively you can squeeze out a little at a time with your hands. Transfer to a bowl.
- In a large skillet heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat and saute your strained zucchini. Depending on the size of your pan you may need to do this in batches (and you may need to add additional oil with each batch). Add the green onions and cook until the zucchini browns a little bit and any liquid which gets released evaporates.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine all of the ingredients (except for the filo dough and olive oil) together in a large bowl and mix to combine.
Prepare a 8 x 10 inch baking pan by brushing the bottom with a bit of oil. Layer 8 sheets of filo, brushing with a bit of oil after each sheet but, do not oil the top of the 8th sheet of filo.
Spread the zucchini mixture evenly over the filo dough in the pan. Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to make the filling as even as possible.
Top with an additional 8 layers of filo, again brushing each sheet with oil. If you have filo dough hanging over the edges of your pan, cut the excess away and fold over the rest so that you create a closed edge all around your pan. Brush the top of your zucchini pita, including the edges, with oil.
Use a sharp knife to score all the top layers of your filo. See Recipe Note. Drizzle with a bit of water.
Bake in the bottom rack of your oven for 15 minutes and then transfer to the the middle rack of your oven for an additional 15 minutes or until the filo is golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Drain your zucchini well
Just when you think you have gotten all of the water out of your zucchini, you can give it another squeeze and remove even more water! The easiest way to squeeze out as much water as possible from your zucchini is to wrap it in cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel. If you have the time, allow the zucchini to sit for a little while, and then squeeze it again.
How to work with filo
Filo dough has a reputation for being very finicky. People complain that it dries out quickly, and tears easily. The best way to deal with filo dough is to not be afraid of it! If it tears a little bit, don’t worry. You are using so many layers that the filling won’t fall out, and any tears will likely not be seen. Keep intact sheets for the top layer.
Also, as you are assembling your zucchini pita keep any filo you are not immediately using covered with a cloth. This will keep it from drying out, although honestly, it doesn’t dry out in seconds so if you are working rather quickly, you should be fine even if you don’t cover it.
Score the top of your pita
Before baking your pita use a sharp knife to pre-cut your pieces. You want to cut through all of the top layers of filo dough. This is essential because if you don’t do this, when it comes time to cut your zucchini pita after it is baked, you will make a huge mess of the top layer, which will be puffed and crispy.
Crustless Greek zucchini pita
If you are trying to eliminate some carbs, or don’t want to bother using filo dough, you can prepare this pita with only the filling. Simply bake in a greased baking pan at 350 degrees F for 20 – 30 minutes.
Lenten and Vegan Greek zucchini pita
If you omit the feta and eggs from this recipe you have a pita that is vegan and also perfect for lent. Even without the feta it will be delicious. In order to help bind the filling of your pita, you can substitute each egg with 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and 1 tablespoon of water.
What to serve with
Frequently asked questions
What is kolokithopita?
Kolokithopita, or zucchini pita, is similar to the more popular spanakopita (Greek spinach pie). The main difference is that it uses zucchini instead of spinach.
It is important to note that in Greek, kolokithi is the word used for both summer and winter squash. So, you can actually make a kolokithopita with something like pumpkin, or butternut squash. I have actually posted a recipe like that here that is called Pumpkin or winter squash pita (Πίτα με γλυκοκολοκύθα).
What can I do with leftover filo dough?
Depending on how large your pack of filo is, or how many scraps you have left from cutting the excess of the edges of your pan, you may have filo dough left over. If you have actual sheets of filo dough you can wrap them up to use in the future to make small triangular cheese pies.
If you have only scraps left over, you can toss these with a bit of olive oil and bake them in the oven at 350 degrees F until brown and crispy. You can dust these with cinnamon sugar for a sweet crispy snack, or add them to a salad for a bit of crunch.
How can I prevent the bottom of my kolokithopita (zucchini pita) from being soggy?
The most important thing is to squeeze as much water out of your zucchini as possible. Then, bake on the bottom rack of your oven for the first 15 minutes to cook the bottom well. Once baked, allow to cool for a few minutes and then transfer the pita pieces to a wire cooling rack. If you leave it in the pan for too long, it runs the risk of getting soggy on the bottom.
Storing and reheating
Any leftover pita should be allowed to cool completely and then kept in the refrigerator. It will keep well in the fridge for serval days.
My favourite way of reheating any pita that is made with filo dough is in the oven. Set your oven to 350 degrees F and reheat your pieces of zucchini pita until just warmed through. This will re-crisp your filo dough
Another great option that I have started to rely on lately is to use my air fryer. Air fryers are amazing for reheating pita made with filo dough. I usually set my temperature to about 300 degrees F and cook for 5 – 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it as you don’t want them to burn, and every air fryer is a bit different.
Related zucchini recipes
When zucchini is plentiful it is so much fun to find amazing ways to use it up! Here are some of my favourites!
Coconut lime zucchini cake is a wonderful and flavourful dessert. It tastes tropical and is so moist. Perfect when we are still holding on to summer!
Zucchini pasta sauce is the copycat recipe of the famous Megan Markle recipe. I love how easy this recipe is. It takes time to cook, but really does not require much attention.
Egg zucchini muffins are a favourite go to treat during the school year. I bake a batch and store them in the fridge for an easy grab and go breakfast or snack.
This Greek zucchini pita with feta will give 8 servings. Of course, if you cut smaller pieces you will get more servings out of it. This might be a great option if you are serving the pita as part of a meze party, or buffet.
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Greek zucchini pita (Kolokithopita me filo)
- 1 Grater
- 1 clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth to drain zucchini
- 1 Large bowl
- 1 8 x 10 inch baking pan
- 8 cups grated zucchini, packed
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 green onions, white and green part chopped
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp chives, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- ¾ cup crumbled feta
- ⅓ cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 lemon, grated rind only
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 lb fresh filo dough
- ½ cup olive oil approximately
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F
- Squeeze out as much liquid as you can from your grated zucchini. The easiest way to do this is to use cheesecloth, a mesh bag or clean kitchen towel. Alternatively you can squeeze out a little at a time with your hands. Transfer to a bowl.8 cups grated zucchini, packed
- In a large skillet heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat and saute your strained zucchini. Depending on the size of your pan you may need to do this in batches (and you may need to add additional oil with each batch). Add the green onions and cook until the zucchini browns a little bit and any liquid which gets released evaporates.1 tsp olive oil
- To your drained zucchini add the rest of the ingredients except for the filo dough and oil. Mix to combine well.4 green onions, white and green part chopped, ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped, 2 tbsp chives, chopped, 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped, ¾ cup crumbled feta, ⅓ cup plain breadcrumbs, 1 lemon, grated rind only, ¼ tsp pepper, ½ tsp salt, 2 large eggs, beaten
- Prepare a 8 x 10 inch baking pan by brushing the bottom with a bit of oil. Layer 8 sheets of filo, brushing with a bit of oil after each sheet but, do not oil the top of the 8th sheet of filo. See Recipe Note.½ cup olive oil, 1 lb fresh filo dough
- Spread the zucchini mixture evenly over the filo dough in the pan. Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to make the filling as even as possible.
- Top with an additional 8 layers of filo, again brushing each sheet with oil. If you have filo dough hanging over the edges of your pan, cut the excess away and fold over the rest so that you create a closed edge all around your pan. Brush the top of your zucchini pita, including the edges, with oil.
- Use a sharp knife to score all the top layers of your filo. See Recipe Note. Drizzle with a bit of water.
- Bake in the bottom rack of your oven for 15 minutes and then transfer to the the middle rack of your oven for an additional 15 minutes or until the filo is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.