Bread, Recipes

The word spanakopita can literally be translated as ‘spinach pie’ and is of course a very famous and popular Greek dish. Meatwise, there is quite a strong culinary connotation between lamb meat and Greece as well. In South African, the braai combination of lamb chops and braaibroodjies is also quite iconic. No surprises then that the spinach-and-feta-based braaibroodjie is a winner. The ingredients below are pretty regulation for a spanakopita apart from swapping phyllo or pie pastry in the pie variation for sliced bread in my braaibroodjie take. Right up to brushing or spreading butter or olive oil on the outside, you would do that with the original as well. 

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Ingredients (makes 6)

  • 12 bread slices 
  • 1 tot olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped and crushed)
  • 400 g baby spinach (or normal spinach, finely sliced)
  • 200 g feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 240 g Cheddar cheese (sliced or grated)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • butter or olive oil (to spread on the slices of bread)


  1. Heat the oil in your pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the spinach and fry for a few minutes until it is wilted and half the size.
  2. Remove from the heat, add the crumbled feta and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Build the braaibroodjies: Spread butter or olive oil on one side of each slice of bread (these sides will be outward-facing in the assembled braaibroodjie). Pack half these slices buttered-side down and layer with the spinach mixture and Cheddar cheese. Close the braaibroodjies with the remaining bread slices, buttered sides facing upwards.
  4. ‘Braaibroodjies is draaibroodjies’. Braaibroodjies should be turned often and are braaied in a closed, hinged grid. If you don’t have one, buy one – preferably with adjustable heights to compress each unit perfectly. You want medium-paced, gentle heat and the grid should be relatively high. Your aim is for the cheese to be melted and all other fillings to be completely heated by the time the outsides are golden brown. Slightly opening and closing your hinged grid a few times after the first few turns of the braai process helps the braaibroodjies not to get stuck to the grid.
  5. Once done, slice each braaibroodjie in half. Generally I believe that the correct way to slice braaibroodjies is diagonal and the correct time to serve is immediately.