Think of Kotopita like the Greek version of a Chicken Pot Pie. With a flaky filo crust and feta cheese, this recipe is sure to be a family favorite.
Most people are familiar with Spanakopita, the Greek, filo-crusted, spinach and feta pie. But, what many people don’t know is that this spinach pie is just the tip of the Greek savory pie iceberg.
Pita is the general Greek term of a pie, and pitas are a staple comfort food in Greek cuisine. They can be filled with greens, cheese, meat, or even sweet fillings. The crust is most often made of filo (or phyllo) dough, paper-thin pastry sheets that are layered together with butter to create a deliciously flaky and heavenly crispy crust.
Kotopita: A Greek Style Chicken Pot Pie
Kotopita (pronounced KOH-toh-PEE-tah) is one of these traditional Greek filo pies. This hearty, savory pie has a shredded chicken filling. The chicken is mixed with a creamy béchamel sauce and feta cheese, giving the filling a creamy, savory, cheesy flavor that would be out of this world, even if it wasn’t wrapped in a light, flaky, crispy filo crust.
One crunch through that crust into the flavorful chicken filling and you are in Greek pie heaven. Move over Spanakopita, we might have just found our new favorite Greek pita.
Working With Filo Dough
Filo (or phyllo) dough sheets can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store, near the frozen pie crust and puff pastry. The paper-thin sheets come in rolls that need to be thawed before you use them.
After unrolling the roll, you will want to keep the dough covered with a tea towel while you are putting together your pie. Since the sheets are so thin, they dry out quickly, and once dry, they become brittle and difficult to work with.
To make serving the pie easier, we like to pre-cut the pie before baking it, that way you don’t have to massacre your beautiful, flaky filo crust after it has reached crispy perfection.
Kotopita (Greek Chicken Pie)
Recipe can be doubled to fill a 9x13 baking dish.
- 2 lb chicken breast*
- 2 c water
For the Béchamel Sauce
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 2 red onions, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 c milk, warmed
- 1 tsp dill
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
Putting It All Together
- 3 oz feta cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 12 sheets filo dough
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Place chicken and water in a medium saucepan. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Remove chicken from the pan and place on a plate to cool. Reserve one cup of chicken broth and set it aside. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle shred it with two forks. Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl and set it aside.
- While the chicken is boiling, prepare the béchamel sauce. Melt 2 Tbsp butter. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until softened over medium high heat, 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 3 Tbsp of flour. Stir until the flour is moistened, then return the pan to the heat. Slowly add the warm milk, mixing continuously. Add 1 c of the chicken boiling liquid (or stock) and mix, heating, until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove the sauce from the heat and mix in the dill, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Pour the sauce over the shredded chicken in the bowl. Add the feta and mix well. Taste the mixture and adjust the salt and pepper to your taste preference. Finally, mix in the beaten egg.
- Melt the remaining 3 Tbsp butter. Brush the bottom and sides of an 8x8 baking dish or deep-dish pie dish with the melted butter. Place two sheets of filo dough, alternating directions, in the bottom of the buttered dish, letting the edges hang over the sides of the dish. Brush the filo with melted butter. Continue with 4 more sheets of dough, brushing with butter every 2 sheets. (You will have used 6 sheets total for the bottom crust.)
- Pour the chicken filling into the center of the dish and spread it evenly. Fold the overhung edges of filo dough over the filling. Brush the top of the folded over sheets with butter.
- Layer the remaining 6 filo sheets over the filling, brushing with butter every two layers. Tuck any overhanging filo dough into the pie to give it a nice smooth top. Finish everything off with a brushing of butter.
- Using a serrated knife, carefully pre-cut the pie into serving-sized pieces, being sure to cut the bottom filo sheets.
- Place the dish into the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the center is bubbly and the crust is golden.
- Remove from the oven and let stand 10-15 minutes before serving with a side salad.
Looking for more Greek recipes? Check out the collection below from some of our favorite bloggers!
- Greek Salad (Horiatiki Salata) by Angels Home Sweet Homestead
- Socca Pizza with Spinach, Roasted Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, and Feta by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Spanakopita Bites by My Imperfect Kitchen
- Shrimp Avgolemono with Spinach by Monica’s Table
- Vegetarian Magiritsa (Greek Easter Soup) by Palatable Pastime
Greek Main Dishes:
- Brizola (Greek-style Pork Chops) by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Greek Meatball Salad by Magnolia Days
- Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Roasted Vegetables by Food Lust People Love
- Souvlaki Chicken Wraps with Homemade Tzatziki by The Crumby Cupcake
- Youvetsi (Greek beef or lamb and orzo stew) by Caroline’s Cooking
- Spanakorizo by Feeding Big and More
- Chocolate Baklava by The Chef Next Door
- Greek Wedding Cookies – Kourabiethes/Kourabiedes by La Bella Vita Cucina
- Loukoumades (Greek honey fritters) by The Redhead Baker
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Sarah is co-owner of Curious Cuisiniere and the chief researcher and recipe developer for the site. Her love for cultural cuisines was instilled early by her French Canadian Grandmother. Her experience in the kitchen and in recipe development comes from years working in professional kitchens. She has traveled extensively and enjoys bringing the flavors of her travels back to create easy-to-make recipes.