Breakfast, brunch, snack, dinner appetizer, this Spinach and Cheese Puff is an all around puff pastry recipe that you should add in your menu list, holiday or not. This puff is loaded with fresh chopped Spinach, tangy cream cheese, salty kalamata olives and flaky puff pastry. A great make-ahead option for busy days especially during the Holiday season. Make it, wrap it, freeze it and bake it when you need to serve something quick and delicious.
We’ve all indulge ourselves with loads of sweet treats, no judgement there as I am as guilty as anybody else. So this time, For a change, let us treat ourselves to something savory, to balance the sweetness that has been hovering around us all day long.
Puff pastry is my ultimate go to pastry dough, all year round, but even more during the holiday season. They’re perfect for emergency appetizer, desserts and even for sweet and savory entree. I actually make this Spinach Cheese Puff all year round, but even more during the holiday season. I like freezing them unbaked, ready for an easy breakfast or brunch item. I love how easy it is to make, and that I can make it ahead of time. It is such a time saver, and a life saver when I need something quick to put on the table.
How to Make Spinach and Cheese Puff
The Puff Pastry
So easy! You can make your own puff pastry, but if you are press on time, I would highly recommend using a store bought puff pastry. It makes the process 100x easier and faster. The number of pieces that you can make will depend on the size of your puff pastry. Mine was bigger than usual, so I was able to make 12 pieces from 1 roll. The regular size puff pastry will yield about 6 pieces. I will leave the decision to you on whether to use store bought or homemade. In case you want to make your own, I have a video recipe for a short cut puff pastry recipe.
The Spinach and Cheese Filling
You can make this 3 days ahead of time, just make sure to keep it refrigerated and this contains egg and cheese. You’ll need Spinach, I recommend using fresh so there is not much moisture to make the mixture watery. However, if what you have is frozen Spinach, make sure to squeeze as much water as possible. Chopped the Spinach finely then mix it with cream cheese , grated mozzarella cheese, spices , seasoning. You can taste it before you add the egg, this way you can adjust the spices. If you like it hot, add a bit more peppers.
Once you have this ready, you can either keep it refrigerated for 3 days or use it immediately. I would recommend use it and fill the puff pastry and freeze, or bake if you want to serve it immediately.
Can This Be Made Ahead of Time?
As I mentioned, this is a great make ahead appetizer or breakfast. If not using a muffin tin, arrange filed puff pastry in a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 4 hours, then transfer in a freezer ziplock bag.
If using muffin tin, line the muffin tin with parchment paper, fill the puff pastry and freeze the puff pastry on the muffin tin. After 4 hours, you can remove each piece and transfer in a ziplock bag. When ready to bake, return each piece in the muffin tin. This helps retain the shape as it bakes.
However, if you plan to bake it the following day, you do not need to line the muffin tin with parchment paper. Freeze the muffin tin with the puff pastry on it, then bake straight from the freezer, no need to thaw. Add 2-3 more minutes or until puff pastry is fully puff up.
When ready to bake, bake straight from the freezer, do not thaw. Add 2-3 more minutes or until puff pastry is fully puff up.
No Muffin Tin? No Problem!
Muffin Tins – If you have a regular size muffin tin, use that to hold the puff pastry. It creates a nice hollow center that can hold the filling. I added 1 tablespoon for each piece, then topped it with Kalamata Olive because I am obsessed with it, but in you’re not, then you can skip it. Last but not the least, add more grated mozzarella cheese on top, because why not?
Fold in square: If you do not have a muffin tin, you can fold each piece like an envelope. Brush the side with water or olive oil, fill the center with filling and fold each side towards the center. Do leave a little gap so the filling is visible. As this stage, it is ready to bake if needed, or freeze it for later baking.
Since holiday season tends to be a busy time of the year, a simple and easy to prepare appetizer is something that I welcome in my kitchen. What better way to make an easy appetizer by using Puff Pastry.
What Type of Puff Pasty to Buy
There’s no shame in using a readily available puff pastry, you got to do what you got to do, so go grab them. There are 2 types that I normally saw in the grocery, use whatever you have available in your area
- There’s one that are cut into 2 thick square. This type of puff pastry will require you to roll and flatten it into about 1/8 inch thickness. It’s not difficult to do that, but that still adds time when you are in a hurry. Also, you have to target of at least having an even surface. 1box contains 2 cut puff pastry.
- Then there’s my favorite type, the flat puff. They normally comes in 2 pieces per box, and all you have to do is thaw it a little bit in the fridge , unroll and cut them to size and shape you like. The thickness is even, so it’s you are assured that they will bake at the same time. The little time you save will make a huge difference when your tight on schedule. That will give you some time to clean up and relax before the party starts.
So those are you’re 2 options, if you are not considering on making your own puff pastry. You can choose which one is available in your grocery. But definitely go for the 2nd one if they have it.
- 2 cups Spinach – chopped finely
- 1/4 cup Cream Cheese – softened
- 75g Mozzarella Cheese (50g for the Spinach, 25g for the topping)
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
- 1/3 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Roll Puff Pastry (12 x7-inch)
- 1/4 cup Kalamata Olive (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Seed – optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
- Make the Spinach Filling: In a bowl, add softened cream cheese, grated mozzarella cheese, egg, salt, paprika and black pepper. Mix until combined. If you want to taste and adjust the seasoning, this is the time to do it. Otherwise, add the egg and mix
- Divide into 12 squares: Roll out 1 sheet of Puff Pastry. Cut 12 square pieces. The number of pieces will depend on the size of your puff pastry. Each piece of this is about 4×4-inch. You can measure the puff pastry and stretch i\t a bit if needed so you end up with an almost (if not exact) square shape for each.
- Assemble: You can do it using a muffin tin, or if you do not have a muffin tin, just fold it into square pockets like shown in the photo.
- Muffin Tin: Lay each piece of cut puff pastry into the muffin mold. Fill each piece with 1 tablespoon of Spinach and Cheese filling. Top with sliced olives and grated cheese. fold the excess puff pastry toward the center. Brush with olive oil, or if you have left over egg white, you can use that too. Sprinkle sesame seed on top.
- No Muffin Tin: There are several ways that you can do it, but for this recipe I am showing the folding option. Simply brush the sides of cut puff pastry with olive oil or egg white, Fill each piece with 1 tablespoon of Spinach and Cheese filling. Top with sliced olives and grated cheese. Fold the sides of puff pastry toward the center, leaving a small gap so the filling still show a bit. Lightly press the puff pastry down so it sticks with the filling. Brush top with olive oil, or if you have left over egg white, you can use that too. Sprinkle sesame seed on top.
- Chill: Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. This is very important as Puff Pastry needs to be in a cold state before baking for it to puff-up nicely.
- You can also freeze the assembled puff and bake later. This can be kept frozen for at least 1 month. No need to thaw when ready to bake. Add 2-3 more minutes if baking frozen.
- Bake: Arrange in a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until puff-up.
- Remove from Oven: Take out from the tray as soon as you take it out from the oven. Transfer in a plate or cooling rack.
Makes 12 pieces
Re-heat for 15 minutes in a pre-heated 300F oven. This will crisp up the puff pastry again.
Other Appetizer Ideas:
- Meat Free Monday: Mushroom and Cheese Hand Pie
- Puff Pastry Jalapeño and Cheese Bites
- BBQ Pulled Chicken Puff Pastry Bites, Easy Holiday Appetizer
- Baked Garlic Parmesan Puffs
- Make-Ahead Appetizer: Mini Pigs in a Blanket
- Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Melt
- Mini Chocolate Puff Pastry Croissant
- Pigs in a Blanket
- Margherita Puff Pastry Bites
If you have time and you feel like making your own Puff Pastry from scratch, watch this video and see how easy it is. Homemade Puff Pastry are not only simple and easy to make, it doesn’t get soggy as fast as store-bought one.
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