SEATTLE — Balkan food is known for its rich diversity of flavor combinations and this spinach pie is no exception! In this interview, Chef John Morovich with Balkan Night Northwest shares his recipe for Zeljanica, a Croatian pie.

Recipe: Zeljanica

From Balkan Night Northwest's John Morovich.


  • 3 boxes thawed frozen chopped spinach or 3 pounds fresh spinach (cleaned, blanched and chopped)
  • 1 pound Feta Cheese crumbled
  • 1 pound large-curd creamed cottage cheese 
  • 8 large eggs beaten
  • 1 package of filo dough
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) Butter melted


  1. Put the spinach into a colander and squeeze out most of the water so that it is fairly dry.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. 
  3. Add the crumbled feta and cottage cheese and spinach to the egg mixture and combine.
  4. Melt the stick of butter
  5. With a pastry brush, lightly butter an 8 x 12 pan and place one filo sheet cut to size on the bottom. Lightly butter that sheet.
  6. Continue adding 4 sheets of filo, buttering each sheet.
  7. Pour half of the filling on top of the filo sheets.
  8. Place three more filo sheets on top of the filling, lightly buttering each layer.
  9. Add the remainder of the filling.
  10. Top with the remaining buttered filo dough layers.
  11. Cover with the pan with Aluminum foil
  12. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
  13. Remove the aluminum foil, turn off the oven and let the pan sit in the residual heat for 5 minutes to lightly brown the top layer.
  14. Serve warm 

Segment Producer Joseph Suttner. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on Contact New Day