This lovely Spinach and Onion Braid started with pizza dough and ended with tender bread braided around a cheesy spinach filling!

This Spinach Bread is filled with 3 kinds of cheese, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan, along with spinach, onions, and a touch of oregano! Every bite is delicious!!

Spinach and Onion Braid on a long white platter with the filling exposed.

Why You Must Make

I have a confession to make. I’m not a huge fan of onions in bread. Those everything bagels? Blech. Pissaladiere? Eh, not a favorite. So when this month’s Twelve Loaves theme was chosen, I was unsure how to work onions into bread.

  • Thankfully, the results were delicious or I wouldn’t be sharing this recipe with you!
  • This Spinach Onion Braid was born when I decided to adapt my favorite stuffed shells filling and pop it into a loaf.
  • And it worked! Plus the flavor combination was magnificent. It makes a huge loaf and we polished off half in one meal. Then Bill asked if he could have some for breakfast. How about that!

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Water, Sugar, All-Purpose Flour, Salt, Olive oil
  •  Instant Yeast – I used Red Star Premium Yeast
  •  Cake Flour – Find in the baking aisle. To make an easy substitute, remove 2 tablespoons from a cup of all-purpose flour. Replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk together and measure as if using cake flour. This makes 1 cup. Repeat or multiply the batch if you need more cake flour.
  •  Kosher Salt – If substituting table salt use less.
  •  Frozen Chopped Spinach –  10-ounce box, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • Onion – Diced
  •  Ricotta Cheese
  •  Shredded Mozzarella
  • Grated Parmesan
  •  Eggs – For dough and egg wash; large eggs
  •  Dried Oregano
Spinach and Onion Braid slices on a square white plate with two red-handled forks.

How to Make a Braided Bread

  • The base for this braid is made from homemade pizza dough. A very smooth, and stretchy dough. It took me a good while to roll it out into a 10 x 18 rectangle.
  • The dough is slightly salty, which works perfectly with the filling composed of spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and a bit of oregano. Dipping slices of this stuffed bread recipe into marinara sauce would be fabulous…well, maybe not for breakfast! The braiding process was quite simple. It’s just crossing alternating strips of the dough over the filling. No actual plaiting involved.
  • I spread the filling down the center of the dough, leaving at least 3 inches of dough on each side.
  • I also left a generous inch on both short ends to fold up and over the filling before starting the braiding process.
  • Feel free to trim the ends however you’d like to get rid of excess dough.
  • Check out my Raspberry Danish Braid for a photo that might help you visualize the process.

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure your yeast is fresh by checking its expiration date before starting the recipe.
  • Defrost your spinach overnight and squeeze it dry with your hands or with a potato ricer.
  • Have your eggs at room temperature for easier mixing and incorporation.
  • There are two rising or proofing times. The ideal temperature for proofing varies from 80-86°. My oven has a proofing setting and it’s set at 86°.
  • You do not want to force the dough to rise by putting it in a hotter environment. The slower rise will provide a better texture and flavor.
  • Glazing the dough with an egg wash provides a nice sheen after it’s baked.
Uncut Spinach and Onion Braid on a white ceramic tray.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Braid a Yeast Bread?

Braiding bread is a little different from braiding hair. With this loaf, it entails alternating strips of dough to cover the filling. The spinach filling is arranged in the center of a rectangle of bread dough. Then the plain dough on each side of the spinach filling are cut into strips. These strips are crossed over the dough, alternating from one side to the other until the filling is completely covered with dough. It’s not difficult, yet looks like a specialty loaf that you’d buy from a bakery!

How Do You Know When A Filled Loaf is Done?

Use all your senses. The loaf should be golden brown and you should be able to smell the aroma of the cooked onions in the filling. Use the recipe as a guide, but note that all ovens bake a little differently. You can use an instant-read thermometer, too. Bread is done when it’s between 195° and 210°F. And since there are eggs in the spinach filling, note that salmonella is killed at 160°F.

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Spinach Onion Braid

Spinach Onion Braid Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 10 servings

A lovely yeast bread braided around a delicious spinach and onion filling!



  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 package instant yeast (I use Red Star Premium Yeast)
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (if using table salt use less)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 10-ounce box frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • ½ onion, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine water, sugar, and yeast.
  2. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil, then the flours and salt. Knead dough on low speed for 10 minutes (may also knead by hand).
  3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat surface. Cover the dough with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.
  4. Make filling. Saute onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil till soft. Let cool.
  5. Mix spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, oregano, and salt till thoroughly mixed.
  6. Roll dough into an 18 x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
  7. Spread the filling down the center of the dough (going the long way) leaving 3+ inches of dough on each side of the filling and an inch of space on each end.
  8. Fold up the short edges over the filling. Cut away any excess dough. Cut an equal number of ¾-inch wide strips in the dough on each side of the filling, then alternating, fold the strips up and over the filling.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another hour in a warm place.
  10. Preheat oven to 350º.
  11. Whisk together egg and water and brush over the loaf.
  12. Bake for 30-40 minutes till the crust is golden brown. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 274Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 823mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 11g


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