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Spinach Onion Braid

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

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

Spinach Onion Braid

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 a bread.

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!

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.

It’s slightly salty, which works perfectly with the filling composed of spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg and a bit of oregano. Dipping slices 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.

Uncut Spinach and Onion Braid on a white ceramic tray

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Spinach Onion Braid

Spinach Onion Braid

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

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



  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 package instant yeast (I use Red Star Premium Yeast)
  • 2 1/4 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
  • 1/2 onion, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Egg wash::

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook, combine water, sugar, and yeast.
  2. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil, then the flours and salt. Knead dough on low speed 10 minutes (may also knead by hand).
  3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning dough to coat surface. Cover 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. 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.
  7. Fold up the short edges over the filling. Cut away any excess dough. Cut an equal number of ΒΎ inch wide strips in the dough on each side of the filling, then alternating, fold strips up and over filling.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another hour in a warm place. Preheat oven to 350ΒΊ
  9. Whisk together egg and water and brush over loaf. Bake for 30-40 minutes till 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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58 comments on “Spinach Onion Braid”

  1. I love onions but you’re right… on bagels, blech. LOL
    This braided loaf looks stunning! Very impressive. And the cheese and spinach stuffed inside. What? I’m drooling?? πŸ˜›

  2. Wow, this sounds like an Italian spanakopita version, made with bread! It must be delicious! Thank you for sharing Liz!

  3. Beautifully braided πŸ˜€
    andI love the flavours πŸ™‚

  4. Oh, this is a beauty! Love to see that braid work…
    πŸ™‚ ela

  5. I love anything stuffed into bread (except olives) and you were absolutely brilliant to think of filling pizza dough with your stuffed shells filling. i don’t blame Bill at all for wanting to each this for breakfast. I think the man is onto something! This is gorgeous.

  6. I would have this for breakfast in a heartbeat!

  7. Beautiful, and sounds like a perfect breakfast to me!!!

  8. That’s gorgeous and frankly, I’d dip for breakfast too. πŸ™‚

  9. Lizzy,
    I would love this bread! I love onions and spinach. Pinned and tweeted.

  10. Gorgeous braided loaf. So creative! Onions in bread…not too fussy about that either.

  11. I love the spinach/onion combo and this bread is SO GOOD! So smart to use an adapted pizza dough for it too!!

  12. I love how it looks like just a beautiful bread, and then you cut into it and this amazing filling kind of spills out. There is no way I could stop at just one piece.

  13. Wow, your braiding looks wonderful!

  14. Liz – this spinach onion bread looks soooooooooo DELICIOUS !!
    I love the recipe and I’m planning to try it SOOM

  15. Oh my goodness! This is so delicious it’s impossible to stop eating! I totally get wanting it for breakfast!

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