Be strong like Popeye: Eat Your Crusty's-inspired Spinach Pie

My cute little brother wanted to be Popeye. So he asked my grandmother to get him a can of spinach.

Have you ever eaten canned spinach?
He gagged. He hasn’t touched the stuff since 1973 (yeah, he’s almost 45 now, but he’s still cute!).
But I’m pretty sure spinach really does make you strong like Popeye. So yesterday when I had lunch at Crusty’s (you can read my blog post about their amazing pizza here), I ordered their spinach pie. ($3 ! for a whole meal!) with cheese (add .50 ! ), and I intended to save half for later (I almost never eat a whole restaurant-sized meal) but it was so delicious, I devoured it.
Then I said to myself, “My brother ought to taste this!” (of course Crusty’s does NOT use canned spinach!)
I went home and invented my version of spinach pie.
When you need renewed energy eat this yummy spinach pie (take 30 seconds to watch this video, and then get ready, because this will certainly happen to you).
My recipe is for a quick individual-sized serving. Double or quadruple it if you want to feed your family and friends. But don’t feed this to your enemies lest they overpower you.
for the filling:

  • 1 cup frozen spinach. Thaw it, then squeeze it dry (in a fine-meshed colander, just squeeze and mush it with your hands until no more juice runs out).
  • 1 thin slice of onion, minced
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 4-5 pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • a sprinkle of your favorite seasoning salt and a dash of pepper
  • 1 ounce of grated cheese (I used mostly mozzarella and a smidge of romano)

for the crust:

  • 1/8 cup white whole wheat flour (use white flour if you prefer)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons chilled salted butter, but into dime-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream

Preheat oven to 425 F (I used the toaster oven, to save energy).
to assemble:

  • In a small bowl, blend flour and baking powder. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter.
  • Using a fork stir in the sour cream until the mixture comes together into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate (will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours).
  • In a single-serving baking dish, stir together the drained spinach, onion, olives, garlic, seasoning salt and pepper. Spread out flat.


  • Sprinkle evenly with cheese.


  • Take the pastry out of the refrigerator and breaking off marble-sized pieces, flatten each into a rough, small pancake and lay on top of the spinach-cheese in a cobbled pattern (see pictures).


  • Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is nicely brown. Don’t skype your son while your pie is in the oven because you’ll get engrossed in watching your grandbaby take her first crawl, get all teary-eyed and proud, and totally forget you’re supposed to be keeping an eye on your pie and then you’ll slightly over-brown it.

Devour (even extra-browned, it’s yum!); now go out and trounce your adversaries.
What do you eat when you want to feel strong like Popeye? or what were you doing the last time you over-baked something?

22 thoughts on “Be strong like Popeye: Eat Your Crusty's-inspired Spinach Pie”

  1. I want to devour this right now!! Last thing I over”baked”, you know I am not much of a baker, but I do love my German “Auflauf”, was a bagel that I left in the toaster for too long…:(

    1. Bummer– about the bagel. I hate burnt toast, and burnt bagels are even worse. 🙁
      If you devour the spinach, remember to loosen your sleeves and collar first, because your muscles will get HUGE and pop the buttons (or anyway, that’s what happens to Popeye!)

      1. I had another one…cannot stand the burnt…and scratching it off doesn’t do the trick for me, because the rest is too hard too.
        Will need to remember your spinach advice. Nina’s eyes will pop when I do that next time….

  2. Looks good – I might try this with veggie daughter. We had brie and grape pie the other day and she loved it.
    I had forgotten about the Popeye cans of spinach. Seems a hilarious idea now – it’s so quick to cook just as convenient to get it fresh out of a packet.

          1. Yes to choice. Normally I wouldn’t care but they occasionally serve them to guests (like me). Fortunately I can spot them a mile away. They would think prison food is wonderful.

  3. My breakfast prep for Spinach Strong is this: I stir fry chopped celery and red onion in a little olive oil, chop up a big handful of fresh spinach and add it to the mix. Then I whip up two eggs with a little milk and sea salt and fresh ground pepper and pour in on top of the mix. Grate some gouda cheese stir it all like scrambled eggs.
    LOTS of energy and only one pan to clean up.
    But I love your spinach pie and plan to make it for lunch tomorrow!

    1. My brother is a hard sell when it comes to any food that is deep green. Plus, he lives half a continent away… I’m going to have to get his girlfriend to make it for him. He’ll do most anything she suggests because he’s totally in lurv. It’s wonderful to see; and she’s good for him.

      1. Oh yes, I think I can get him to at least try it… Just have to be a little sneaky about it. I’m trying to get him to drop some of the carbs and sugars out of his diet.

  4. Great recipe, Tracy! Your brother and I must be pretty much same age: is he a boy of ’69? Great year, if you ask me – the man on the moon, Woodstock… 😉

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