It seems obvious that Greek food should be delicious. Greece itself stands at a global crossroads: from the east, you have Arab and Turkish cuisine exerting their influences. In the west, you have the Mediterranean in all its interconnectedness—Italy and France being just a short boat ride away. Greece itself is split between its many islands and its mainland, allowing for further culinary diversity.
Like many cuisines of the Mediterranean region, Greek food emphasizes simplicity and the freshness and quality of ingredients. Popular and distinctive ingredients are olives and olive oil, wild herbs, honey, fish, grilled meats, and lots of fresh vegetables. Every Greek region has its own set of unique traditions, dishes, and ingredients.
The closer the people are to the land, the more connected they are to their foods. And so it is in Greece. Many people, such as the denizens of the islands and mountain villages, have their own plots of land to grow vegetables, their own flocks of sheep and goats, their favorite areas to forage for wild plants and honey, or their own fishing boat to take out when searching for a maritime treat. Homemade cheeses, honey, wine, and more are all common in the Greek countryside and in Greek cookbooks.
Greece’s culinary tradition is diverse and impressive. We’ve assembled our favorite Greek recipes for you to try—we’re sure you’ll find them easy and delicious!
Greek bouyourdi: grilled feta with tomato and pepper recipe
Is there anything more Greek than feta cheese? Maybe not. It’s surely one of the country’s most prized culinary exports, a protected designation, and most of all—delicious! This dish isn’t really what you normally think of when you think about grilled cheese, to be sure, but baked feta is utterly different from uncooked feta, and surely worth a try. Plus, this recipe comes together in a flash—just stack the ingredients in an attractive pile, drizzle with some olive oil, and toss it in a very hot oven! The feta dries out in the oven, losing some of the water it absorbed in its long soak in brine, and becoming light, almost fluffy, and infused with delicious flavor from the vegetables and seasonings. Try this easy baked feta cheese recipe for dinner!
East Greek Tzatziki sauce recipe
No Greek meal is complete without a generous heap of tzatziki sauce on the side. This cucumber- and garlic-infused yogurt sauce is perhaps one of the most famous Greek dishes in existence. It’s great as a side for grilled meats and veggies or simply spread on a good piece of bread. The real key here is the dill—it’s absolutely mandatory and essential to the flavor of this dish. You can try making it with other fresh herbs, but it just won’t be the same. Try making this Greek tzatziki dip recipe for your next party!
Eggplant moussaka with sheep’s milk cheese recipe
In a way, moussaka is kind of like the Greek version of lasagne. It’s an item baked in a casserole dish, thick with tomato and cheese, and quite greasy. But where the lasagne uses pasta, this Greek moussaka uses grilled eggplant—and to great effect. In some ways, it’s a bit like a low-carb lasagne. This dish is great served hot or at room temperature, and works best as a shared appetizer (though some adventurous souls have been known to eat an entire portion by themselves). So the next time you’re thinking about making lasagne, reach for the eggplant instead and whip up some delicious Greek moussaka!
Greek dolmades recipe
These rolled grape leaves stuffed with seasoned rice have many names depending on where they’re from, but in Greece, they’re known as dolmades. Seasoned rice is gently rolled inside marinated grape leaves. Then they’re simmered once more to allow all the seasonings to permeate and perfume the rice inside. Serve these dolmades, the classic Greek appetizer, cold or at room temperature, drizzled with lemon juice and a good sized glug of extra virgin olive oil. These dolmades are a very impressive appetizer or finger food and are perfectly suited to a situation like hosting a party with friends. They also make a great dish to bring to a potluck if you want to show off to your friends and colleagues—easy to eat with one hand, delicious, and impressive.
Greek yogurt with honey and pistachios recipe
Greek yogurt is having a moment. Thicker and creamier than regular yogurt, but higher in protein and just as healthy, it’s easy to see why it’s popular. Indeed, Greek yogurt is so thick and creamy that, with just a few added ingredients, it can be transformed into a delicious dessert. In this delicious and healthy dessert, creamy Greek yogurt is elevated by adding real natural honey and delicious roasted pistachios. In fact, it’s so healthy, you could even have it for breakfast—no guilt here!