If you’ve never tried Greek food, then you’re missing out. From salads to spanakopita, it is known for its fresh, healthy quality that will leave your mouth watering.
Are you looking for a new menu to try or wanting to add more variety to your diet? Read on and discover why they are sure to please and so easy to make at home!
What Makes Greek Cuisine Unique?
There are so many different ways to prepare Greek meals. With so many different combinations of flavours that make each dish unique, your options are endless when it comes to serving up a delicious meal.
Kelly Michelakis, founder of The Hellenic Odyssey in Melbourne, shares a few reasons why you should try the cuisine today – and learn how to make Greek food at home!
Greek food is flavoursome. Greek food is famous for being both healthy and decadent at the same time – what more could you ask for? Many traditional Greek recipes include tomatoes and olives, which give them a rich flavor that is hard to find in other cuisines. The food is also very filling, which makes it suitable for any meal time.
Greek cuisine is nutritious. Greek cuisine uses lots of fresh ingredients and seasonings, which means it’s full of nutrients that help keep your body healthy and strong. Some dishes even include yogurt as one of the main ingredients, making them a great choice if you’re trying to lose some weight or cut down on carbs.
Greek food is easy to make at home. You don’t have to go out to a restaurant or buy pre-made dishes from the grocery store. If you have some basic cooking skills – or if you’re willing to learn – then you can make all of these recipes at home! You’ll find that they’re easy enough for anyone to follow along with – no matter what their skill level may be. Maybe you can even try it as a couple.
Greek food has a variety of dishes. If you love to try new foods, then Greek cuisine will keep you satisfied for a long time! The variety of dishes available makes it easy to eat a different meal each day of the year without getting bored or tired of eating the same thing over and over again.
Top 8 Greek Recipes to Try at Home
Trying new dishes is always strange and you will make kitchen mistakes along the way. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be delicious! You just need to take a step out of your comfort zone – and what better way to do that than with Greek cuisine?
Learn how to make Greek food and find out why it is not only tasty, but nutritious as well. These recipes will make your mouth water and leave your tummy craving more!
#1 Tyropita or tyropitakia, a baked or fried pastry filled with cheese
Cheese pies in Greece are not quite the same as in Australia. Much larger and fluffier, tyropita has a more bread-like texture, rather than being crumbly like an Aussie pie can be.
The traditional method of serving tyropita is to cut it into squares and serve it with a side of honey for dipping, or even better, drizzling on top. It’s also common for Greek foodies to spread cottage cheese on their slice of tyropita, instead of the more exotic feta or halloumi, so that everyone can enjoy it!
#2 Greek Salad, perfect on its own or as a side for your next BBQ
Is Greek food healthy? This traditional salad dish that has become popular worldwide certainly proves it. A perennial favourite, it is made up of fresh vegetables and herbs, including tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and olives.
Greek salads are usually dressed with olive oil and vinegar; there are other versions where feta cheese or anchovies are used. Feel free to add as much as suits your taste buds! You can also add parsley and oregano to your greek salad for extra flavour. You can even add some Greek yoghurt if you like some protein in your meal.
#3 Dolmades, a fresh appetizer of stuffed vine leaves served cold
Dolmades are served as an appetizer or side dish in a Greek meal. The main ingredients for making dolmades are pretty simple: just fresh or preserved vine leaves and rice (pre-rinsed, if you can get it). Some like to add meat like lamb or chicken, and some pine nuts for an extra crunch. The dressing is a mix of good quality olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. For added flavor and texture, you can throw in some parsley, garlic and onion.
Each vine leaf is wrapped tightly, sometimes secured with a toothpick, so that all sides of each leaf are tucked and the stuffing doesn’t fall out of the leaves when you bite into them. However you like your dolmades, just make sure to serve it cold and drizzled with olive oil. Fresh!
#4 Souvlakia, a popular Greek fast food grilled on a skewer
Need your fast food fix? Try some souvlaki – a meat and vegie combo wrapped in pita bread and topped off with tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki is a dip made from yogurt, cucumber, garlic and sometimes dill – a perfect complement to souvlaki because it cools down the spicy meat. Plus, it looks beautiful on any dish.
Not to be confused with the kebab (which originated in the Middle East) or gyros (cooked by spinning the meat on a vertical rotisserie), souvlaki is usually made with pork or chicken marinated in lemon and then grilled on a skewer. Lamb also makes for some great souvlakis, and for the vegans out there, try this dish with tofu!
#5 Spanakopita, a must-try pie recipe
Spanakopita is a traditional Greek pie that’s usually made with phyllo dough. They are a staple at any Greek restaurant, but so simple and easy to make at home.
Spanakopita is made with fresh spinach, feta cheese, whole milk, and eggs, among other ingredients. No fresh spinach? Frozen spinach works, too, just thaw it out first. Thinking of switching low-fat for the whole milk? Not if you want to keep your pie moist and flavorful without making it watery.
Spinach pies are the perfect recipe for when you want something warm and comforting but don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen. Serve this dish at your next get-together and your guests will be impressed.
#6 Loukanika, a crowd-pleaser whether cooked spicy or sweet
Loukanika is made with beef, pork or lamb and flavored with herbs and spices. It can be enjoyed, both as a starter and as part of the main course, usually served as an appetizer on their own or with bread. Loukoumades, on the other hand, are dumplings made with flour, water and yeast. They are fried in olive oil until golden brown on all sides and then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar (or honey) before serving (usually with yogurt).
And then, there are loukoumathes, which are similar to loukoumades, except they do not contain any fillings like cheese or nuts. You can find them usually served as an appetizer before lunch or dinner in many Greek restaurants.
#7 Pastitsio, a pasta baked with ground beef covered in béchamel sauce.
Pastitsio is a traditional Greek pasta dish that is made with ground beef, tomato sauce, and béchamel sauce. Believed to have originated in the 19th century, the word pastitsio derives from the Greek word “pastos” which means blanket or mattress and “sitsio” which translates to “sauce”. The pastitsio is often served with a side of Greek salad and either . Pastitsio is also known as “Kasseri Pasta” in some regions of Greece.
Pastitsio is often served as a main course with a Greek salad or tzatziki, but can also be served as an appetizer or side dish. It can be served hot or cold, and goes well with white or red wine.
#8 Halva, a sweet confection made from tahini and sugar
Want to know how to make Greek food that even children will love? By making a versatile dessert, of course!
Meet the halva – a sweet confection that is popular in Middle Eastern cuisine and served in restaurants in various forms, from sweet pastry to chocolate bars. It is also known as “halvah” or “halaweh” and comes from the Arabic word for sweet.
Halva is made from sesame tahini, honey, or sugar, and nuts such as almonds or walnuts. It may be served at room temperature or chilled and can be eaten with a spoon or cut into bars. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s perfectly alright to sweeten halva with sugar or honey, or flavoured with rosewater, vanilla extract, or natural fruit flavoring. This little bit of liquid is added to help it melt in the mouth! Kids will keep coming back for more.
Greek cooking is proof that there is always a creative way to prepare delicious and healthy food. These eight dishes are just some of our favorites, but there are tons of other great Greek recipes out there.