Historic Cuisine with a Focus on Local Ingredients
Today’s Greek recipes are informed by the country’s rich history and bounty of local ingredients. Greece is a nation of small farmers, and Greek recipes take full advantage of the wide array of fresh ingredients available. Locally grown, largely organic ingredients show up in many Greek recipes. These include nuts, cheeses, olive oil, olives, lemon, garlic, and oregano. Local vegetables like eggplant and zucchini also make frequent appearances in Greek cuisine, as do various types of wild herbs and greens. Wine, bread, seafood, poultry, and meat also play a significant role in Greek cuisine due to Greece’s ample farmland, hilly vineyards, and proximity to the sea. Additionally, Greek recipes have also been shaped by historic foreign influences, including the Roman and Ottoman Empires. In fact, you’ll find that you can almost taste the history in many Greek recipes! But if you can’t travel to Greece to enjoy this storied cuisine, don’t fret. We’ve rounded up a list of the top five best Greek recipes to make at home, so you can enjoy a taste of Greece without ever leaving your kitchen!
It wouldn’t be a list of the best Greek recipes without spanakopita! This famous Greek spinach pie features layers of flaky phyllo dough, creamy feta, and spinach. It’s creamy, crunchy, savory, and absolutely delectable! It can be made in many styles, including triangle-shaped hand-pies, individual rolls, or all together in one large casserole dish. This savory Greek recipe is a favorite all over the world and is a great introduction to Greek food for the uninitiated. Ready to bring a taste of Greece into your home kitchen?
This Greek dessert is incredibly popular and has earned its place on our list of the best Greek recipes a hundred times over! Crisp, flaky phyllo dough is layered with a crunchy filling of crushed nuts and the whole thing is bathed in a sticky-sweet honey syrup. Multiple cultures have a version of this dish, but what makes the Greek recipe unique is the use of walnuts and cinnamon in the filling. Ready to make your own baklava?
We couldn’t make a list of the best Greek recipes without moussaka! It’s creamy, juicy, and delicious. Beef mince (or, more traditionally, lamb) is cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce, layered with succulent slices of eggplant, and slathered in a creamy béchamel sauce. Then the whole thing is baked together until the top is golden brown and all the flavors have combined. This classic Greek recipe is warm, comforting, delightful, and filling. While it does take a bit of work, the end result is well worth it! Ready to try your hand at making moussaka?
Dolmades, or stuffed grape leaves, are a Greek food that’s often shared among tablemates at a traditional meal (Meze). The grape leaves have to go through a poaching and brining process to be made edible, but you can buy a canned version that comes ready to use. The filling is traditionally vegan – a mix of rice, onions, and herbs – so this is a great Greek recipe choice for those who follow a plant-based diet but still want to get a taste of Greek food at home. Ready to make your own dolmades?
#5 Chicken Souvlaki
Chicken souvlaki is an extremely popular street food in Greece. Succulent, marinated chicken is grilled on skewers and served in pita bread with a cool, yogurt-based tzatziki sauce. It’s a juicy, delicious meal that’s absolutely bursting with Mediterranean flavors like oregano, garlic, and lemon! Sound mouthwatering? You’re in luck, because you don’t need to go all the way to Greece to experience chicken souvlaki – you can make your own right in your home kitchen! Ready to give it a try?