Traditional Greek Foods: 25 Popular Dishes in Greece

Traditional Greek foods

Greece has long been a family vacation favorite with its gorgeous blue waters, child-friendly beaches, and an abundance of wonderful traditional Greek foods created from fresh ingredients.

Greeks adore their cuisine. They enjoy eating and feeding others. This is one spot where you will never go hungry.

However, the Greeks eat up to five times a day instead of the conventional British or American three square meals a day.

Greek cuisine is mainly composed of fresh local ingredients such as Mediterranean vegetables, olive oil, lemon juice, various types of seafood and meat, and grains.

Table of Contents

  1. Moussaka
  2. Kleftiko
  3. Dolmades
  4. Fasolatha
  5. Souvlaki
  6. Grilled Meat
  7. Spanakopita
  8. Gyros
  9. Keftedes
  10. Saganaki
  11. Galaktoboureko
  12. Baklava
  13. Calamari
  14. Feta cheese
  15. Tzatziki
  16. Fresh Fish
  17. Stifado
  18. Yemista
  19. Pastitsio
  20. Kritharaki
  21. Fava
  22. Dolmadakia
  23. Courgette balls (kolokythokeftedes)
  24. Greek Salad
  25. Papoutsakia

Moussaka

Moussaka is one of the most well-known traditional greek foods, consisting of layers of fried eggplant, minced pork, and potatoes covered with a creamy béchamel sauce and baked till golden brown.

Some Greek restaurants will also serve a vegetarian version that is just as tasty.

Furthermore, The legendary Greek oven-bake is based on layers of sautéed aubergine, minced lamb, fried puréed tomato, onion, garlic, and spices like cinnamon and allspice, a bit of potato, and a final fluffy covering of béchamel sauce and cheese.

Kleftiko

Lamb is a specialty in Greece, and I’ve yet to find better lamb dishes anywhere else. Originally, kleftiko was cooked in an earth oven, a shallow pit in the ground used to trap heat and smoke. It’s genuinely one of the traditional Greek foods made with slow-roasted lamb on the bone that’s been marinated in garlic and lemon juice first.

Dolmades

Every region in Greece – in fact, every home – has its version of dolmades, whether it’s the typical vine leaf packet or hollowed out vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and courgettes that are packed and baked in the oven.

The filling is frequently made with minced beef and long-grain rice, while vegetarian variations have rice flavored with heady mixes of herbs like thyme, dill, fennel, and oregano. Pine nuts can also be substituted.

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Fasolatha

This famous white bean soup is another of the traditional Greek foods. However, it is not widely known outside of the country. It’s a simple but filling dish made with beans, crushed tomatoes, and veggies, including onions, carrots, and celery. It is frequently flavored with thyme, parsley, and bay leaves.

Souvlaki

Souvlaki is another one of the famous traditional Greek foods that can be found in practically any Greek restaurant. This food is grilled meat on a skewer made of pork, chicken, lamb, cattle, or vegetables.

Furthermore, these grilled meat (typically pork) skewers are commonly served with tzatziki (a sauce comprised of yogurt, cucumber, and mint), pita bread, salad, or rice.

Grilled Meat

The Greeks are experts at charcoal-grilled and spit-roasted meats. Souvlaki, skewered pork chunks, is still Greece’s favorite fast meal, eaten in pita bread with chopped tomatoes and onions and lashings of tzatziki.

Gyros are also famous when served in this manner. Local free-range lamb and pork predominate in the taverna, while young goat is renowned.

Spanakopita

The Greeks adore pies, and there are numerous variations available, ranging from those prepared with enriched dough to those made with flaky phyllo (aka filo) pastry and filled with everything from aubergines or meat to greens or cheese.

The spanakopita is the most traditional, consisting of phyllo pastry covered with feta cheese and spinach and flavored with dill. Tyropita, a crunchy phyllo pastry wrapped around a savory cheese filling, is another favorite.

Gyros

A gyro is a traditional Greek sandwich that is similar to a kebab. It consists of rotisserie-cooked meat (typically chicken, hog, lamb, or cattle) wrapped in a flatbread or pita with salad, onions, and a choice of sauces.

In place of the meat, vegetarians can substitute grilled halloumi (a salty Cypriot cheese derived from a mix of sheep’s and goat’s milk) or feta cheese.

Keftedes

Greek pork or beef meatballs seasoned with oregano, onion, garlic, and a dash of cinnamon. Keftedes is served at almost every festive occasion in Greece.

Saganaki

Saganaki is essentially the term for all little foods fried in the Saganaki pan. However, the most popular is the Cheese Saganaki and Shrimp Saganaki.

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Galaktoboureko

Even if you don’t do anything else, these creamy custard slices created with layers of flaky phyllo pastry and topped with cinnamon are worth a trip to Greece. In addition, they’re best eaten hot, right out of the oven.

Baklava

Baklavas are little sweet pastries soaked in honey-like syrup and covered with crushed nuts like walnuts or almonds that can be found all across Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East. They are produced using almonds in central Greece, walnuts in the east, and pistachios in northern Greece.

Calamari

Deep-fried squid with salt and lemon on the side, and sometimes with a sauce on the side. In Greece, calamari is a popular appetizer.

Feta cheese

Baked Feta Cheese is one of the favorite traditional Greek foods. People in Sweden eat a lot of feta cheese from Greece. However, they usually don’t bake it and instead use it in salads or side dishes.

Tzatziki

One of the Greek delicacies that everyone should have at least once in their lives is the excellent tzatziki, which is created with Greek yogurt, cucumber, and garlic.

Fresh Fish

Settle into a seaside taverna and eat as the natives have done since ancient times. Fresh fish and calamari from the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas are wonderfully tasty and easy to prepare — grilled whole and drizzled with ladholemono (a lemon and oil dressing).

Smaller fish with a strong flavor, such as barbouni (red mullet) and marida (whitebait), are best lightly fried.

Stifado

A typical Greek beef stew with onions, tomato, wine or vinegar, and various spices — cinnamon and tomato are frequently used. The stifado is often prepared on the stovetop, although it can also be prepared in the oven.

Tomatoes were not introduced to Europe until much later; hence they were not used in early Stifado recipes.

Yemista

Stuffed tomatoes and peppers with rice and seasonings, but minced meat might also be used. There are numerous Yemista recipes, each of which can be seasoned with various spices and herbs to provide a distinct flavor.

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Pastitsio

This is Greek comfort food at its finest, similar to Italian LasagneLasagne but cooked with little macaroni instead of spaghetti sheets.

Italian cuisine has historically affected Greek cuisine, particularly in the Kefalonia region.

Pastitsio is created by layering ground beef or lamb with macaroni and béchamel sauce and is frequently seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and Greek herbs. Before being baked in the oven, it is sometimes sprinkled with grated cheese.

However, this baked pasta recipe combines Bechamel sauce and ground beef. This Greek meal is popular all year and can be defined as the Greek version of LasagneLasagne.

It was also one of the delicacies eaten by the ancient Greeks, and there is evidence that Pastitsio was consumed as early as 1200 B.C.

Kritharaki

A sort of Greek pasta that resembles long-grain rice in appearance. It’s typically served with tomato sauce, chicken, almonds, nutmeg, and peas. Kritharaki is also used in the classic chicken, lamb, or beef meal Giouvetsi.

Fava

Fava is one of the traditional greek foods produced from fava beans and is similar to hummus; however, I believe Fava has a richer and more pleasant flavor than hummus.

Dolmadakia

This delectable meal is created with filled grape leaves. Dolmadakia is miniature dolmades filled with lamb or beef and rice. It is commonly served as an appetizer.

Courgette balls (kolokythokeftedes)

Try these appetizers whenever you can, whether they’re a patty or a gently fried ball. Typically, the fritter is created with grated or puréed courgette, dill, mint, or other top-secret spice combinations. You can’t go wrong when paired with tzatziki for its cold freshness.

Greek Salad

One of Greece’s most famous traditional dishes. It’s simple, fresh, and widely available throughout Greece. Salad will be different in different locations and islands.

Papoutsakia

In Greek, papoutsakia means “shoes,” and it’s a great classic in the Greek kitchen. Papoutsakia is stuffed eggplants filled with seasoned minced veal, tomatoes, and bechamel sauce. In conclusion, this meal is highly similar to Moussaka.

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