When you think of Greece, you probably think of crystal blue waters, stunning architecture, and thousands of years of history. More than likely, you also think of the incredible food. It’s no secret that Greek food is downright delicious. There’s a reason why the cuisine has spread from Greece to countries all around the world.
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be in Greece or be at a Greek restaurant to enjoy the amazing flavors of Greek food! You can cook authentic Greek food from your own kitchen. All you need are the right ingredients and a little guidance, then you’ll be cooking Greek dishes like a pro in no time. Let’s get into it!
What is Traditional Greek Food?
Set in the Mediterranean, Greece is widely believed to have some of the best food in the world. Some of the traditional dishes that were enjoyed by ancient Greeks thousands of years ago are still served today. A typical Greek diet is filled with rice, olive oil, fresh produce, and fish. Because Greece sits on the coast, seafood plays a huge role in Greek cuisine. Other meats like poultry, lamb, and beef are eaten too, but in smaller amounts.
The Greek diet is believed to be incredibly healthy, which is why so many dieticians recommend the Mediterranean Diet for weight loss. In Greek cuisine, there is a heavy emphasis on fresh and locally-sourced ingredients. Because Greek cuisine is dependent on which fruits and vegetables are in season, the flavors tend to change with the season.
What’s the Best Greek Food to Serve at Dinner Parties?
Whether you’re looking to throw a Greek-inspired dinner party or just want to add some delicious dishes to the mix that will impress your friends and family, there are tons of awesome choices. Here are some of the best popular Greek party food dishes:
This yogurt dip is one you can find on any mezze plate in Greece and on the menu of any Greek restaurant. Often served as an appetizer with pita bread or fresh vegetables, tzatziki is made with a base of Greek yogurt, cucumber, and fresh herbs like mint and dill. This dip is refreshing, addicting, and super easy to make. Whenever I make it, I end up putting it on everything! Tzatziki works great as a spread on pitas, a dip for appetizers, and even a salad dressing.
Usually served as an appetizer, dolmades is a dish that varies depending on which region of Greece you’re in. The variation most often replicated in other countries is made with a mixture of rice, herbs, and olive oil stuffed into cooked grape leaves. Dolmades are definitely high up on the list of foods that come to mind when I think of Greek cuisine. Rice, olive oil, grape leaves… it’s Greece all rolled up in one delicious appetizer!
Referred to in Greece as Horiatiki, the classic Greek salad is the perfect starter for any dinner party. Greek salad is traditionally served with fresh tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. The refreshing dish is meant to be kept simple and lightly dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar or lemon juice.
This classic dish is one of the biggest staples in Greek cuisine. Moussaka is made of layers of eggplant, minced meat (usually beef or lamb), spices, cheese, and béchamel sauce baked together into a gooey, glorious masterpiece. To keep it vegetarian, you can leave out the minced meat or use a vegan meat substitute and it would still be fantastic. This dish would make an amazing centerpiece to any dinner party.
Oh, pastitsio. It may be hard to pronounce, but it is certainly not hard to devour. This baked pasta dish is a mainstay in Greek cuisine and for good reason! With layers of delicious pasta, minced meat, cheese, and creamy béchamel sauce, it’s basically the Greek version of lasagna. For the ideal dinner party for all you pasta lovers out there, this one is a must.
Is it really a Greek dinner party without this quintessential Greek dessert? Baklava is easily the most popular dessert in Greek cuisine. It’s made of a base of flaky filo pastry, honey, and nuts. Sweet syrup is poured over the top to complete the dish, making for a mouthwatering treat. You’ll have a hard time eating just one, trust me!
What Greek Food is Gluten-Free?
There are plenty of gluten-free options when it comes to Greek food. Here are some of my favorites:
- Gyro or souvlaki served with fries or rice instead of a pita
- Greek salad
- Baked feta dip
- Grilled fish with rice (Greece has some of the best seafood in the world!)
- Fresh vegetables and tzatziki
- Fava dip
Traditional Greek Street Food to Make at Home
The incredible street food dishes of Greece have made their way to countries all over the world. They are highly affordable, crazy delicious, and best of all– easy to make from home. Here are some of the best Greek street food dishes you can make from home:
If you ever go to Greece, I dare you to try to walk one block without running into a food stall that sells spanakopita! This is easily one of the most popular street foods in Greece and is delicious when made at home. Translated, spanakopita literally means “spinach pie.” This savory pastry consists of a mixture of spinach and feta stuffed into flaky phyllo dough and baked to perfection. Spanakopita makes the perfect side dish for any Greek dinner party.
Ah, the classic gyro. Tasty, affordable, and found at nearly every food stall in Greece. This ultra-popular street food consists of a handheld pita that is typically stuffed with roasted beef or lamb, onions, lettuce, tomato, and tzatziki sauce. For a more laid-back dinner party, I highly recommend setting up a ‘make your own’ gyro bar. They’re absolutely delicious, easy to throw together, and a surefire way to impress your friends!
The word souvlaki refers to meat on a skewer and is a dish found all over the streets of Greece. Souvlaki is traditionally grilled on a skewer and can be made with chicken, beef, lamb, or pork. It’s seasoned well and cooked until juicy and tender, then typically served with rice, salad, or stuffed into a pita. Souvlaki is easy to make from home and seriously tasty.
This flaky cheese pie is a popular street food in Greece and is easy to make at home. It’s made of buttery phyllo dough, feta, eggs, and olive oil. Tiropita is often served as a snack, breakfast, or appetizer and is definitely one of the first dishes to go at any dinner party. Creamy cheese stuffed into a flaky pastry? Count me in!
If you’ve never tried falafel before, chances are you’ve at least heard of it. This beloved street food can be found all over the Mediterranean. Falafel consists of ground chickpeas or fava beans that are shaped into a ball or patty and traditionally deep-fried. You will often find it packed into a pita, served atop a salad, or served on its own as a tasty snack. Whether you’re looking for a vegan protein source or a convenient appetizer for your dinner party, falafel is a great go-to.