Greeks love eating meat and seafood, but did you know that they have some incredibly good vegetarian recipes as well?
In this article, we have 28 delicious vegetarian dishes that Greek people love to make and eat all year long.
Fasolada is a traditional Greek soup made with white beans, carrots, onions, and tomato paste. It is a classic vegetarian dish and one that most Greeks enjoy once a week or once every fortnight.
Served hot or warm, it goes great with feta cheese and bread, so don’t forget to put them both on the table.
To cook this dish faster, you need to soak the beans overnight or at least 8-12 hours before cooking it.
The cooking time is usually 1 ½ hour, so you might want to make it earlier in the day if you want to have your lunch ready and waiting for you after work.
Gigantes are also white beans but they are called such because, in Greek, Gigantes means ‘giants,’ which is exactly what these legumes are.
Significantly bigger than other white beans like cannellini, Gigantes are typically baked in a tomato sauce with lots of oregano and other spices in it that gives this dish a unique, wholesome flavor.
Again, feta cheese and bread accompany this dish to make it a complete meal!
Spanakorizo translates as spinach-rice, which is the star of this dish. This vegetarian Greek dish is easy to make as you essentially sautee some onions and garlic to then add the rice to cook before topping it with uncooked spinach.
The spinach can be cooked in no time, so even if you turn the heat off and mix it well in the rice, it will be ready to eat after 2-3 minutes.
Cooked with lots of olive oil, it is another dish that smells of Greece.
Next to fasolada, fakes is probably the second most prevalent soup in Greece and the one made as frequently in Greek households.
Easy to make and with simple ingredients like onion, lentils, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper, it can be cooked in 30 minutes and served with some freshly sliced parsley and lemon juice.
Of course, some bread on the side is perfect for soaking up some of the soup or helping you swipe any soup left in the bottom of your bowl once you are almost done eating.
Yemista is stuffed peppers and tomatoes that can be made either with meat or without it.
While many people cannot eat them in their vegetarian version and prefer to have them with minced pork or beef, the vegetarian version is considered to be the ‘original’ recipe.
Also called ‘orphana’ (the Greek word for orphans), meatless gemista have tomato sauce and rice inside them.
There are no specifics as to how you can make the sauce as everyone adds something different, whether that is a herb, spice, or extra vegetable, but here’s a recipe to get you started.
Νοw is a traditional Greek dish originally made with minced pork or beef.
Papoutsakia, which translates as ‘little shoes’ are eggplant boats filled with meat and topped with tomato slices and cheese that melt in the oven to create a golden cover for these boats.
However, Greeks have come up with their own vegetarian versions that are ideal both for vegetarians as well as religious Christian Greeks who are fasting and thus not eating meat before Easter Sunday.
What do the vegetarian papoutsakia have? Mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, olives, onions peppers, all topped with some feta and mozzarella cheese!
7. Greek Salad
We’ve said it many times and it won’t stop being true: Greek salad is Greece’s greatest culinary trademark and the dish that everyone around the world knows as characteristic of the country.
Why? Because it is made with fresh ingredients, it is easy to make, it is delicious, and it is also vegetarian.
Made with chopped vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green pepper, olives, and lots of feta cheese, this salad smells of oregano, olive oil, and freshness.
Dakos is a Cretan traditional salad that is also vegetarian and a typical alternative to Greek salad when people want to switch them up.
Made with Greek biscotti or rusks called paksimadia that are topped with mashed tomatoes, olive oil, and feta cheese, it is another simple salad you’ll love.
We’ve arrived at the appetizing Greek fritters and we are starting with the zucchini ones.
Made with grated zucchini, onion, mint, eggs, feta cheese, breadcrumbs, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper, these fritters are deep-fried in sunflower oil and served with tzatziki or a yogurt sauce.
However, don’t think that because they are made with feta you cannot add some extra blocks on the side; there’s no one stopping you from doing so!
The next best Greek fritters that are luckily also 100% vegetarian are made with chickpeas. While you might think that this sounds more like a falafel, it’s not.
The Greek revithokeftedes are flat and have enough thyme, oregano, and parsley, as well as olive oil in them to taste different than falafels.
Easy-to-make, and fried in olive or sunflower oil, they are another great recipe for vegetarians who want to have a Greek-style dinner night at home.
A Briam dish consists of mixed roasted vegetables that are simply cut and then baked in a baking pan or tray at first covered with aluminum foil and then uncovered for the veggies to get that crispy brown look on the top.
Even though you can find briams with more veggies in them, the classic recipe calls for tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and zucchinis, as well as some onions and garlic.
Rice wrapped in vine leaves and served with a lemon sauce, some lemon juice, a tzatziki sauce, or some plain Greek yogurt. That is what dolmades is all about!
Served warm, cold, or at room temperature, no matter how you have them, they taste amazing and melt in your mouth!
Greek people love their olive oil and that is one of the reasons why they love food that is under their ‘ladera,’ aka oily, category.
Briam was such an example, and so is fasolakia, the classic green beans that Greeks prefer to clean and cook fresh rather than buy as frozen.
With tomato sauce, carrots slices, herbs like oregano, and enough olive oil to make them tender and filling as a meal, fasolakia are another vegetarian dish enjoyed hot or warm and always with feta cheese and bread on the side!
There’s a lot of disagreement as to how Greek turlu is as the word and recipe are also very Turkish, but with the history the two countries have, let’s just say that it’s as much Greek as it is Turkish.
Turlu is one more Greek dish in the category of ‘ladera’ that is made with veggies like leek, carrots, eggplants, zucchinis, red peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Cooked in a tomatoey sauce with herbs and spices, it is eaten while still hot and served with bread, oregano, and feta cheese.
Bougiourdi is a vegetarian Greek side dish that you can, nevertheless, turn into a light lunch or dinner meal if you eat it with some pitta bread or bread slices on the side.
Baked in a baking dish, it is made with either simply feta cheese or a cheese mix (that includes feta), tomatoes, garlic, oregano, olive oil, and chili pepper slices or chili flakes.
It is served once out of the oven and while still piping hot, so be careful not to touch the dish with your bare hands!
16. Beetroot Salad
A Greek beetroot salad is made with beetroots, chopped walnuts, and two dressings: one vinaigrette dressing, and one made with Greek yogurt, garlic, and mint.
When all these ingredients are combined, what you get is a refreshing, healthy, appetizing, and surprisingly filling salad!
17. Horta Vrasta
There are not many salad recipes in this world that are made with only 3 ingredients, and which are as tasty as this one.
Horta vrasta is translated as boiled grass, but that is only because ‘horta’ is what Greek call some local leafy greens like the endives which are used in this recipe.
Boiled till softened and then served with some vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, these greens are much better than some lettuce leaves.
Yellow split peas can be cooked in many ways, but when mashed/pureed, and combined with some lemon juice, olive oil, chopped onions, and garlic, they become a traditional fava dish.
Usually served as a side dish or an appetizer, a fava can always be enjoyed for lunch or dinner with some feta cheese or added as a spread in a simple feta and egg sandwich together with some leafy greens.
Okra is not your usual vegetable, but Greek people do use it in their cooking to make another vegetarian dish in the ‘ladera’ category.
Cooked in the same way as fasolakia, it is a dish you either love or hate, depending on how you feel about the texture of okra. Either way, it is worth trying to have a personal opinion on that!
A sweet treat with Cypriot origins, flaounes are baked doughy pockets filled with cheese, and raisins. What makes these pastries so unique is that both their dough and filling have mahlab and mastic, which bring out their flavors.
The mastic also makes the dough chewy, while the fresh mint added to the filling leaves a refreshing aftertaste with every bite.
There’s not much point in talking about Greek pies. If you’ve tried them, then you know just how amazing they are, and if not, then describing them won’t do them justice.
However, to give you a short description of them, spanakopita is a classic Greek pie made with homemade phyllo that is laid in layers and then topped with spinach and feta filling that is then covered with more layers of phyllo.
Following exactly the same philosophy as a spanakopita, Greek tiropita is made with layers of phyllo that sandwich in a cheese mix made with Graviera cheese, Gouda, anthotiro, and feta cheese.
In this recipe, you will see that heavy cream is also added to help with keeping the different types of cheese together, but you can always add less or skip it entirely if you want to reduce the calories in your pie.
From the previous two pies that saw cheese and spinach starring, we come to the prasopita, aka the Greek leek pie, where leeks and feta cheese are the stars of the show.
With homemade phyllo dough and a rich herby filling, it is yet another vegetarian pie you can make and enjoy any time of the day!
There are so many things you can serve tzatziki with!
We previously called Greek salad the Greek culinary trademark, but we might have to reconsider that statement.
Tzatziki, the Greek dip made with Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper (and sometimes dill) is a difficult word to pronounce at first but a very easy recipe to make from the very first time you try it!
25. Patates Yahni
Patates Yahni is a Greek vegetarian potato stew that is so easy to make and so filling thanks to the satiating capacity of potatoes.
Cooked in a red tomatoey and herb sauce, it is one of those stews you can smell from kilometers away and one you want to devour while still hot!
For a sweet vegetarian treat with the signature of Greece, try making a tahinopita. This sweet pie is made with sugar, tahini sauce, and cinnamon that are filled inside a chewy and soft dough.
Something like a Greek cinnamon roll but with tahini instead of butter, tahinopita is all about the tahini sauce, so if you are not a fan of its taste or texture, you might want to go to the next recipe!
Halva is a dessert Greeks enjoy year-round, even though the majority of people do make it mostly during the fasting days before Easter.
100% vegetarian, it is a dessert whose soil-like texture might seem weird at first, but its taste will certainly win you over.
Made with semolina, almond silvers, sunflower oil, and sugar, and with aromas from orange zests, cloves, and cinnamon, it is a dessert best eaten cold.
When you add syrup to a dessert, it immediately gets better, and a portokalopita is a Greek, orange cake that gets most of its sweetness from the syrup poured on it and which is soaked by the cake.
Made with yogurt, vegetable oil, oranges, sugar, phyllo dough, and eggs, and with a simple syrup made with sugar, water, orange zest, and cinnamon, it is just perfect!
Are There Any Vegetarian Winter Salad Recipes Included in the 29 Tasty Winter Salad Recipes?
Yes, the 29 Tasty winter salad recipes includes a variety of vegetarian options. With refreshing flavors and seasonal ingredients, these winter salad recipes are perfect for those following a vegetarian diet. From warm grain salads to roasted vegetable combinations, there are plenty of delightful choices for vegetarians in this collection.
The Bottom Line
Make either one of these 28 Greek vegetarian recipes even if you are not strictly a vegetarian and we bet you’ll start looking for tickets to visit Greece and taste some more recipes like these ones from the locals!
Frequently Asked Question
Yes, Greek food can be vegetarian and there are plenty of traditional recipes that are vegetarian-friendly, like vegetable stews, pastries and pies, and the quintessential Greek salad.