15 Greek Lenten Recipes
In the Greek Orthodox Church, the Lenten fast involves more than abstaining from meat. The faithful forego meat by-products, too, which means no cheese, butter, or eggs. The fast also limits fish, but other seafood like shrimp, mussels, and calamari have the OK. Greek Orthodox or otherwise, you can eat well while you fast thanks to all the fresh vegetables, grains, herbs, and seafood that abound in the Mediterranean. Here are 15 great Greek recipes to start with this Lent.
Briam (Greek Baked Zucchini and Potatoes)
Fill up on layers of roasted potatoes, zucchini, and red onions with briam, a delicious vegetarian main. Coated in pureed fresh tomatoes, olive oil, and fresh parsley, this dish couldn't get healthier.
Greek Lentil Soup (Fakes)
You won't miss meat when you dig into this hearty lentil soup, filled with aromatics like garlic, oregano, and rosemary. The ingredient that takes the flavor to the next level, however, is a drizzle of red wine vinegar on top.
Fasolakia (Greek Green Beans)
Another plant-based dish eaten as a main, Fasolakia (Greek Green Beans) makes a comforting Lenten meal, especially when served with crusty bread. You'll want to sop up all the sauce you can!
My Big Fat Greek Baked Beans
You may not think of baked beans as Greek food, but these tomatoey, honey-sweetened beans will leave a lasting impression. Just omit the feta for an Orthodox-approved meal.
Perhaps the most loved Mediterranean dessert, baklava can easily turn into a Lenten-friendly treat if you replace butter with olive oil, commonly done in Greece, Allrecipes editor Diana Moutsopoulos says.
Spinach and Rice (Spanakorizo)
"As a Greek-American family, we eat this often, especially during Lent and as a main dish," home cook ReneeFS says. "This recipe is authentic."
A warm bowl of this white bean and vegetable soup will hit the spot on a cool evening. And the easiness of this recipe will hit the spot when you're busy!
Shrimps Saganaki (Greek Recipe)
Shrimp dinners can save you time on a Lenten weeknight, and using peeled and deveined shrimp will cut the time of this easy recipe. For a true saganaki supper, which refers to the style of cooking in a pan, don't add stock at the end. And to fast in true Greek fashion, leave out the feta.
Vegan Tahini Cookies
These sesame cookies need neither dairy nor eggs to turn out wonderfully chewy. Recipe submitter and Allrecipes editor Diana Moutsopoulos calls them "a virtuous treat." What better cookie to bake for Lent?
Octapodi Kokkinisto (Greek Octopus in Tomato Sauce)
Most of us don't eat octopus often, if at all, but it will shake up your Lenten routine for the better. Before you let this seafood intimidate you, note the recipe directions! With only two steps, it's totally doable for home cooks.
More familiar than octopus, breaded, fried calamari is a Mediterranean favorite that will appeal to the whole family — even if you neglect to tell picky kids they're eating squid.
Arakas Latheros (Greek Peas with Tomato and Dill)
"Peas are normally considered a side dish, but in Greece it is common to eat a plate full of vegetables as a main course," Allrecipes editor Diana Moutsopoulos says. This combination of peas and potato wedges holds its own as much as any other vegetarian main dish, and it will hold you over well until your next meal.
Combine fish roe with bread, olive oil, onion, and lemon juice in a food processor for a delicious spread to serve over, well, more bread. This simple dish seems especially appropriate for a seasoning of fasting, but you're certainly not fasting from flavor here.
Mussels in a Fennel and White Wine Broth
You'll forget you're fasting with this restaurant-worthy dish, which tastes nicely fresh thanks to roasted fennel, cherry tomatoes, and fresh parsley.
Greek Potato Stew
Potatoes will always rescue you from your Lenten dinner woes, and this simple does so with all the Greek flavors you crave. Again, omit the feta for an Orthodox-friendly fast. As home cook MOONNOODLE says, "Kalamata olives and garlic are all the flavor it needs."