10 Plant-Based Greek Recipes for Delicious Meatless Meals

lentil soup on a blue wooden surface
Photo: Buckwheat Queen

Little known fact: Greek cuisine is very "plant forward" by nature and many traditional dishes have been vegan for centuries. Indeed, the original Mediterranean diet studied in Crete was made up of these classic Greek meals that put the focus on fresh vegetables, legumes, and lots of olive oil. Here we've rounded up the best vegan and plant-based Greek dishes shared by the Allrecipes community, each of which makes swapping for a meaty meal once or twice a week both easy and delicious. The bonus? Most of these recipes use easy-to-find ingredients that you may even already have in your pantry.

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Spinach and Rice (Spanakorizo)

a saute pan of spanakorizo with lemon on the side
Diana Moutsopoulos

Let's start with spanakorizo, a humble dish of spinach (spanaki) and rice (rizi) that might look like a side, but is eaten as a main dish. Imagine a spinach risotto but with far more spinach than rice. There's no better way to get all of your greens in one sitting! Try using fresh dill instead of dried, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice when serving not only heightens the flavors of spanakorizo, but also helps the body absorb more of the spinach's iron.

02 of 11

Briam (Greek Baked Zucchini and Potatoes)

Reviewers can't get enough of this simple Greek casserole, which is served as a plant-based main dish. Sliced zucchini, potato, and onion are slow baked with tomato and olive oil for a dish that is so much more than the sum of its parts.

03 of 11

Arakas Latheros (Greek Peas with Tomato and Dill)

A prime example of Mediterranean diet fare, this vegan main dish of peas and potatoes stewed in a luscious mix of tomato, dill, and olive oil is both hearty and filling without any meat in sight. We may be used to peas as a side dish, but as with all Greek "ladera" dishes (loose translation: "oiled foods"), it's common in Greece to eat a plateful of veggies as a main course. Even better, ladera are not served atop a pile of carbs like pasta or rice — it's really all about the veggies. The only requisite accompaniment is good crusty bread to mop up every last bit of sauce! If you aren't strictly vegan, a healthy chunk of feta cheese on the side is also a great match for this dish.

04 of 11

Greek Lentil Soup (Fakes)

lentil soup on a blue wooden surface
Buckwheat Queen

Pronounced fah-kehs, this lentil soup recipe is on regular rotation in most Greek households. A drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar when serving is a must — it really ups the flavor and helps your body absorb more nutrients from the lentils.

05 of 11

Fasolakia (Greek Green Beans)

Another ladera dish of fresh veggies stewed in tomato and olive oil with simple seasonings. Don't be fooled by the simplicity of this recipe — you've probably never tried green beans as delicious as these! In Greece, flat Romano beans are used for fasolakia, but any green bean you can get your hands on will do.

06 of 11

Imam Bayildi

a round baking pan of imam bayildi
Diana Moutsopoulos

This is a baked eggplant dish with Ottoman origins, and variations of it are popular in both Greece and Turkey. Translated to "the imam fainted," Imam Bayildi is a rich mix of eggplant stuffed with tomato, onion, and lots of olive oil. Cheese (like feta or kefalotyri) is sometimes added in Greece, but can easily be omitted. It's typically enjoyed room temperature or even chilled, so it's perfect to make ahead.

07 of 11


Use olive oil instead of butter for brushing the phyllo to make this recipe both vegan and Mediterranean diet friendly. You can omit the feta cheese to make this strictly vegan without sacrificing authenticity, as many Greek pies (called "pites") are naturally vegan.

08 of 11

Fasolada (Greek Navy Bean Soup)

Fasolada is arguably the national dish of Greece — a hearty and nutritious vegan bean soup that has nourished generations. You can use almost any white bean for this soup, from navy beans to cannellini beans.

09 of 11

Greek Lemon Potatoes

This famous Greek side dish can be part of a delicious plant-based spread of dishes, from spanakopita to Greek salads. Far from playing a supporting role, however, these lemony potatoes will steal the show!

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My Big Fat Greek Baked Beans

Called Gigantes in Greek, this take on a classic from Chef John is typically a vegan main dish served with feta cheese on the side, if liked. You can omit the feta for a strictly plant-based dish or try Chef John's addition for a delicious twist. If you can't find gigantes in your area, you can order them online — just look for "Greek giant beans" or, in a pinch, you can use butter beans.

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More Inspiration

a bowl of tomato, red onion, cucumber, Greek olive, and bell pepper salad topped with two chunks of feta and a drizzle of olive oil
Diana Moutsopoulos
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