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Vegetarian Greek Recipes

Dakos Cretan salad

Vegetarian Greek Recipes - part of the everyday life of Greek food. We have been vegetarians for many years and find plenty of wonderful dishes amongst the Greek food choices. Cooking at home and travelling in Greece, it is very easy to be a vegetarian and enjoy a healthy, varied diet, not to mention to enjoy the tastes of sublime combinations.

Vegetarian Greek Recipes


Σπανακόπιτα is a favourite Greek food, the word means ‘spinach pie’ from the word spanáki
for spinach and píta for pie.

Spanakopites are very common in Crete and you can find great fresh bakeries in downtown Chania, Rethymnon or Heraklion serving hundreds of these delicious pies each day. These are good places to find them if you are travelling and need a snack for breakfast or something to take in your picnic for the day.

Our grandmother makes wonderful spanakopites, always from fresh ingredients, and she does not take the short cut of modern filo pastry; our yiayia makes her own pastry, which is out of this world.

Depending what part of the world you live in, you can find fresh green leaves known as ‘english spinach’, or ‘silverbeet’, and fresh dill and mint for this recipe.

English spinach is also known as chard, swiss chard, spinach beet, silverbeet or perpetual spinach.

Spanakopites are also known as spinach and feta triangles or spinach and feta rolls.


  • 100 g fresh spinach
  • 1 medium bunch of silverbeet (also known as swiss chard)
  • 50 g of endives or dandelion (if you can’t get these, just substitute with more spinach)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 sprigs of dill
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • 300 g feta crumbled into large and small chunks
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • puff pastry with real butter

Fresh dill herb can be used in spanakopita

Fresh dill

Brown onion

Brown onion

'English spinach'

'English spinach'

Silverbeet (image by Sandy Austin)


Fresh mint

Fresh mint

'Swiss chard'

'Swiss chard'


  • Dice the onion then caramelise in a pan with 2 teaspoons of salt and 4 tablespoons of olive oil, until golden
  • Wilt all greens in the pan of onions
  • Put in a colander to drain out juice (catch the juice and add it to a horta salad with lemon)
  • Put mix in a bowl and crumble in feta
  • Add olive oil and salt
  • Line a shallow pan 30 cm x 30 cm with grease paper and lay the pastry sheets down
  • Add the mix on top of the pastry and then lay a pastry topping to cover the mix
  • Pierce holes into pastry with a fork about 10 times
  • Pre-heat the oven at 100 degrees Celcius
  • Cook the pita in the oven for around 30 minutes or until golden brown

Slice of spanakopita - spinach and feta pieSlice of spanakopita - spinach and feta pie

Vegetarian Greek Recipes
Vegetable Mousaka

Vegetable Mousaka

Vegetarian Greek Recipes - Mousaka Μουσακάς one of our home favourites is this comforting and crowd-pleasing dish.

The regular version has just as many vegetables as well as minced meat. We just take out the meat and enjoy the flavours of the vegetables. Every region and family has their own preferred combination of vegetables.

Ingredients for filling

  • 1 large eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tin (440 g) whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 220 g soft lentils
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of Cretan olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 125 g feta cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for sauce

  • 60 g butter
  • 60 g plain flour
  • 600 ml milk
  • 100 g kefalograviera cheese, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • extra cheese, grated


  • Make your favourite bechamel sauce using the ingredients above
  • Make a tomato sauce, simmer for 30 minutes
  • Fry all the vegetables until they get a deep golden color
  • When all are fried, build the vegetable layers inside a 24 x 34 cm baking dish. Start with a layer of potatoes, then a layer of zucchinis, a layer of eggplants and slices of tomato on top, pour the tomato sauce, and cover everything with the creamy sauce on top.
  • Bake the dish for a while until it starts to get golden, and then sprinkle extra cheese on top

Chick Pea Soup Ρεβιθόσουπα

Vegetarian Greek Recipes
Chick Pea Soup

Vegetarian Greek Recipes - Chick Pea Soup Ρεβιθόσουπα - the health benefits of legumes are well known, they are full of vitamins and high in fibre. This is a family favourite.

  • 1 cup soft chickpeas
  • or dried chick peas soaked for 12 to 16 hours  
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil from Crete
  • 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano   
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley   
  • 8 cups water   
  • salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste   
  • quarter of a cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice + zest to taste


  • Wash the chickpeas and let them soak in cold water overnight,  12-16 hours
  • Drain the chickpeas and throw away the water. Place the chickpeas in a colander and rinse very well with water. Rub the chickpeas in your fingers to ensure they are clean
  • Place the chickpeas in a large pan with cold water 4cm above the chickpeas
  • Bring the whole pot to the boil slowly, scoop off the top of the water gradually as you boil them for the next 20 minutes or so
  • Drain the chickpeas again and ensure they are clean
  • Cover with new water, olive oil, chopped onion and oregano, and bring slowly to simmer for 1-2 hours, adding water as necessary
  • Add parsley, lemon, pepper and salt and zest to taste, serve warm

Vegetarian Greek Recipes
Dakos Salad from Crete

Dakos on paximadia with fresh tomatoDakos on paximadia with fresh tomato

Vegetarian Greek Recipes
- this is not so much a recipe as a way of making food from what is at hand. Now this humble village food has become internationally well-known and served in many up-market restaurants in Crete and indeed, around the world. This is a very healthy snack at any time of day or accompaniment to a main meal.


  • paximádia - rusks
  • tomatoes
  • feta cheese
  • onion
  • oregano, salt and pepper to taste
  • extra virgin Cretan olive oil


  • wet the bread a little with water and Cretan olive oil
  • cut the tomato and place on the bread, squeezing some fresh tomato juice onto the bread
  • sprinkle with feta and dried oregano
  • add olives
  • cover with Cretan olive oil
  • ready to eat

Paximadia or rusks used to make Dakos Cretan saladPaximadia or rusks used to make Dakos Cretan salad

Getting to Crete

Take a 1 hour flight from Athens to Heraklion with Aegean Airlines or Olympic Air, with many flights available per day.

Or take a 9.5 hour overnight ferry from Pireaus port of Athens to Heraklion port.

More on flights and ferries below.

Car hire in Crete is a really good idea as it is a large island 60 km by 260 km. There is so much to explore.

When you book with our car rental partners - Rental Centre Crete - you are supporting a local company with excellent service and easy online booking. We are sure you will be well looked after by the team. Choose from hybrid, electric or regular vehicles.

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We trust you have enjoyed these tips from the We Love Crete team. Evíva!

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