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Ode To The Opa! 20 Gorgeous Greek Side Dishes

Want a wonderful list of Greek side dishes to elevate your Mediterranean meal? Check out this list of 19 sides for Greek food.

Quick! Name a classic Greek dish. 

You probably said souvlaki — the Anatolian take on a kebab — or moussaka — gooey eggplant enveloped in buttery ground beef and savory custard. 

Abandon the script and take a fresh approach to the ancient flavors of the Aegean with our Greek side dishes: who knows what unexpected pleasures lay in store?

The quintessential Greek dining experience is one altogether unconcerned with such elementary foibles as satiety. 

Centuries before the rest of us became wise to the merits of eating for pleasure, the Greeks were savoring blisteringly-grilled seafood, saffron rice, roast pig with figs, honeyed baklava and perfumed wines. 

Aristotle, meditating on human happiness, was probably sitting down to a meal at his favorite taverna . . .

From crisp, flaky Kolokithokeftedes, to fragrant, warming Spanakorizo (run away with us, #9) and sun-warmed salads it’s all Greek to us.

Opa!

This sweet, light salad just smacks of summer — chunky cucumbers and pert tomatoes refresh like a rush of cool water and uplift everything else at the table.

Toss with a little olive oil and coriander seeds to serve.

We’ve got a certain reverence for rice. 

There’s a rice dish to suit every mood and cater to every culinary whim — from the stodgy, comforting takeaway sort that comes in a box, to velvety risotto — the presence of the rice at the
table is capable of vanquishing all woes, at least for a time.

A steaming bowl of this sharp-sour, citrus-y dish is proof of the fact.

“Not pasta salad,” you may be tempted to groan, “I can’t even interest the dog in pasta salad.”

But this is nothing like the claggy, starchy supermarket fare you spend your dreary lunch breaks poking at with a spindly plastic fork. 

It’s perky, sprightly-dressed tomatoes, cucumbers and onions tossed through with pasta, loads of feta and lemon zest — just gorgeous.

There appears to be an unwritten rule that dictates asparagus ought only to be handled with kid-gloves; draped in a silky cream sauce or delicately drizzled with a little lemon and dusted with salt — but it takes well to rougher treatment, too.

Sauteed and tossed with a dreamy dressing, the spears take on a pleasing snap and bite that’d be very welcome alongside a roast or on a tart.

We always appreciate shortcuts, and Cavender’s makes a Greek seasoning we like. The link is to show you what it looks like; please don’t buy a 5 lb. tub of Greek seasoning.

How do we know we’ve reached peak potato? 

When we’re ditching cheese for lemon. 

These make a punchy side dish for fish!

Crumbly cheese and earthy greens enveloped in a layer of crisp pastry — this beloved Greek classic is a great crowd-pleaser and an excellent means of squeezing as much spinach into a meal as possible.

Opa!

Rumor has it that if you stand in a dark room and speak the words ‘pasta salad’ three times into a mirror, a malevolent ghost brandishing a bottle of mayonnaise will show up to drench you in the stuff.

There’s no mayonnaise in this salad — only the crisp, clean flavors of the Mediterranean.

And if you’re asking yourself “What should I bring to a Greek dinner party?” this one is an easy answer.

The Greeks have a way with the potato — a lemon-y, salty, tender way that’s so bright-tasting and irresistibly summery that we’re immediately compelled to traipse out into the sun, scattering spuds from a basket the way Disney princesses scatter flowers.

You won’t believe what you can do with some lively, crunchy spinach and warm, pillow-y rice.

Mediterranean sides don’t get a whole better than this!

A fresh, simple store-cupboard salad perfect for putting off a trip to the shops another day. If your pantry turns up a tin of capers, toss those in there too.

This one is a good side for gyros in particular.

We love zucchini and buy loads and loads of it — but despite our best efforts (courgette cake, anyone?) our kitchen always ends up besieged by itty-bitty-zucchinis at some point.

These extra crunchy fritters are a great way of saving veg from the compost bin and saving yourself the time and effort of churning out another chutney or pickle.

Served warm, this is a popular Mediterranean side dish recipe for sure.

12. Briam

This sun-drenched vegetable bake is a celebration of all the best things about Greek cooking — fresh vegetables, golden olive oil, and an unparalleled love for lemons. 

Serve with a young white cheese.

Olive oil is the heart and soul of this recipe, so splash out on some of the extra-virgin extra-good stuff. 

It’s got this bitter herbiness that has a real affinity for lemon.

Why subject your produce to boiling and steaming when you could roast it instead?

Roasting vegetables enhances and intensifies their natural flavor, causing their sugars to caramelise and giving them a crunchy exterior and a soft, crumbly middle; thereby ensuring you end up with something you may actually want to eat.

Greek side dishes at their bountiful best.

What’s Greek about coleslaw, you may be wondering? 

Well, uh, it’s got Greek yogurt. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it. 

While there might not be anything identifiably Greek about this slaw (or any slaw, for that matter) it’s still pretty wonderful. 

Plus we are huge fans of cranberries, and their ruby tang cuts through richness: this is a great side for moussaka.

Salty, creamy blue cheese; waxy, pliant potatoes and fatty bacon — what’s not to love? 

Our favorite of all Greek sides, by far.

A fresh, rousing alternative to heavier pasta dishes that leave you feeling bogged down. 

The trick here is ensuring the orzo remains al-dente; you want it snappy and bouncy, not limp and slippery. 

A truly indulgent Greek side dish recipe.

They do SO count as a side dish (and also a starter, but not everything needs to be dictated by the local restaurants). 

Fragrant and tender, these rice-filled finger foods are high maintenance to make and disappear in a flash — the sign of an exquisite Greek accompaniment.

This delectably puckery side dish is tempered with creamy feta. 

While a traditional Greek tapenade has anchovies, this is a vegetarian version from the good people over at The Wanderlust Kitchen.

Add chunks of sturdy bread for dipping and spreading, and you have a side that goes with nearly anything of richly Mediterranean cuisine.

Add Mediterranean Desserts to the mix!

The bottom line

Before you set about attempting to cook like the Greeks, might we recommend coming into ownership of an olive grove and pressing your own oil?

It’s got to be far cheaper than carting the 4-pack home from Costco every other week.

Anyway; olive grove or no, you needn’t chart a course for the Aegean to enjoy the pleasures of Greek cooking. 

And while tossing in kalamata olives and feta into every dish seems like the way to “greek” it, there is a bounty of flavorful foods out there that will make perfect couplers to many a Greek repast.

Check back often and see what we keep adding to this list. 

All you need is a little tsoútzpa — and loads of fresh lemon — and you’re all set. 

Mediterranean side dishes, here we come.

Want a main dish that will knock your socks off and go beautifully with one of these sides? Check out this authentic Greek Baked Ziti aka Pastitsio here.

19 Gorgeous Greek Side Dishes

19 Gorgeous Greek Side Dishes

Opa! Join us for a tour through the Mediterranean countryside and peruse this list of joyous Greek side dishes!

Ingredients

  • Greek Cucumber Salad
  • Greek Lemon Rice
  • Greek Pasta Salad
  • Sautéed Asparagus
  • Slow Roasted Greek Lemon Potatoes
  • Spanakopita
  • Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad
  • Greek Lemon Potatoes
  • Spanakorizo
  • Greek Chickpea Salad
  • Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes)
  • Brian
  • Parmesan Lemon Orzo
  • Greek Roasted Vegetables
  • Apple Cranberry Coleslaw
  • Blue Cheese Potato Salad
  • Greek Orzo
  • Dolmades
  • Greek Olive & Feta Tapenade

Instructions

  1. Choose one or two of these recipes to make at home!
  2. Serve to your beloved guests and watch your meal disappear!

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