28 February 2024

15 Greek Lenten Recipes

Continuing our journey around the Balkans and adjacent countries, today I bring you recipes from Greece. These are all 'Eastern compliant' Lenten dishes.

From allrecipes

By Mary Claire Lagroue

In the Eastern Catholic Churches, 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. Eastern Catholic 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.

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Briam (Greek Baked Zucchini and Potatoes)

Briam, a dish of vegetables slow-baked in olive oil, is enjoyed as a main course in the Mediterranean diet

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.

02of 15

Greek Lentil Soup (Fakes)

lentil soup on a blue wooden surface

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.

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Fasolakia (Greek Green Beans)

a serving bowl of green beans, tomato, and potato

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!

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My Big Fat Greek Baked Beans

a baking dish of gigante beans in tomato sauce topped with crumbled feta
Greek Baked Beans | Photo by Chef John. CHEF JOHN

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 Eastern Lent-approved meal.

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Greek Baklava

Two slices of baklava on a blue and white plate
Greek Baklava. BETTY DICKSON

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.

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Spinach and Rice (Spanakorizo)

spinach and rice dish

"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."

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vegetable soup in blue and white bowl

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!

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Shrimps Saganaki (Greek Recipe)

tomato based shrimp recipe topped with feta

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.

09of 15

Vegan Tahini Cookies

sesame cookies on a white plate

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?

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Octapodi Kokkinisto (Greek Octopus in Tomato Sauce)

octopus in tomato sauce over rice

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.

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breaded calamari with lemons

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.

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Arakas Latheros (Greek Peas with Tomato and Dill)

peas and potatoes in orange pot

"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.

13of 15


bread spread with fish roe and served with olives

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.

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Mussels in a Fennel and White Wine Broth

a white ceramic bowl of steamed mussels garnished with fennel fronds

You'll forget you're fasting with this restaurant-worthy dish, which tastes nicely fresh thanks to roasted fennel, cherry tomatoes, and fresh parsley.

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Greek Potato Stew

Greek Potato Stew topped with feta

Potatoes will always rescue you from your Lenten dinner woes, and this simple dish does so with all the Greek flavors you crave. Again, omit the feta for an Eastern-friendly fast. As home cook MOONNOODLE says, "Kalamata olives and garlic are all the flavor it needs.

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