6 Best Greek Cookbooks

We’re all cooking more than ever- from elaborate mouthwatering pastries to simple one‑pot-wonders; spending more time at home has allowed us to try out plenty of new recipes!  

And cookbooks have become increasingly popular not only because they can teach us how to create new dishes, they also allow us to escape and travel (when we can’t). With so many good ones to choose from, we’ve put together our ultimate list of cookbooks that transport you to Greece through their delightful flavours and stunning imagery! 

Ikaria Lessons by Diane Kochilas 

Insights Greece - 6 Best Greek Cookbooks

Part cookbook, part travelogue, Ikaria is an introduction to the food-as-life philosophy of the famous “blue zone” island and a culinary journey through luscious recipes, gorgeous photography, and captivating stories from its locals. Written by well-known chef Diane Kochilas, who has spent much of her life in Ikaria, Diane captures the true spirit of the island, as she explains the importance of shared food, the health benefits of raw and cooked salads, the bean dishes that are passed down through generations, the greens and herbal teas that are used in the kitchen and in the teapot as “medicine,” as well as the nutritional wisdom inherent in the ingredients and recipes that have kept Ikarians healthy for so long. 

Greece the Cook Book by Vefa Alexiadou 

With hundreds of simple recipes by Vefa Alexiadou, Greece’s famous cookbook writer, TV presenter and chef, this book also includes information on regional specialities, local ingredients and the religious and historical significance of the dishes, which are illustrated with 230 vibrant photographs. This cookbook is the definitive work on the rich and fascinating dishes of modern Greece.

Food From Many Greek Kitchens by Tessa Kiros 

Insights Greece - 6 Best Greek Cookbooks

Greek-Cypriot Tessa Kiros takes you on a colourful journey into the Greek kitchens of her friends and family, cataloguing the traditional foods for fasting, festivals and feast days in her own enchanting way. Food, culture, celebration, and memory are inexorably tied together and recipes include short introductions that explain each dish’s cultural significance. In addition, lavish full-colour photographs take readers on a tour from the local Mediterranean fishmongers and markets into Greek family homes and kitchens- to experience the best in authentic Greek cooking. With a glossary and more than 200 classically prepared Greek recipes, Food from Many Greek Kitchens adds a greater depth of flavour to each dish.

Sweet Greek Life by Kathy Tsaples 

This is a beautiful selection of 116 traditional dishes updated for modern feasting, continuing the story of the cuisine Greek Australian Kathy Tsaples grew up with and her love affair with Greek food and culture. Beautifully styled and photographed, it is a stunning collection of recipes that will impress both home cooks and chefs alike. Flavours are bold, ingredients are accessible and sweet and savoury dishes ranging from Feta loukoumades with honey to wood-fired goat are stylishly interpreted with Tsaples’ characteristic fresh approach.

Insights Greece - 6 Best Greek Cookbooks

A Taste of Greece by Princess Tatiana and Diana Farr Louis

Co-authored by food and travel writer Diana Farr Louis and Tatiana Blatnik, the Hellenophile wife of Prince Nikolaos of Greece, this cookbook features recipes by well known Greeks from the fields of sport, gastronomy, cinema, royalty, photography, literature and music. This is not just a cookbook; it is a declaration of love for Greek culture, Greek lifestyle, and Greek cuisine. Well-known personalities from across the world who all share a special bond with Greece share their favourite recipes, revealing their much-loved foods, and share their memories of Greece. Their stories and recipes illustrated by stunning photos will give you a real appreciation of Greek cuisine, age-old traditions, and a fascinating contemporary culture.

My Greek Taverna by Ioanna Pavlaki and Makis Georgiadis

This cookbook features all the dishes you will find across an authentic Greek taverna and on any family’s Sunday table. In its pages you will find 65 recipes, divided into categories, listing all the ingredients along with step-by-step instructions to help you bring a traditional Greek dish to life in your own kitchen, tasting exactly as it would  in a small taverna by the Aegean Sea. It aspires to become a tasty memory of your autumns, winters, springs and summers in Greece. A memory that will will be renewed each time you go though its pages, choosing something Greek to cook, share and enjoy with your loved ones. It’s a “tasty” souvenir that smells like Greece. 

Featured image by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright)  

Lahanodolmades me Avgolemono Recipe

Lahanodolmades me Avgolemono are cabbage leaves stuffed with ground meat and rice, then drizzled in an egg-lemon sauce. This rustic Greek dish is especially popular during winter, as it’s guaranteed to warm you up! 

  • 1 x kilo beef mince (or mince meat of your choice) 
  • 1 x large green cabbage
  •  1 x large Spanish onion, finely chopped
  •  2 x eggs
  •  1/2 x cup parsley, finely chopped
  •  1 x cup rice
  •  1/4 x cup olive oil, extra for drizzling
  •  2 x cups water
  •  salt and pepper to taste
  •  2 x lemons, juiced

-Start by preparing the cabbage. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage and cut off stem. Place in a large, deep pot with water and bring to the boil. Blanch cabbage until soft. Set aside and allow to cool. When cool, open up each leaf and set aside.

– In the meantime, place mince, rice, onion, parsley and olive oil in a large bowl and mix with hands until all ingredients are well combined. Add salt and pepper, mix again and set aside.

– Layer the bottom of a large pot with the removed thick leaves of the cabbage.

– One by one, begin making your dolmades by taking about one tablespoon of the mince mixture and placing it on the cabbage leaf, towards the stalk end of the leaf. Firmly roll the stalk end over the mixture, then tuck in the sides and roll up completely.

– Place each dolmada into a large casserole dish. Repeat this process until you have used up all the mince mixture and ensure you place dolmades close together in layers, so they don’t unravel while cooking.

– Season with salt and pepper and add 2 x cups water and drizzle with olive oil.

– Place a plate on top of the dolmades to weigh them down and cover with lid.

– Cook on medium heat for about an hour or until mince and rice is cooked all the way through and set aside with lid still on.

– At this stage you make your avgolemono (egg lemon sauce) by whisking 2 eggs with lemon juice. Take some of the broth from the casserole and mix it in, continue whisking for a couple of minutes. 

– Pour the avgolemono mixture into the pot. Carefully shake the pot from side to side to distribute the egg-lemon​ sauce. Bring to a boil and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving. 

*Recipe and images by IN+SIGHTS GREECE

Traditional Tiganopsomo Recipe

Tiganopsomo is a homemade fried Greek pita bread, which only requires a few ingredients and is so simple to make. If you are after a savoury snack you can crumble Feta and oregano onto the bread, or for a sweet version drizzle some honey and cinnamon on top!  

This recipe makes 10 pieces.

  • 500 x grams plain flour
  • 1 x teaspoon salt
  • 7 x grams yeast
  • 2 x cups lukewarm water
  • olive oil for frying
  • Place flour in a large bowl.
  • Using your hands, place a hole in the middle of flour and add salt, yeast and water.
  • Knead the dough with your hands, until it becomes smooth and doesn’t stick.
  • Cover with cling wrap and allow to rest for about 35 minutes.
  • Divide dough into 10 pieces
  • Using a small rolling pin, roll each piece into a circle (pita size).
  • Heat frying pan and add olive oil to cover base.
  • Add one pita into pan and fry on medium heat till golden brown. Using two forks or tongs, turn over and fry other side.
  • Place on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
  • Repeat process for all pita breads. 
  • Add topping of your choice. 

Recipe & Image by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright)

Traditional Soutzoukakia Recipe

These traditional Greek meatballs made with cumin and cinnamon, then simmered in a rich tomato sauce are one of the country’s most loved mince dishes.

You may find many variations however our recipe is based on a traditional version that originated in Smyrni.

Keep in mind, these delicious meatballs can be served on their own, with rice, pasta or tiganites patates (fried chips)!

  • 1 x kg ground beef mince
  • 6 x cloves garlic, garlic
  • 4 x slices vienna bread 
  • 1 x egg
  • 4 x tablespoons red wine
  • 1 x cup water
  • 1 x tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 x teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 x tablespoons olive oil, extra for frying
For the sauce
  • 6 x large ripe tomatoes, pureed
  • 4 x tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 x cup
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Dip bread into water and red wine and using your hands, squeeze juices out. 
  • Place bread, mince, garlic, egg, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper and olive oil in a bowl and mix well, until all ingredients are combined. 
  • Cover with cling wrap and place in fridge for 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime add tomatoes, oil, water, sugar, salt and pepper in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it thickens.
  • When ready, use about 1 tablespoon of mince mixture and shape into oblong patties and set aside.
  • Heat frying pan with olive oil and cook the Soutzoukakia on medium heat until they are browned on all sides, about 7 minutes.
  • Place Soutzoukakia straight into the sauce and allow to simmer on low heat for an extra 20 minutes and serve. 

Image by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright) 

Carolina Doriti: I Can’t Help Falling in Love… With Greek Food

Carolina Doriti, chef, food stylist and food writer extraordinaire, has made a big impact on social media and beyond with her many Greek culinary talents.

Insights Greece - Carolina Doriti: I Can’t Help Falling in Love... With Greek Food

As soon as she could read, Carolina’s mother gave her a recipe book that sent her cooking fantasies rocketing; concepts both simple and complex, profoundly cultural and edgily independent, that have formed her art and presence today. Growing up in Athens in a home where the kitchen was always alive with action, in a family that was directly involved with food, she started writing her own recipes at the age of 12. She studied Media and Cultural Studies and then an MA on Arts Administration Cultural Policy and Curating in the UK, starting her career as a curator at notable museums before returning to her native Athens in 2004.

“I’ve always liked the idea of being strong and independent and dedicated and productive; so I always worked hard! In 2005 I decided to quit my job and turned my hobby into my work. I started cooking professionally, and that’s when my work became my life,” she says. Although she was still in her 20s, she put parties and play aside to dedicate herself to cooking.

In 2013 she gave birth to her son Apollo, which led to a lifestyle change and a new collaboration with Culinary Backstreets, a company that runs gastronomy tours and has a successful web presence showcasing global cuisine. It was then that Carolina started writing about Greek food and gastronomy.

“The more I discovered, the more passion was awakened. I wanted to do the best I could to Insights Greece - Carolina Doriti: I Can’t Help Falling in Love... With Greek Foodlet the world know about Greek food traditions and recipes that were almost lost in time. Also, the products of Greece are such a treasure. I feel so grateful to be in a country that is so “rich” in products, with so much history behind them!” she says.

Her work as a food writer soon led to other avenues. “I started collaborating with magazines by writing recipes, food styling, writing reviews on chefs … an experience that has helped me view this profession from every angle.”

In 2016 Carolina began working for Greek American chef and food writer Diana Kochilas, with whom she collaborates on the show ‘My Greek Table’ as a Culinary producer. This proved to be an invaluable experience: “This gave me the opportunity to travel around Greece and learn so much more. I spent time with shepherds in Epirus, milked goats and tasted raw, fresh milk thistle from the fields, learned how to make different types of cheese, baked rusks on Cretan mountains, learned from Mrs Margarita making the best tomato fritters in Santorini with the authentic native seeds she’s preserved (now I also own some too), collected honey with beekeepers in Ikaria, learned about Greek wines from some of the best producers, and much more. This made me love Greece even more, I am one of Greece’s biggest honest fans,” Carolina says.

Insights Greece - Carolina Doriti: I Can’t Help Falling in Love... With Greek Food

Her experiences were rewarding in her role as a mother too. “The biggest challenge in this work is being a single mom at the same time. When people ask me how I do it I honestly don’t know. But I manage. And I can proudly admit that my seven-year-old Apollo is a real food connoisseur!”

For three years, Carolina has been working on a few projects where she can share her knowledge and experiences that she has gathered throughout the years – the discovery of Greece’s cuisine from multifaceted perspectives. “I love the way they grow vines in Santorini; it’s fascinating to learn about how these vines are not actually water, that they’ve been grown in that shape for centuries to protect them from the microclimate. I love Greek saffron. Greece is so rich in mushrooms that Greeks don’t even know much about. I am also a huge fan of Mastiha and have written a lot about it, having cherished the experience of collecting it. I love a ‘Kariki’ cheese from Tinos – it’s a type of blue cheese that’s not actually blue and matures in a gourd. Above all, I love how from one humble ingredient you can create dozens of creative recipes.”

Carolina keeps herself involved in the food scene in various ways, such as through her collaboration with WISE Greece, an NGO that supports Greek food producers, and recently also started the Culinary Backstreets Athens Wine Club. She is also currently working on writing her own book, while also being near to completing another book she’s been writing with a friend.

One of Carolina’s greatest aspirations is to evoke in those who follow her work “the love, passion, appreciation, and excitement I share for food and cooking, in a simple and humble way. I hope to educate them the way I am trying to educate myself!”

Insights Greece - Carolina Doriti: I Can’t Help Falling in Love... With Greek Food

Greeks are slowly but surely discovering more and more about their complex, sophisticated, multiculturally-influenced, and deeply historical culinary heritage, but there is still a way to go, Carolina says. As for how foreigners connect with Greek cuisine, she says “I believe most Greek restaurants abroad fail to represent the real Greek gastronomy. Of course, this has been improving a lot during the recent years but still… there are so many clichés that need to be overcome. Greek cuisine goes far beyond moussaka, souvlaki, Greek salad, and baklava! That’s how for decades this country had been marketing it’s gastronomy, often leaving visitors with the impression that Greek food is greasy and fried and heavy. I mean come on!”

Follow Carolina on Instagram: @carolina_doriti