Easy Greek side dish recipes and ideas, from manéstra orzo soup to kolokithokeftedes fritters, and lemon rice to pan-fried saganaki.
Greece does sides and appetizers unlike any other country. Largely founded on vegetables and olive oil, the Mediterranean country’s cuisine is rooted in centuries of history and tradition. So why change it?
Whether you’re serving moussaka, souvlaki, or a simple Greek salad, these best Greek side dishes will complete any dinner spread or meze platter. Let’s get cooking!
Mediterranean Couscous Salad
A Mediterranean couscous salad makes the perfect side dish for a light summertime meal. Meanwhile, it can also be an ideal side dish to complement a heavier, heartier main dinner, such as lamb or chicken.
Beyond its zesty, herby taste and creamy and crunchy textures, this salad is appealing due to its colorful vibrancy. Due to tomatoes, couscous, olives, onions, parsley, mint, and other bright ingredients, you’ll find sprinkles of reds, oranges, purples, and greens.
Try This Recipe: This Greek Mediterranean couscous salad recipe includes all of the best and most colorful ingredients for a crowd-pleasing side dish that’ll go with any Mediterranean main dish. Also look out for instructions for making a tasty lemon-herb dressing, complete with olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Lemon rice is a Greek staple side dish you can serve with chicken, fish, or lamb main dishes.
Greek lemon rice is also a good choice if you’re looking for a vegan or vegetarian option. This orzo-based dish is light, fluffy, and fragrant, with a slightly tart lemon flavor.
Try This Recipe: This Greek lemon rice recipe is ideal if you want a light and refreshing side. This recipe also provides gluten-free brown rice and other alternatives.
Manestra is an orzo-based dish that’s similar to risotto, but instead we work in a tomato-based sauce to gives the dish a much tangier taste.
This dish is often light and refreshing, making it a good choice for summertime gatherings or potlucks, but adding kalamata olives, extra cheese, and other hearty ingredients can make it a great main dish as well.
You’ll mix orzo pasta with fresh tomato sauce, feta cheese, bay leaves, garlic, and onions for additional flavoring. The overall effect is a medley of salty, tangy, and slightly sweet tastes.
Try This Recipe: This easy manestra recipe offers a basic and straightforward recipe you can master and then add additional ingredients later on.
Blue Cheese Potato Salad
Blue cheese potato salad offers a flavorful twist on a more standard potato salad. It’s still creamy and delightful but incorporates a unique blue cheese flavor, a fatty bacon element, and Greek yogurt instead of mayo, which mixes well with the blue cheese.
People enjoy this dish alongside the main course because the potatoes provide some necessary starch and satisfying heft. The salad is also a good source of protein, making it a more well-rounded meal.
Try This Recipe: This blue cheese potato salad recipe walks you through everything you need to make this side dish, including notes, variations, storage advice, and other expert tips.
Spanakorizo is a Greek spinach and rice dish that makes for a healthy and flavorful side dish. The rice is usually cooked in olive oil with spinach, dill, leeks, and green onions, then simmered in chicken broth until the rice is tender.
This side dish goes well with Mediterranean main dishes like grilled fish, chicken, or lamb. You can also enjoy Spanakorizo as a vegetarian main dish on its own. It has an appealing flavor and a soft, warm texture that makes it a wintertime favorite.
Try This Recipe: This spanakorizo incorporates key ingredients that bring out the flavors of the spinach and rice — lemon, olive oil, and feta cheese.
Avgolemono, a Greek lemon chicken soup, is a heart-warming fall and wintertime side dish that tastes lovely besides fish and chicken main dishes.
This soup is silky, smooth, and highly fragrant, making it a favorite choice for both family dinners and more formal gatherings. Cook the chicken breasts and rice in chicken broth until they’re tender.
Try This Recipe: This Avgolemono soup is great for both formal gatherings and quick weeknight dinners. The recipe only takes 30 minutes if you use two shortcuts: ready-made chicken broth and store-bought rotisserie chicken.
Briám is a roasted vegetable dish that offers an easy but healthy side that can be served in almost any main course. It’s also a good choice for vegetarians, vegans, and those on a gluten-free diet.
Eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and onions are common vegetables used in this Greek-style roasted veggie dish.
Try This Recipe: This roasted briám dish takes a traditional approach, using just zucchini and potatoes and plenty of herbs (oregano, rosemary, parsley, etc.).
Kolokithokeftedes zucchini fritters are a delicious and easy way to use summer squash. These fritters are typically made with grated zucchini, feta cheese, dill, and eggs and are pan-fried until golden brown.
You can serve these zucchini fritters as a side dish or an appetizer with a dollop of Greek yogurt or tzatziki sauce. Many people like eating them alongside a salad for a light, healthy fish dinner.
Try This Recipe: These kolokithokeftedes zucchini fritters incorporate dill, mint, and chives for extra flavors that make the fritters pair even better with tzatziki, which also includes dill.
Saganaki is a Greek dish typically made with fried cheese, although variations exist that use other proteins like shrimp. You can dredge the cheese in flour, then eggs, and then fry it until it’s golden brown and bubbly.
The pan-seared Greek cheese is usually served as a side dish or appetizer to share, although it can also be a main dish if you’re looking for an easy, simple, yet still flavorful snack. You can serve the dish with lemon wedges, which provide a zesty finishing touch.
Try This Recipe: This pan-seared Saganaki involves only three main ingredients — oil, flour, and Graviera cheese — and takes only 10 minutes to make.
Fasolakia Lathera, or Greek-styled green beans, are another healthy and delicious dish you can serve on the side of almost any Greek meal. The green beans are cooked in a tomato sauce with garlic, onion, and herbs like oregano and thyme.
This side dish is also a lovely choice for both gluten-free and vegan diets, as there are no wheat-based ingredients or animal products. Fasolakia Lathera is a simple yet tasty way to add some color and vegetable variety to your overall meal.
Try This Recipe: This fasolakia lathera green beans takes a truly authentic approach and does not skimp on the olive oil, calling for ⅓ cup of olive oil per each pound of vegetables.