Most of us don’t have a tradition of serving foods with Greek flavors at a cookout, but maybe we should. Greek food, with all its bright, fresh, and simple ingredients — zesty lemon, salty fish, vivid cheeses, and mild olive oil among them — makes the perfect candidate for outdoor, summer feasting.
For a simpler nod to Greece, you could always grill burgers and serve them with Greek fries (thick-cut freezer fries tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and parsley). And if you need to feed vegetarians? This Greek falafel burger recipe is easy, delicious, and only takes about 20 minutes)!
But if you want to go all out, try one (or more) of these 11 summer Greek recipes for your next outdoor dinner.
A Mediterranean dry rub of paprika, cumin, and coriander gives this boneless roast leg of lamb a lovely perfume. The flavorful juices drip on potatoes, onion, and fennel as the lamb cooks on the spit. (The same flavors will work for smaller lamb chops too.)
Predictable maybe, but when the grill’s heating up, there’s nothing better to reach for than a flaky, buttery, feta-salty, oniony, and spinach-rich phyllo triangle.
The filling for these stuffed grape leaves starts out pretty conventionally, with ground beef, rice, and mint, but the terminal addition of avgolemono sauce (eggs, lemon juice, and some of the grape leaf cooking liquid) makes these perfect for snacking outdoors on a hot day.
Serve it as a dip for pita chips, raw and lightly blanched vegetables, or grilled shrimp. As a spread, it smears beautifully inside split pitas before they’re stuffed with diced roasted chicken or lamb.
Not strictly Greek, but perfect to serve with the tangy, salty, and animal-rich food of your backyard barbie. Fresh figs are muddled with elderflower liqueur, then mixed with vodka, lemon juice, and agave.
Stuff a whole striped or black bass with oregano, thyme, and lemon and top it with a relish-y sauce of grilled olives, onion, and artichokes. The result is as impressive to look at as it is to eat.
Pasta salad is a staple at summer barbecues — what about giving it a Greek twist? Here, convenient canned artichokes, fresh basil, and ricotta cheese marry with cold pasta, tossed with good olive oil.
Quinoa may have its origins in South America, but it’s become a favorite high-fiber, protein-rich pseudograin in Mediterranean cuisine too. Kalamata olives, feta cheese, fresh tomatoes, parsley, oregano, and basil amp up the Greek flavor in this easy side dish.
If you alter the proportions, this nutty, creamy, garlic-heavy dish can be either a dip or a hearty summer side. Ease up on the garlic and add a little more boiled potato to the food processor and this is like garlic mashed potatoes made especially for warm weather.
In this unusual salad, everything is charred on the grill and served warm with a drizzle of oregano marinade. We like it best when all the elements are chopped up and tossed with the dressing, so each bite is loaded with halloumi cheese, veggies, and herbs.
In Greece, this would contain fresh myzithra cheese (hard to find in the U.S.), but manouri, a fresh, lightly salted Greek cheese, complements the sweet honey and lemony crust. Or, if manouri isn’t available near you, sub goat cheese or ricotta salata.