Most of us don’t have a tradition of serving foods with Greek flavors at a cookout, but we should. Greek food, with all its bright, fresh, and simple ingredients—lemon, salty fish, vivid cheeses, and olive oil chief 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. Get our Rotisserie Leg of Lamb recipe. (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. Get our Spanakopita recipe.
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. Get our Tangy Dolmathes recipe.
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. Get our Garlic-Mint Yogurt Dip recipe.
Not strictly Greek, but perfect to serve with the tangy, salty, and animal-rich food of your backyard BBQ. Fresh figs are muddled with elderflower liqueur, then mixed with vodka, lemon juice, and agave. Get our Flying Fig Cocktail recipe.
Stuff a whole striped or black bass with oregano, thyme, and lemon and top it with a relishy sauce of grilled olives, onion, and artichokes. Get our Whole Grilled Bass recipe.
Blanched fresh artichokes, cherry tomatoes, and crumbled ricotta salata cheese marry with cold pasta, tossed with garlic and good olive oil. Get our Baby Artichoke Pasta Salad recipe.
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. Get the Skordalia recipe.
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. Get our Grilled Greek Salad recipe.
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. Get our Honey and Cheese Tart recipe.
The addition of almond flour gives these buttery biscuits character. Served with roasted fresh figs sweetened with honey and flavored with orange zest, they make a delicious shortcake dessert out on the patio. Get our Almond Biscuit Shortcake with Roasted Figs recipe.