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Passover, Orthodox Easter
Greek Recipes


Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord

Easter is the celebration of Christ's resurrection from the dead. It is celebrated on Sunday, and marks the end of Holy Week, the end of Lent, the last day of the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday), and is the beginning of the Easter season of the liturgical year.


Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day following his crucifixion, which would be Sunday. His resurrection marks the triumph of good over evil, sin and death. It is the singular event which proves that those who trust in God and accept Christ will be raised from the dead.


Since Easter represents the fulfillment of

God's promises to mankind,

it is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar.

Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the sun; rather, its date is determined on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explicitly laid down by the council. No details for the computation were specified; these were worked out in practice, a process that took centuries and generated a number of controversies. It has come to be the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21st of March, but calculations vary.

So Easter could possibly be celebrated before Passover. 

Passover is the seven-day holiday of the Feast of Unleavened Bread


Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan, which typically falls in March or April of the Gregorian calendar. Passover is a spring festival, so the 15th day of Nisan typically begins on the night of a full moon after the northern vernal equinox.

is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan, April. It commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. It is observed by avoiding leaven bread and highlighted by the Seder meals that include four cups of wine, eating matzah, bitter herbs and retelling the story of the Exodus.

In Hebrew, Pesach (which means to pass over),

because God passed over the Jewish homes when killing the Egyptian firstborn on the very first Passover eve.

Orthodox Church

adheres to the rule set forth by the First Ecumenical Council, held in Nicea in 325 AD, that requires that Pascha or Easter must take place after the Jewish Passover in order to maintain the Biblical sequence of Christ’s Passion.


Greek Recipes:

Christos Anesti!

Greek Salad
No Lettuce ever!

Greek Salad

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped into ¼ moons

  • 4-6 Roma tomatoes, chopped

  • ½ of a red onion, sliced

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • red wine vinegar TT (to taste)

  • 1½ Tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

  • Black olives, pitted and sliced (to taste)


  1. In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions.

  2. In a smaller bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and dried oregano.
    Pour over the vegetables and mix well. Season salad with salt and pepper.

  3. Sprinkle feta cheese and olives over the top of salad and mix.
    Taste and adjust spices if need be. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Enjoy!

Greek Eggs are always Red!

How to Make Greek Easter Eggs

  • 1 Packet Greek Red Egg Dye

  • 10- To 12-quart Cooking Pots

  • 8 to 10 quarts water

  • 1 teacup-full boiled water

  • 4 oz. distilled white vinegar

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 dozen large white eggs



  1. Empty 1/2 packet of red dye into a teacup of just-boiled water. Stir until dye is completely dissolved.

  2. Fill a 10qt. cooking pot 3/4 full of water and add about 4 oz. of distilled vinegar. Bring it to a boil.

  3. Add the dissolved dye to the boiling vinegar water. As the mixture reaches a full rolling boil, froth will develop on the surface; skim this froth off before adding your eggs.

  4. Put the desired number of eggs to be colored into the dye mixture and boil as you would normally prepare hard-boiled eggs, usually about 5 minutes.

  5. Remove the eggs from the heat and let them stand in the dye for several more minutes before taking them out of the water.


Use the entire packet of dye instead to achieve a deeper, more brilliant, red color.

Polish each dyed egg with a soft cloth dipped in olive oil to achieve a soft sheen.

Do not overboil your eggs and risk having one explode in the pot.

Tsoureki: Greek Easter Egg Bread

Tsoureki (Greek Easter Bread)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 5 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to 110˚F

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground mahlab

  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
    plus zest of 1 large (or 2 small) oranges

  • 1 tablespoon good-quality honey

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

  • 2 to 3 cups unbleached bread flour (I use King Arthur Flour)

  • grapeseed or other flavorless oil (for oiling bowl)

  • 1 egg (for egg wash)

Stir sugar and yeast together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk in warmed milk and let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour until mixture is combined, scraping down the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

If your mixer doesn’t naturally sit in a warm spot in your kitchen, remove the bowl and sit it in a warm spot for the 30-minute bubble time.

Generously oil a large bowl (for proofing). Set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining 1 cup all-purpose flour, kosher salt, and mahlab. Set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice, zest, honey, vanilla and almond extracts. Set aside. In a small bowl, add your fears that this recipe will fail you. Set aside.

Place your mixing bowl back on the stand (if you removed it to a warmer climate) and fit with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium-low, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the all-purpose flour mixture and stir on low until incorporated. Add the butter and wet ingredients (give them a brief whisk just before to unsettle any honey sticking to the bottom) and continue to mix until combined.

Remove the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook, scraping off excess dough from the paddle attachment on its way out. Gradually mix in 2 cups of bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Continue to add the final 1 cup of bread flour a little at a time until the mixture forms a soft, slightly sticky dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl. Don’t be heavy-handed with the last bit of flour: you want a soft, pliable dough, not a dry, tight one, and you can always add, but never subtract.

Once you’re done adding flour, increase speed to medium-high and mix until dough is very smooth, about 8 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl using a rubber scraper (it works well for this) and form dough into a ball. Roll it around the oiled bowl until all sides are coated, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until 1 1/2 to 2 times its size, about 1 1/2 hours.

*Proof Station if Needed

Use boiling water in a teakettle, adding it to a mug, placing the mug in the back of a microwave or oven, then placing the bowl of proofing dough into the Proof Station and closing it. Not only does it provide a draft-free, warm environment, but it gets a little humidity in there as well. Works every time.

If you are making two straight loaves, line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper. If you are making two round doughs using 9-inch springform pans, spray them ever-so-lightly with cooking spray.

Remove dough bowl from its warm home, uncover, and punch down the dough. Cut the dough in half with a large knife or bench scraper, then cut each half into 3 equal pieces (I do this by shaping it into an even rectangle and eyeing it up). Cover 3 pieces covered with plastic wrap while you work with the remaining 3. Gently shape each piece into a rough log with your hands, then roll it out into about 24 to 30-inch long ropes, working slowly so your dough rolls out evenly. As I mentioned above, if you notice your ropes shrinking when you remove pressure or feel them pull against you, leave them sit for a few minutes and come back to them.

Place the ropes next to each other, pinching the ends on one side to seal. Tuck ends under for a smooth finish, and spread out the ropes as wide as possible on your counter. Loosely braid your ropes together, laying one strand on top of the other, not pulling or stretching them. You want a braid free from gaps, but you don’t want to strangle it either. Adjust your ropes throughout so they stay wide on your work surface, which will make for a more even finished product. When you reach the end, pinch the ends together and tuck them under as you did the other side.

If you’re making straight loaves, simply transfer the braid carefully onto a prepared sheet pan. If you’re making springform rounds, transfer to the prepared pan, leaving  about a 1/2 inch of space between the outer edge of your bread ring and the perimeter of the pan. Cover each loaf with a kitchen towel and place back in your warm spot to let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours, give or take.

If needed use the same coffee cup/boiling water method from before. When it’s time to turn the oven on, simply move the dough out and to a different warmish spot; by then, it’s already well on its way to gorgeous, so nothing to fret about.

Ready your egg wash by lightly beating an egg in a small bowl. Preheat oven to 350˚F and place a rack in the lower third of the oven.


I refuse to bake most anything more than one sheet at a time, and this is no exception. Pick the one loaf which looks the most ready to go and gently brush the entire thing with egg wash. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, checking at the 20-minute mark until loaves are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when you tap them. As you look at the braid expanding, the inner crevasses should still be light golden and not at all overdone; see the photos above as a guide to what you’re looking for. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining loaf.


Greek Pastitsio: Greek Lasagna


Meat mix

  • 1 stick Butter

  • 2 medium Onions  sauté / wilt the onions in the butter then add the meat and brown

  • 2 pounds ground beef (chuck) or ground lamb

  • tt Garlic, dry

  • tt salt

  • tt white pepper

  • tt hint of cinnamon 

  • 2 tsp parsley, chopped … add the herbs and mix well 

  • ½ can of tomato paste…add the paste and brown

  • ½ c red wine if needed…add the wine and cook for about 10 minutes and set a side


  • 1 pound of pasta, tubular

  • 1 stick of butter

  • cook pasta and drain well (each by hand) add melted butter to the pasta

  • 4 oz Parmesan, grated

  • 6 eggs, beaten

  • 1 c whole milk   

combine the above 3 products, mixed well, add to the pasta and mix well


  • 1 stick of butter, melted

  • 3 c whole milk

bring milk and butter to a simmer then add to the cornstarch mixture,
once the mixture is like pudding, temper the eggs and then add …stirring constantly


  • 1 c whole milk, room temp, 1 oz semolina (* fast-acting thickener)  5 TBSP Cornstarch

  • 2 eggs, beaten


  1. Lightly grease pan with butter and parchment paper, paper for easy clean up but not needed.

  2. Combine the layers starting with the pasta on bottom, then the meat mix,
    then the pasta, then the béchamel sauce on top.

  3. Topping the Pastitio with more Parmesan Cheese.

  4. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes

  5. *tt: To Taste


Greek Easter Lamb with Vegetables

Roasted Leg of Lamb
Roasted Root 
Vegetables in Olive Oil & Lemon



Spanakopita: Greek Spinach Pie/ Triangles 

 Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

For ease in preparation, use fresh spinach. You can add the leaves to the skillet while still wet from washing. Frozen spinach contains too much water so if you use frozen strain in a cheese cloth very well. Lots of water come out and this is important to remove so you don't have a soggy triangle or pie.

For mini-appetizers, drop a spoonful of the filling into prepared puff pastry shells or filo and bake according to the package directions.

Always buy 2 pounds of filo so if it's dry, you have extra sheets.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 pounds fresh spinach (about 3 big bunches), trimmed and chopped

  • 4 scallions (white and light green parts only), sliced

  • 1/2 head fennel, trimmed and chopped

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint or dill

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 pound filo dough (20 sheets), thawed to room temperature

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted


1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the spinach, scallions and fennel; cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Stir in the mint, parsley and season with salt and pepper.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, feta and ricotta until blended. Fold in the spinach mixture.

4. Lay 1 filo sheet in the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch pan, letting the ends of the sheet hang over the edges of the pan. Brush well with the butter. Top with 9 more filo sheets, buttering between each sheet.

5. Spoon the spinach filling over the filo and fold the overhanging edges over the filling. Place 10 more sheets of filo over the filling, brushing with the butter between each sheet.

6. Butter the top sheet. Use a sharp knife to score the top of the pie to make it easier to cut after baking.

7. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.



Kolokithokeftedes: Greek Zucchini Fritters



  • For Fritters:

  • 3 cups packed, grated zucchini (from about 6 large zucchini)

  • 6 tablespoons dill, chopped

  • 1 bunch (about 8) scallions, white and light green parts finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup flour (plus more if needed)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • For Tzatziki:

  • 2 cups greek yogurt

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup grated, peeled cucumber

  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt and pepper



  1. Squeeze excess moisture from cucumber. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, garlic, cucumber and vinegar or lemon juice. Stir in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Lay out a layer of paper towels and spread out grated zucchini. Sprinkle zucchini with salt and let sit for at least thirty minutes and up to an hour. Squeeze out all excess moisture from zucchini.

  2. Put drained zucchini in a large bowl with dill, scallions, nutmeg, and feta. Mix to combine. Stir in eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in flour until dough comes together, adding slightly more flour if dough is too wet to form patties. Form dough into 3-4 inch patties.

  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Fry patties until golden brown on both sides and cooked through but still moist, about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve hot with tzatziki alongside.



Galaktoboureko: Greek Milk Pie

Base Ingredients


  • 400-450g phyllo pastry (14 ounces/ 9-10 sheets)

  • 210g butter (8 ounces)



For the Custard


  • 160g thin semolina (6 ounces) (*this is a fast-acting thickener) 

  • 220g sugar (7.5 ounces)

  • 500g milk (18 ounces)

  • 4 eggs (separated into whites and yolks)

  • a knob of butter

  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

  • 500g single cream (18 ounces)



For the Syrup


  • 360g water (12 ounces)

  • 640g sugar (22 ounces)

  • 2 tbsps honey

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • a cinnamon stick 

​Directions: (*large recipe)


  1. To make this Galaktoboureko recipe, start by preparing the syrup. Into a small pan add the sugar, the water and lemon zest (and a cinammon stick) and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved; remove the pan from the stove, add the honey and stir. Leave the syrup aside to cool completely.

  2. To prepare the custard for the Galaktoboureko (steps 2-7), divide the eggs into yolks and whites. In most traditional Greek recipes, the eggs are added whole towards the end, but with this Galaktoboureko recipe the eggs are beaten into meringues and combined in the semolina based cream. This is the secret to a more fluffy and creamy custard and to avoid the egg-y smell, which can ruin the flavour of your Galaktoboureko.

  3. Place the egg whites and 50g sugar in a mixing bowl. Make sure your egg whites, bowl and whisk attachment/s are free of any water. Use an electric mixer or electric hand beaters to whisk the egg whites and sugar until the mixture is very thick and glossy, all the sugar has dissolved and a long trailing peak forms when the whisk is lifted (meringues). Set aside.

  4. In another bowl, whisk the yolks and 50g of sugar, until the mixture is thick and foamy. This should take about 5 minutes.

  5. With a spatula add 1/4 of the meringues into the egg yolks-sugar mixture and blend with light circular movement from the bottom up. Gradually add all the meringues into the mixture and blend.

  6. Pour into a saucepan the milk, the milk cream and the rest of the sugar, and bring to the boil. As soon as it comes to the boil slowly add the semolina and the vanilla extract; turn the heat down to medium heat and whisk constantly until it the mixture becomes creamy. Remove the pan from the stove, add a knob of butter and blend.

  7. Blend together the two mixtures, from step 5 and step 6 and set aside. Stir occasionally, to keep the custard from forming a skin on top, while you prepare the rest of the Galaktoboureko recipe.

  8. For this Galaktoboureko recipe, you need a large baking tray, approx. 20x30cm. Melt 230g of butter, and butter the bottom and sides of the tray. Remove the phyllo roll from the plastic sleeve; you will use 5 sheets of phyllo for the bottom of the Galaktoboureko. Begin by layering the sheets one by one on the bottom of the tray, making sure to sprinkle each one thoroughly with melted butter. Layer four sheets of phyllo so that they extend half in the pan and half out of the pan horizontally and vertically and one more in the middle. Tip in the custard, smoothing the surface with a spatula and fold the phyllo sheet flaps over the custard. Add 4 sheets on top, sprinkling each sheet with melted butter. With a knife trim some of the excessive phyllo, if you like, and roll the rest on the edges. Brush the top with enough butter and scar the top of the Galaktoboureko with a sharp knife.

  9. Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 60 to 75 minutes until the phyllo is crisp and golden.

  10. As soon as the Galaktoboureko is ready, ladle slowly the cold syrup over the pastry, enabling each ladle to be absorbed. Serve after the syrup is absorbed. Enjoy! (Store it out of fridge for up to 4-5 days. The excess syrup helps maintaining the Galaktoboureko fresh.)

    Always ladle really slowly the cold syrup over the hot Galaktoboureko, enabling each ladle to be absorbed, so that the syrup is absorbed evenly. Even though it will be really hard.. you should wait for the Galaktoboureko to cool down for a while before cutting into pieces. 

    I used a springform pan to make my milk pie.


Koulourakia: Greek cookies with sesame seeds

Greek Butter Cookies Recipe Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 3 1/2 cups flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 large egg, beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Add butter and sugar to a medium bowl and cream together using an electric mixer that has been set on medium speed.

  3. Slowly add the egg and egg yolks and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

  4. Sift the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl. Set the mixer on low speed and slowly add the flour mixture. Turn off the mixer once the flour has all been added and knead the mixture for 20 seconds. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough for 1 hour.

  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Pinch off about 1 inch of the dough and roll into a rope. From there, you can form them into rings or twist them into ropes, as pictured.

  6. Place cookies on greased baking sheets. Brush with the beaten egg using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional). Place baking sheets in the center of the oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown.
    This recipe makes about 40 cookies.

    *I like my cookies sweet so I dip my cookies in a sugar wash. 


Greek Pecan Baklava

Baklava Recipe

Ingredients for Baklava Recipe:

  • 1 (16 oz) pkg phyllo (fillo) dough*; thawed according to package instructions

  • 2 1/2 sticks (10 oz or 1 1/4 cups) melted unsalted Butter

  • 1 lb (about 450 grams, or 4 cups) Pecans or walnuts, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup (210 grams) granulated sugar

  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice 

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) water

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) honey



  1. Thaw phyllo dough by package instructions (this is best done overnight in the fridge, then place it on the counter for 1 hr before starting your recipe to bring it to room temp).

  2. Trim phyllo dough to fit your baking dish. My phyllo package had 2 rolls with a total of 40 sheets that measured 9x14 so I had to trim them slightly. You can trim one stack at a time then cover with a damp towel to keep from drying out.

  3. Butter the bottom and sides of a 13x9 non-stick baking pan.

       Start with your honey sauce (which needs time to cool as baklava bakes).

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, ½ cup honey, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and ¾ cup water. Bring to a boil over med/high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then reduce heat to med/low and boil additional 4 min without stirring. Remove from heat and let syrup cool while preparing baklava.

How to make Baklava: Preheat Oven to 325˚F.

  1. Pulse walnuts 10 times in a food process or until coarsely ground/ finely chopped. In a medium bowl, stir together: 4 cups finely chopped walnuts and 1 tsp cinnamon.

  2. Place 10 phyllo sheets into baking pan one at a time, brushing each sheet with butter once it's in the pan before adding the next (i.e. place phyllo sheet into pan, brush the top with butter, place next phyllo sheet in pan, butter the top, etc. etc.). Keep remaining phyllo covered with a damp towel at all times. Spread about ⅕ of nut mixture (about ¾ cup) over phyllo dough.

  3. Add 5 buttered sheets of phyllo, then another layer of nuts. Repeat x 4. Finish off with 10 layers of buttered phyllo sheets. Brush the very top with butter.

  4. Cut pastry into 1½" wide strips, then cut diagonally to form diamond shapes. Bake at 325˚F for 1 hour and 15 min or until tops are golden brown.

  5. Remove from oven and immediately spoon cooled syrup evenly over the hot baklava (you'll hear it sizzle). This will ensure that it stays crisp rather than soggy. Let baklava cool completely, uncovered and at room temp. For best results, let baklava sit 4-6 hours or overnight at room temperature for the syrup to penetrate and soften the layers. Garnish baklava with finely chopped nuts or drizzle with melted chocolate. Store at room temp, covered with a tea towel for 1 to 2 weeks.


Here's the order of the Baklava Layers: 
10 buttered phyllo sheets, ¾ cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, ¾ cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, ¾ cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, ¾ cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, ¾ cup nut mixture
10 buttered phyllo sheets and butter the top.

Learning from the best! 
At Yaya & Papou's house 
Some of my favorite memories are here in this warm & loving home.
Papou makes the BEST Greek Baklava ever!

Papou is really my Uncle George but everyone now calls him grandpa in Greek because he has so many grand-babies. 

We all loving call Aunt Linda and Uncle George Yaya & Papou.

They are so proud to have these titles and we are just as proud to call them by their now forever titles!
Georgios is an amazing husband and loves to take care of his family, one way he shows his love is by cooking!
He is a painter by trade....I am giggling a little because you can tell by his pastry brush! 
It is a 4 inch paint brush!

I can hear him now, Baby, I can't paint butter with that little baby brush?!?!
That is just too small and that would take all day! 
No no  no no we will use a real brush like this! 

Uncle George celebrates Greek Orthodox traditions and this is why I celebrate Greek Easter too! 
I love you Georgios!

Christos Anesti!

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