Vegetarian Mediterranean Recipes

3 Easy Ancient Greek Recipes You Can Make Today

ancient greek recipesContinuing with the Ancient Greek theme, I came across several recipes while reading all these books about the food of the ancients Greeks, that looked quite familiar. When you look at these recipes, you would never think that they were “ancient”. In fact, they look very similar to recipes Greeks and others make today. So here are 3 Ancient Greek recipes (as described in the book The Classical Cookbook) that use ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen at this very moment, so try them out, they are for the most part healthy and easy.

The ancient recipe: Lentil Soup


  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 small leeks sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 ½ tsp dry mint
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Red wine Vinegar

Boil on low heat 1 cup of dry lentils over low heat with enough water to cover them and 1 inch above. Add the leeks and the fresh coriander (cilantro). In a small bowl mix the mint, dry coriander and the black pepper, add to the soup. Let it simmer until the lentils are soft, add vinegar and olive oil to taste

Similar to today’s: Greek Style lentil soup made with garlic, onion and tomato: click here for the recipe.


The ancient recipe: Pancakes with Honey and Sesame Seeds


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Mix the flour, water and 1 tbsp honey to form the batter. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add ¼ of the batter to the pan. When the mixture thickens, turn it 2 or 3 times until it is golden on both sides. Make 3 more pancakes with the rest of the batter.  Serve with honey and sprinkle sesame seeds.

Similar to today’s: Loukoumades, a Greek doughnut fried in olive oil and drenched in honey.


The ancient recipe: Nut Cake


  • 1 cup shelled almonds
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp bitter almonds (not available in the US, you can use regular almonds)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • 7 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Olive Oil

Preheat the oven at 350 F. Mix all the nuts except the sesame seeds and bake them for a few minutes in the oven. Do the same for the sesame seeds and then let them cool down. In a small pot let 3 tablespoons of honey simmer for about 7 minutes, add the sesame seeds, mix well. Let it cool enough so that you can handle it, pour it on an oily surface and knead into a ball. Separate it into 2 pieces,  roll 1 piece out with a rolling pin into a thin sheet that will fit in a shallow pan. Place the sheet on the bottom of the pan. Put all the nuts with the pepper in a blender or mixer and mix well for about 1 to 2 minutes. Boil the rest of the honey for 7 minutes and then add all the nuts and mix well. While it is still hot pour the nut and honey mixture in the pan on top of the sesame layer. Spread evenly. Roll the other piece of sesame seed dough into a sheet and cover the nut mixture. Let it cool off for 1 hour and then cut it small pieces.

Similar to today’s: Pasteli, a honey- sesame bar. Click here for recipe.


ancient greek recipes

* Ancient Greek Recipes Adapted from Dalby, A., Grainger, S. (1996). The Classical Cookbook.

Photo: Loukoumades by Young Yun

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  • Reply Madeline November 17, 2019 at 12:19 am

    Elena, these look great, especially the lentil soup, since I have always loved good lentil soups. Just one question: what is the image at the top of the page? It looks like lemons?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN November 18, 2019 at 8:01 am

      Hi Madeline, Those are loucoumathes, see the second recipe, it is basically a Greek doughnut fried in olive oil and drenched in honey.

  • Reply A Feast for the Death of Leonidas I – Zero Equals Two! August 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    […] If you’d rather have something a little nicer, you can find recipes for lentil soup, pancakes with honey and sesame seeds, and nut cake here: 3 Easy Ancient Greek Recipes You Can Make Today. […]

  • Reply Laura S. April 25, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    What type of flour did ancient Greeks use?

  • Reply Sam Garcia April 4, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    This helped me with my project, thanks!

    • Reply Noah Sphagetti April 4, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Me too!

  • Reply Maisey March 20, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    This helps people understand how to make food it help me whith my homework

  • Reply Narnia February 27, 2017 at 3:44 am

    thanks, helped me sooooooooooooooooooo much! 😉

  • Reply The Sweetness of Greece in 26 Classic Desserts - Ritely January 11, 2017 at 8:30 am

    […] 6. Ancient Nut Cake […]

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  • Reply sally spain December 6, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    love this helped with my project 🙂

  • Reply Joseph June 9, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    I have a question in regards to the approximate dating of these recipes. What is the dating of the nut cake ? I have done some reading and found that nut cakes go back to the Ancient Egyptians. Thanks for any help you may be able to offer.

  • Reply Me March 6, 2016 at 10:05 am


  • Reply Me March 6, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Wow! It’s really good!

  • Reply Maria March 6, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Thanks, it help out!

  • Reply Georgia February 24, 2016 at 9:30 am

    You could add and few orange juice at the
    batter for more flavor…
    I love your posts!

  • Reply Chelsea Akhurst November 22, 2015 at 1:10 am

    This was really helpful for my Technology assessment in which we had had to make a recipe booklet on a specific cuisine and I choose ancient Greece. This really helped me make my booklet.

  • Reply Jacqui June 16, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Just a question about the pancakes with honey and sesame seeds, do you know any information on when the Greeks had eaten
    (breakfast, Lunch or dinner) and if the rich or poor would eat it. This is for a project at school on Ancient Greece:) thanks

  • Reply *&^^^%%^&&*&^%%$$££$%^^&** March 12, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks for the tips my son found it useful and his class loved the tasty treats you had a recipe for!

  • Reply Igs March 12, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Very useful for my daughters homework!

  • Reply Sesame Bars With Urbangrain’s Pine Honey | urbangrains March 11, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    […] in Greek are the original power bars. They actually go back to antiquity, the ancient Greeks had a similar recipe that included a variety of nuts and honey. Today you can pretty much find pasteli anywhere in […]

  • Reply missy January 5, 2015 at 12:37 am

    it help with my project thanks so much

  • Reply Pasteli: Greek Honey-Sesame Bars | Olive Tomato December 18, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    […] in Greek are the original power bars. They actually go back to antiquity, the ancient Greeks had a similar recipe that included a variety of nuts and honey. Today you can pretty much find pasteli anywhere in […]

  • Reply Amelia December 4, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    LOVE THE PAN CAKES!!!!!!!!!!
    My class like them too

  • Reply kadence white October 31, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    yummy to my tummy

  • Reply LOL October 30, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I can’t wait to do one of the recipes for my project!

  • Reply Anonymous October 27, 2014 at 8:25 am

    thanks it really help me with my project!!!!

    • Reply Anonymous October 30, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks for helping me with my Ancient Greece project!

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  • Reply Joshua F June 1, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks, this helped me out alot with my Project.

    • Reply LOL October 30, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks Elena Paravantes!!!

  • Reply Nobody May 5, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    How many servings does the nut cake make?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN May 6, 2014 at 7:50 am

      I would say about 20-30. These are meant to be little snacks. You often may find them in in 1-2 ounce servings.

  • Reply Anonymous April 27, 2014 at 5:35 am

    helps heeps

  • Reply Anonymous April 14, 2014 at 2:21 am

    yummy pancakes!

    • Reply Phoebe March 25, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      I know arent they I tried the pancakes and the nut cake SWEET!

  • Reply Rangin April 4, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    These recipes are awesome!!

  • Reply Imi April 1, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Your website helped me with my Ancient Greek assignment! Thank you❤️

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN April 2, 2014 at 6:39 am

      Your welcome Imi.

    • Reply Madeline February 17, 2015 at 11:49 pm

      LOL me to

      • Reply Anonymous March 22, 2015 at 2:51 am

        Another thank you, as you have also helped me with my project as well:)

    • Reply Anonymous April 8, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Yea sure hah

  • Reply (\(OuO)/) March 26, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    this helpd my project……… thatnk you :3

  • Reply °˖ ✧◝(○ ヮ ○)◜✧˖ ° November 19, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Helped a lot with my Ancient Greek newpaper…..

  • Reply megan September 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    thanks helped alot on my project

  • Reply Georgia August 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    I love your posts and look forward to trying them. The one ancient recipe also seems to be like tiganites or koutalithes. I make them for my children for breakfast sometimes.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN August 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Thanks for the information Georgia! Glad you enjoy the posts.

      • Reply Phoebe March 24, 2015 at 7:03 pm

        I know I am 18 and I used this recipes for my history homework everybody loved it and I did to it was amazing , anyone out there who have not tried this 2 words TRY IT!

        • Reply CLOHAVER February 17, 2018 at 1:24 am

          what one was it

  • Reply lollipop March 13, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    awesome recipes all very helpful!!!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN August 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm


    • Reply Katie Thomson June 3, 2014 at 7:18 am

      This is really good

    • Reply hollymay November 26, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      this sit is so help full i also enjoy the food thanks to this website go greece

  • Reply Brenda October 4, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Great post Elena!

    • Reply johnathan June 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      man what are Loukoumades.

    • Reply Ella May 25, 2018 at 10:24 am

      Awesome recipes,

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