Best Authentic Skordalia Recipes: Greek Garlic Sauce

The authentic recipe for skordalia, the popular Greek garlic sauce. Garlic blended with extra virgin olive oil and mashed potatoes or bread makes for a delicious sauce or dip that is absolutely delicious.

Greek garlic dip, skordalia

So, I was raised eating skordalia all the time. My mother made (and still makes) the best skordalia, the famous Greek garlic sauce/puree/dip. We would have it at home fish, greens, beets and froed potatoes too.

One of the most popular ways to enjoy skordalia is with fried cod. Ever year on the 25th of March which is the Greek National Independence day and also the feast of the Holy Annunciation of the Virgin Mary we eat this specific dish: fried salted cod, bakaliaro and skordalia (a type of garlic dip). Obviously, fried salted cod doesn’t sound too healthy but if you think about it, it isn’t that bad. Cod is low in fat and calories so even frying it will not really make it excessively calorie rich. A healthier alternative with less salt, is using fresh cod baked in the oven with tomatoes, onions, parsley, olive oil and garlic and, my mom adds raisins, also known as bakaliaro plaki.

But let’s go into the story of skordalia

What is Skordalia

Skordalia is the national sauce of Greece. It is a thick sauce/dip that is made by mixing garlic paste with olive oil and a starchy base either potato or bread resulting in a puree that can be grainy or smooth depending on the method of making it. Skordalia can be made with potato, bread or with a combination of walnuts (sometimes almonds) and bread. Potatoes will give you a smoother consistency, while the bread skordalia will be a bit grainier. And no, skordalia does not contain cream, parsley or onion.

How to make skordalia

  • Skordalia making is considered an art in Greek cuisine. You don’t just add everything and hope for the best, there are secrets and techniques that result in a good skordalia.
  • First you peel the potatoes cut in cubes and boil in water until soft, for about about 15-20 minutes. Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water and then turn on the heat, that way the potatoes will cook uniformly.
  • Once boiled, strain and mix with a hand mixer or a potato masher until somewhat smooth. Do not over mix as the potatoes will become gluey. Set aside to cool. Hot potatoes will absorb the oil faster which is not what you want.
  • In a food processor process the garlic cloves with a bit of salt and a few drops of olive until until it is a paste.
  • Add ½ of the olive oil in a steady stream in the food processor and continue mixing.
  • Add the garlic paste to the potato and mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the rest of the olive oil gradually in a steady stream or about 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until oil is absorbed.
  • Add a bit of red wine vinegar for taste and mix well.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator 2-3 hours before serving and then bring to room temperature.

What to serve with skordalia

Skordalia is traditionally served at room temperature (not cold) with cod or fried fish, pork or rabbit and with beets and any type of boiled greens. You can also serve it as a dipc but personally I believe it is too strong to just serve as an appetizer with bread sticks. If you wish to serve it that way, you may make the recipe but with half of the garlic for a milder dip. It needs a strong wine as well.

Storing Skordalia

You can store skordalia covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Salted cod and Garlic in sale

Traditional Greek Skordalia (Garlic and Potato Dip)

Greek garlic dip Skordalia
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Skordalia, the popular and so delicious Greek garlic dip is rich, healthy and full of antioxidants. Here are 2 different recipes.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: Dip, Garlic, Sauce, Skordalia
Servings: 8
Calories: 72kcal
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 7-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound (450 g) of potatoes preferably starchy like russet
  • 1 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • Salt

Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes cut in cubes and boil in water until soft, about 15 -20 minutes
  • Once boiled, strain and mix with a hand mixer or potato masher until somewhat smooth.
  • In a food processor process the garlic cloves with a bit of salt, and a few drops of olive oil until it is a paste.
  • Add ½ of the olive oil in the food processor and continue mixing.
  • Add the garlic paste to the potato and mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the rest of the olive oil gradually, in a steady stream mixing until oil is absorbed.
  • Add a bit of red wine vinegar for taste, mix well.

Notes

To make skordalia with bread instead of potato follow the same recipe but instead of using potatoes, use 10 ounces of stale bread (without the crust) soaked in water and vinegar. Squeeze well and then mix and work the mixture with the garlic paste with a fork or with your hands until it is well combined. Than add the olive oil gradually. See below for more details.
Nutrition Facts
Traditional Greek Skordalia (Garlic and Potato Dip)
Serving Size
 
2 tbsp
Amount per Serving
Calories
72
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
6.5
g
10
%
Carbohydrates
 
3.8
g
1
%
Protein
 
0.48
g
1
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Leave a comment or share on instagram and mention @greekdiet

Skordalia with Walnuts

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 2 ½ ounces of walnuts
  • 10 ounces stale bread
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • Salt

DIRECTIONS
1.  Grind the walnuts.

2.  In a food processor process the garlic cloves with a bit of salt until it is a paste.

3.  Add the walnuts to the garlic paste and mix well.

4.  Soak the bread (without the crust in water and vinegar) and then squeeze well.

5.  Mix the bread with the walnuts and garlic mixture. Mix until smooth.

6.  Add olive oil gradually in a steady stream until olive oil is absorbed.

7.  Add a bit of red wine vinegar for taste.

Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

28 Comments

  • Reply Alec September 14, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    First time making Skordalia. This was an excellent recipe that I’ll try again with variations. Thanks for the introduction to this delicious sauce!5 stars

  • Reply Angie Tober August 22, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    Excellent Recipe, just like my mum’s.

    Question Elena… aside from refrigeration, can this be stored in the freezer for use on a later date?5 stars

  • Reply Jimmy December 7, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Excellent! I was a bit worried to try this, but it came out great and delicious! Thanks Elena5 stars

  • Reply Ferd April 26, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    During the lockdown here on Crete it is not possible to visit any restaurant for the past weeks. No problem, we cook ourselves.
    With your recipe of Skordalia we feel in a restaurant after all.
    Thanks and lots of greetings,
    Ferd, used to be Dutch but since one year full time Greek 😉5 stars

  • Reply Jodi October 13, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    Julie can you provide the recipe. I just discovered skorthalia it is delicious. the one I had was at a restaurant and it was made with potato. I would love to try yours.

  • Reply Dafna January 4, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    These recipes look great! Any idea how long I can keep this in the fridge? Can it be frozen?

  • Reply Terri September 18, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Had this last weekend at a restaurat, loved it and they told me the ingredients. They use Texas toast, garlic, lemon and olive oil. I made some this morning but added too much lemon zest. Then I looked up a recipe haha. Thanks for the help your recipes are very helpful. T

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN September 23, 2015 at 7:11 am

      Thanks for sharing Terri! I didn’t know what Texas toast was, but I looked it up.

  • Reply Golfo Vastakis March 26, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    We make the walnut skordalia all the time, especially during Lenten periods, as it is a staple from our area in Central Greece. As a shortcut, I’ve had great success in putting all the ingredients in the Vitamix and blending together….adding more olive oil as needed. Look forward to reading more of your blogs!

  • Reply P Soileau September 2, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    I buy skordalia at our farmers market and the vender SWEARS that the ingredients are olive oil, garlic & citrus…no potato, bread etc. Can that be possible?

  • Reply Cathie Stamos-Plassmann August 23, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Your recipe for Skordalia that includes the stale bread and walnuts is the closest to the one my mom makes. Sometimes she makes it with the walnuts, other times with the almonds, or both. As a child I remember her making it in a large wooden bowl with a very large wooden pestle and I would have the task of mashing up the garlic with the salt, and would then take turns with my mom adding the other ingredients and mashing till smooth. When I got married my aunt gave me a very large wooden mortar and pestle and I would make my own skordalia. We eat it with fried zucchini and also with cooked dandelion greens and a Greek vegetable dish called magerema. Since I grew up with the “bread” version, I’ve never been able to get used to the potato version. The bread version seems to last a long time, although it doesn’t usually last that long around here!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN August 24, 2014 at 9:06 am

      Thanks for sharing Cathie! I also prefer the bread version!

    • Reply Paul Tsakeres December 8, 2020 at 3:37 pm

      haha cathy, it’s paul on St John…i am making it witht the potato today! 2020!!

  • Reply Helen Robles June 26, 2014 at 3:57 am

    I believe my Mom made the skordalia a bit smoother by adding a bit of fish broth from the dry cod. Have you heard of this?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN June 26, 2014 at 5:55 am

      Hi Helen,
      I’ve never heard of that but it sounds like a great idea because you will also get an infusion of flavor. Thanks for sharing!

      • Reply Wendy Reeves March 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm

        Hi Helen, First, love the recipes. Never heard about the one with walnuts. To answer the person above, I was taught that a little of the starchy water from boiling the potatoes helps, both with skordalia and taramosalata, to make it more “elafri”, that is lighter, more “whippy”. Works great! Always preferred lemon juice over vinegar, and…one more suggestion…..it is AWESOME with koukia!!

        • Reply Wendy Reeves March 24, 2015 at 4:52 pm

          Whoops, meant to address Elena, and refer to Helen’s post 🙂

  • Reply Great Website! May 28, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I have a lot of potatoes and was thinking about making a large batch of skordalia. Can it be frozen?

    • Reply Helen Robles June 26, 2014 at 3:59 am

      I have refrigerated and safely ate skordalia after two weeks of being refrigerated with no problem!

  • Reply Sonny Raguso April 9, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    I love Skordalia! I just wanted to pass along another serving suggestion. Here in Chicago, Spring means Fresh Smelt, and I always serve my smelt deep-fried with crispy fried baby Artichokes and plenty of Skordalia. Try it, it’s delicious!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN April 10, 2014 at 7:04 am

      Thanks for the suggestions Sonny! Skordalia and fish are such a greta combo. Those artichokes sound yummy

  • Reply Anonymous April 4, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you

  • Reply Dino Androuliakos March 10, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Hi Elena. I have been surfing the web for Skordalia like my mother used to make it. Your recipe looks like the exact one ! Thank you. Can you tell me how to make Pastruma ? It seems the powder for coating the dried meat was a secret ?

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