Dips and Sauces, Mediterranean Appetizers, Mediterranean Recipes

Three Recipes for Skordalia: Greek Garlic Sauce

Greek garlic dip, skordalia

The 25th of March is the Greek National Independence day and also the feast of the Holy Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. Now I won’t go into the stories of these 2 events, but I will discuss what Greeks typically eat on this day…Yes, it’s all about the food.

We continue to be in the fasting period, and this day is one of the few days that fish is allowed. Greeks typically eat 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.

As for the skordalia, I have to say that it is definitely potent but delicious. Skordalia is also served with boiled beets, complementing each other perfectly. You can call skordalia a dip, but personally I believe it is too strong to just serve as an appetizer with bread sticks. Apart from the beets, this sauce usually accompanies the cod or is cooked together with pork or rabbit. It needs a strong wine as well.

Skordalia is like other Greek dips; rich, healthy, full of antioxidants, in this case from the garlic and olive oil (and walnuts if you add them). 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. The recipes below are slightly changed versions from the traditional cookbook Hrisa Paradisi.

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 3 different recipes.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: Dip, Garlic, Skordalia
Calories: 72kcal
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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  • 7-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound (450 g) of potatoes
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • Salt


  • Peel the potatoes cut in cubes and boil in water until soft, about 15 minutes
  • Once boiled, strain and mix with a hand mixer until smooth.
  • In a food processor process the garlic cloves with a bit of salt 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, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until oil is absorbed.
  • Add a bit of red wine vinegar for taste, mix well.


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.
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Skordalia with Walnuts


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

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 until olive oil is absorbed.

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

Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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  • 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 Skordalia and the Greek Pantry | Inspiring confidence in the kitchen and adventures along the way. December 1, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    […] Lately, when I make this skordalia I use a high proportion of olive oil and lemon juice. Which leads to a thinner spread or sauce. Keep the end goal in mind as you make this recipe(or any recipe for that matter)! I like to pair this sauce version of skordalia with white fleshed fish. Such as snapper, grouper, wahoo,etc. Add a roasted vegetable with a decent amount of crunch and you have a complete entree! You can find a more traditional recipe for skordalia here. […]

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    […] In any case, I do suggest wrapping it before placing in your pocket and NOT forgetting it in your pocket when you take your jeans off. There’s nothing more exciting than not knowing where that pungent smell is coming from two weeks later when your closet smells like “skordalia”. […]

  • Reply Robertjm July 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Where’s the third recipe? I only see two of them. I have a ton of potatoes around the house so going to give that a try!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN July 13, 2020 at 8:08 am

      Hi, If you look at the notes under the first recipe you can see that you can also make skordalia with bread instead of potatoes. So 3 versions: potato, bread or walnuts

  • 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 5 Unique Vegetables in Authentic Greek Cuisine - Go Greek November 27, 2019 at 3:17 am

    […] In Greece, beets, known as Badzaria, are commonly boiled and served with a garlic sauce called skordalia. No matter how you prepare them, beets are a great addition to your home […]

  • Reply The 5 Biggest Misconceptions About the Mediterranean Diet May 3, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    […] in season. Nuts, mainly almonds and walnuts were used mainly in sweets, and in some sauces such as skordalia (garlic sauce) but they were not a daily habit. Georgia Petraki, a Cretan Nutritionist who […]

  • Reply Simple Greek Style Beet Salad July 15, 2017 at 9:34 am

    […] along with their greens are traditionally served here in Greece with skordalia, the delicious Greek garlic sauce. So wherever skordalia goes, beets go too. The beets were cut off […]

  • Reply Julie April 20, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    My mom was a terrific cook! Born and raised in Constantinople, she was the queen of mezethakia! Her secret to a silky, white skorthalia, was pignoli nuts. Never, ever, potato! I will be making her bacaliaro and skorthalia on Palm Sunday. Have a Blessed Pascha✝

    • 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 Nosh: Super-Garlicky Mashed Potatoes (Sort-Of Skordalia) | beyondpaisley April 29, 2015 at 5:28 pm

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  • 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!

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    […] Traditionally: Cook tomato sauce with garlic, add garlic to meats when roasting or stewing, make skordalia-Greek garlic dip: recipe. […]

  • 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 Elena Paravantes RDN September 3, 2014 at 7:07 am

      It sounds like the vendor is describing some sort of garlic paste, not skordalia.

  • 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!!

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  • 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 Traditional Greek Roasted Salted Cod with Onions, Tomatoes and Raisins-Bakaliaro Plaki | Olive Tomato March 23, 2014 at 9:58 am

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  • 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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