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Greek Christmas and New Year's Recipes and Foods

Greek Orthodox Christmas is an observance of faith, and comes at the end of a 40-day fasting period. As the celebration of the birth of Christ, some foods have religious significance, and some are culinary celebrations at the end of the fast. Pork is a seasonal tradition, and every region has Christmas favorites.
  1. Pork Recipes

Appetizers for the Holidays

A Greek holiday gathering wouldn't be complete without a table full of appetizers or mezethes.  Some of these can be made well in advance of your party and can be served at room temperature for simple, stress-free entertaining.


Favorite Greek Desserts for the Holidays

During the holiday season, indulge your sweet tooth and delight your guests with these fabulous Greek desserts and pastries .  The perfect ending to a festive holiday gathering.

Greek Christmas Bread - Christopsomo
Christopsomo (hree-STOH-psoh-moh) or Christ’s bread is a holiday tradition in every Greek household. It’s a sweet egg bread baked with nuts, raisins, and candied fruits.

Kourabiethes - Greek Shortbread Cookies with Confectioner's Sugar and Almonds
Kourabiethes are delicious buttery cookies with almonds that are covered in powdered sugar. A must for any Greek celebration and very popular at weddings and especially during the holidays.

Vassilopita - Greek New Year's Bread
Baking a Vassilopita or St. Basil’s cake is a New Year’s tradition in Greece. January 1st is the Feast day of Saint Basil a fourth century Orthodox bishop and great patron of the poor. In keeping with tradition, a coin is baked in the bread and family members gather to cut the bread and see who will be lucky and receive the hidden coin.

10 Colorful Greek Recipes with Red & Green Peppers
Red and green peppers add taste and color to many Greek foods. Enjoy these colorful recipes that look as beautiful as they taste. Great for the holidays, special occasions, and family meals.

Melomakarona - Spiced Honey Cookies with Walnuts
Though the name is hard to pronounce, Melomakarona (meh-loh-mah-KAH-roh-nah) are delicious and not very hard to make. Also known as Finikia (fee-NEE-kya), these are traditionally enjoyed during the Christmas and New Years holiday, but you can certainly enjoy them year round.

Greek Holiday Sweets & Desserts Photo Gallery
Greek Christmas and New Year's are celebrated with sweets. Enjoy these photos of holiday season cookies, cakes, pastries, and more, with information and links to recipes.

10 Culinary Traditions of Greek Christmas
Christmas is an observance of faith in Greece and, all over the country, tables will be set with foods that have become tradition, passed from generation to generation. From classics that have become associated with the holidays in every corner of Greece to regional favorites, the tastes of the holidays are fabulous!

Greek Menu & Recipes for Christmas
Incorporating traditional recipes from several areas of Greece, this Greek Christmas menu offers many items from which to choose.

Greek Menu & Recipes for New Year's
The Greek New Year is filled with almost as much tradition as Christmas, including foods and customs. Find Greek New Year's recipes and more information.

Christopsomo: Greek Christmas Bread
Making Christopsomo, which literally translates to Christ's Bread, is considered a sacred undertaking and great care is taken with making the dough and decorating the loaves.

Stuffed Cabbage - Lahanodolmathes
Cabbage leaves stuffed with a meat and rice and served with an egg-lemon sauce (avgolemono). Also called "yiaprakia," these are a Christmas classic in northern Greece.

Stuffed Turkey or Capon - Galopoula Yemisti
Stuffed turkey (or capon) is always appropriate for festive occasions, and this Greek recipe pulls together the classic elements of rice, pine nuts, chestnuts, and lamb for the stuffing. This is a great choice for a Greek (or non-Greek) Christmas or New Year's meal.

Traditional Cretan Holiday Cookies & Pastries
Recipes for the five sweets - cookies and pastries - that are traditionally made and served during the December holidays of Christmas and New Years on the Greek island of Crete.

Vassilopita (2) - Greek New Year's Cake
Vassilopita is made once a year, for New Year's Eve (or for subsequent New Year's celebrations). Recipes vary from this sweet cake type to a bread-type. This cake recipe lends itself well to decoration.

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