Learn how to make the ultimate, easy Greek mezze platter also known as appetizer spread.
By following some easy steps and helpful tips you'll be able to include anything you like, from healthy, vegetarian ingredients to traditional greek foods like feta cheese and stuffed grape leaves.
Though the name Mediterranean mezze platter would be just as fitting, something about the ingredients of this platter (or maybe the ouzo) made this dish look more Greek.
Also known as Greek tapas or greek appetizer spread a this mezze platter is the perfect way to spend a relaxed Mediterranean evening with your friends eating, drinking, laughing, and having fun! This is probably the reason why this platter in one of our top best Mediterranean recipes.
In this article you'll find a lot of mezze ideas, the combinations and the substitutions you can make, just so you never run out of inspiration. And if you love building your own snack platters, the you should definitely try this Mediterranean charcuterie board and this heavier on the cheese, simple 5-step cheese board.
What is mezze?
Mezze (or meze) is a type of small dishes of savory appetizers that are (almost always) served as an accompaniment to drinks.
They can be warm or cold, and they can include fresh vegetables, cheeses, dips in small bowls, seafood, rusks, warm homemade pita bread or pita chips and many more. Basically, you can make anything a meze as long as you can serve it in the size of a bite.
In that sense, the meze recipes are endless and there's no right or wrong way to make them.
You can find more information in this article from thekitchn.com about what is meze around the world.
In Greece, the places where you can enjoy meze dishes are small traditional greek restaurants called mezethopoleia (meaning the places that serve meze).
Usually, when you're in a such place, you order some alcohol and a selection of small plates with different kind of foods, prepared in small bites, so that you can munch on them while enjoying your drink.
A Greek mezze platter should be easy, fuss-free and delicious! That’s why the idea is to use and combine ingredients and foods that need little or almost no preparation (you can buy many of them from the grocery store), so you can sit with your friends and enjoy your evening.
A great idea is to use leftover foods you have in the fridge from previous days. Cut that roasted chicken breast into cubes and sauté it with a tablespoon of olive oil, oregano and a chopped green bell pepper - that's a tasty mezze in less than 10 minutes.
Traditionally, tsipouro or ouzo is served with meze, but you can also drink wine.
Tsipouro is a Greek spirit similar to Italian Grappa and it's made from the remains of the grape pressing process in winemaking that is distilled to create a 40-45% alcohol by volume product.
Ouzo is an anise-flavored spirit produced from grape must which becomes white when you add water to it.
How to make a mezze platter (steps)
1. Get a platter
Any kind of serving platter, wooden board or large plate will do.
2. Use one or two dips
I suggest something with legumes and something with dairy so that you have different flavors. The dips can be served in small bowls if you use a board or can be spooned in-between the rest of the items if you use a serving platter or large plate.
For the legume-based, this homemade hummus is a delicious dip and always a crowd-pleaser. You can also make a smoky Baba Ganoush (Lebanese eggplant dip), a Greek fava (yellow split pea puree), or this white bean dip from loveandlemons.com.
For the dairy-based, I love to mix some Greek katiki cheese with freshly grated black pepper, fresh herbs or dried oregano and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Katiki cheese is a white fresh cheese, with a fine, smooth texture, very pleasant aroma and a refreshing, slightly sour taste.
Other options are Homemade Labneh (a cream cheese made from yogurt), a spicy feta dip called tirokafteri (Greek spicy feta dip) or the famous tzatziki sauce (Greek yogurt, garlic and cucumber dip).
3. Add a variety of vegetables
The vegetables can be fresh, roasted, pickled or sauteed.
Sliced tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), cucumbers, and Kalamata olives are a must. If you add some roasted red peppers from a jar (piperies Florinis in Greek) you'll have the basic vegetables you find in any Greek appetizer platter.
If you're near a Greek grocery store you might be able to find Greek stuffed grape leaves (Dolma) which is also a great addition.
4. Boil a few eggs
Soft or hard boiled eggs with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkled with some sea salt and black pepper are heaven! Especially when the eggs are still warm, they're irresistible!
5. Slice some cheese.
Feta cheese would be the most obvious choice for many people, but there are more Greek soft cheeses you can choose, such as Myzithra, Anthotyro, Malaka. A matured yellow Greek cheese like Kefalotyri or Graviera (similar to Gruyere) is also a great option.
If you can't find those, just use your favorite cheese. Parmesan, Cheddar, Emmental and Gouda, though not Greek, will also do the job. If you have a bit of extra time, you can also make these mini feta cheese balls with herbs.
7. Add nuts and fruit.
Most nuts will pair very well with the different elements of the platter and will fill any empty spaces. The most popular options are almonds, walnuts and pistachios which can be fresh or roasted (I prefer them roasted because the flavor is a lot better).
Fresh fruit is not commonly used as greek appetizers, but grapes, pomegranate, pear and apples can find a place, especially next to the cheese. Dried apricots, raisins and prunes can also be added.
8. Add anchovies
Anchovies are full of umami taste and pair very well with ouzo and tsipouro. Don't use them if you want the platter to be vegetarian.
9. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
Is it really a Greek mezze platter if you don't add olive oil? An extra virgin, early harvest olive oil will add the perfect peppery notes to the platter.
Some lemon wedges can also be offered next to the ingredients, since some of them ask for a generous drizzle of fresh lemon juice.
For this mezze platter, the ingredients used are:
- Katiki cheese (Greek fresh cheese with a creamy texture)
- Greek fava - yellow split pea puree (you can also use hummus)
- Boiled eggs
- Kalamata olives (or a mix of green and black olives)
- Sliced cucumbers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hard or semi-hard Greek cheese (Graviera or Kefaotyri)
- Roasted red bell peppers from a jar
- Pita bread and bread-sticks with sesame
- Almonds and walnuts
- Olive oil
- Dried oregano
All the dips and sauces that go into this mezze platter can be prepared one or two days before and stored in airtight containers inside the fridge.
The cheese can also be sliced ahead of time, while the store-bought ingredients (like the red peppers in a jar, the olives, the capers, etc can be bought several days prior).
I suggest slicing the fresh vegetables and fruit just before serving to keep them as fresh as possible.
If you're short of time, you can make the mezze platter a few hours before, wrap it well with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge until your guests arrive.
Leftovers - Storage
If you have any leftovers, transfer them into separate airtight containers and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
As mentioned previously, a mezze platter is meant to be served with drinks. Try it with the following:
Greek ouzo. Ouzo is served in narrow, tall glasses and it needs ice, so make sure you have ice cubes. Many people dilute ouzo with water in order to make it less strong. If you can't find ouzo, use sambuca instead.
Tsipouro. Tsipouro is served in shot glasses and it is also called Tsikoudia or Raki in certain parts of Greece. It's usually consumed cold from the fridge but you can also drink it at room temperature. It's never diluted with water or ice.
Instead of Tsipouro you can drink Grappa. For a more refreshing drink, you can also serve this cucumber, lime and tsipouro cocktail with your mezze platter.
Greek wines. Any type of Greek white or rose wine can be served next to this platter. Try a sharp Assyrtiko from Santorini, a soft Malagouzia Red wine will not compliment the ingredients very well.
Beer. Not commonly served with this kind of food, but you can certainly try it.
- Use any kind of large plate, serving tray or wooden board as a platter.
- Any greek food served in small bite sizes can be added!
- Try to mix together many different elements and foods with different flavors, textures and color.
- Sprinkle with dried oregano and sea salt flakes for extra flavor.
- Serve with lots of pita bread.
- Additional seafood options are boiled shrimps, grilled octopus and Mediterranean baked octopus recipe (in foil).
- Additional meat options are slices of greek salami, fried meatballs and apaki.
What does a meze consist of?
Mezze is a selection of appetizers usually served next to drinks. They can be hot or cold and include a variety of foods like meat, cheese, seafood, vegetables, bread, olives and spreads. Think of it as Greek tapas.
What is the difference between tapas, antipasto and meze?
The most important difference is the origin of each dish. Tapas is Spanish, antipasto is Italian and mezze is Mediterranean/Middle-Eastern.
Of course, each dish is prepared with the ingredients and under the influences of the local cuisine, but their main similarity is the ease of preparation and the variety of flavors they offer.
Greek mezze platter (easy appetizer spread tips)
- 1 cup (250 grams) Katiki cheese (or another fresh, tangy cream cheese)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
- 1 cup sliced cucumber
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes or sliced tomatoes
- 3 roasted red bell peppers from a jar, sliced lengthwise
- 3 hard-boiled large eggs, quartered (add a small pinch of salt to each quarter)
- 5 oz (140 grams) yellow Greek cheese or feta cheese (or both), cubed
- 1 cup (250 grams) Greek fava or hummus
- ½ cup Kalamata olives or a mix of green and black olives
- 3 pita bread, sliced
- 12 breadsticks
- ¼ cup nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios)
- ¼ cup anchovies ((omit them if the platter is vegetarian))
- 2 tablespoons capers (optional)
- Extra virgin olive oil, dried oregano, and freshly grated black pepper for serving
- Make the katiki dip: Transfer the katiki, the olive oil, the oregano, and the black pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine.
- Arrange the cucumbers, the tomatoes, the red bell peppers, the eggs and the cheese on the platter.
- Add the dips (katiki dip and fava) either in small bowls or by scooping them on the platter, next to the other ingredients.
- Add the pita bread and the bread sticks, preferably in a way so that they don't touch any wet ingredients.
- Add the anchovies next to the fava (or hummus) dip and fill the empty spaces with the olives and the nuts.
- Optionally, scatter some capers over the platter. Then, drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with dried oregano.
- Use any kind of large plate, serving tray or wooden board as a platter.
- This is the recipe for smooth homemade hummus
- This is the recipe for Greek Fava (yellow split pea puree)
- This is the recipe for Spicy whipped feta cheese (Tyrokafteri)
- Any greek food served in small bite sizes can be added! Greek stuffed grape leaves, greek fried meatballs, and falafel are also ideal.
- Try to mix many different elements and foods with different flavors, textures and color.
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