Best Cretan and Greek Cookbooks to Prepare Authentic Dishes at Home


I’ve often praised the Cretan cuisine. I even crafted a Gastronomic tour of Chania that has been putting me in contact with tourists daily.

I also write in my (scarce) free time, a blog about Cretan food that’s easy to make at home when you’re far from the island.

You see…? I know that everyone loves Cretan food as well as Greek cuisine and that, when you go back to your country, the local food is one of the things you miss the most.

So, here, I’ve put together a list of the best Greek cookbooks that have helped me learn and enjoy Cretan (and Greek) gastronomy.

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Cretan and Greek Cookbooks

Best cookbooks for Greek food.

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Greek & Cretan Cookbooks

greek cookbooks

One of the best ways to experience the local culture of any place we visit is not only by trying their staple dishes but also by replicating them once we’re back home…

It’s a great way for aromas and memories to remind us of our holidays.

Here are my favorite cookbooks for Cretan and Greek recipes. This way, you’ll be able to bring some Greece home when you cannot travel there.

The Best Books About the Cretan Diet

greek cookbooks

The following are some of the best cookbooks about the food and the culinary traditions of the Greek island of Crete.

They include general information about the local ingredients and cooking methods, as well as a variety of authentic recipes that have been prepared and served on the island of Crete for generations.

Best Cretan Cookbooks

In no particular order…

The Cretan Diet

120 Authentic Recipes For Long, Healthy, And Happy Living

(Aura Tatu and Mitch Fatouros, 2018)

The Cretan diet, considered one of the healthiest diets in the world, is genuinely reflected in the recipes and photos contained in this book: Wild greens, fruits, pulses, bread, rusks, little protein, and plenty of olive oil.

This book puts emphasis on the main philosophy of Cretan cuisine: seasonal ingredients, better if local, plenty of vegetables, and generous amounts of olive oil!

Foods of Crete

Traditional Recipes From the Healthiest People in the World

(Koula Barydakis and Bill Bradley, 2006)

Traditional but also super easy-to-cook recipes with simple steps and ingredients which are even out of Crete.

This book proves that you can cook Cretan anywhere in the world. One of the best books out there to cook authentic dishes from the island, with very simple steps to replicate at home those flavors that you love from Crete.

Cooking With Cretans

Greek and Mediterranean Cuisine Done Right!

(Michael Tomadakis, Steven Tomadakis, et al., 2015)

This book collects a selection of Cretan and Mediterranean dishes that are easy to make with simple ingredients that you can find at home.

Healthy and simple cooking for every occasion, from the common everyday table to those special meals when you want to show off your skills as a cook. A great place to pitch ideas when you have no idea what to prepare for dinner!

The Mediterranean Diet of Crete

Traditional Recipes from the Healthiest People in the World

(K. Baridakis, B. Bradley R.D., 2018)

Over a hundred traditional recipes from the island of Crete with an emphasis on authentic flavors and simplicity.

Since the diet on Crete is largely based on vegetables and fruit, there’s also an incredible array of vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as detailed steps to cook some of the best dishes from the island.

Cretan Cuisine

Traditional Mediterranean Recipes For Eating Healthy and Living Well

(Aura Tatu, 2018)

Another book I enjoy using at home! It includes traditional recipes by a local mom and cooks from Maleme, in the region of Chania.

There are countless everyday options and creative ideas made with fresh ingredients that have become a staple of the local diet. Moreover, the book explains the most distinctive traits of the local customs and the culinary history of Crete. Super enjoyable and practical.

Cretan Cooking

(A favorite for authentic Cretan dishes!)

(Maria and Nikos Psilakis, 2003)

I cannot recommend this book enough! I’ve even included it in my Best Books About Crete list. This book was given to me as a present by my Cretan partner and it has been since then a must-go-to book when we want to try something we’ve never cooked before.

Extremely educative, it clearly explains the popular cooking methods and use of herbs, grains, pulses, meat, and olive oil. A real must in any kitchen. I simply love this book and it lives on my kitchen counter!

Greek Food Recipe Books

greek cookbooks

This list includes my favorite books to cook the best Greek dishes even when you cannot find all the authentic ingredients, they usually suggest creative replacements for those cheeses, greens, and herbs you can only find in Greece.

Choose your favorite and give it a try!

Best Greek Cookbooks

In no particular order, these are some of the books I keep in my kitchen…

The Foods of the Greek Islands

Cooking and Culture at the Crossroads of the Mediterranean

(Aglaia Kremezi, 2018)

According to Newsweek, this is “a real working guide to preparing the traditional dishes found all over Greece”. And that description simply sold it to me!

If you love the tastes of Greece, this is a book to consider. It includes stories and recipes that the author collected from local housewives, fishermen, bakers, and farmers. Dishes passed from generation to generation by word of mouth coming from islands such as Crete, Kithira, Santorini, Chios, Crete, Skopelos, Kos, and more!

The Olive and the Caper

Adventures in Greek Cooking

(Susanna Hoffman, 2004)

From the Back Cover: “The Olive and the Caper is all things Greek: fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks seasoned with garlic, thyme, cinnamon, and coriander (…) Inspired by the passionate cooks, bakers, fishermen, and housewives the author befriended over thirty years of extended stays in Greece, Susanna Hoffman presents more than 250 recipes based on the original and still best Mediterranean diet”.

A book that’s full of great ideas and fun, entertaining stories of Greek wanderlust! LOVE-IT!

(One of the Best Greek Cookbooks Ever Published!)

Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die: A Cookbook

(Diane Kochilas, 2014)

Can’t write a Greek Recipe Book Guide and live Diane Kochilas out of it. Her books have inspired dozens of housewives and professional cooks alike, and have put a new label of freshness and creativity to Greek cuisine, boosting its revival all over the world.

With Ikaria, she combines recipes and travel stories introducing the food-as-life philosophy of this Greek island, known as the place where people forget to die.

The book includes stunning photos from the island and unique stories from the islanders.

The Complete Book of Greek Cooking

Explore The Classic Mediterranean Cuisine

(Rena Salaman, Jan Cutler, 2017)

The book features beautiful pictures and easy, delicious, step-by-step recipes from the most authentic tradition of Greek gastronomy.

Another go-to when it comes to preparing the tastiest ideas at the core of the local cuisine. The Complete Book of Greek Cooking also features interesting insights into the life and the culture of Greece.

My Big Fat Greek Cookbook

Classic Mediterranean Soul Food Recipes

(Christos Sourligas, Evdokia Antginas, 2019)

This small book collects the best-known star dishes of Greek cuisine. Basic preparations such as tzatziki, moussaka, rizogalo (rice pudding) avgolemono sauce, keftedes (meatballs), lentils, spanakopita (spinach pie), and many other staples that you should know how to cook if you are passionate about preparing Greek dishes at home.

Sixty-five pages of Greek recipes that are easy to cook anywhere in the world!

My Greek Table

Authentic Flavors and Modern Home Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours

(Diane Kochilas, 2018)

From the editor: “Celebrity chef and award-winning cookbook author Diane Kochilas presents a companion to her Public Television cooking-travel series with this lavishly photographed volume of classic and contemporary cuisine in My Greek Table: Authentic Flavors and Modern Home Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours“.

Recipes include a variety of appetizers, main courses, and desserts, all of them easy to prepare and with fool-proof instructions. 

The Food and Wine of Greece

More Than 300 Classic and Modern Dishes from the Mainland and Islands of Greece

(Diane Kochilas, Vassilis Stenos, 1990)

Easy instructions with ingredients available in any corner of the world, this is an incredible collection of traditional Greek recipes and countless ways to variate and give an extra twist to any dish.

Although it has no pictures, this is one of the best Greek cookbooks around, it’s another staple Greek food book by the well-known chef Diane Kochilas.

Have you tried cooking any Greek dishes at home?

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More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets. You can also get one of the digital travel guides I’ve written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.

When it’s time to plan, explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, and be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches. If you are exploring specific areas like Heraklion, Rethymnon, Lasithi, and Chania, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Crete

No time to read all my accommodation guides? Check out these places to stay:

Pin This Guide to the Best Greek Cookbooks and Shine in the Kitchen!

Best cookbooks for Greek food.

About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the island. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

1 thoughts on “Best Cretan and Greek Cookbooks to Prepare Authentic Dishes at Home

  1. Nick says:

    Greek cooking is one of those cuisines that if you aren’t born into it, it can seem impossible to get the feel for it. That is, unless you have an excellent Greek cookbook by you side! These are some great choices!

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