Where’s the place you escape to in your mind when life gets overwhelming? For me, it’s Greece. I imagine a view like this, below. It’s a photo we took on our trip to Santorini three years ago, when we were trying to escape something overwhelming. It’s a long story (here’s the long version), but the short of it is that we were trying to start a family and it wasn’t working. Well-meaning friends and strangers would put in their two cents, like “Just relax! It happens when you’re relaxed and not thinking about it“. So after thinking about it for too long, we decided a trip to Europe would surely make the magic happen.
We escaped to Santorini, meeting my best friend and sister in a white-washed bungalow with the view above. It was straight out of a movie, and we felt inspired and carefree. We stayed up late drinking wine and laughing, hiked to nearby villages to swim, and ate our weight in fresh Greek cuisine. Unfortunately, the magic still didn’t happen. However, we had an incredible vacation to a new country that inspired the way we cook from that day forward. So there still was a bit of magic, just not the magic we were hoping for. We’d been inspired by Mediterranean cuisine for years, but tasting it in that sparkling Greek sunlight was pure magic.
Coming home, the summer produce in Indiana was ripe for transformation into Greek cuisine. After much research, we created our version of the traditional Greek salad, that refreshing combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, and feta present at almost every meal. Feta in the oven, a gooey block of feta cheese warmed in the oven with tomatoes and olive oil, was a new favorite we’d shared with a bottle of wine and pita bread. And of course we had to perfect tzatziki, that cool yogurt and cucumber spread for sopping up with pita.
When I interviewed the great pizza chef-restaurateur Chris Bianco for our podcast, he mentioned that while traditional food has its place, part of cooking is also creating your own dishes inspired by those time-tested traditions. In that vein, these Greek nachos are in no way traditional (I mean, they’re nachos). However, at the same time they’re inspired by the flavors and feeling of Greece. Sweet summery tomatoes, cool cucumber, and lightly flavored white beans are spread over crunchy pita chips and covered in a cool, bright green cilantro sauce. In contrast to much of the food we had in Greece, these Greek nachos are vegan, but they’re not at all lacking in flavor. And the count for healthy meals, too. They’re a lovely summer weeknight meal to enjoy on the patio with a glass of rosé in hand.
If you’re in a season of uncertainty regarding family, career, or relationships, check out our posts about seasons of uncertainty: Navigating Seasons of Uncertainty: The Liminal Space
And, if you’re interested in traveling to Santorini, here’s our travel guide: Santorini, Greece Travel Guide
Looking for Mediterranean recipes?
Mediterranean recipes are common on our table. Here are the recipes inspired by our trip to Greece, as well as a list of all of our Mediterranean recipes on this website:
- Greek salad
- Baked feta with tomatoes
- Authentic Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt Cucumber Dip)
- Mediterranean Bulgur Salad (Tabbouleh)
- Baklava Cups
- All Mediterranean recipes
Looking for healthy meals?
We love that Greek nachos can count as healthy meals! Here are a few more healthy meals, with an eye toward summer produce:
- Greek Grilled Veggie Skewers
- Southwestern Bowl
- Herby Tomato Flatbread
- Refried Bean Tacos with Chipotle Cashew Cream
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this Greek nachos recipe, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pita bread.
- For the nachos
- 1 recipe Homemade Za’atar Pita Chips
- ½ English cucumber
- 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
- ½ cup diced Kalamata olives
- 15-ounce can navy beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- Black pepper
- For the cilantro drizzle
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 1 large handful cilantro, plus additional leaves for serving
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- ½ cup water, plus more if needed
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Place the cashews for the cilantro drizzle in a bowl of water to soak while making the recipe, then drain.
- Make the za'atar pita chips.
- Dice the cucumber and quarter the tomatoes; sprinkle both lightly with kosher salt. Chop the olives. Drain and rinse the beans; in a small bowl, mix the beans with the olive oil, kosher salt, and a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper.
- For the cilantro drizzle, place the drained cashews, cilantro, lemon juice, water, and kosher salt in a blender and blend until the mixture is completely smooth. Add more water as you go if needed. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if desired. Pour the cilantro drizzle into a small bowl.
- To serve, place the pita chips on a plate. Top with veggies and beans, and drizzle with cilantro drizzle and additional olive oil (if desired). Sprinkle with torn cilantro and serve.