Arakas Recipe - A Delicious Vegetarian Dish from Greece


Arakas Recipe - A Delicious Vegetarian Dish from Greece
Region / culture: Greece | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 50 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet



Arakas, a traditional Greek dish, is a celebration of simplicity and the fresh flavors of spring and summer. This delightful recipe combines sweet peas with the tangy taste of tomatoes, the aromatic presence of dill, and the richness of olive oil, creating a dish that is both comforting and refreshing. Perfect as a main course or a hearty side, Arakas is a testament to the Mediterranean diet's emphasis on vegetables and healthy fats.


The history of Arakas is deeply rooted in Greek culinary traditions, dating back centuries. Peas have been a staple in the Mediterranean diet for millennia, and this dish reflects the Greek knack for turning simple ingredients into exquisite meals. Historically, Arakas was a popular choice during Lent and springtime, when fresh peas were abundant, and meat was often avoided for religious reasons.


How to prepare

  1. Shell the peas, if necessary.
  2. Rinse them with cold water and drain.
  3. Sauté the onions in the olive oil.
  4. Add the tomatoes, peas, salt, and dill.
  5. Add the water and bring to a boil.
  6. Stir, cover, and cook on low heat for approximately 50 minutes.


  • While the traditional Arakas recipe is beloved for its simplicity, there are many variations to explore. Adding potatoes, carrots, or zucchini can turn it into a more substantial stew. For a creamy version, stir in a spoonful of Greek yogurt or feta cheese just before serving.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the best flavor, use fresh, young peas and ripe tomatoes. If fresh peas are not available, frozen peas can be a good substitute, but they should be added without thawing to preserve their texture. Sautéing the onions until they are just golden brings out their sweetness, complementing the natural sugars of the peas and tomatoes. Adding the dill towards the end of cooking preserves its vibrant color and delicate flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Arakas can be served as a main dish or as a side to grilled fish or chicken for a complete meal. It pairs beautifully with crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce and a crisp green salad for added freshness.

Cooking Techniques

The key to a successful Arakas lies in the slow cooking of the peas, which allows their sweetness to develop fully. Sautéing the onions and tomatoes before adding the peas helps to build a rich flavor base. Cooking on low heat ensures that the vegetables are tender but not mushy.

Ingredient Substitutions

If fresh dill is not available, dried dill can be used, but the quantity should be reduced by half. Leeks can be substituted for onions for a milder flavor, and canned tomatoes can be used in place of fresh if necessary, adjusting the water content accordingly.

Make Ahead Tips

Arakas can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days, allowing the flavors to meld and deepen. Gently reheat on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little water if the stew has thickened too much.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Arakas in a deep dish or bowl to showcase its vibrant colors and textures. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill or a drizzle of olive oil for an extra touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, dry white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Greek Assyrtiko, complements the fresh flavors of Arakas perfectly. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling water with lemon provides a refreshing contrast.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Arakas in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, place in a saucepan over low heat, adding a little water if necessary, until heated through. Avoid microwaving if possible to preserve the texture of the peas.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Arakas is relatively low in calories, making it an excellent choice for those monitoring their calorie intake. One serving contains approximately 250 calories, allowing you to enjoy a satisfying and nutritious meal without overindulging.


A serving of Arakas is a good source of carbohydrates, providing the energy needed for daily activities. Peas are particularly rich in complex carbohydrates, which digest slowly and provide a steady release of energy. One serving of this dish contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates.


The primary source of fat in Arakas is olive oil, renowned for its heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These fats can help to lower bad cholesterol levels and are beneficial for heart health. A serving of Arakas contains about 14 grams of fat, most of which is healthy fat from olive oil.


Peas are a good source of plant-based protein, making Arakas a great option for vegetarians and those looking to increase their protein intake without consuming meat. A serving of this dish provides approximately 8 grams of protein, contributing to muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

Arakas is rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C from the tomatoes, Vitamin K, and manganese from the peas, and a variety of antioxidants from the olive oil and herbs. These nutrients support overall health, including immune function, bone health, and protection against oxidative stress.


Arakas is naturally free from most common allergens, including gluten, dairy, nuts, and soy, making it suitable for individuals with various dietary restrictions. However, those with specific food sensitivities should always check the ingredients list carefully.


Overall, Arakas is a nutritious and balanced dish, providing a good mix of carbohydrates, healthy fats, proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals. Its low calorie and allergen-free profile make it an excellent choice for a wide range of dietary needs.


Arakas is a classic Greek dish that embodies the principles of the Mediterranean diet: fresh, seasonal ingredients cooked simply and with care. This recipe not only offers a delicious taste experience but also provides numerous health benefits, making it a perfect addition to any meal plan. Whether you're a long-time lover of Greek cuisine or trying Arakas for the first time, this dish is sure to delight your palate and nourish your body.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time is still fresh in my mind. It was a warm summer day, and I had just finished picking fresh peas from the garden. As I sat at the kitchen table shelling the peas, my neighbor Mrs. Papadopoulos came over with a basket of her own. She saw the peas and suggested we make a traditional Greek dish called Arakas together.

Mrs. Papadopoulos was a wonderful cook and had a wealth of knowledge when it came to traditional Greek recipes. She told me that Arakas was a simple and delicious dish made with peas, tomatoes, onions, and dill. She said it was a favorite in her family and she was eager to share the recipe with me.

As we worked together in the kitchen, Mrs. Papadopoulos shared stories of her own grandmother teaching her how to make Arakas when she was a young girl. She explained the importance of using fresh ingredients and cooking with love and care. I listened intently, eager to learn this new recipe and carry on the tradition in my own family.

After hours of simmering on the stove, the Arakas was finally ready. The aroma of the dill and tomatoes filled the kitchen and my mouth watered in anticipation. Mrs. Papadopoulos and I sat down at the table, and she served me a steaming bowl of the dish. The flavors were incredible – the sweetness of the peas, the tanginess of the tomatoes, and the freshness of the dill all came together in perfect harmony.

As I took my first bite, I knew that this recipe would become a staple in my own kitchen. I thanked Mrs. Papadopoulos for sharing her knowledge and her recipe with me, and she smiled, pleased to pass on the tradition to the next generation.

Over the years, I have made Arakas countless times for my family and friends. Each time I cook this dish, I am reminded of that summer day with Mrs. Papadopoulos and the joy of learning something new. I have added my own twist to the recipe, incorporating different herbs and spices to make it my own.

Now, as I sit here in my kitchen surrounded by the aroma of simmering peas and tomatoes, I am grateful for the memories and the traditions that have been passed down to me. Cooking has always been a way for me to connect with my family and my heritage, and I am proud to carry on the tradition of making Arakas.

As I finish preparing the dish, I can't help but think of Mrs. Papadopoulos and the impact she had on my life. Her love for cooking and sharing her knowledge with others inspired me to do the same. I hope that one day I can pass on this recipe for Arakas to my own grandchildren, just as Mrs. Papadopoulos did for me.

In the end, it is not just about the food itself, but the memories and the stories that come with it. The recipe for Arakas holds a special place in my heart, and I am grateful for the opportunity to keep the tradition alive in my own kitchen. Cooking this dish always brings me back to that summer day with Mrs. Papadopoulos, and for that, I will always be thankful.


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