Recipes for Lent: The Greek Pizza that’s Also Vegan

The 'ladenia' is a type of traditional 'nististimi' pizza recipe from Kimolos with no meat or cheese, but plenty of flavor.

Chef: Niki Tressou & Evdokia Fylakouri

Most pizza enjoyed in Greece is classic Italian or American style, with plenty of cheese and often heavy on the bacon and sausage. However, like in many other countries, there are also traditional versions that highlight local flavors and ingredients.

One of these is the ladenia, which comes from the island of Kimolos. Made without the use of meat or dairy, it is nistisimo meaning that it is acceptable to be eaten during the Lent fast. It is also suitable for vegans.  


The ladenia may be lighter on the expensive ingredients like meat, but they’re no poor man’s pizzas. In fact, they’re delicious, and just a bit less over the top(pings).

The most notable thing about this traditional Greek pizza pie recipe is the relatively large amount olive oil (indeed that’s where it gets its name, ladi being the Greek word for oil). It’s not an unexpected ingredient, but it gives this pizza a pleasantly sturdy crust, country-style comfort flavor, and leaves you feeling full from just a couple of slices – even though the toppings are both few and vegan. It’s also super easy to make. (And if you’re feeling guilty about the calories just remember that olive oil is a superfood).


To make your pizza dough, start by crumbling the yeast into a bowl, and pour in the water. Stir until the yeast has dissolved, and let it sit for about 10 minutes, until frothy.

Add the rest of the ingredients for the crust, mix and knead for about 4-5 minutes, until you have a soft and elastic dough.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about an hour in a warm place, until it has doubled in size.

Mix the tomato paste with the water, 40 milliliters of the olive oil, and a little bit of salt and pepper.

Pre-heat your oven to 200° C with the fan on.

Grease a round (ca 38 cm diameter) baking pan or a baking sheet with 30 milliliters of olive oil.

Using your hands, flatten the dough into a crust about the size of your baking pan, and transfer it to the pan. Use the back of a spoon to cover it with the tomato paste mixture. Cover with the onions, and top with the rest of the olive oil, the oregano, coarse salt and pepper.

Bake on the lower rack of the oven for about 20 minutes, until the onions are slightly caramelized and the bottom of the crust is golden (check by carefully lifting the edge of the crust).

Remove from the oven and serve.


for the crust, you need:

  • 350 g all-purpose flour
  • 10 g fresh yeast
  • 280 ml room-tempered water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • 80 ml olive oil

for the toppings, you need:

  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 40 ml water
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • regular salt and pepper, to taste

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