Briam features thin slices of roasted vegetables baked in Greek-seasoned tomato puree. This casserole recipe makes for an easy and healthy summer side dish!
What words come to mind when someone mentions Mediterranean cuisine to you? My response is usually "flavorful and fresh"! Not only are the foods flavorful, but most are very healthy as well, especially when compared to the typical American diet.
Particularly in Greece, where fresh seafood, olive oil, and healthy vegetables are sourced locally all year long,
Using fresh ingredients is one of the best ways to create flavor, especially with vegetable dishes like Briam.
What is Briam?
A healthy Mediterranean side dish, Briam is seasoned Greek roasted vegetables baked in a flavorful tomato puree.
In the United States, the best time to make this dish is during the mid to late summer, when fresh garden vegetables are in season.
Ingredients and substitutes
Although the dish really can be made using any veggies you like, the traditional ingredients in Greek briam are:
- Yellow or white potatoes- Choose a variety with thin skin, such as Yukon Gold. Thin skinned potatoes have less starch, so they hold their shape better.
- Red onion- If you don't have any red onion on hand, sweet Vidalia onions are a great substitute.
- Zucchini- Any variety of summer squash will be perfect here; crooked neck yellow, patty pan squash, you name it!
- Passata- Never heard of passata? Don't feel bad; you're not alone! Here in the States, we tend to call this tomato puree. Although passata and tomato puree are similar, they are not identical. Essentially, passata is uncooked tomato puree.
Substituting Other Veggies?
If you'd like to use other summer vegetables in the Greek briam, just be sure that they're close to the same consistency as squash and potatoes. In other words, avoid using soft veggies like mushrooms or extra firm ones like carrots.
Good choices are eggplant and bell peppers.
By using similar consistency veggies, everything cooks evenly and you'll have a delicious outcome!
This recipe is super simple to make but if you need some visual assistance, check out the video in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!
Assembling the Greek Roasted Vegetables
I think serving up the briam is just as much about the presentation as is it about the deliciousness of the dish. Use this opportunity to let your inner artist out to play!
If you’re not the artistic type, no worries. Just toss the veggies in tomato passata, dump them into a lightly greased casserole dish, and bake them up!
If you want to make a beautiful presentation, simply layer the sliced veggies into an oven-safe casserole dish. I place a layer of tomato puree on the bottom to prevent the roasted vegetables from sticking to the pan.
Does the shape of the dish matter?
You can use any size or shape of dish you want! I prefer using a round pan because it allows the curved shape of the zucchini and potato slices to fit naturally against the insides of the pan.
Serving Briam As a Main Dish
Obviously, this baked veggie casserole is fantastic as a side dish with gyros, souvlaki, grilled lamb, salmon, and any other meat you can think of!
It's delicious as a breakfast dish too, with a serving of eggs for protein. Some people like to sprinkle the top of the casserole with crumbled feta cheese before baking. This sounds like a delicious option!
Another tasty option would be to use the vegetables as a filling for gozleme; a Turkish stuffed flatbread dish.
Non-Meat Protein Options
if you want to serve Briam as a meatless main dish, it's totally doable. There are a couple of ways you can add protein to the dish while still keeping it vegetarian:
- Legumes- Stir in a can of black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, or any other legume you like.
If you'd like to cook them yourself, that's fine too! Check out my post on how to cook chickpeas.
- Lentils- Adding cooked lentils to the dish will add a lot of protein and give a nice chewy texture to the Greek roasted vegetables, too.
Roasted vegetable dishes like this freeze beautifully! Before freezing, be sure the casserole has cooled to room temperature, and cover it tightly with a sheet of plastic wrap. This will prevent ice crystals from forming on the top of the food.
Briam (Greek Roasted Vegetables)
- 1 ¼ lb gold potatoes sliced into ⅛-inch thick rounds (about 3 medium potatoes)
- 1 ¼ lb zucchini sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds about 2-3 zucchini
- 1 large red onion sliced into ⅛-inch thick rounds then cut in half
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary chopped fine
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 28 oz tomato puree or passata
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Season sliced potatoes and zucchini in a large mixing bowl with salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. Toss to make sure the vegetables are thoroughly coated.
- In a round 12" baking pan, pour half of the diced tomatoes/passata and spread to cover bottom of pan.
- Arrange the seasoned potatoes, zucchini, and sliced onions in the pan in a continuous row by going around the shape of the pan and alternating (I do the onion ever 3 pairs of potato and zucchini) until the center is reached. Pour any herb/garlic mixture left in the bowl over the vegetables. Top with remaining half of tomato puree or passata.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake on middle rack for 45 minutes. Take pan out and carefully remove foil. Place back in oven and roast for another 30 minutes or until the veggies are soft and charred and most of the liquid has evaporated. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.