How Avgolemono Sauce is Used in Greek Cooking

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Avgolemono or egg-lemon - Mediterranean sauces and soups made with egg and lemonAvgolemono is something that is fairly unique to Greek cooking. To make it, warm broth is mixed with frothy egg whites and yokes as well as a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Each family has its own special way of making it but the end result is usually pretty similar. Some families separate the egg whites from the yokes and beat the whites first to make the Avgolemono extra frothy, while others beat them together at the same time. Some families even add a little cream, but this isn’t all that common.

Greek cooking isn’t the only cuisine that has a sauce such as this. The Italian version, zabaglione, is most often used in desserts. In Greek cooking, it is savory cooking.  Here’s an overview of exactly how Avgolemono is used and which dishes you can find it in:

Avgolemono Soup

One of the most popular dishes, especially amongst Greek-Americans, is something called “Avgolemono Soupa“, which is a type of soup that is made with broth (usually chicken broth), rice, orzo, or another type of small pasta, and a lemony Avgolemono sauce. Although you can technically use any kind of broth that you have on hand, chicken is the most common. You can either make the broth from scratch using a whole chicken or buy the broth in the store.


Dolmades, or stuffed grape leaves, are another popular Greek dish and they are often topped with an Avgolemono sauce. However, it is important to understand that not everyone enjoys this sauce on their dolmades. Some people prefer a squeeze of lemon juice, tzatziki, tomato sauce, or nothing at all. It all depends on your preferences and also which part of Greece you’re from.

Stuffed Cabbage

Technically speaking, stuffed cabbage is a type of “dolma”. The filling is nearly identical to the filling that goes inside dolmades, or stuffed grape leaves. However, in this dish, the filling is wrapped in cabbage leaves and not grape leaves. Since cabbage is in season later on in the year, this is looked at as a cold weather dish.

Pork With Celery

There is also another popular dish that uses Avgolemono sauce that uses pork and celery. It is similar to a stew but is a little bit lighter than that. However, the dish is still hearty and is most often served in the colder weather. The broth that is used comes from the cooking process and tastes distinctly like pork.

As you can see, there are plenty of things that you can do with Avgolemono. All you need to do is know how to make the basic sauce, which involves broth, egg, and lemon. There is a technique to getting the sauce perfect and if you don’t follow it exactly, the sauce will curdle. Although Greeks primarily use it in soup, to top vegetable dishes, or in meat dishes such as the pork and celery you can actually use it as a sauce to top anything that you want!

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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