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Margheritsa is a traditional soup made by Greeks for Orthodox Easter. It contains cleaned intestines, organs of the lamb or goat and may contain sweetbreads and even the boiled head of the animal. The meat is boiled until softened and a stock is created. Spring onions, herbs are added and the soup is finished off/thickened with an egg/lemon mixture (Avgolemono).

This soup is often served upon return from the Megalo Savato/Anastasi church service and it is often the first taste of meat for those that fasted for the entirely of Great Lent. Magheritsa is a logical dish to eat after the long fasting period – ease your belly from a fast to feast. Magheritsa is a transitional dish – the feast of Easter Sunday awaits later in the day.

Now thing about Magheritsa is that involves alot of work in cleaning the intestines, not everyone salivates at the thought of eating offal soup and in recent times, some jurisdictions have outlawed the sale of certain offal to the public. I still love the traditional Magheritsa but I felt the need to make a version that looked traditional, tasted traditional and did not exclude anyone from this Greek Easter tradition.

My solution is to use lamb meat (bone-in) to recreate an “easier to prepare” Magheritsa and one that can be enjoyed by all at the Easter Sunday table. A bowl of this fabulous take on Magheritsa will be waiting for me when I return from church just after midnight Easter Sunday.

 Neo-Magheritsa (Νεο-Μαγερίτσα)

(serves 10-12)

1  1/2 kg. of lamb shoulder (or other cuts like shank, ribs, necks)

enough water to cover the meat (about 3 litres)

1/4 cup olive oil

12 scallions, sliced

1/2 head of romaine lettuce, finely chopped

1/2 bunch finely chopped dill

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

1/2 cup long grain rice

salt and pepper to taste


2 eggs

2 lemons


1/2 fresh chopped dill

lemon wedge

  1. Rinse your lamb pieces and place in a large pot or pressure cooker and cover with enough water to just cover. Add about Tbsp. of sea salt and cover. If using a conventional pot, cover and bring to a boil then lower and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours or until the meat falls off the bone. A more timely method is to use a pressure cooker and cut your time to just 1 hour. Remove from the heat, adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove meat and pull off the bone, remove any fat and cartilage and chop the meat into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In another large pot, add the olive oil over medium heat and add your scallions lettuce and sweat for 5-6 minutes or until softened. Now add the your hot stock, meat, rice, parsley, dill and bring up to a boil then lower to medium and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
  3. In the meantime, crack your eggs in a bowl and add the juice of 2 lemons and whisk until just frothy. Once the rice is cooked in the soup, remove from the heat and slowly add hot stock into your bowl of egg and lemon while whisking. While whisking add about 4-5 more ladles to temper and the heat of the egg/lemon mixture.
  4. Pour the tempered egg/lemon mixture back into the soup pot, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and add the remaining 1/2 cup fresh dill. Serve with a wedge of lemon, good crusty bread. Christos Anesti! (Christ has risen!)

© 2012 – 2014,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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12 Comments for “Neo-Magheritsa”

Jacqie lamb


Thank you! Thirty years ago, my husband and I and our 8 month old son were fortunate enough to be staying on Thassos during the Easter celebration. Of course, we fasted all day with all of the people on the island, since all restaurants were closed, all the while inhaling the aromas of spitted lambs roasting over fire pits. We were assured that there would be a grand feast after midnight mass, including a “special soup” made only for this occasion.

Finally, the time for feasting came and great bowls of soup started the meal. We were starving and dug right in – until I noticed that there were chewy “Cheerios” floating around in my soup with a distinctly “barnyard” taste. It took but a moment to realize what we were eating – not that there’s anything wrong with offal, but it’s not something I love. Many of my younger Greek friends agree, by the way, and wish their grandmothers would knock it off with the soup.

The overall concept, however, was appealing. So I am looking forward to making this and enjoying it without the “yuck” factor. Thanks, Peter.


Χρόνια πολλά και καλά! Υπέροχη η μαγειρίτσα Peter! Και εγώ με κρέας την ετοιμάζω, αλλά βοδινό, και είναι πολύ καλή!
Φιλιά από Ν Αφρική


Χρόνια Πολλά Peter, Χριστός Ανέστη!!
Ελπίζω να πέρασες όμορφα!

Joanne Margaritis


Hello Peter! Love your website and of course your great recipes!
I’m a new subscriber and so far I’m very impressed with your love of Greece and of the wonderful food you are introducing to us. I look forward to each and every e-mail from you!
Easter is next week (May 5th,2013) and I will definitely prepare the Neo-Magheritsa for my family and Italian friends(they are not so keen on lamb offal).
N.B. Can you tell me from which Church is the Beautiful Pantokrator Icon in the photo displayed in the blog?
Is it here in Toronto?
Thank you Peter and ” Hristos Anesti “


Hello Joanne and thank you for your note. I hope you and your guests enjoy this version of Magheritsa and yes, that photo is from our parish St. Nicholas here in Toronto. Wishing you Kali Anastasi!