The Best Greek Salad Recipe

5 from 23 votes
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Here is a traditional Greek salad recipe, requiring just a few ingredients. It’s the perfect starter or side dish for a Mediterranean meal.

Greek salad has chunks of feta, olives and cucumber.


 

Mediterranean dishes need Mediterranean sides, right? There’s no shortage of side dish options in Greek cuisine. Some of our go-to recipes are fasolakia (Greek green beans), Greek potatoes, skordalia and, of course, tzatziki when we’re looking for an fresh and easy side dish. Today we have this classic Greek salad, a simple recipe with so much flavor.

About this recipe

Greek salad, also called Horiatiki salad or village salad, is a simple salad recipe that’s common throughout Greece and the Mediterranean region. Authentic Greek salad is served at almost every local and family-owned restaurant in Greece as an appetizer or side dish. You may even have tried a salad like this at your local Greek restaurant!

Greek salad has chunks of feta, olives and cucumber.

Even though this salad calls for simple ingredients, the flavors are anything but basic. Every bite is so flavorful thanks to the combination of vegetables with feta and the addition of kalamata olives.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make Mediterranean Greek salad are olives, tomatoes, bell pepper, feta cheese, onion and cucumber.
  • Tomatoes – I like using Roma tomatoes. Try to find tomatoes that are firm and not too watery.
  • Olives – Kalamata olives are the best choice. They give the salad a nice salty flavor.
  • Red onion – Adds a crisp, fresh flavor to your salad. Don’t skip it!
  • Cucumber – An essential part of most Mediterranean salads. Persian cucumbers work best; if using English cucumbers, remove the seeds.
  • Green bell pepper – A few slices adds a subtle sweetness.
  • Feta cheese – Feta is the quintessential Mediterranean cheese and pairs well with the above vegetables. Read more on Cook’s Illustrated about feta cheese. If you enjoy using feta in salads, check out our grilled peach salad with feta as well.
  • Seasoning – You need salt, pepper and oregano, that’s all!
  • Extra virgin olive oil – It wouldn’t be a salad from the Mediterranean without a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, right?

Those of you who follow our collection of Persian recipes might notice that Greek salad has a lot in common with salad shirazi and cucumber tomato feta salad. However, unlike salad shirazi, in this Greek salad recipe we cut our ingredients into big chunks, rather than finely dicing them. A creamy block of feta also contributes to this salad’s uniquely Greek flavor profile. There are no leafy greens in this recipe, so feel free to chop the ingredients ahead of time and assemble everything right before serving.

How to make Greek salad

Wash and dry the vegetables. Chop tomatoes and cucumbers into big chunks and cut the kalamata olives in half (or just add them whole).

Slice the red onion thinly and cut the green bell pepper into rings. You can also cut the green bell pepper into chunks but most chefs find that rings are more aesthetically pleasing on the plate.

To make authentic Greek salad, chop all the ingredients into large chunks.

Add all the chopped vegetables into a large bowl and then mix well with salt, pepper and oregano. Transfer the vegetables to the serving plate and top with chunks of feta cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and serve cold.

Mix all the vegetables in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and oregano.

Variations

Simplicity is the key to an authentic Greek salad. However, there’s nothing wrong with adding a few extra ingredients to suit your tastes. Here are some suggestions:

  • Lettuce: you can use different types of lettuce such as iceberg, butter or romaine.
  • Marinated feta: Try using marinated feta instead of regular feta for more flavor and a bit of a kick!
  • Quinoa: cooked red or regular quinoa would work well.
  • Beets: pickled or cooked beets are a good addition.
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Chickpeas: canned chickpeas turn this salad into a full meal.
  • Lentils: cooked lentils make a great addition and source of protein.
  • Orzo: if you really want to add pasta, orzo would be a good choice!

You’ll find lots of different variations on this essential Greek recipe as you travel. I’ve seen many restaurants in Istanbul that serve a basic side salad just like this, often with the addition of a spicy green pepper or two to liven up the flavors a little bit!

This easy Greek salad recipe requires chunks of creamy feta.

Serving suggestions

This Greek salad recipe goes well with lots of tasty Mediterranean dishes such as Greek meatballs (keftedes), eggplant moussaka, pastitsio, chicken gyro, chicken souvlaki and even our favorite shrimp saganaki. Trust me, this salad pairs well with just about any Mediterranean main you can think of!

Frequently asked questions

How long does Greek salad last in the fridge?

Since this simple cucumber salad doesn’t have a creamy dressing or leafy greens, it can last for about three days in the fridge. However, I personally prefer to make and eat it fresh.

Can I double (or even triple) this recipe?

Absolutely! Simply multiply the amount of the ingredients as desired. Place the sliced feta on the salad right before serving.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes. Since this salad doesn’t call for leafy greens such as lettuce or spinach, you can chop the veggies ahead of time. My only suggestion would be to season and assemble the salad right before serving since salt makes the vegetables release their juice.

This Greek feta and cucumber salad is simple, easy and perfect for any time of the day.

Notes and tips

  • Don’t crumble the feta! Traditionally, the feta is cut into slices and placed on the salad before serving.
  • Since Greek salad is a simple salad made with a handful of fresh ingredients, it’s important that all your ingredients are high quality.
  • If you cannot find Persian or mini cucumbers, use English cucumbers but discard the seeds.

More Mediterranean Salads

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5 from 23 votes

Traditional Greek Salad Recipe

Here is a traditional Greek salad recipe, requiring just a few ingredients. It's the perfect starter or side dish for a Mediterranean meal.
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
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Ingredients 

  • 4 Roma tomatoes , cut into chunks
  • 1 cup kalamata olives , cut in half
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into rings
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 cup olive oil , extra virgin
  • 8 oz creamy feta cheese, sliced

Instructions 

  • Place tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, Persian cucumbers and green bell pepper in a large bowl. 
  • Add salt, pepper and oregano to the vegetables and mix well. 
  • Add the olive oil and toss all the vegetables. Add more olive oil if needed. 
  • Transfer the salad into a serving plate and top with chunks of feta cheese. 
  • Serve immediately or cold. 

Video

Notes

  • Don’t crumble the feta! Traditionally, the feta is cut into slices and placed on the salad before serving.
  • Since Greek salad is a simple salad made with a handful of fresh ingredients, it’s important that all your ingredients are high quality.
  • If you cannot find Persian or mini cucumbers, use English cucumbers but discard the seeds.

Nutrition

Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 821mg | Potassium: 295mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 803IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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