Easy Greek salad recipe with chopped veggies, feta cheese and a simple homemade dressing. Full of fresh flavor and made in less than 30 minutes!
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Greek Cucumber Tomato Salad
I love to make a big Greek salad during the summer time. It’s simple, pretty and the perfect way to incorporate fresh veggies. Plus the homemade Greek salad dressing recipe is super tasty and easy to whip up.
Authentic Greek salads include a simple dressing made with olive oil and vinegar, crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, olives and feta cheese. Lots of feta cheese!
This is the perfect recipe to bring to a BBQ and was such a huge hit with the crowd. Everyone went for seconds and the bowl was empty soon after it started. You can even serve it with grilled chicken and warm pita bread or naan bread to make this a complete meal. So delicious!
What is in a Greek Salad?
Below are the base Greek salad ingredients you’ll need to get started, most of which come straight from the garden! It’s the perfect summer salad to make when you have lots of fresh veggies and herbs to use up.
- Veggies: This dish is full of chopped cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red onion and yellow bell peppers. Make sure the vegetables are ripe to touch, fragrant to smell and have a crisp exterior. I like to use English cucumbers and grape tomatoes because they’re more crisp and firm, so they hold up well.
- Olives: Kalamata olives or black olives will both work. I know olives are hit or miss with most people, so you can leave them out if you’re not a fan.
- Cheese: You can’t have a Greek salad without feta cheese. And lots of it, too! I like to buy a block of feta cheese and use my hands to crumble it up. I find the blocks are more fresh and creamy than the containers of pre-crumbled feta.
Greek Salad Dressing
The homemade Greek salad dressing is an easy vinaigrette made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano and fresh chopped parsley. It’s bold, tangy and compliments the fresh vegetables, olives and feta cheese perfectly.
- Add extras. Feel free to add in extras, like chickpeas, sliced avocado, artichokes, green bell pepper slices or even sliced grilled chicken.
- Greens. A traditional Greek salad does not include romaine lettuce (or any type of greens), but that doesn’t mean you can’t add them in! Feel free to chop up some greens and add them to the bowl before layering on all of the other ingredients, similar to a Mediterranean salad.
- Pasta salad. Turn this into a Greek pasta salad by mixing in some cooked rotini or orzo. This would also taste delicious with cooked quinoa.
How to Make Greek Salad
- Prepare dressing. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano and fresh chopped parsley in a small bowl or jar. Whisk until combined. Give it a taste and add more salt, pepper and herbs as needed.
- Combine and toss. Wash and chop the veggies, then combine in a large bowl with the kalamata olives and crumbled feta. Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad and then use tongs to toss until well coated.
- Let chill. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving. I usually let mine marinate for about an hour so that the flavors have time to marry together.
- Chop evenly. Dice the veggies into evenly sized pieces so that each bite is filled with a nice variety.
- Olive oil. Using a high quality extra-virgin olive oil will give the salad a more rich and authentic flavor. If you can find a European olive oil, then I’d suggest using that.
- Pitted olives. Look for kalamata olives that have the pit removed. If you can’t find pitted olives, make sure to pit them yourself before adding them in.
- Let chill. This salad will need to chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving to give the flavors time to marinate together.
They have many similar ingredients and flavors, so the difference between the two will vary depending on who is making it.
Some Mediterranean salads use green olives instead of kalamata, while others include chickpeas or chopped lettuce. When making my favorite Mediterranean salad recipe, I like to use a creamy balsamic dressing instead of Greek dressing.
The traditional recipe does not contain lettuce or any variety of greens for that matter. It’s made with a simple mix of chopped vegetables, olives and feta cheese.
You can absolutely add in some chopped greens to bulk it up a little more, similar to this delicious Greek salad with chicken recipe.
You can serve as both a main dish or a side dish. When serving as an entrée, I like to add some grilled chicken or chickpeas for protein.
If serving as a side, it tastes delicious accompanied with Greek chicken kabobs, Greek chicken burgers with tzatziki sauce, or this easy Greek sheet pan chicken.
Storing + Make Ahead
This recipe will keep in the fridge for about 3 days if sealed in an airtight container. You can also make it ahead of time if you prefer, although I’d recommend only preparing it 1 day in advance so that the vegetables stay crisp and fresh. On the day of serving, you can add in a little more dressing to give it more moisture if needed.
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- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar , or balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley , more to taste
- S&P, to taste
- 1 English cucumber , quartered
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes , halved
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper , chopped
- 1/2 cup kalamata or black olives , sliced in half
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, oregano and parsley in a small bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, olives and feta in a medium-sized bowl. Then pour the dressing over the top and toss until combined.
- Add more feta and parsley as desired. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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