It’s all Greek Salad to me, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the translation! Crunchy, chunky, and vibrant, this simple salad recipe is vying to be the patron of summer.
Traditional Greek salad consists of veggies like juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumber, bell pepper, and red onions tossed in an herby vinaigrette with feta cheese and olives.
The pieces are left large and no other ingredients are added; traditional Greek salad does not contain lettuce.
Of course, if you’ve ever seen it on a restaurant menu (haven’t we all?), you know there are many types of Greek salads and the definition is subject to interpretation.
- I’ve seen all manners of Mediterranean-inspired additions like greens, artichokes, crushed-up pita chips, and even pimento peppers.
- Protein like chicken and chickpeas are other popular additions (just like in Mediterranean Chickpea Salad).
How to Make Greek Salad
Today’s easy Greek salad recipe is my favorite version.
The ingredients are *mostly* traditional, with two deviations:
- Romaine. I like my Greek salad ingredients with lettuce, there I said it. Call it “Mediterranean Greek salad” instead if you must.
- Capers. While optional, their brininess gives the salad an additional dimension of depth.
- Romaine. While not traditional, I love adding some romaine lettuce to my salad. It helps make it a little more satisfying, adds crunch, and gives the dressing something to cling to. Plus, romaine is packed with vitamins, fiber, and calcium.
- Red Onion. Adds a bite to the salad. Soak it in water first to take away a little of the harshness.
- Cucumber. Refreshing, crunchy, and hydrating.
- Tomatoes. Cherry or grape tomatoes add little bursts of sweetness that are essential to this Greek salad.
- Green Bell Pepper. Another fresh, crunchy element. Bell peppers are also a great source of vitamin C and iron.
- Kalamata Olives. A huge flavor component in Greek salad. Kalamata olives are deliciously salty and richly flavored.
- Capers. Another non-traditional addition that I love. Capers are salty, tangy, and have a slight lemon flavor.
- Feta. Large chunks of feta is the creamy addition that takes this salad to the next level and makes it a pleasure to eat.
Use feta in brine, not the pre-crumbled feta. The crumbled type is much drier and doesn’t have as much flavor.
- Greek Salad Dressing. Classic Mediterranean ingredients like olive oil, red wine vinegar (or fresh lemon juice if you prefer), and garlic star in this simple, light dressing. It complements the salad ingredients without overpowering them.
- Soak the red onion in water.
- Whisk the Greek salad dressing ingredients together.
- Toss the lettuce and part of the dressing in a large bowl.
- Toss all the vegetables together, finishing the salad with part of the feta, salt, and pepper. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover salad in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Meal Prep Tip
Chop all the salad ingredients as directed. Mix the dressing together as directed and store in a jar. Refrigerate each ingredient in a separate airtight storage container until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Liquid Measuring Cup. You can measure and mix ingredients in this tool.
- Salad Spinner. Perfect for washing the romaine.
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. The tool you need to chop all the salad ingredients.
Greek salad, whether as a main or side dish, you are speaking my language!
Frequently Asked Questions
Leftover Greek salad can become a scrumptious sandwich. Tuck the leftovers into a wrap or pita bread. Another great way to use leftovers is to turn them into a Greek pasta salad. Toss the leftover salad with cooked and cooled short pasta noodles (see this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad for inspo).
If you can’t find feta (or don’t enjoy the taste), you could try swapping it for Grilled Halloumi or pile the salad on top of creamy ricotta.
While we love the addition of romaine lettuce, you can certainly make the salad without it. Note that the salad won’t be as hearty.
For the Salad:
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced and halved red onion
- 1 head romaine lettuce tough ends trimmed and roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 English cucumber halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 green bell pepper cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2/3 cup Kalamata olives pitted (leave whole)
- 1 tablespoon capers drained (optional)
- 8 ounces feta cheese cut into 1/2-inch cubes (for best results, use feta in brine), divided
- Fresh herbs (while not necessary, any extra dill or parsley you have on hand would taste great)
For the Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove grated or finely minced
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Place the red onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit at least 5 minutes, then drain (this removes some of the harsh bite).
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together the dressing: olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, oregano, and black pepper.
- Place the romaine in a large bowl and drizzle lightly with the dressing. Toss to coat.
- Add the cucumber, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, black olives, capers, and drained red onion. Drizzle with a little more dressing then toss gently to combine.
- Last, add 3/4 of the feta, and toss very gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the remaining feta over the top. Divide between serving bowls and serve with additional dressing as desired.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover salad in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
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