This Greek Salad Recipe is crunchy and hearty from raw vegetables, Kalamata olives and feta cheese. The perfect combination of salty and savory that makes a filling lunch or a side dinner salad to accompany grilled proteins. My go-to salad with only 6 ingredients, plus an easy greek salad dressing!
Other salads on frequent rotation at meals include cucumber tomato salad and lettuce salad. I serve these healthy salads with just about anything! This salad combined with pita and hummus easily becomes a quick summer dinner idea.
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Why This Greek Salad Recipe Works?
I absolutely love Greek salad! Here we have Greek restaurant fast food chain – OPA. My order always includes lamb pita wrap and a Greek salad. I swear it is the best Greek salad I ever tried and have now recreated at home. It is the perfect salad for a Mediterranean dinner when paired with my Greek chicken and quinoa tabbouleh salad – amazing!
First of all, everyone loves it. Secondly, it takes 15 minutes to make and is so flavorful, juicy and crispy. This salad is the reason I always keep a giant tub of feta on hand (and also for this pasta with feta!). As long as it is in blocks and covered in brine, it can last forever.
What I love about this easy salad it’s how flavorful, fresh and affordable it is year round. It is a nutritious meal made in minutes. We are so blessed to live in North America and have access to fresh produce year round.
It’s the reason that cucumbers and tomatoes are basically my favorite salad ingredients- showing up in avocado corn salad, Mediterranean quinoa salad (Greek salad flavors with added quinoa for protein), chickpea salad with avocado, and even my favorite Ukrainian dill coleslaw! I’ll even chuck tomatoes into my creamy cucumber salad any time of the year!
Eating healthy and fresh has so many healthy benefits. Let’s do it!
Greek Salad Ingredients
Although we might be located far from the Mediterranean, that doesn’t stop me from making this low calorie greek salad on repeat! Here are my recommendations for the best classic combination of Greek salad ingredients to be enjoyed in any season and in any locale.
- Tomatoes: In season tomatoes are sweet, juicy and so tasty. Other months, I buy tomatoes on the vine – they smell like tomatoes. The extra cost and better taste is worth it to me.
- Cucumber: “Regular” English long cucumber works. No need to peel or seed but you can.
- Bell pepper: My personal preference is green pepper because it is less sweet. Any colour works and I like to stick to one colour.
- Red onion and olives: Kalamata olives are traditional in Greek feta salad. Be sure to buy pitted ones. – I love to add them to this hashbrown breakfast casserole, too!
- Feta cheese: Choose feta cheese in a block. Pre-packaged crumbled feta has anti-caking agents to prevent lumps, and we don’t need those food additives. Feta also stars in this healthy beet salad!
- Olive oil and red wine vinegar: Extra virgin olive oil is the best. It comes from the first press of olives, retains valuable antioxidants and is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, red wine vinegar makes a world of difference in a Greek salad.
- Dried oregano, salt & pepper: Simple pantry spices that add bold flavor.
How to Make Greek Salad
- Make Greek salad dressing: Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, salt, pepper and whisk. Sometimes I like to add grated garlic.
- Chop veggies coarse into same size chunks for ultimate experience.
- Crumble feta and slice olives in halves: I find whole olives too scarce and salty in a Greek salad. Same with feta cheese – small salty crumbles distribute evenly throughout.
- Combine everything with a large spoon.
Tips for Best Results
- Eat sooner rather than later: Salad tastes best when ate within one hour of combining.
- Kalamata vs. black olives: Kalamata olives are preferred here because of their salty, briny flavor profile. Black olives just don’t cut it for a traditional Greek salad just like in this pasta with Kalamata olives and tomatoes.
- Cut vegetables into similar sizes: Aim for one inch cubes so you can enjoy all the flavors in one bite.
- To tone down red onion: Rinse under warm water, drain and pat dry before adding to the salad bowl.
Tip: Want to add lettuce? Add romaine chunks just before serving to keep it crunchy.
Add-ins and Variations
The combination of these ingredients is really what makes it a true Greek salad recipe, but sometimes it is fun to mix it up!
- Cherry tomatoes: When tomatoes are not in season and you can’t find vine-ripened greenhouse tomatoes, cherry tomatoes are usually juicer and have better taste.
- Avocado: Although not traditional, avocado adds a nice creaminess to the salad.
- Lettuce: A sturdy lettuce like Romaine works well and adds additional crunch when added right before serving.
- Artichokes: Canned chopped artichokes hearts add another layer of tangy Mediterranean flavor.
- Chickpeas: A healthy option when turning this into a full vegetarian meal, especially if you have meal prepped chickpeas on hand.
- Quinoa: An option that adds a complete plant based protein to this dinner salad, quinoa adds a nice texture and nutty taste.
- Pasta: Choose a smaller sized pasta such as orzo or couscous.
- Toasted Pita: Cut toasted pita into squares and serve like a ‘crouton’ for some crunch. Serve remaining pita as an appetizer with garlic olive oil dip.
This low calorie salad is nutrient dense and full of vitamins A and C from the vegetables, antioxidant lycopene from tomatoes, and healthy fats from olive oil. With all these nutritional benefits, it’s no wonder that this Greece specialty has become such a beloved salad all over the world.
This recipe calls for a simple dressing made with red wine vinegar. It really only takes minutes to whisk together! If you still aren’t sure you will have time to make the dressing, meal prep it ahead of time. Homemade salad dressing will stay fresh in the fridge for 5 – 7 days.
Classic horiatiki (Greek) salad does not contain lettuce. That being said, if you want to add your own spin to this salad, go ahead and add a sturdy lettuce, like romaine, or better yet grill romaine and serve it as a side to your Greek village salad.
- Whole wheat pita bread and hummus (or sweet potato hummus) make tasty accompaniments. I like both for my kids’ quick snacks, so I always have some on hand.
- Feeding a hungrier crowd? Serve with a side like mediterranean zucchini sticks, brown rice or quinoa and easy baked or grilled chicken.
- Add healthy grill recipes protein such as chicken, salmon or even a turkey burger.
- For a complete Greek theme, try my Greek chicken kabobs or boneless leg of lamb roast. So good!
Making in Advance
Make Ahead Tip: Add homemade dressing in your serving bowl. Then add salad ingredients on top but don’t toss until serving time. Everything stays crisp. Or refrigerate salad and dressing separately for up to 2 days, then combine before serving.
Travel Tip: Greek salad travels well to picnics and potlucks. Cover bowl with plastic and bring salad in a jar with tight fitting lid. Easy!
Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 12 hours. There is no greens to get soggy, so salad has some longevity. But I find after 12 hours tomatoes start to go.
More Giant Salad Recipes
Also, be sure to check out my other 30 healthy salad recipes. You will not be disappointed!
Greek Salad Recipe
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Whisk and set side.
- In a large bowl, add tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, onion, olives and feta cheese.
- Pour dressing on top and stir gently with a large spoon until combined well.
- Best served within 1 hour of combining.
Make Ahead: Refrigerate salad and dressing separately for up to 2 days, then combine before serving.
Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 12 hours. Salad stays crispy for the evening, after – less.
- I prefer tomatoes on the vine as they taste good even in winter months.
- Crumbled feta has caking agents, so it’s best to buy a chunk and crumble yourself.
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