This Greek salad recipe is so easy and delicious we eat it all year long, not just in the summer months! With just 8 ingredients (one of which is a ‘secret flavor bomb’ add-on) plus a simple homemade Greek dressing, this healthy salad recipe ticks off all the right boxes and only takes 15 minutes to make.
Without fail, we eat some type of salad with almost every meal because for us it’s impossible to have too many salad recipes (and we like to make sure we’re getting enough greens). Sometimes we enjoy a simple side salad (with a splash of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and salt) or a hearty grain salad. Often though, we’ll dive head-first into a huge bowl of this easy Greek salad recipe as a main meal!
This high-protein salad packed with peak-season vegetables fills you up without weighing you down and only has 8 ingredients, plus an easy Greek salad dressing recipe to brighten it all up. The best part — it can be eaten as a mini Greek side salad or main meal and doesn’t require turning on the stove or heating up the kitchen. And in case you’re wondering, this makes an excellent Greek chicken salad too!
- Vine-ripened tomatoes: (sub sweet grape or cherry tomatoes especially if you’re making this salad in the fall and winter months)
- Garden-fresh cucumbers: (sub Persian cucumbers which have much less water than other varieties, or an English cucumber with the middle scooped out).
- Cured black Kalamata olives with pits: (sub pitted black Kalamata olives which are much easier to eat, but usually have less flavor than oil-cured olives) Kalamata olives are often used in Greek recipes and pair really well with the feta and complement the Greek dressing.
- Green Italian Cerignola olives with pits: (sub an equal amount of pitted black olives if desired) Cerignola olives are very large super meaty olives we like to add for their delicious briny flavor and visual appeal.
- Red onions: (sub thinly sliced shallots) I like to slice the onions paper-thin so they melt into the rest of the salad rendering them less sharp when you bite into them.
- PDO Greek feta cheese: (sub a fake non-Greek feta cheese if that’s all you can find). I use 100% real feta cheese made in Greece because it’s delicious. Real feta has a Protected Designation of Origin (aka DOP) that requires it to be made in a specific (traditional) way with only traditional ingredients (goat and sheeps milk). So when you buy a DOP feta, you’re getting a premium product that tastes better and makes a better Greek salad. I like to cut cubes of feta as opposed to crumbling it, so everyone can see what they’re eating.
- Fresh mint: (If you’re not a fan of mint, simply leave it out)
- Secret Greek Salad Ingredient: (Grated Grana Padano Cheese) Grated cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano, American Parmesan, and Grana Padano add so much extra flavor to homemade salad recipes. And a little goes a long way (I’ve only added 1 tablespoon in this recipe). While this is not a traditional Greek salad ingredient, it is a SUPER delicious add-on that I highly recommend!
- Homemade Easy Greek salad dressing: (sub your favorite bottled Greek dressing) This zesty dressing is SO easy and is ready in 5 minutes flat! I use a combination of both fresh oregano (from my window box garden) and dried oregano for an even better overall flavor.
*Want to make a vegan Greek salad? Omit the feta cheese and add vegan feta cheese or substitute the feta with firm tofu, or chickpeas.
Greek Salad Dressing (Ingredients)
My easy Greek salad dressing uses 7 basic pantry ingredients (plus salt and pepper): extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice (to brighten it up), Dijon mustard, garlic, dried oregano, and fresh oregano for even more flavor). If you don’t have fresh oregano on hand, just leave it out! This healthy salad dressing will still taste amazing!
I use about 4 tablespoons (60g) of salad dressing for this entire salad, but you can use up to 5 tablespoons (75g) or more if desired.
Overview: How to Make Greek Salad
This is probably one of the easiest salads you’ll ever make. All it requires is chopping a few vegetables, and whisking up a quick Greek vinaigrette. Be sure to chop cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta in similar chunky sizes and slice the red onions paper thin. Then drizzle on the homemade Greek dressing and toss everything to fully coat. I like to use a large mixing bowl which makes it easier to toss it all together. Get the full recipe instructions and watch the video in the recipe card.
What to Serve With Greek Salad
I personally like to pair Greek salad with lean protein and fluffy bread to sop up all the juices. Try this grilled shrimp, easy 4-minute pan-seared shrimp, grilled chicken, pan-seared pork shoulder, hummus, this pizza fritta from Abruzzo, Italy, homemade thin-crust pizza, my healthy summer pizza, homemade fluffy naan, or whole wheat naan (see photos of each dish below).
Greek Salad With Lettuce
If you’re trying to get more greens into your diet you can use this Greek salad as a salad topper or condiment for other lettuce greens (see photo below). Simply add your favorite greens (like Romaine, spring green mix, baby spinach, kale, arugula, or even iceberg lettuce) to a bowl, and top each portion with 1/2 to 1 cup of this Greek salad. Toss everything together and add more salad dressing or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and enjoy!
Looking for More Easy Mediterranean Recipes?
FAQ: How Long Does Greek Salad Last At Room Temperature?
Don’t leave this salad unrefrigerated for longer than 2 hours (if the ambient temperature is below 90°F/32°C). If the temperature is above 90°F/32°C don’t leave Greek salad out for more than 1 hour. This salad is best eaten after it’s just been made. But you can place a bowl of ice under it to help keep it fresher for longer.
FAQ: Can You Make Greek Salad in Advance?
This salad tastes best to us just after it’s been tossed together but I outline the best ways to refrigerate it below if you need those instructions. Below is my favorite way to meal prep Greek salad in advance.
Add all of the chopped veggies, diced feta cheese, olives, and herbs each in their own separate mounds to an airtight container. Place it in the refrigerator for up to 1 day in advance. The ingredients will touch each other, but they shouldn’t be tossed together because this helps them stay crisp. It also keeps the salad components from becoming watery before you’re ready to eat it. Add the salad dressing just before time to serve it. Simply drizzle the dressing over the top of the ingredients and toss everything together.
FAQ: How Long Can You Keep Greek Salad in Fridge?
Greek salad can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. However, it’s best to eat it within a couple of days of making it. Over time vegetables will start to release their natural juices making the salad soggy.
FAQ: Can You Freeze Greek Salad?
Do not freeze Greek salad! Cucumbers become soggy, wet, and translucent (no matter how crunchy and crisp they were to start). Tomatoes become mushy, the onions become slimy, and mint and fresh oregano turn black. The olives and feta are about the only thing in a Greek salad that can be frozen and retain a similar texture.
FAQ: How Do You Keep Greek Salad From Getting Soggy?
The best way to keep Greek salad from getting soggy is to use small firm cucumbers. They contain less water than large cucumbers with lots of seeds, or even English cucumbers. Persian cucumbers and smaller garden fresh cucumbers have the least amount of water which makes them perfect for this salad. If using English cucumbers, slice them in half lengthwise and remove the pulp and seeds before slicing them. Using grape tomatoes is a good option because they contain less water and they store well. Use them if you plan to make this salad in advance.
FAQ: How Do You Tame the Raw Onion Flavor in a Greek Salad?
There are 2 things you can do to remove some of the sharpness from raw onion in a Greek salad. First, slice them paper-thin which means less pungent flavor attacking your taste buds all at once. When they’re thin like this, they interact and melt into the Greek salad dressing which drastically reduces the sharpness. The second option is to soak the sliced onions in cool water for 30 minutes. Pat them completely dry before adding them to the salad. I never have to soak them in water as long as I slice them paper thin, but do what you prefer.