This Easy Greek Salad is a wonderfully refreshing side dish for any meal and especially for any summer cookouts. A quick recipe featuring fresh crisp veggies with kalamata olives and feta cheese that is tossed in a homemade Greek Dressing.
What is Greek Salad?
If you’re not familiar with Geek Salad you are in for a treat today. It is a popular salad in the Greek culture and it is usually made with pieces of tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese, and Kalamata olives.
In Greece, I’ve heard that this type of salad is often referred to as “Horiatiki or Greek Village Salad. From what I’ve learned, it is most commonly served from early spring to the early part of fall.
This makes sense because that is when the vegetables that we use in the salad are at their peak and super fresh.
My Easy Greek Salad features all the typical veggies cut into bite-sized pieces and then tossed in a simple but delicious dressing that is basically a mixture of olive oil, garlic, salt, Greek Oregano, and lemon juice.
The dressing is something you can make to your liking so you may have seen a different combination in other recipes and that’s fine because you can’t really go wrong with any Greek-inspired dressing on his salad.
Outside of Greece, some “Greek salads” may actually be served as a lettuce salad with Greek-inspired ingredients, even though the original dish is distinguished by the absence of lettuce.
Today’s recipe is more of the traditional style Greek Salad without the lettuce because it is what my family enjoyed best but I think I’ll try one with lettuce sometime this summer while my lettuce is so fresh.
This recipe is an amazing side dish that will taste amazing this summer while all the produce is fresh out of the garden. It is so nutritious for you and just looks how beautiful it is with all those colors in the veggies.
What’s In A Greek Salad?
The beautiful thing about a Greek Salad is all the fresh garden veggies. They are nice and crisp and so refreshing during those long summer months.
I can’t wait until my garden is in full swing again because there is nothing like garden-fresh tomatoes in this salad. But if you don’t have a garden check out your local farmer’s market and pick up all you need for this salad.
Here’s a breakdown of each of the fresh ingredients you’ll need to grab and prep for this salad before you add the dressing.
- Tomatoes – I love using fresh vine-ripe red tomatoes straight from the garden but your favorite variety will work well in this salad. It is just important to choose the ripest tomatoes with the firmest flesh for the best results in this salad.
- Cucumbers– When it comes to cucumbers I always go with the English cucumbers. They are the long skinny variety with dark green skins. Normally they will be wrapped in plastic at the grocery store. These work so much better for this salad because they are seedless and tend to have the best flavor. When you are shopping for these go with the ones that are firm with no blemishes. You can peel them if you wish but the skins are tender and I like leaving them on.
- Onions- I always use red onions in my Greek Salads, but you can go with whichever variety you prefer taste-wise. The onions are just sliced thin and are tossed in raw so if you or someone in your family don’t like strong onions you can use less or you soak your red onion slices in iced water mixed with vinegar. Just put them in a bowl of cool water, add a splash or two of white vinegar and water then let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes. This works wonders for taking that peppery bite out of the onions.
- Olives– Greek kalamata olives are the traditional olives used in salads like this one. They are not those dark black olives you find in cans but oftentimes they will be in glass jars and they will be a little more pricey, but trust me they bring such a fantastic briny flavor to this salad it is worth the extra pennies. Of course, you can use any olive you have on hand or have access to or you could just leave them out if they aren’t your thing.
- Green Bell peppers– If you are wanting to keep this salad as close to the traditional ones as possible, then green bell peppers are what you’ll need. But if you don’t mind deviating from traditions, .you can use whatever color you have or would like to. As with the other veggies, choose green peppers that are firm, a nice bright green color, and that is fresh from any spots or scars. firm and smooth-looking green bell pepper.
- Creamy feta cheese – If at all possible, you want to purchase the best quality feta cheese that you can find. If you can find true feta made with sheep’s milk you’re in for a treat. In the more traditional style of Greek salad, the feta is just sliced or broken into large chunks and placed on top of the salad, but I like to purchase a big block of the feta and crumble it in so that I get a bite of feta with each bite of veggies. So good! Yes, I know there are some Greek friends out there that just possibly fainted because I told you to crumble the cheese lol. So do which suits you best!
What Dressing Goes on Greek Salad?
So with any great salad, you need a great salad dressing, right? Right! I’ve got you covered with a simple and delicious dressing that you’ll love on this salad.
The best part is that there is no reason to stop by the grocery store to pick one up when you can make it at home. Now could you buy one at the store, yes you, but why would you want to when it is so easy to do at home.
When you pick one at the store many of them will have those undesirable ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. I learned real quick to find ways to make dressings at home to avoid these two ingredients.
My recipe includes a very basic homemade Greek dressing that I make using just a few simple ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, dried Greek oregano, and a little be of greek yogurt to work as an emulsifier.
If you don’t want to use the yogurt (it is only 2 teaspoons) then you can leave it out and just shake the salad dressing really well before using it. It will also separate when you leave it in the fridge, so also remix it before you dress your salad with it.
There are some other yummy Greek Dressing recipes you can try also to get a little variety in your dressings. Here are a few that I wanted to share with other blogger friends.
This dressing recipe would also make a great marinade for chicken, lamb, or beef. Just let your proteins rest in the dressing overnight or at least a few hours then grill them up. So tasty!
Enjoy Salads Like This Easy Greek Salad And Want More?
Check out these other salad-like recipes that you may enjoy as well. All of these would be perfect for any meal this summer so I hope you give them a try and let me know over on social media how much enjoyed them by tagging me @mytableofthree!
If you love Greek Foods like my family and I do then you’ll also want to check out this fabulous Keto Tzatziki Sauce. It is a great sauce on proteins or dip for your favorite raw veggies.
This easy salad is packed full of fresh and crisp veggies that are cut into bite-sized pieces and then tossed with crumbled feta cheese and a delicious homemade dressing.
For The Salad
- 4 ripe Roma Tomatoes
- 1 large English cucumber
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1/2 of a medium purple onion
- 1/2 cup of Kalamata Olives, cut in half
- 1/2 cup of Feta Cheese Crumbles
For The Greek Dressing
- 3 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
- 2 Tablespoons of Good Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons of Greek Oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dill
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon of sweetener of choice
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- salt to taste
- Wash and chop the tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper. Chop them all into larger bite-size pieces and place them into a large bowl.
- Slice the onion thinly. If you want to take out a little of the heat or bite from the raw onions see the blog post for how I make sure the onions have a mild flavor.
- Add the sliced onions, olives, and feta cheese to the bowl and toss the veggies together gently and set the bowl aside to make the dressing.
- In a small mixing bowl add all the dressing ingredients together and stir until it is all combined. You can taste the dressing to see if you want to add any more seasoning. Just keep in mind that both the olives and the feta cheese are salty so you don't want to add too much salt.
- Pour the dressing over the chopped salad veggies and toss them until all are coated. You can serve the salad right away or you can chill it for about 30 minutes before serving for the best results.
Serving Size1/2 cup
Amount Per ServingCalories 92Total Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gCholesterol 8mgSodium 215mgCarbohydrates 6gNet Carbohydrates 3gFiber 1gSugar 3gSugar Alcohols 2gProtein 2g
I am not a nutritionist. If you have strict dietary needs I always recommend using an online nutrition calculator to calculate your totals using your exact brands you're using in this recipe as values may vary per brand.
I am a southern girl through and through that loves to laugh, cook, read and spend time with family. My passions outside of home schooling my son are ministering to those in need and creating art in the kitchen! Every day is an adventure in our little house and I wouldn’t trade it or the chance to share here with you for anything!