This is a recipe for a copycat version of your favorite Greek salad that you would get at Panera or a pizza shop. This Mediterranean inspired salad is made with olives, feta, tomatoes, lettuce, and tossed with a simple Greek Dressing. Hands down the BEST Greek Salad!
A classic Greek salad is made simply with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, olives, feta, and onions dressed in olive oil, lemon juice and oregano. That’s right–not even lettuce is traditional in Greek salads.
However, if you are like me, you may think of Greek Salads a lot like the Greek salad you would get at Panera or a pizza joint–all the traditional players like tomatoes, olives, feta, onions but tossed with lettuce and Greek dressing.
And that is just what I am going to share with you today–my version of a Greek Salad with lettuce. While not classic, this is the BEST Greek Salad in my opinion.
My recipe for a Greek Salad maybe should be called a Mediterranean Salad, as it is inspired by the Mediterranean and not a traditional Greek Salad. But whatever you call this salad–you must admit it is a favorite!
From the briny bite of the olives, to the juicy tomatoes, to the crisp red onions, to the sharp feta—this salad hits ALL the notes I crave in a light, fresh salad.
Ingredients in Greek Salad
- Kalamative Olives–Traditionally, Greek salads leave the olives whole and with the pits! No thanks! I remove the pits and cut in half for easier eating!
- Feta Cheese–Lots of feta! Use a fresh block of feta and crumble over salad or use pre-crumbled feta.
- Tomatoes–I love to use cherry or grape tomatoes because they are bite size and can be found ripe year round–while vine-ripened tomatoes are only best in summer months in my neck of the woods.
- Shallots-Red onions are more traditional in Greek salads, but I love the mild garlic flavor of shallots. Feel free to use red onions in place of shallots–just soak red onion slices in cold water for 15 minutes to remove some of their sharpness.
- Cucumbers–Choose an English cucumber or a garden cucumber. If using a garden variety, be sure to peel and seed the cucumber before dicing.
- Lettuce–I love to use a spring mix for vibrant, healthy greens, but chopped romaine or iceburg works as well in this Mediterranean salad.
- Croutons (optional)—Homemade croutons add texture and bulk to this salad, but of course are optional.
- Pepperoncini Peppers (optional)–For a burst of briny flavor and a bit of spiciness, add sliced pepperoncini peppers peppers to this Greek Salad.
Traditionally Greek Salad are dressed simply with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and oregano. This Greek Vinaigrette highlights those flavors with a bit of added red wine vinegar for an easy, simple dressing that compliments this salad perfectly.
- Red Wine Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil–be sure to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil for best taste!
- Lemon Juice–fresh lemon juice ONLY!
- Dijon Mustard–for a bit of flavor and creaminess
- Garlic–fresh garlic, finely grated with a microplane or VERY finely minced
- Dried Oregano–this is one instance that dried is BETTER than fresh
- Salt and Pepper
Tip: If you have leftover dressing, store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Use on additional salad or to marinate meat/veggies.
Tips for the BEST Greek Salad
- Prepare the Greek dressing up to 3 days prior to serving.
- Cut and prepare the vegetables up to 24 hours prior to serving.
- Toss the salad immediately BEFORE serving.
- Only toss the salad with 1/4 cup of the salad dressing and leave the remaining dressing to the side for people to add more as desired. This will keep this salad from being overly dressed and soggy.
- Leave croutons and pepperoncini peppers to the side for people to add as desired to this Mediterranean Salad.
More Mediterranean Inspired Recipes
- Mediterranean Chicken and Rice Skillet
- Mediterranean Couscous
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Mediterranean Frittata
- 1/4 cup Kalamative olives sliced
- 1/3 cup Feta cheese crumbled
- 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes sliced
- 1 shallots thinly sliced
- 1 English cucumbers. diced
- 5 ounces spring lettuce mix or 1 head or iceburg or romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/4 cup croutons optional
- 1/4 cup pepperoncini peppers optional
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For Greek Dressing:
- Whisk together the vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, Dijon, oregano, salt, and pepper. Using a microplane, finely grate the clove of garlic over vinegar mixture, whisk into mixture. Slowly whisk in olive oil until combined. Whisk or shake before serving.
For Greek Salad:
- Toss together lettuce with cucumbers, tomatoes, shallot, olives, and feta with 1/4 cup dressing.
- Serve with croutons, pepperoncini peppers and additional Greek Dressing to the side.
- You may not nee the entire recipe for Greek Dressing for 1 salad--store the leftover dressing for up to 2 weeks in the fridge and use for salads or to marinate meat or veggies.