Made with olives, feta, tomatoes, lettuce, and a simple Greek Dressing, this Copycat Panera Greek Salad is easy to make and absolutely delicious.
Better than Panera's
A classic Greek salad is made 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.
But Panera's Greek Salad is made with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, feta cheese, kalamata olives, red onion slices, pepperoncinci peppers, and their Greek dressing.
It is delicious. But it is also EXPENSIVE.
For the cost of one side salad at Panera, you can make a large Greek salad at home--and make it just the way YOU like it.
Ingredients in Panera's Greek Salad
- Lettuce--I love to use a spring mix for vibrant, healthy greens, but chopped romaine or iceberg works, and is what you will find in Panera's Greek Salad.
- Kalamative Olives--Use jarred, pitted Kalamative olives for the best flavor. This is not the time to use canned black olives.
- Feta Cheese--Use a fresh block of feta and crumble over salad or use pre-crumbled feta. Or omit the feta if dairy-free.
- Tomatoes--I love to use cherry or grape tomatoes because they are bite-size and can be found ripe year-round, ensuring great flavor.
- 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.
- 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 to this Greek Salad.
Homemade Greek Dressing
This recipe for homemade Greek Dressing is made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, and oregano. It is so easy to make and adds the perfect flavor to this tossed Greek Salad.
Pro-Tip: If you have leftover dressing, store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It is delicious not only on salads but also as a marinade for meat or vegetables.
Tips for the Prepartion
Making this salad is as easy as chopping the veggies and mixing the dressing and then tossing the two together. However, to achieve the BEST results, follow these tips.
- Toss the salad immediately BEFORE serving.
- Only toss the salad with ¼ 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.
Storage and Prep-Ahead Instructions
Just like most salads, this Greek salad is best served immediately once assembled.
However, you can opt to get a jump start on preparation, by preparing the salad dressing and storing it in an airtight container. It will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
I also like to wash and cut the vegetables up to 24 hours in advance. When ready to serve, toss the vegetables together, toss with a bit of the dressing, and top with croutons.
If serving anyone with food restrictions or sensitivities, I recommend leaving the croutons, feta, and pepperoncini peppers on the side for people to add as desired.
- Without the feta, this salad is Dairy-Free and Vegan Friendly.
- Without the croutons this salad is Gluten-Free and Low-Carb.
- The pepperoncini peppers add delicious flavor, but those with sensitive palates towards spice, may not enjoy them in their salad.
More Panera Copycat Recipes
- Mini Breakfast Tarts--An easy, homemade version of Panera's Egg Souffles.
- Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup--Made in one pot and in less than 30 minutes, this Broccoli Cheddar Soup tastes just as rich as Panera's but is lower in fat and calories.
- Copycat Panera's Macaroni and Cheese--This one-pot mac and cheese is cheesy, gooey, rich, and comforting, and ready in less than 30 minutes.
- Copycat Panera Roasted Turkey Sandwich--Made with apples, sharp cheddar, and roasted turkey, you can enjoy this seasonal sandwich all year when made at home.
If you enjoyed this Copycat version of Panera's Greek Salad, I would love for you to leave a comment and rating below.
Copycat Panera Greek Salad
- ¼ cup Kalamative olives pitted and sliced in half
- ⅓ cup Feta cheese crumbled
- ½ 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
- ¼ cup croutons optional
- ¼ cup pepperoncini peppers optional
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 clove garlic grated
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ 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 ¼ cup dressing.
- Serve with croutons, pepperoncini peppers and additional Greek Dressing to the side.