Greek Salad (Horiatiki)

published Jun 4, 2024
Greek Salad Recipe
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overhead shot of a greek salad in a large white serving bowl.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

Be honest: What’s better than feta cheese? As far as I’m concerned, it’s tangy, creamy perfection. I think feta is one of the most perfect salad cheeses, and Greek salad is possibly the best way to showcase that. Juicy tomatoes, cooling cucumbers, crunchy onions, and briny olives all work together to create a bowl loaded with contrasting flavors and textures. Once you toss everything (including lots of feta, of course) in a tangy red wine vinaigrette, the salad really sings. 

The best part? You can easily make this salad ahead. In fact, I think it actually tastes even better if the ingredients have a little time to marinate in the dressing before you bring it out at your next picnic (we have the ultimate no-fuss menu!) or Mediterranean spread.

Why You’ll Love It

  • It’s full of feta! This salad is filled with a generous amount of diced feta cheese so each bite has a delicious, creamy piece.
  • It gets better as it sits. Let it marinate for up to a day! The dressing will marinate each ingredient to become even more flavorful. 
  • It’s extra fresh. Although it’s not traditional, I like to add torn fresh mint leaves to my Greek salad to make it even more refreshing.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

Key Ingredients in Greek Salad

  • Cucumber. Thin-skinned English or Persian cucumbers don’t need to be peeled or de-seeded before chopping.
  • Tomatoes. Juicy cherry tomatoes have a concentrated flavor.
  • Feta. Greek feta is firmer than other varieties like Bulgarian and French, so it will hold its shape better when tossed in the salad.
  • Oregano. This is the signature flavor of Greek dressing! I call for dried oregano because it has a deeper, more concentrated flavor than fresh oregano.
  • Red wine vinegar. Tangy red wine vinegar adds balanced acidity to the salad dressing.

How to Make Greek Salad

  1. Make the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, dried oregano, kosher salt, pepper, grated garlic, and olive oil.
  2. Prep the ingredients. Slice red onions, cucumbers, and green bell peppers. Halve cherry tomatoes. Dice feta cheese. Then toss all of the ingredients in the dressing with Kalamata olives, capers, and mint, if using.

Helpful Swaps

  • Add fresh herbs like dill or parsley.
  • Use fresh lemon juice in place of red wine vinegar.
  • Add grilled chicken, tinned tuna, or another protein for a complete meal.

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips 

Greek salad can be made up to 1 day ahead without the mint and refrigerated in an airtight container. Add the mint just before serving. Leftover salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

What to Serve with Greek Salad

Greek Salad Recipe

We’re here for the feta.

Prep time 15 minutes

Makes about 9 cups

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons

    red wine vinegar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    dried oregano, preferably Greek

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1 clove

    garlic

  • 1/4 cup

    extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1

    large English cucumber or 4 Persian cucumbers

  • 1

    large green bell pepper

  • 1 pint

    cherry or grape tomatoes

  • 1

    small red onion

  • 6 to 8 ounces

    block feta cheese, preferably Greek

  • 6 sprigs

    fresh mint (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons

    drained nonpareil capers (optional)

  • 1/3 cup

    pitted kalamata olives

Instructions

  1. Place 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Finely grate 1 garlic clove directly into the bowl. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and whisk until all of the oil is incorporated.

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of vinaigrette as you complete it: Halve 1 large English cucumber or 4 Persian cucumbers lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 2 1/4 cups). Trim and quarter 1 large green bell pepper, then thinly slice crosswise (about 2 cups). Halve 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes. Halve and thinly slice 1 small red onion (about 1 cup). Cut 6 to 8 ounces feta into 1/2-inch cubes (1 1/2 to 2 cups). Pick the leaves from 6 fresh mint sprigs (about 1 cup loosely packed) if desired. Drain 2 tablespoons nonpareil capers if desired. Add 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives (halve if desired).

  3. Toss to coat. Taste and season with more kosher salt and pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The salad can be made up to 1 day ahead without the mint and refrigerated in an airtight container. Add the mint just before serving.

Storage: Leftover salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.