Greek Cucumber Salad

Greek Cucumber Salad

Greek salad: a healthy and easy salad, perfect for summer!

I just love a simple Greek salad. Chop some veggies, mix a simple dressing and — done! Only five ingredients, plus spices. Not sure it gets much easier!

What’s in a traditional Greek Salad?

First, let’s look at what’s NOT a Greek salad. On most of your basic restaurant menus, a Greek Salad will be listed based on lettuce. It’s what we expect of our salads in America. But an authentic Greek salad contains NO lettuce. The ingredients are:

  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Feta cheese
  • Olives (Kalamata)

See? No lettuce. No Romaine. It does contain green (cucumbers), but there are no green leaves of any kind.

The ingredients are seasoned with salt and oregano, then dressed with olive oil. The authentic Greek salad is often imagined as a farmer’s breakfast or lunch, as its ingredients resemble what a Greek farmer might have on hand. (Wikipedia)

The primary ingredients are cucumber and tomato. So, if you’d rather call this a Cucumber Tomato salad, who’s going to argue?

On to the Greek salad dressing

As stated above, the traditional dressing for Greek salad is very simple. I’m using a more “Americanized” type of dressing, while still keeping it simple.

The dressing is similar to what was used in my Mediterranean Chopped Salad. And, actually, one might consider this Greek Salad a stripped-down version of that one. Remove the chickpeas and lettuce and it’s close.

This dressing uses olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, and salt and pepper. Use fresh-squeezed lemon juice if you can; you’ll be rewarded with the best flavor.

The dressing is very light because it’s simply meant to complement the fresh veggie flavors. You should taste cucumbers and tomatoes, not Greek salad dressing.

How do you make this Greek Cucumber Salad?

First, prep the veggies. For this recipe, I like my English cucumbers in chunks, made by cutting the cuke in half lengthwise and then in fourths. Then from those pieces, cut ¼ to ½ inch pieces and place in a bowl. Use half the cucumber and save the rest for another salad. You should have about 2 cups of cucumber.

Halve the grape tomatoes, then add them to the bowl.

For the onions, I use one half of a medium red onion, or one fourth of a large. This is less than many other “American” versions of Greek salad, so if you like a lot of onion, go ahead! Use the whole thing! For me, I find myself leaving a lot of onion on the plate. So I just reduce on the front end. It’s enough to contribute to the flavor without being a main ingredient.

Veggies in bowl

Slice the onion very thin and add to the bowl.

(It really does look like Cucumber Tomato salad, right?)

What kind of feta is best in Greek salad?

I recommend soft fresh feta, purchased in a block and packaged in brine to preserve its freshness.

Traditional cheese

An authentic Greek salad would be served with a large slice of this cheese on top.

Greek Cucumber Salad

The “Americanized” version is to cube or crumble the feta.

In a pinch, you can use feta sold in packages of already crumbled cheese. However, be aware that this feta is significantly drier and less tasty than brine-preserved feta.

Make the dressing

Whisk lemon juice and olive oil together for a minute, then add spices.

Then add dressing to the salad and toss gently.

Ready to serve!

greek cucumber salad, cucumber tomato salad

If needed, this salad will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two. But I like it best when eaten right away.

Greek Salad pin, cucumber tomato salad

Greek Cucumber Salad is the perfect summer side!

Greek Cucumber Salad
Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Greek Cucumber Salad

As easy as a salad gets, perfect for summer!
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 4
Calories: 76kcal
Author: Sula

Ingredients

  • ½ English cucumber
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 2 oz feta cheese
  • ½ medium red onion sliced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 2 tsp olive oil extra-virgin
  • 1/8 tsp oregano dried
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cut cucumber lengthwise into quarters, then slice chunks of ¼ to ½ inch thick. Place in bowl.
  • Halve the grape tomatoes and add to bowl with cucumber.
  • Slice red onion, add to bowl.
  • In a small cup, whisk together lemon juice and olive oil, then add oregano and some salt and pepper.
  • Add dressing to the bowl and toss gently.
  • Cut or crumble feta cheese and add to bowl.
  • Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Toss and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 409IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

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33 thoughts on “Greek Cucumber Salad

  1. 5 stars
    I love cucumber salad. One of my favorite vegetable salad. Not familiar with greek cucumber salad but it is quite similar to a Middle Eastern arabic salad I tried in Jordan. I am sure it taste delicious

  2. 5 stars
    This looks really refreshing and light, especially for a hot summer’s day, which I’m told should be coming soon… Thanks for the healthy, veggie-based options, Sula!

  3. Oh yum this looks absolutely delicious need to give it a go- I am always looking for quick simple and delicious salad recipes.

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