This easy Greek salad takes 15 minutes to make and is dressed in a simple, authentic red wine vinegar dressing and packed with Mediterranean flavor! Cucumbers, tomato, feta cheese, kalamata olives, bell pepper, and red onion are the stars in this yummy side dish that’s super easy to prep ahead of time.
Having a go-to salad recipe for any occasion is a must for any home cook. This Greek Salad recipe is mine, and I’m so excited to finally share it!
What makes a Greek salad “authentic?’
People may argue about what “authentic” means when it comes to Greek salads. Lettuce or no lettuce, bell peppers or no bell peppers, crumbled feta or a big ol’ hunk placed on top, etc.
Here’s how I feel- lettuce, if you use it, should not be the star of the show, and the dressing should be unapologetically vinegary and simple.
I used romaine lettuce here (only about 2 cups), and thinly sliced so it wouldn’t overpower the other delicious ingredients. The salad is loaded with salty feta and briny kalamata olives, as it should be. I prefer the feta crumbled so it coats every bite.
And the dressing is just a little drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of red wine vinegar, and some salt and pepper added right on top of the salad- without any need to mix in a separate bowl!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Romaine lettuce- you can use another crisp, crunchy lettuce such as iceberg, or omit it if you feel strongly that Greek salads should not have lettuce :-)
- Tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumbers, and red onion – if you’re going to omit one of these, leave out the bell pepper. The rest are essential.
- Kalamata olives – you can use another kind of olive in a pinch. I like mine pitted and halved, but you can just throw whole olives in there if you like.
- Feta cheese – only omit this if you are trying to make this salad paleo/whole30. For a dairy free option, try a vegan substitute.
- Red wine vinegar – this is the best choice. If you’re sensitive to the acidity of vinegar, you can try using less, or substitute with a less acidic vinegar (such as cider or balsamic) or lemon juice.
- Extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper
How to make Greek Salad
It’s easy- just add romaine lettuce, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, and crumbled feta cheese to a large bowl.
Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and toss to mix together! That’s it!
Tips and tricks
- Slice the red onion very, very thinly. You don’t want it to be overpowering. If you’re sensitive to red onion, you can macerate the sliced onion (mix it with the red wine vinegar and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before adding both on top of the salad), or you can use pickled red onions instead (which have less of a bite).
- If you’re making ahead of time, don’t add the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper until just before serving. You can prep all the other ingredients and place in a large bowl and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving, but storing dressed will result in soggy salad. And on that note, leftovers of this salad aren’t good, so eat it all up right away!
What to serve with Greek Salad
- Greek Chicken Bites
- Lemon, Garlic, and Rosemary Roast Chicken
- Seared Steak with Brown Butter Sauce
- Pan-Fried Sea Bass
- Greek Spaghetti
I also love stuffing Greek salad in a pita pocket for lunch. Sometimes I’ll swap the crumbled feta for some big slices, or I’ll add another protein like chicken or turkey.
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- 2-3 cups chopped romaine lettuce (about 1 heart)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted and halved
- 1 cucumber halved, seeded, and sliced (peeled if you prefer)
- 1 bell pepper diced (any color)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (about 1/2 of a small onion)
- 6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar see notes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Add the chopped romaine lettuce (2-3 cups), halved cherry tomatoes (1 pint), kalamata olives (1/2 cup), sliced cucumber, diced bell pepper, sliced red onion (1/4 cup), and crumbled feta cheese (6 oz.) to a large bowl. (If preparing ahead of time, stop here and refrigerate).
- Just before serving, sprinkle the top of the salad with the kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon) and the black pepper (1/2 teaspoon), and drizzle with the olive oil (2 tablespoons) and red wine vinegar (1 tablespoon).
- Mix the salad together until everything is coated and serve.
- If you’re sensitive to the acidity of vinegar, try 1/2 tablespoon or 2 teaspoons instead of a whole tablespoon. You can also make a separate dressing mixed with a little honey or sugar to temper the acidity, or use this method with a typically less acidic vinegar, like balsamic or cider vinegar, or with lemon juice.
- For a dairy free version, omit the feta or replace it with a vegan substitute. Omit the feta to make this salad paleo/whole30 compliant.
- To make ahead of time, you can prep the ingredients and assemble them in a bowl up to 24 hours in advance. Add the salt, pepper, oil, and vinegar just before serving, otherwise it will become quite soggy.
- Salad Tongs