Greek Salad Recipe (Traditional Horiatiki)

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Greek Salad Recipe (Horiatiki): Traditional Greek salad

Recipe by GreekFood
Course: SaladsCuisine: greekDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


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A Greek salad, traditionally known as Horiatiki salad, is a popular dish that embodies the simplicity and freshness of Mediterranean cuisine. This salad is notable for its bright colors, varied textures, and a balance of flavors ranging from the sweetness of tomatoes to the sharpness of onions and the creamy saltiness of feta cheese. The dressing is simple, usually just olive oil and oregano, allowing the natural flavors of the fresh ingredients to shine through. It’s often served as a side dish, starter, or even a light meal.


  • Ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges

  • Cucumber, sliced into thick half-moons

  • Red onion, thinly sliced

  • Green bell pepper, sliced

  • Kalamata olives

  • Feta cheese – cut into chunks or crumbled

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Red wine vinegar

  • Dried oregano

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Prepare the Vegetables: In a large bowl, combine the tomato wedges, cucumber slices, red onion slices, and green bell pepper slices.
  • Add Olives and Feta: Scatter Kalamata olives over the salad. Add the feta cheese on top, either in large chunks or crumbled.
  • Season: Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar. Sprinkle dried oregano over the top and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Toss and Serve: Gently toss the salad to combine the ingredients without breaking the feta cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe Video


  • Use Fresh Ingredients: The key to a great Greek salad lies in the freshness of its ingredients. Choose ripe, juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and fresh bell peppers.
  • Quality Olive Oil: A good quality extra virgin olive oil can significantly enhance the flavor of your Greek salad. Greek olive oil is preferable for authenticity.
  • Properly Ripened Tomatoes: The tomatoes should be ripe but firm to give the salad a juicy yet not mushy texture.
  • Balancing the Onion Flavor: If you find the flavor of raw onion too strong, you can soak the sliced onions in a bowl of cold water with a bit of vinegar for about 10 minutes before adding them to the salad. This process mellows their sharpness.
  • Feta Cheese: Traditional Greek salad uses a block of feta cheese that is added on top of the salad, not crumbled. This allows each person to take as much cheese as they like and keeps the cheese’s texture intact.
  • Seasoning: Don’t be shy with the oregano, and season your salad right before serving. This keeps the flavors fresh and vibrant.
  • Avoid Lettuce: Traditional Greek salads contain neither lettuce nor leafy greens. Stick to the classic vegetables.
  • Dressing Simply: The dressing should be simple – good quality olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper are all you need. There’s no need for complex dressings or additional herbs.
  • Serving Temperature: Serve the salad at room temperature to ensure that the flavors are at their best. Chilled vegetables can sometimes lose their flavor.
  • Additions and Variations: While the classic Greek salad is simple, you can always add capers or a sprinkle of fresh parsley for an extra zing, though these are not traditionally included.

What to serve with Greek salad?

A traditional Greek salad pairs wonderfully with various dishes with its fresh and vibrant flavors. Here are some suggestions on what to serve with it:

  1. Grilled Meats: Greek salad complements grilled meats like lamb, chicken, or pork beautifully. The refreshing taste of the salad balances the richness of the meat.
  2. Seafood: Consider serving it alongside grilled fish or shrimp. The lemony and herby flavors in the salad enhance the taste of seafood.
  3. Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmades): These are a classic Greek appetizer and pair nicely with the crisp freshness of the salad.
  4. Spanakopita (Spinach Pie): This savory Greek pastry made with spinach and feta cheese wrapped in phyllo dough is a delightful vegetarian option that goes well with the salad.
  5. Greek-style Roasted Potatoes: Seasoned with lemon, garlic, and herbs, these potatoes can be a hearty side that complements the lightness of the salad.
  6. Pita Bread and Hummus or Tzatziki: Serve the salad with warm pita bread and dips like hummus or tzatziki for a light and satisfying meal.
  7. Rice or Orzo Pilaf: A simple Greek-style rice or orzo pilaf can be a great accompaniment, primarily if you’re serving the salad as part of a larger meal.
  8. Moussaka: This rich, layered eggplant and ground meat casserole topped with béchamel sauce is a heartier option that pairs well with the freshness of the salad.
  9. Grilled Vegetables: For a lighter meal, serve with various grilled vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers.
  10. Wine: Don’t forget a nice bottle of Greek wine! A crisp white wine or a light red wine can be a perfect complement to this meal.

These options provide a balance of flavors and textures that can turn your Greek salad into a part of a delightful and satisfying meal.


Greek Salad, known in Greece as “Horiatiki,” is a colorful, vibrant dish that is much more than just a salad. It’s a reflection of the Mediterranean lifestyle, packed with fresh, wholesome ingredients. This introduction will dive into its origins and why it’s a beloved dish worldwide.

Ingredients of a Traditional Greek Salad

Discover the essential ingredients that make up a traditional Greek salad. From the juicy tomatoes to the crisp cucumbers and the creamy feta cheese, each component plays a crucial role. We’ll also explore optional additions that can elevate this classic dish.

Health Benefits

Greek salad isn’t just delicious; it’s incredibly healthy. We’ll look at the nutritional benefits of the ingredients and how this salad fits into various diets, including vegetarian and low-carb lifestyles.

Preparing the Salad

Get ready to prepare your own Greek salad with a detailed, step-by-step guide. Learn the secrets to making a salad that’s as authentic as it is delicious, along with tips to enhance flavor and presentation.

Variations of Greek Salad

Greek salad has many faces. We’ll explore regional variations from different parts of Greece and how modern chefs are putting their own twist on this classic dish.

Serving Suggestions

Learn the best ways to serve Greek salad, including what dishes it pairs well with and how to present it beautifully at your table.

Pairing with Wines and Beverages

A guide to selecting the perfect wine or beverage to complement the flavors of Greek salad, with recommendations for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.

Storing and Leftovers

Find out how to store Greek salad to maintain its freshness and what to do with leftovers.

Greek Salad in Greek Culture

Explore the cultural significance of Greek salad in Greece, including its role in celebrations and everyday life.

Comparing Greek Salad with Other Salads

See how Greek salad stands out from other popular salads, highlighting its unique characteristics and flavors.

Delve into how Greek salad has been portrayed in movies, books, and social media, reflecting its popularity and cultural impact.

FAQs and Misconceptions

Address common questions and misconceptions about Greek salad, providing accurate and informative answers.

Cost-Effective Shopping for Ingredients

Tips on how to shop for Greek salad ingredients without breaking the bank, including a list of essential items to look for.

Environmental Impact of Ingredients

Discuss the sustainability of the ingredients used in Greek salad and how to make eco-friendly choices.

FAQs About Greek Salad

  1. Can Greek salad be made vegan? How to modify the classic recipe to fit a vegan diet.
  2. Is Greek salad suitable for a low-carb diet? Analyzing the carb content and suitability for low-carb eaters.
  3. What are the best olives to use in a Greek salad? A guide to choosing the right type of olives for authenticity and taste.
  4. Can Greek salad be a complete meal? Discussing how to turn Greek salad into a filling and balanced meal.
  5. How long does Greek salad last in the fridge? Storage tips and shelf life information for maintaining freshness.