An all-star Mediterranean salad recipe that is quick and refreshing featuring three simple key ingredients: cucumbers, tomatoes, and parsley in a light lemony dressing!

3-Ingredient Mediterranean Salad | The Mediterranean Dish. A quick, refreshing and delicious Mediterranean salad with fresh herbs and a light dressing of fresh lemon juice and olive oil. The best! See it on TheMediterraneanDish.com

Mediterranean cucumber and tomato salad

Where I grew up, we call this simple Mediterranean salad recipe, Salata! It is an everyday salad made typically of three key ingredients: tomatoes, cucumbers, and parsley and seasoned simply with kosher salt, although I like to add sumac for a little tang and depth. The traditional Mediterranean salad dressing here is basically lemon juice (or lime juice) and a splash of good extra virgin olive oil.

This basic salad is also referred to as cucumber and tomato salad, and it is as traditional as they come--very representative of the regions agricultural roots. And it is the one from which other Mediterranean salads like fattoush, tabouli; or this Israeli couscous salad, derive inspiration.

How to make Mediterranean salad

This is one of the simplest cucumber and tomato salads you'll make. Here is how it goes:

  • Prepare the tomatoes, cucumber, and parsley. Dice 6 Roma tomatoes and one large English cucumbers into small cubes or pieces. Chop a good bunch of parsley, about ¾ or so. I like to use some of the stem which imparts great flavor. Combine everything in one large mixing bowl.
  • Add kosher salt. Season the salad with a good pinch of kosher salt and let it sit for about 5 minutes before adding the rest.
  • Add the dressing. The traditional Mediterranean salad dressing here is a good drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil and a splash and juice of one lemon or at least 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. I like adding a good dash of sumac for depth and tang.
Mediterranean salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and parsley in a bowl

Tips for best results

This humble salad is truly more than the sum of its parts. Keep these tips in mind for best results:

  • Use the best produce you can find. Choose ripe tomatoes that fragrant, firm but have some give when you squeeze them. Use English cucumber, also known as hothouse cucumber, they are the longer cukes that you see in the grocery store wrapped tightly in plastic. English cucumbers are slightly sweeter, have thinner skin, and contain smaller, less noticeable seeds. You don't have to peel the cucumbers here. For the parsley, I like to use the Italian flat leaf parsley which is more flavorful.
  • Use a quality robots extra virgin olive oil. I like to use a bolder extra virgin olive oil that is robost and has a bit of a peppery finish to enhance the natural flavors of my tomatoes and cucumbers. For this salad, try this bold Greek Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil or this Spanish Hojiblanca extra virgin olive oil, which is fruity with medium intensity and notes of tomato and freshly cut grass.

Variations and ways to turn this salad into a little meal!

This basic Mediterranean salad has several variations throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and you can change it up to your liking. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add chopped onions such as red onions, shallots, or green onions.
  • Add chickpeas or another bean of choice such as white beans or kidney beans. The beans will add some good plant-based proteins to turn this salad into a small meal without effort. Here is how to cook chickpeas from scratch, but you can also use canned beans, just be sure to rinse and drain them well before adding to your salad.
  • Use more fresh herbs! In addition to parsley, you can add some chopped fresh mint leaves or dill.
  • Toss in some feta cheese! Like I do with Greek salad and this herby tomato salad, I do sometimes add small pieces of feta cheese to this salad.
  • Make one cup of cooked couscous and toss it in this salad for a simple lunch. You'll want to adjust seasoning and olive oil.

Other Recipes to Try:

Middle Eastern Balela Salad

Greek Green Bean Salad

How to Make Traditional Creamy Hummus

Lebanese-Style Cinnamon Meatballs

One Pan Greek Chicken and Potatoes

This salad is featured in our 50+ Top Mediterranean diet recipes. You may also like Must-Try Fresh Tomato Recipes.

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4.87 from 69 votes

3-Ingredient Mediterranean Salad

Suzy Karadsheh
Easy all-star Mediterranean salad with three star ingredients: tomatoes, cucumbers, and parsley, seasoned simply and dressed in extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice! You'll love this everyday cucumber and tomato salad next to your favorite Mediterranean entrees. You can change it up by adding feta cheese, chickpeas, or even a cup of cooked couscous to turn it into a meal!
Prep – 10 mins
Cook – 0 mins
Total – 10 mins
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Serves – 6 people (up to)
Course:
Salad

Ingredients
  

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, diced (about 3 cups diced tomatoes)
  • 1 Large English cucumber, or hot-house cucumber, diced
  • ½ to ¾ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground Sumac
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, try a robust like Greek Early Harvest or Hojiblanca Spanish EVOO
  • 2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, place the diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and parsley. Season with kosher salt and toss. Set aside for 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the sumac, olive oil, and lemon juice. Give the salad a gentle toss. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • For best flavor, set the salad aside for a few minutes before serving. This will give the flavors time to meld. 
  • Visit Our Shop for quality Mediterranean ingredients, including extra virgin olive oil, spices and more! 

Nutrition

Calories: 62.5kcalCarbohydrates: 4.8gProtein: 1gFat: 4.9gSaturated Fat: 0.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 3.4gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 252.1mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 2.6gVitamin A: 991.2IUVitamin C: 17.2mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 0.7mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. This recipe sounds like my favorite thing ever! However, my husband is Mexican and I was raised in the South. Now we both live in South Alabama and while I rarely ever fry anything because ... no, we still eat pretty heavy foods. He would eat eggs at every meal, and the meat he likes most is chorizo. It's gross to me with a LOT of grease. We have a son who is seven and he has a very bland sense of taste. He doesn't like anything sharp, zesty or spicy. So... how can I make this work with these two who can't just love vegetables and lightness? Oh! And we need this for health benefits as well. I have issues with my BP occasionally and he has Gout.

    1. Hi, Beth. That is a toughy! Not knowing your family personally, it's a bit hard to give advice here. Have you ever thought of meeting together with a nutritionist or dietitian? Someone who can take a close look at your specific health needs and lifestyle and help you all formulate a personalized plan? That would be a good place to start. One bit of advice from us here at the Mediterranean Dish would be to start slow. Maybe, incorporated one meatless dinner in your rotation per week, or something of that nature. Family members tend to be a bit more receptive to change this way.