Make an authentic Greek salad, or Horiatiki, with this easy Greek salad recipe. Just a handful of fresh ingredients and a no-fuss dressing of good olive oil and a splash of vinegar is all you need!

close up of a Greek salad on a blue serving platter.
Photo Credits: Mariam Hamdy

I was lucky enough to visit the Greek islands of Patmos and Kos a few years ago, where I fell in love with the people, their local shops and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. In one of the small family-owned restaurants we visited, I enjoyed a fresh salad that opened my eyes to what a truly traditional and uncomplicated Greek salad should be! And, that's exactly what I have recreated for you.

This Greek salad recipe is a prime example of a simple salad that lets crunchy vegetables shine with no lettuce or other filler. Like Bulgarian Shopska or Italian Caprese, the classic table salad uses just a few humble ingredients, yet has become a totally iconic dish that’s beloved around the world. 

In Greece, Horiatiki or Greek village salad, is served most often from early spring through summer and up until mid fall. It's truly the best use of the season's produce, like crunchy cucumbers, sweet tomatoes, and earthy green bell peppers. I know you’ll love it as much as I do.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients for this Greek Salad (Horiatiki)
  2. How to Make Greek Salad
  3. What to Serve with Greek Salad
  4. More Greek Recipes 
  5. Greek Salad (Traditional Horiatiki Recipe) Recipe
Ingredients for Greek salad including cucumbers, tomatoes, green pepper, feta cheese, red onion, kalamata olives, salt, oregano, olive oil, and red wine vinegar.

Ingredients for this Greek Salad (Horiatiki)

This Greek salad recipe uses just a handful of easy-to-source ingredients. To make it, grab:

  • Tomatoes: Use Roma tomatoes or vine-ripe tomatoes. They stay somewhat firm when they’re ripe, which works well with the crunchy bell pepper and onion. 
  • Cucumber: I prefer English cucumbers as they tend to be sweeter. If standard slicing cucumbers are all that’s available, make sure to fully peel their bitter waxy skin.
  • Onion: Red onion is sweet and mild enough serve raw. To further take the edge off, a quick soak in ice water and a dash of vinegar does the trick. 
  • Olives: Briny Kalamata olives are my favorite for a traditional Greek salad, but any high-quality olive you have on hand will work. 
  • Bell pepper: Choose a firm and smooth green bell pepper, which is the only bell pepper that’s used in an authentic Greek salad. 
  • Feta cheese: Use quality Greek sheep’s milk feta if it’s available to you. Opt for whole blocks of feta packed in brine, as it not only boasts a better flavor but allows you to serve the large chunks of feta that act as the centerpiece of a traditional Greek salad. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Use a full-flavor Greek olive oil, like our Private Reserve from Kyparissia.
  • Red wine vinegar: Adds a dash of acidity to make an easy vinaigrette with no whisking necessary. 
  • Seasoning: This salad is seasoned simply with a sprinkle of kosher salt and dried oregano.
A serving of Greek salad one a white plate with a fork, with another in the background.

How to Make Greek Salad

This Greek salad recipe couldn’t be easier to make. Simply grab a serving bowl and get started:

  • Shock the onion (optional). Halve and thinly slice one red onion into half moons. If you’d like to mellow its raw taste, fill a small bowl with ice water. Add about 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar to the water, then add the onion slices. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes or so while you prep the veggies.
  • Prep the veggies. Slice 4 medium tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Partially peel a cucumber into a stripe pattern, then slice into half moons. Slice 1 green bell pepper into rings. sliced green pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions on a wooden cutting board.
  • Season. Place all the veggies in a large serving dish, along with a handful of pitted Kalamata olives. Remove the onions from the ice water and add to the platter with the rest of the veggies. Sprinkle on 1 ½ teaspoons of dried oregano and a pinch of kosher salt. Overhead photo of a Greek salad on a blue serving platter before the blocks of feta cheese has been added.
  • Dress. Pour in ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil and 1-2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Give everything a very gentle toss. 
  • Finish and serve. Break off or slice large pieces of feta and add to the top of the salad. Finish with a final sprinkle of ¼ tablespoon of oregano. Enjoy!
close up overhead photo of a Greek salad on a blue serving platter.

What to Serve with Greek Salad

This simple Greek salad recipe is popular, in part, because it’s so versatile: you can serve it as a first course or side dish to just about any entree

That said, why not keep it in the family and go Greek? Try chicken gyros, chicken or pork souvlaki, whole roasted fish, or Kleftiko, a spiced lamb cooked in parchment paper. For a satisfying vegetarian dinner, serve with Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans).

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4.84 from 100 votes

Greek Salad (Traditional Horiatiki Recipe)

Suzy Karadsheh
Greek salad web story poster image.
This simple Greek salad recipe, or Horiatiki, keeps things traditional. No need to fuss with a dressing, just toss ripe tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, onion, olives with good olive oil and red wine vinegar, top with tangy feta cheese, and you’re all set! Serve as a quick and easy first course or side salad.
Prep – 15 minutes
Total – 15 minutes
Cuisine:
Greek
Serves – 6 people
Course:
Salad

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 4 medium juicy tomatoes, sliced into bite-sized pieces or wedges
  • 1 English cucumber, partially peeled to make a striped pattern and sliced into half moons
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced into rings
  • 1 handful pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 (7 ounce) block Greek feta cheese in brine, torn into slabs

Instructions
 

  • Shock the onion (optional). If you’d like to mellow the onion’s raw taste, fill a small bowl with ice water. Add about 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar to the water, then add the sliced onion. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes or so.
  • Combine the veggies. Place the tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, and olives in a large serving dish. Remove the onions from the water and add to the dish with the rest of the vegetables.
  • Season. Sprinkle the vegetables with ¾ teaspoon of oregano and a pinch of kosher salt. Add the oil and vinegar (to your liking) then give everything a gentle toss.
  • Finish and serve. Top the salad with slabs of feta and sprinkle with the remaining ¾ teaspoon of oregano and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Leftovers? Cover and refrigerate them for up to 2 days. 
  • For a punchier lemon and garlic flavor, try this salad with another classic Greek Salad dressing: Ladolemono.
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 102.9kcalCarbohydrates: 4.7gProtein: 0.7gFat: 9.5gSaturated Fat: 1.3gSodium: 2.8mgPotassium: 135mgFiber: 1.1gVitamin A: 125.9IUVitamin C: 18.7mgCalcium: 20.9mgIron: 0.5mg
Tried this recipe?

*This post appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2019 and has been recently updated with new information and media for readers benefit.

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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. Nothing beats the traditional and original Greek Salad. I had the taste of this awesome flavor at El Greco. A friend and I dine-in there through their special dine-in offer. The experience and taste was unbelievable. Their Greek Salad is a big thumbs up to me.

  2. 5 stars
    This is my favorite salad. When I bring it to barbecues people always ask for the recipe. You are the best Suzie!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this salad for a Greek friend, actually, and served it for lunch with your wonderful homemade pita bread recipe! She was so pleased with the salad and said it was very similar to what her mom makes. Big THANK YOU for such a wonderful and simple recipe.

  4. People will do themselves a favor buying superb heirloom tomatoes instead of fake ones. To my astonishment Trader Joe's sells a 2 pound clamshell for $5 and they've been excellent every time I got them. Also, only "English" cucumbers will do or Persian small ones. It's salads like this for which I use my remaining artisan olive oil bought on a French farmer's market in Provence. I had hope to go back to buy more alas Americans are not welcome coming from the world's center of infection.

  5. 3 stars
    I have been to Greece many time and to many different places and never, ever have I been served green peppers in it or any other vegetable apart from, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes and olives. I can´t imagine how awful it would taste with peppers in it. It should also be made fresh, not hours in advance. It is supposed to taste fresh, crisp and vibrant and also try and use fresh oregano. Basil! What!?

    1. 5 stars
      I don't know which parts of Greece you claim to have been to, Derrick! I just happened to stop by to leave my review of this AMAZING Greek salad recipe. And by the way, I have Greek roots and have traveled to Greece on a yearly basis. This Greek salad is as close to traditional as you would get here in the states. And yes, we use green bell peppers all the time. There may be variations of this recipe because it largely depends on what is available. But by gosh, this recipe is EXCEPTIONAL and the real deal.

  6. 5 stars
    I traveled a lot in Greece when I was younger (1970s). In the Cyclades, you can find many varieties of the Greek salad but my favourite of all omitted the peppers and had fresh basil leaves on top. The olive oil smelled like freshly mown grass and there was always plenty of bread to mop up the plate at the end. I stayed once in a tiny little pension on the back island of Schinoussa. Our host got most of the ingredients from her garden. She had pots of basil everywhere and the smell of sun-warmed tomatoes straight off the vine was heavenly. She preferred to use dry-cured olives which added a bit of intensity and home-dried oregano.

  7. 5 stars
    This is a perfect potluck dish. Everyone always raves, and it can sit at room temp for so much longer than some salads!

  8. 5 stars
    Great recipe with perfect ratios of veggies and dressing. Made it a couple hours ahead and all the flavours mixed really well. I used to use different colours peppers but I do like it like this with just green ones - I might just do this from now on. Also soaked the onions in water for a bit before adding to remove the harsh bite - the ones we have are quite strong and not mellow like the ones in Greece (which are soo tasty!).

  9. 5 stars
    Honestly the BEST Greek salad recipe by far!!! I went to Greece on vacation last year and had the most authentic Greek salads, this is right up there with the best of the best! And it's homemade!!! I have made it a million times already and it never gets old(: Also, the sheep's milk/block feta and Greek olive oil are GAME CHANGING decisions that you cannot go wrong with!

    Quick nutrition question, does the info you provided for nutrition account for the feta cheese?

    1. So glad to hear it! We love this salad so much over here. Yes, it takes into account the use of feta cheese (a generous portion between 3 to 4 oz in total)

  10. The absolute best Greek salad I’ve ever made!! Does the nutrition info include the feta and dressing?

    1. So glad! Yes, the nutrition info accounts for all the ingredients in the recipe. It's a best estimate, of course, so allow a bit of a margin.

  11. 5 stars
    Added Skyr yoghurt to the Greek salad and I was amazed at the increase in energy levels and mental alertness!

  12. 5 stars
    We've been eating Greek salads at least twice a week for a few years since coming back from a visit to Greece. Your recipe is spot-on. Excellent admonition about block vs. crumbled feta. Good job.

  13. 5 stars
    This is my favorite salad to order at my best lunch restaurant. BUT NOW I can make it at home. These flavors are even better than my lunch restaurant. Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  14. I love how fresh and colorful this salad is! The combination of cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta sounds totally perfect, especially with the fresh vinaigrette.

  15. 5 stars
    Fabulous colors and just the perfect salad recipe to make this time of the year. Healthy and delicious - just what I have been looking for!

  16. 5 stars
    I looooove Greek salads and this recipe is by far my favorite! Thanks so much for sharing it!