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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4.86 from 107 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. 5 stars
    Love it, it is very fresh and satisfying. Sometimes I make this and the bread a meal on its own. I never get tired of it.

    1. Hi, Jobeth. I'm so sorry you're having issues viewing our videos. Unfortunately, some web browsers block pop ups which, for some reason, also blocks instructional videos. You may need to adjust your browser settings, or try a different browser on your end in order to see them.

  2. 5 stars
    At Last!! Someone who knows that authentic Greek salad has NO leafy greens. And the salads are just wonderful. I never saw lettuce in Greece.

  3. 5 stars
    Hello from New Zealand.
    Accidently found you last week and lordy lordy your recipes have the finishing touches mine always lacked. If I ever get to N.Y. (doubtful) will definitely say hi.

  4. 5 stars
    Same salad we always got in Germany and Greece, minus the bell peppers. Was interested in the spice. I have tried rosemary, basil, and a mixed Italian herbs, would never have guessed oregano. Try rice wine vinegar sometime works really well

  5. Suzy, you're the best -- as authentic as they come! So, so appreciate your natural "feel" with the above guidance.

    I arrived back from spending 10 days on Corfu ['22-09-06 to '22-09-16] and REALLY STRUGGLED to come back to London after being utterly "sensoratised" in the Greek way. The "Greek Salad" was on my mind when I landed as, frankly, I fully believe that eating this on a regular basis does such wonders to every part of one's being. An, erm, not forgetting all the other fish dishes, mousaka, etc.

    I can go on... x

    Keep up the excellent work!

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious! Thank you for a healthy, fresh and satisfying salad. I served it with black eyed peas and Brussels sprouts, and of course the star of the show was this salad! I will definitely make it again.

    1. My husband and I went to Greece last year. Ever since then I’ve been craving the Greek salad I had there but any Mediterranean places I’ve tried back here in the states has been awful. I resigned myself to never having such a salad again. I decided to give it a whirl myself after finding this recipe and it’s truly wonderful. It’s the closest thing I’ve had to the wonderful dishes I had in Greece. I’ve made it twice already and have been eating it nonstop. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    I saw the Sodium content listed as 2.8 mg. It is definitely a lot higher than that with the feta kalamata olives Great recipe I include Peperoncini on the side too

  8. 5 stars
    This was a huge hit with my family. I will definitely keep this on the short list. I love the comment about adding tuna. Think Ill do that tonight with the left overs.

  9. 5 stars
    Yum! thanks for sharing this recipe. A family favorite and so easy for potlucks! Definitely agree with no lettuce-type fillers. We like yellow or red peppers for the sweeter taste and sub freshly squeezed lemon juice for vinegar. No sense in wasting the rest of the lemon, so add lemon zest (and even some pulp) as seasoning with the dried oregano and fresh ground pepper.

  10. One of the better Greek Salad recipes online, I try not to get too involved in weights & try for equal volumes of each staple salad ingredient maybe a little less Feta & onion than the other elements. I have also mixed the dressing first & thrown in the fine chopped onions to soak for 20-30mins; takes the edge off & slightly softens. As another points out a little of the Kalamata Olive Preserve works well for me (just a tsp or 2). I love this with my Lamb Moussaka the acidity cuts through the greasy richness like a treat (a little like mint sauce on roast lamb), whilst the crunch provides the perfect contrast. Yamas!

  11. I am allergic to bell pepper of any color. I'd like to make the Traditional Greek Salad you give the recipe for which looks so delicious and fresh. I was just wondering if you could suggest something else to use in the salad in place of the sliced bell pepper?

    1. Hi, Dixie. The peppers are a pretty essential ingredient in this Greek Salad. You could omit them and instead use lettuce for crunch, but it would be a bit of a different salad. Still good, just not as traditional.

    2. Not all places use bell pepper or even the olives. Where my family is from the olives are usually on the side and bell peppers aren't usually included. Honestly, this salad varies between villages/regions.

  12. 5 stars
    I use the brine from the kalamata olives in the salad. No salt is necessary. I also use lots of dried oregano, a pint of halved grape tomatoes, lemon-infused EVOO. I use lots of oil and brine so there’s always lots of liquids for dunking.

    1. PS. I cut all the vegetables into chunks of approximately the same size so everything fits on a soup spoon, which is how I like to eat it. The feta can be cut the same size as the veggies so it can also be scooped up onto the spoon, as well as the juices. It may not be how the Greeks do it, but in my house it’s how l do it!