15 Minute Greek Cucumber Salad
What’s not to adore about this 15 minute Greek cucumber salad with feta, olives, red onion and cherry tomatoes tossed with a simple homemade dressing? It’s the absolute best easy side dish for a hot summer day!
I originally shared this Greek Cucumber Salad on May 30th, 2014. I’ve updated the images, some of the text and added a video to share with you today. This post may contain affiliate links.
Table of contents
Why We Love This Recipe For Greek Cucumber Salad
This cucumber Greek salad made without lettuce is a refreshing and delicious side salad that is all about the raw fresh vegetables. It is made with crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, red onions, black olives and feta cheese, all tossed in a vinaigrette dressing. It can easily be scaled up for serving as a side dish at summer barbecues, picnics or any gathering, this Mediterranean recipe is a crowd pleaser.
Feta, along with the raw onion, is the prevailing flavor, so the dressing is more of a background flavor. To make the dressing just whisk red wine vinegar, really good olive oil and fresh oregano in the mixing bowl. Add in mustard to help it stay emulsified plus a bit of salt and pepper. Whisk everything well and toss it with the fresh veggies!
- I like to whisk together all the dressing ingredients right in the serving bowl for this easy cucumber salad. It saves a dish and makes it a quick recipe to prepare.
- Because fresh tomatoes and cucumbers naturally let off their juice as they sit, you do not need a ton of dressing to make this salad moist enough.
- This is close to a traditional Greek salad recipe, the no-lettuce variety. It’s all about chopped cucumbers and tomatoes.
Key Ingredients For This Cucumber Greek Salad
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Fresh Herbs: I use fresh herbs, basil and oregano in this chopped salad because it’s a summertime recipe and I always have herbs on hand. Plus I like the way fresh herbs taste. Parsley dill or mint would also be great. If you want to make this with dried herbs, use 3/4 teaspoon each of dried oregano and dried basil in the dressing. Dried oregano only (no basil) is a traditional seasoning for Greek salad.
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- Cucumbers: If you have regular cucumbers, you should peel them, but if you have European, English cucumbers or Lebanese cucumbers, you can leave them unpeeled. For this recipe, I prefer to use thinner-skinned varieties of cucumbers. I like to peel strips of skin off, to make them pretty.
- Red wine vinegar: you could use a squeeze of fresh lemon juice instead.
- Dijon mustard
- Cherry tomatoes: grape tomatoes are fine too. You could also make this with heirloom tomatoes.
- Olives: I used mixed olives. If you want to stay closer to an authentic Greek salad use Kalamata olives. Opt for pitted if desired.
- Red Onion: I love the assertive flavor of raw red onion, but if you would like it milder use green onions.
- Crumbed Feta: Goat feta, sheep feta or a blend will all work. Or use dairy-free feta if desired.
How to Prepare the Cucumber for This Greek Cucumber Tomato Salad
To remove the seeds of the cucumber, cut them in half from stem to end. Then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. This will make the cucumber salad less watery.
I like to cut the cucumbers into chunks instead of rounds or half moons. They are closer in size to the rest of the ingredients, and easier to eat than sliced cucumbers. I cut them into lengths, then crosswise into chunks about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick. (See the video for more detail.)
How to Make This Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe
To make the dressing just whisk red wine vinegar, high-quality extra virgin olive oil and fresh oregano in the mixing bowl. Add in mustard to help it stay emulsified plus a bit of salt and pepper. Whisk well!
Before serving and once the salad dressing is mixed in the large bowl, add in the chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, olives and feta. Toss well to coat with the dressing. Then sprinkle with the freshly chopped basil. Serve right away, as the cucumbers and tomatoes will start to weep and the salad will become watery.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Yes and no. In the United States, many recipes and restaurant Greek salads include lettuce. But traditional Greek salads do not have lettuce in them. Instead, they allow the cucumbers and tomatoes to stand in for the bulk of the salad. The ingredients are chopped and tossed together.
Greek cucumber salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. It is best to store the salad without the dressing and add it just before eating to prevent the cucumbers from getting soggy.
Can You Make Greek Cucumber Salad Ahead?
You can, but you need to keep these things in mind:
- You can make the dressing ahead and store it in a jar in the fridge for several days. If the oil solidifies, you’ll just need to bring it to room temperature or set your jar of dressing in a warm water bath to liquefy it before proceeding.
- You can chop the cucumbers ahead too. Just keep them separate from the dressing so they don’t start to weep. (If they get salt on them, they will start to let off their water.)
- If you don’t mind the smell of chopped onions in your fridge you can chop them ahead too. I’d recommend not stirring them together with the tomatoes or feta.
- Don’t chop the tomatoes ahead. Tomatoes shouldn’t be refrigerated, so wait to cut them until you’re ready to toss the salad.
- Add freshly cut basil at the end. If you chop it ahead the cuts will turn black and the taste of the basil will be less strong.
Variations to Try
- Try using different types of tomatoes such as Roma tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes. Or you could even swap out the tomato for another summertime star, watermelon, cut into chunks.
- Try adding other raw fresh vegetables such as green pepper, bell pepper or snap peas.
- Top it with grilled chicken, shrimp or fish to make it a complete meal.
- Skip making the dressing and use your favorite Greek salad dressing instead.
- Serve it rolled up in a lavash, spread with a little hummus to make it a main dish.
- Add whole Greek pepperoncini.
- Add canned artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers or hearts of palm.
More Recipes To Try
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Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Here’s a recipe for Greek Cucumber Salad made without lettuce. It’s loaded with crumbled feta, cherry tomatoes, olives and red onion and tossed with a simple homemade dressing. The best part is that it’s ready in only 15 minutes!
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 cups peeled, seeded and chopped cucumbers
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup mixed olives, pitted if desired
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 ounces crumbed feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Whisk oil, vinegar, oregano, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onion, and feta and stir to combine. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary. Top with basil.
Make-Ahead Instructions: To make this ahead, chop the veggies and do not toss them together. Keep the dressing separate and do not cut the tomatoes until just before serving. Toss just before serving.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: no cook
- Cuisine: Greek
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
- Calories: 159
- Sugar: 3 g
- Sodium: 306 mg
- Fat: 13 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 9 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 4 g
Keywords: greek salad,cucumber salad,healthy cucumber salad,low carb