Greek salad is the perfect keto-friendly vegetarian dish for keeping your cool in the heat of summer. Juicy tomatoes, cooling cucumbers, refreshing mint and dill are dressed with glistening olive oil and lemon juice and topped with briny feta cheese and olives.
Total carbs 9g, net carbs 7g
This popular, refreshing salad was served everywhere and everyday when I visited Athens and the Greek islands. It is prepared with ripe, fresh ingredients and I never got tired of eating it.
It’s that time of year when tomatoes and cucumbers are at their best so no need to fuss with them too much. I love making this salad big and chunky, dressing it with nothing but herbs, lemon and olive oil, and serving it atop creamy hummus with pita. This is a great vegetarian meal for when it’s too damn hot to turn on the stove and really the only thing missing is an adult beverage.– Louise Leonard @worldofweezy
Ingredients you’ll need
It seems to me that the best 🇬🇷 Greek salads are simply dressed fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.
I like to partially peel the cucumbers then cut them into bite-sized slices so that they are easier to eat, but still have a nice green color from the skin.
I used cherry tomatoes because that was what was freshest. If you happen to have ripe and juicy tomatoes of another variety, by all means use those. Cut them up into bite-sized chunks.
If you do use cherry tomatoes you can keep them whole, or do what I like to do which is to cut them in halves and quarters so that they don’t roll around and away from my fork. They also look pretty as they glisten when they catch the light.
Just a thin slice will do for savory flavor. You can use yellow onion if red onion is not available. Spring onions are also fine.
Use the best feta cheese you can get. If possible get the slab of feta packed in brine. Look at the expiration date and be sure to use it while it is still fresh.
Use decent quality olives. I get the ones in oil from the olive bar at the supermarket. Black or green olives work just fine.
Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
Use the best quality, fresh, extra virgin olive oil that you can get. Cold-pressed is of higher quality for salads than machine-pressed. Don’t use stale oil. This will ruin your salad. If you have an opened bottle of olive oil that’s been sitting out for months, don’t use this oil. Taste the oil first if you are unsure. If it tastes bad, that means it is stale. Throw it out. Your salad is better off without stale olive oil.
Use fresh lemon juice for the dressing. If you prefer, or a fresh lemon is simply not available, you can use red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice.
Greek salad dressing
This version of Greek salad dressing is simply lemon juice, olive oil, fresh mint, fresh dill and cracked black pepper. I left out salt as the olives and feta cheese are quite salty already. Feel free to substitute dill and mint with parsley and oregano if that is your preference.
This salad is a meal in itself. To make it a main dish, serve this salad with a schmear of hummus and grilled whole grain pita wedges (to soak up the juicy dressing, of course). This is a complete vegetarian meal. Add 10g carbs for a 1/4 of a whole wheat pita (large pita 6-1/2” diameter). Add 6g carbs for 2 tablespoons hummus. Total carbs 24g, net carbs 20g.
Greek salad also pairs well with other dishes. Try it with:
Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie).
Moussaka (A Greek casserole of eggplant and potatoes baked with minced meat, tomato sauce, and creamy béchamel sauce). Try our low-carb version without potatoes.
Roasted or grilled meats like lamb, beef, pork and chicken.
Roasted, grilled or fried fish and seafood.
You can make this salad ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days, as long as you don’t add leafy greens.
Frequently Asked Questions
What we call Greek salad is called horiatiki, or village salad, in Greece. The basic recipe is made of chunks of ripe tomatoes, cucumbers and sliced onions, then dressed with oil and vinegar or lemon juice and topped with a hunk of feta cheese, garnished with olives and sprinkled with herbs like dill, mint, parsley or oregano and eaten with pita bread to sop up the dressing and juices.
No, but you can add lettuce if that’s your jam. A cup of lettuce only has 1 gram of carbs.
Olive oil and vinegar (usually red wine vinegar) or lemon juice.
This plating of Greek salad (with hummus and pita wedges) was inspired by my food styling teacher, the fabulous and talented, Louise Leonard. I can only aspire to make food look half as mouthwateringly good as she can. Follow her on Instagram @worldofweezy and checkout her 🇬🇷 PEAK GREEK SALAD PLATTER 🇬🇷 post from JULY 27, 2020.Print
Greek salad is the perfect keto-friendly vegetarian dish for keeping your cool in the heat of summer. This simple dish makes the best of fresh Summer produce. Juicy, sun-ripened tomatoes, crisp, cooling cucumbers and refresh herbs like mint and dill are dressed with glistening olive oil and lemon juice and topped with briny feta cheese and olives.
1/2 cup cucumber slices
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved and quartered
1 slice red onion
2 ounces of feta cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice (you can also use red wine vinegar)
1 sprig fresh dill
1 sprig fresh mint
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Arrange cucumbers, tomatoes, slivers of red onion, and olives on a salad plate.
Top with feta cheese. You can choose to break up the cheese with your fingers into bite-sized pieces or just plate it as a slab. Either way is fine.
Dress with olive oil & lemon juice. Garnish with pieces of dill and mint leaves. Season with freshly cracked black pepper.
Note: I left the salt out of this recipe as the olives and feta cheese are quite salty already.
Note: Feel free to toss in any herbs that you like and have on hand. Parsley and oregano are really great in Greek salad.
Substitutions: If you prefer, or a fresh lemon is simply not available, you can use red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice.
- Category: salad
- Method: prep
- Cuisine: Greek