Our healthy Greek salad recipe is simple, healthy, and takes less than 15 minutes to make.
What Is Greek Salad?
Known natively as “horiatiki salad”, Greek salad is a popular dish in Greek cuisine. Originally, it consisted of tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, and olives, dressed in a simple salt, pepper, and olive oil dressing.
The dish was first imagined as a farmer’s meal, because it uses the most basic plentiful ingredients.
Since cuisines often cross, you’ll probably see a few variations of Greek salad. Most of them may include lettuce, but interestingly, it’s not called for in the original recipe.
Our greek salad recipe is among one of those variations, with lettuce, tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, and vinaigrette dressing.
Calories in Greek Salad
Many Greek salad recipes yield a lot of calories per serving.
The reason being their versions have lots of calorie-packed components like olive oil, feta cheese, or even avocado.
It’s delicious if done this way, but you can end up adding lots of unwanted calories to your daily count.
Our version of Greek salad, after some adjustments, works out at 176 calories per serving. We go easy on the olive oil when mixing the dressing, as well as the feta cheese crumbles.
Avocado is also off the table, but if you feel like you’re not getting enough calories, feel free to add some. It’s a great source of good fat.
The salad alone can go with lots of calorie-packed main dishes. If you’re unsure what dish to have with Greek salad, we have a few recipes you might like further down.
Is Greek Salad Healthy?
When it comes to our site, healthy eating is all about eating the right stuff, at the right amount.
Our Greek salad has lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, olives, feta cheese, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. There’s NO processed carbs or trans fat, and the salad overall is low GI— it doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes.
And as we mentioned earlier, this Greek salad yields around 176 calories, 3g saturated fat, and 279mg sodium per serving. Satisfying all criteria from our guidelines, it makes a great side that’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
For similar healthy salads, we have a creamy Waldorf chicken salad packed with protein and good fats. If you fancy shrimp and avocado, check out our healthy shrimp salad.
Choosing Greek Salad Ingredients
Besides seasoning and presentation, choosing fresh, appropriate produce is what makes or breaks a perfect dish.
Feta is a traditional choice. It comes in blocks, firm to the touch, but gives a creamy mouthfeel as you bite into it.
If you’re watching your waistline, cottage cheese is a perfect substitute. It’s not as creamy, but is packed with more proteins instead of fat and hence, has less calories.
All tomatoes may taste similar, but when it comes to presentation, cherry tomatoes sure know how to impress.
You can pick any kind of tomato, but in this recipe, we’re using cherry tomatoes for the good pics.
We don’t get the hate over iceberg lettuce (they say it’s nothing but water). Its texture might not feel wholly right in salads, including ours, but there is a place for it— rolls, tacos, etc.
Romaine is an interesting choice of lettuce for those of you wanting crisp salads. It’s not watery like iceberg, but is also crisp and has a defined texture.
The one we used for this recipe is butterhead. It’s tender and gives a sort of creamy mouthfeel even though there isn’t any fat.
There are black and green olives, which are the same kind but differ in the harvest age. The black ones are mature fruits, hence fattier and less bitter.
Of course, we’re using canned black olives. They are available almost everywhere and wee feel that the green ones are better for other dishes.
Dressing for Greek Salad
Greek salad, the original version, uses only salt, black pepper, and olive oil for its dressing. We thought it’s not as flavorful as it could be, so we added red wine vinegar.
How to Make Greek Salad Dressing
Vinegar and olive oil don’t mix together, no matter how intensely you whisk them. So there’s no need to mix your dressing in a bowl.
Simply toss the veg in vinegar and oil, then as you finish plating, sprinkle pepper on top.
How to Make Greek Salad
Step 1: Prep
Chop your ingredients into small, bite-sized pieces. Cut feta into small cubes.
Step 2: Mix
In a large bowl, toss the veg, olives and tomatoes with red wine vinegar and olive oil.
Step 3: Plate
Plate the salads and put feta cheese on top.
Step 4: Add pepper
Sprinkle with pepper and serve.
How Long Does Greek Salad Last?
Just like any salad, Greek salad won’t last long at room temperature, exposed to the open air. To make it last for longer, we refrigerate it.
If you’ve just prepped the veg and foresee leftovers, it’s a good idea to store them separately in the fridge. The olives should be in a jar, feta should be intact, and sliced veg should be in an airtight container.
If you have many plates, divide the veg into servings on each plate. Then cover each plate with cling wrap and stack them up in the fridge.
All there’s left to do is toss them with the dressing when you’re ready to use. However, we recommend eating them up within a week.
If the salad is already mixed, cover the leftovers and make sure they’re eaten within a day or two. Tossed salad doesn’t store well, especially since it’s usually been left sitting in the air for too long.
Can You Freeze Greek Salad?
The short answer is no. Ingredients in this salad have a high water content that will make them mushy as they thaw.
To keep your Greek salad edible within a week, simply refrigerate it. It’s always the healthiest to have salads made with fresh produce.
What to Serve with This Greek Salad Recipe
What’s missing from the salad (first) is a good source of protein— meat, poultry, seafood, tofu, beans or lentils. It can be lean or with a little bit of fat, as long as they are consumed with moderation.
Here’s what we can recommend:
1. Chicken Alfredo
Chicken breast, whether with skin or no skin, is the leanest cut of chicken with around 21% protein. Cooked in a creamy sauce and served with pasta, it makes for a wholesome meal with a Greek salad on the side.
2. Pepper Steak
Lean steak is also a healthy option, especially when cooked in little fat and seasoned moderately.
Although the dish belongs to Asian cuisine, we love a bit of fusion. Coated in flavorful sauce and served over warm rice, our pepper steak would make a great main for the salad.
3. Baked Cod
Cod is a lean type of fish, with a flaky, tender texture and perfect when baked. Our baked cod recipe also has baked asparagus, but it’s not really complete without a side salad.
Although the recipe says to pair baked cod with arugula watermelon, Greek salad can also make a tasty, wholesome meal. To round it all off, a cool glass of watermelon smoothie would do.
4. Spicy Tofu
As a tasty vegetarian alternative source of protein, spicy, crispy tofu served over rice is a crowd-pleaser. However, it needs a side, and our Greek salad can be an awesome palate cleanser between bites.
Healthy Greek Salad Recipe
- 5.7 oz romaine lettuce
- 2.1 oz yellow bell pepper sliced
- 5.3 oz cherry tomato halved
- 3.5 oz radish sliced
- 2.6 oz black olives sliced
- 2.4 oz red onion sliced
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1.5 oz feta cheese crumbled
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- Chop your ingredients into small, bite-sized pieces. Cut feta into small cubes.
- In a large bowl, toss the veg, olives and tomatoes with red wine vinegar and olive oil.
- Plate the salads and put feta cheese on top.
- Sprinkle with pepper and serve.
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