Brighten up any table with my chopped Mediterranean cucumber salad! Light, refreshing and nutritious, it's a true summer staple to bright up any table.
Greece is one of my top places to travel to. Everything from the culture, food and people is so dreamy and special, which is why I love recreating some of my favourite dishes I can enjoy at home.
I probably ate a variation of this traditional village salad every day while I was in Greece. I won't claim that all regions of this Mediterranean eat a salad like this, but this cucumber salad is inspired by many of the flavours, ingredients and meals that I've enjoyed while visiting. It’s a lettuce-free salad necessary for any Greek themed meal!
Why This Dietitian Loves This Recipe
Let's summarize why you need to make my Mediterranean cucumber salad.
- Nutritious components of a Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean inspired style of eating has many well documented health benefits. This cucumber salad incorporates lots of fresh produce and heart healthy fats (olive oil), which truly embodies that principles of the Mediterranean diet.
- Light and refreshing. Cucumber salads are the perfect light side to balance out any protein or carb forward mains.
- Simple. To make this cucumber salad, you only need a few key ingredients. The simplicity in this recipe really highlights the fresh, natural flavors, especially when paired with a classic lemon olive oil dressing.
- English cucumber
- Hothouse tomatoes
- Red bell peppers
- Red onion
- Kalamata olives
- Feta cheese
- Fresh parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
To arrange your prep station, grab all of the ingredients. Dice your vegetables to desired sized pieces.
Add all vegetables, olives, feta cheese and parsley to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper.
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
To make vegan: Omit the feta or use a dairy-free alternative like this one.
To make nut-free: This recipe is naturally nut-free.
This salad can be customized however you like. Don’t like olives? Feel free to leave them out. Really love cucumbers but don’t enjoy tomatoes? Adjust the ratio to meet your personal taste preferences!
Looking to make it more balanced?
This Mediterranean cucumber salad has tons of fiber and some healthy fats, but let's see how we can make it more balanced and filling:
- For protein: Add plain or roasted chickpeas. Grilled chicken, my turkey meatballs, souvlaki, steak or even shrimp will also taste amazing. However, I do not recommend adding them directly to the salad if you are planning to store leftovers. For best results, just add them directly on top of your salad when serving.
- For carbohydrates: Add 1 cup of cooked orzo, quinoa, couscous or even pasta for an amazing Mediterranean style pasta salad option. Please note you will need to add another lemon and additional olive oil.
This cucumber salad will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3-4 days if stored in an airtight container. When it's stored for longer periods it may get slightly watery at the bottom of the container, however this should not affect the taste. You can serve using a slotted spoon to avoid the water.
I recommend dicing up your vegetables as small as possible. There’s just something about a finely chopped salad that makes it SO much better. It's easier to eat and there's more surface area to soak up the dressing for max flavour.
For easier chopping (and to make this salad in less than 10 minutes), this vegetable chopper is AMAZING!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, those work as well!
Yes of course, I personally enjoy the taste of just the fresh lemon juice and olive oil. If you have a different lemon-based or Greek-style salad dressing, you prefer you can absolutely use that. I recommend starting with ¼ cup and adjusting as necessary.
As this is a salad recipe that will not be cooked, the type of olive oil you use WILL result in a different taste! I recommend a higher quality extra virgin olive oil that is stored in a opaque or dark bottle for the best flavour.
More Easy Salad Recipes
Loving the summer salads? Here are more to try:
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make this Mediterranean cucumber salad, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Chopped Mediterranean Cucumber Salad
- 1 large English cucumber diced
- 3 large hothouse tomatoes diced
- 2 medium red bell peppers diced
- ½ of 1 large red onion diced
- ¼ cup kalamata olives sliced
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- To arrange your prep station, grab all of the ingredients. Dice your vegetables to desired sized pieces.
- Add all vegetables, olives, feta cheese and parsley to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper.
- Serve and enjoy!