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Mediterranean Delight: How to Make the Perfect Greek Cucumber Salad

Last Updated on September 18, 2023 by Create Better Health

It’s hot outside!  When it’s hot out it can be hard to find the motivation to fire up your oven and cook a hot meal.  To keep it cool in the kitchen try this Greek Cucumber Salad.  It’s fresh and tangy and can be served in many ways as part of a MyPlate meal.

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famous greek salad

Greek Salad Origin

What is the origin of greek salad?

Greek salad, also known as “Horiatiki” in Greek, is a popular Mediterranean salad that is enjoyed worldwide. It is a simple yet flavorful dish that can include fresh ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, bell peppers, olives, feta cheese, oregano, and extra-virgin olive oil. The salad is often seasoned with salt and pepper and may be garnished with fresh herbs like parsley or mint.

The exact origin of Greek salad is a subject of debate, and its history is not entirely clear-cut. However, it is widely believed to have originated in Greece and has become an iconic dish in Greek cuisine.

Some key points about the origin of Greek salad:

  1. Traditional Greek Dish: Greek salad is considered a traditional Greek dish, and it reflects the ingredients and flavors commonly found in Greek cooking. It is a staple on menus in Greek restaurants and tavernas.
  2. Simplicity and Freshness: Greek cuisine is known for its emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients, and Greek salad is no exception. Its simplicity highlights the natural flavors of the vegetables and cheese.
  3. Historical Roots: While the modern version of Greek salad is popular today, it has evolved over time. In its earliest forms, it may have included different ingredients and lacked some of the elements we associate with it today.
  4. International Influence: Greek salad’s popularity has led to variations and adaptations in other countries. In some regions, it may be served with additional ingredients like lettuce or grilled chicken.

In summary, Greek salad is believed to have originated in Greece, reflecting the country’s culinary traditions and its emphasis on fresh, Mediterranean ingredients. It has become a beloved and iconic salad worldwide, celebrated for its delicious simplicity and vibrant flavors.

Herbs for Greek Salad

The herbs used in a cucumber greek salad will vary from recipe to recipe. For our recipe, we use two: Oregano and Dill.

Learn more about each herb here:


Oregano is a Mediterranean herb known for its robust, slightly peppery flavor with hints of lemon and pine. It’s used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisines, often in dishes like pasta sauces and pizza.


Dill is an herb with feathery green leaves and a fresh, slightly tangy taste with hints of anise. It’s used in Scandinavian, Eastern European, and Mediterranean cuisines, particularly in dishes involving seafood, potatoes, and pickles.

oregano for cucumber dill greek salad

Ingredients for Greek Salad

  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried dill
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 4 oz. feta cheese

How to Make Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe

Making greek cucumber salad is simple! Follow these steps and soon you’ll be enjoying

First start by chopping up your veggies (zucchini, cucumber, onion, tomato).


Now it’s time to make the dressing.

For the greek salad dressing, in a small bowl whisk together:

  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried dill

Once the dressing is mixed, pour it on top of the veggies and mix well.  


When you are ready to serve, crumble feta cheese on top. And voila! You have Greek Cucumber Salad.


What to Serve with Greek Salad

Greek salad is a delicious and refreshing dish that can be served as a side or even as a main course. It pairs well with a variety of Mediterranean and Greek-inspired dishes. Here are some options for what to serve with Greek salad:

  1. Grilled Chicken or Gyros: Serve Greek salad alongside grilled chicken breasts or gyros (Greek-style sandwiches with seasoned meat, often lamb or chicken). The fresh and tangy flavors of the salad complement the savory and tender meat.
  2. Souvlaki: Skewered and grilled marinated meat, such as chicken, beef, or pork, goes well with Greek salad. The combination is a staple in Greek cuisine.
  3. Falafel: For a vegetarian option, serve Greek salad with falafel patties. The crispiness of the falafel contrasts nicely with the crisp vegetables and creamy feta cheese in the salad.
  4. Tzatziki Sauce and Pita Bread: Offer a side of tzatziki sauce (a yogurt and cucumber dip) and warm pita bread. This combination is perfect for scooping up the salad and adding extra creaminess and texture.
  5. Spanakopita: This Greek spinach and feta pie makes a fantastic accompaniment to Greek salad. The flaky pastry and savory filling complement the salad’s freshness.
  6. Rice Pilaf: A simple rice pilaf with Mediterranean flavors, such as lemon and herbs, can be a great side dish to balance the flavors of the salad.
  7. Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables like bell peppers, eggplant, and zucchini can be served alongside Greek salad for a well-rounded and colorful meal.
  8. Hummus: Serve a bowl of creamy hummus with pita bread or vegetable sticks. It’s a tasty and nutritious addition that complements the flavors of Greek salad.
  9. Greek-style Potatoes: Prepare roasted or lemon-infused potatoes with Mediterranean herbs to accompany your Greek salad.
  10. Kalamata Olives and Dolmas: Add some extra Mediterranean flair with Kalamata olives and dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) as side dishes.
  11. Grilled Seafood: If you prefer seafood, consider serving Greek salad with grilled shrimp, salmon, or other fish. The light, citrusy flavors of seafood pair well with the salad’s freshness.
  12. Quinoa: For a healthy and protein-rich option, serve Greek salad with a side of quinoa cooked with lemon and herbs.

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