This traditional Greek Peasant Salad is a delicious salad to enjoy in the summertime. This recipe uses fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and herbs marinated in a simple vinaigrette with creamy feta cheese. It is so refreshing and easy to make.

Greek peasant salad.

In Greece, it is called horiatiki salata, which means village salad. Traditionally, Greek peasant salad includes fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, feta cheese, olives, Greek oregano, and olive oil. Greek salad usually has lettuce in the United States, but the original Greek salad does not. And serving it with crusty bread is recommended as it allows you to soak up the flavorful vinaigrette! So good!

Ingredients for Greek Peasant Salad and Substitutions

  • Red wine vinegar – adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – is the perfect oil for this Mediterranean recipe.
  • Dried oregano – has a bitter grassy taste with a trace of mint and has a more robust flavor than Greek oregano. Traditionally, Greek oregano is used for a peasant salad and is more savory and earthy.
  • Red onions – are used for salads because of their red color and milder flavor than white onions.
  • Grape tomatoes – these small tomatoes are in the shape of a grape. And all types of tomatoes pair well with cucumbers.
  • English cucumber – these cucumbers are longer, have thinner skin and tiny seeds, and are not bitter compared to American slicing cucumbers.
  • Fresh basil – has a sweet and savory taste with peppery and minty undertones. And the smell of fresh basil is very aromatic.
  • Italian parsley – also known as flat-leaf, has a clean and slightly peppery taste.
  • Kalamata olives – perfect for this peasant salad recipe; these olives have a deep dark purple color and are from Greece.
  • Feta cheese – using Greek feta cheese will give you the best flavor.
ingredients for Greek peasant salad,

You can adjust the fresh herbs and try a combination of mint, dill, basil, and parsley. And instead of grape tomatoes, try another variety such as Roma, cherry, or heirloom tomatoes. Also, add capers, banana peppers, green bell peppers, or pepperoncini for additional flavor.

Step by Step Instructions

First, make the simple vinaigrette by adding the red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and dried oregano to a small bowl and whisk until combined. Then add the red onion slices to the small bowl and set the bowl aside to allow the onions to marinate.

sliced red onions, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and oregano in separate containers.

Then, add the grape tomatoes, cucumber, chopped basil and parsley, olives, and feta cubes to a large bowl.

sliced red onions, fresh parsley, basil, feta cheese, and cucumbers in a bowl.

Next, pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss them together. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

mix together cucumbers, red onions, grape tomatoes, feta cheese, and herbs in a bowl.
Two bowls of Greek peasant salad.

Common Questions

What is a peasant salad?

The peasants inspired the Greek peasant salad in Greece. Horiatiki means from the village or peasant in Greek. Using fresh garden tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and onions was a low-cost meal that quickly became popular with tourists visiting Greece.

Are Greek salads healthy?

Greek salads are healthy and have many nutrients from all the fresh vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh herbs. Check out the nutrition information for the individual ingredients below.

What goes well with a Greek salad?

Serve Greek salad with grilled chicken, steak, or fish. Or simply eat with pita or naan bread and hummus. This Greek Peasant Salad is also great on its own for a light meal or snack.

peasant salad and naan bread with hummus in a bowl.

Nutritional Benefits

Red wine vinegar

With only six calories in 100 grams of red wine vinegar, it is a great low-calorie way to add flavor to salads. And it may be able to lower blood sugar levels, according to one study of healthy adults that consumed red wine vinegar daily. In addition, the polyphenols in vinegar have cancer-reducing properties.

Tomatoes

A super nutritious food, tomatoes are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A. They also have antioxidants alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, and lutein. The nutrients in tomatoes help promote healthy blood pressure, lower prostate and colon cancer risk, and reduce heart disease risk.

Cucumbers

Not only are cucumbers refreshing from the high-water content and crunch, but they are also low in calories, with only eight calories in ½ cup. And they are a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and magnesium. Cucumbers also have phytonutrients called lignans that can help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, and some cancers.

Basil

A delicious herb that is part of the mint family, it provides calcium and vitamin K. Basil also has antioxidants such as anthocyanins and beta carotene that help to eliminate free radicals from the body. These antioxidants can help support liver health and reduce cancer risk.

Feta cheese

Feta is a good source of calcium, the B vitamin riboflavin, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus. And fermented foods like feta cheese contain probiotics that can promote healthy digestion and immune function.

However, feta cheese is high in sodium and should be consumed in moderation if you have high blood pressure, heart, kidney, or liver disease. And feta cheese can be made with unpasteurized milk, increasing the risk of foodborne illness in immunocompromised people or pregnant women. Read the ingredient label to see if it has pasteurized milk.

Storage Instructions

I recommend serving Greek Peasant Salad immediately. You can prepare the vinaigrette in advance and save it in an airtight container. Then prepare the vegetables and toss with the vinaigrette right before serving. Save any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days, keeping in mind that the vegetables will not be as crunchy.

Tips

  • This recipe is perfect for a party, backyard BBQ, or picnic because it is so delicious and makes 8 servings.
  • If bringing this Greek salad to a party, keep the vinaigrette and vegetables in separate containers and combine when ready to serve.

 

Be sure to take pictures of your Greek Peasant Salad masterpiece and tag @noshnourishwander on Instagram if you make this recipe!

Also, pin this recipe to your Pinterest board! And be sure to leave a rating and comments about the recipe! Thank you!

More Healthy Salad Recipes!

 

Greek Peasant Salad in bowls.
Greek peasant salad in a bowl.

Greek Peasant Salad

Veronica Thompson
This traditional Greek Peasant Salad is a delicious salad to enjoy in the summertime. Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and herbs marinated in a simple vinaigrette with creamy feta cheese, so tasty!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Greek
Servings 8
Calories 200 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 2 English cucumber halved, seeded, and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ cup fresh basil chopped
  • ¼ cup Italian parsley chopped
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives pitted, cut in half
  • 4 oz feta cheese cut into cubes
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • First, you will make the simple vinaigrette by adding the red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and dried oregano to a small bowl. Whisk until just combined. Then add the red onion slices to the small bowl and set the bowl aside.
  • Then, in a large bowl, add the grape tomatoes, cucumber, chopped basil, parsley, olives, and feta cubes.
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss together. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Notes

Tips

  • This recipe is perfect for a party, a backyard BBQ, or a picnic. And since this recipe is best served immediately, I recommend cutting the recipe in half if you only need 4 rather than 8 servings.
  • If bringing this Greek salad to a party, keep the vinaigrette and vegetables in separate containers and combine when ready to serve.

Nutrition Information:

per serving: 200 calories, 17.8 grams of fat, 10.1 mg cholesterol, 7.8 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein
Keyword Greek Salad, Mediterranean
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Dietitian, food lover, and world traveler! Veronica has been a registered dietitian for over 20 years, specializing in clinical and community nutrition. She enjoys wellness, trying new foods, and exploring the globe to learn about different cultures.

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