Yearning for a salad that's less 'meh' and more 'Mamma Mia!'? This vegan Greek salad recipe is perfect for you. It's packed with fresh veggies and herbs, and topped with a homemade, simple, tangy dressing.
Transform a classic Greek salad into a plant-based delight by switching out feta for its vegan counterpart! This easy substitution delivers the same tasty punch as the traditional version, making it a scrumptious choice as a side dish or a satisfying main meal. It's not just for vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free folks, but for anyone seeking a delicious and health-conscious option.
What is a Greek Salad?
Greek salad, also known as horiatiki salad, is a traditional dish originating from Greece. It is a fresh and vibrant salad showcasing Mediterranean cuisine's flavors. The salad typically consists of a combination of crisp vegetables, tangy olives, creamy feta cheese, and a simple yet flavorful dressing.
Traditional Greek Salad vs. Vegan Greek Salad
Both traditional and vegan Greek salads share the same common elements. The only difference is that traditional Greek salad incorporates milk-based feta cheese, while the vegan version focuses on a delicious plant-based feta alternative that still provides a creamy and savory touch.
It's a simple swap; as luck would have it, store-bought vegan feta cheese is really good! Say cheese, indeed!
Ingredients for Vegan Greek Salad
For the Salad
- cucumber -diced into bite-sized pieces
- red onion - diced small or thinly sliced
- tomato - Cherry or Roma tomatoes are great in this salad. They hold up well. Leave them to incorporate last, as fresh-cut tomatoes are best.
- green pepper - I love the crunch and freshness the green pepper provides in this salad
- Kalamata olives - contribute a briny and robust flavor essential for the best salad.
- vegan feta cheese - Store-bought versions are delicious (Violife feta is a great choice), but if you want to make it homemade, check out Vegan Feta.
- fresh mint - optional, but definitely adds delicious freshness
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- herbs -oregano, salt, and pepper
- Dijon mustard - substitute with ¼ teaspoon of mustard powder
- lemon juice - (optional) Freshly squeezed lemon juice is always best for the freshest taste.
- salt & pepper - adjust to your preferences
Choose fresh and organic ingredients if possible. Wash and prepare the vegetables.
Prepare the dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, herbs).
Mix the salad dressing and chopped veggies together and refrigerate for an hour to enhance flavors. Add vegan feta cheese, serve, and enjoy!
Serving and Presentation
When presenting a vegan Greek salad attractively, you can do several tips and techniques to make it visually appealing. Here are some suggestions:
- Serve the Greek salad as a side dish or a light meal. It pairs well with crusty bread or as a side to grilled vegetables, tofu, or falafel. It also pairs beautifully with various dishes, from vegan moussaka or stuffed bell peppers to simple toasted pita bread.
- Colorful Composition: Arrange the ingredients for Greek salad in a way that showcases its colors and textures. For example, place red tomatoes next to green cucumbers, contrasting with the purple hues of sliced onions or Kalamata olives, or consider layering the ingredients to add depth and dimension to your salad. This makes for a great presentation for a potluck or get-together.
- Garnish with Herbs: Sprinkle fresh herbs like oregano, parsley, or basil on the salad. Not only will they add a pop of color, but they will also enhance the aroma and flavor of the dish.
- Accents of Red Onion: Thinly slice red onions and separate the rings. Place them strategically on the salad, allowing their vibrant purple color to stand out and add an eye-catching element.
- Serve in a Greek-Inspired Dish: Opt for a traditional Greek-style serving dish or a shallow bowl with a Mediterranean pattern or design. This will complement the theme and elevate the overall presentation.
- Drizzle with Lemon Juice: Just before serving, lightly drizzle a little lemon juice and herbs over the salad. Don't overdo it. You don't want the salad to become soggy.
- Chickpeas: Add a protein boost by including chickpeas in your Greek salad. These legumes not only provide a satisfying texture but also contribute to the overall heartiness of the dish.
- Quinoa: For a delightful grain addition, cook some quinoa and mix it into your salad. Quinoa adds a nutty flavor and a pleasant chewiness. It's also a great protein, making your salad more filling and nutritious.
- Avocado: Introduce creamy richness by including slices or chunks of ripe avocado in your Greek salad.
- Toasted Nuts or Seeds: Enhance the crunch factor and add extra nutrition by sprinkling toasted nuts or seeds over your salad. Walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds are excellent choices. Toasting them enhances their flavor and adds a delightful texture contrast.
- Fresh Herbs: Experiment with an assortment of fresh herbs to elevate the taste and aroma of your salad. Add mint, dill, or parsley to impart a refreshing and vibrant flavor profile.
- Grilled Tofu or Tempeh: For a protein-packed alternative, grill or sauté some tofu or tempeh to include in your Greek salad. These plant-based protein sources absorb the marinade flavors and add a satisfying texture.
- Citrus Zest: Add a burst of tangy citrus flavor by grating some lemon or orange zest over your salad just before serving. It will uplift the taste and provide a delightful aroma.
There are several dairy-free alternatives available, such as cashew-based feta. Experiment with different options to find the one you prefer.
A properly stored salad can last for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Keep it in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
Yes, you can use bottled salad dressing as a convenient option if you prefer. Just make sure to choose a vegan-friendly dressing that complements the flavors of a Greek salad. Read the labels carefully to ensure they contain no animal products or additives.
- 1 English cucumber (chopped)
- ½ red onion (finely sliced or diced)
- 1 green pepper (diced; orange pepper also adds nice crunch and color)
- 10 cherry tomatoes (~ 1 cup sliced or diced; or diced roma tomatoes )
- ½ cup Kalamata olives (sliced and added to taste)
- vegan feta (crumbled; to taste)
- 5 large mint leaves (sliced into ribbons)
Greek Salad Dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic (minced; or 1 clove)
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ¼-½ teaspoon Dijon mustard (or ¼ tsp of mustard powder)
- ½-1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper (to taste)
- Wash and cut all the vegetables. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing. Adjust flavors as needed.
- Add the vegetables into the large bowl with the dressing and mix together until they are well coated.
- Add the feta and gently mix through the salad.
- Add mint as a garnish or mix into the salad. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or vinegar according to your preference.
- Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld together.
- Optional: When ready to serve, squeeze a little lemon juice over the top for a fresh flavor.
The nutritional profile is only an estimate. Use an app like Cronometer to get exact calculations for your added ingredients.
Once the salad is well combined, let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
You can chop the vegetables in advance, but combining the ingredients and adding the dressing just before serving is recommended for the best taste and texture.
Add mint as a garnish or into the salad for a refreshing flavor.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: salad
- Cuisine: Greek-Inspired
- Diet: Vegan
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 117
- Sugar: 2
- Sodium: 279
- Fat: 11
- Saturated Fat: 2
- Carbohydrates: 5
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 1
- Cholesterol: 33.4 mg
Keywords: Mediterranean, quick meals, quick salad