Horiatiki Salad (Classic Greek Village Salad)

A white bowl filled with chopped tomatoes, peppers, red onions, cucumbers, black olives, and feta cheese.

Horiatiki Salad is a traditional Greek Village Salad full of fresh vibrant vegetables and bursting with vibrant Mediterranean flavours.

Is there anything easier than a simple chopped salad? Sneak in those veggies with these great salad recipes from the blog! Strawberry Spinach Salad is easy to throw together, then drizzle with a lovely Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Or, go GREEN and toss together this Snap Pea Salad with Goat Feta with a tangy kick from the apple cider and mint dressing.

A white bowl of Horiatiki Salad with chopped vegetables, olives, and feta cheese beside a stack of pita bread.

Horiatiki Salad

One look at this vibrant classic salad and your family will want to dig right in! The colourful vegetables really bring the party to the table while the briny feta and salty olives seal the deal.

The first secret to a great Horiatiki Salad is using the FRESHEST, seasonal ingredients you can find. Next, keep the chopping large and rustic. Everyone wants to see those beautiful veggies shine!

The final secret to a great Greek Village Salad? A zesty Greek vinaigrette made with quality olive oil, red wine vinegar, dry oregano, garlic, and plenty of fresh lemon.

A white bowl of Horiatiki Salad of chopped vegetables, olives, and feta cheese beside vinaigrette ingredients.

What is Horiatiki Salad?

Horiatiki Salad may sound all Greek to you, and it is! In fact, it is the traditional name for a Greek Village Salad, with ‘Horiatiki’ meaning ‘village’ in Greek.

In the case of this salad, ‘village’ isn’t a specific place. It’s more like a style of salad eaten by every day working people, as opposed to royalty or nobility. The simplicity of this salad is what makes it so appealing.

This is the kind of salad that is literally, ‘chop and go’. Chop up the veggies, add feta and olives, drizzle with dressing and GO! It’s as simple as that.

A white bowl of chopped vegetables, olives, and feta cheese beside vinaigrette ingredients.

What Ingredients are in Traditional Greek Village Salad?

Traditional Horiatiki is made up of large cubed cucumbers, tomatoes, green bell peppers, and onions. In Greece, Kalamata olives are very commonly used to top this salad, though maybe it depends on personal preference.

It is most common for Greeks to serve this salad with a generous slab of feta cheese because no one should ever cheap out on cheese! To finish there’s a drizzle of local olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and dried oregano.

What Horiatiki does NOT include is leafy greens of any sort. Remember that this salad is often eaten on the go and leafy greens never travel well. At home, however, I like to serve my Horiatiki in a bowl lined with green lettuce because I enjoy how it looks.

A white bowl filled with chopped tomatoes, peppers, red onions, cucumbers, black olives, and feta cheese.

Variations of Greek Village Salad

Very few variations of Horiatiki exist within Greece. These may include the addition of green bell pepper, caper berries, or perhaps a different variety of olive.

Once this simple salad travelled outside of Greece, it became susceptible to many changes, some of which leave the original salad almost unrecognizable.

Leafy greens are a common addition throughout the rest of the world. However in this case it should be called ‘Greek Salad’ rather than ‘Horiatiki’ or ‘Greek Village Salad’. Other ingredients might include:

  • Pepperoncini (hot pickled peppers)
  • Radishes
  • Dolmades (Rice stuffed grape leaves)
  • Anchovies or Sardines
  • Beets (Detroit Style)
  • Potato Salad (Tampa Bay Style)

While a large slab of feta is common in Greek variations, cubed feta, or crumbled feta are also a great way to make the salad your own.

A jar filled with layered Greek Vinaigrette.

Ingredients For this Recipe

  • tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • red and green bell pepper
  • red onion
  • feta cheese
  • olives
  • good quality olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • dried oregano

I know it’s not always easy to find great tomatoes off season but here’s a little trick I use. While buying tomatoes, give them a sniff. If they smell like nothing, they will taste like nothing. If they smell of verdant summer tomatoes, buy them!

Try to use a mixture of bell pepper colours, just to liven things up a bit and ALWAYS use red onion. No subsitutions!

In this recipe, I specify English cucumbers. This is because I’m lazy and don’t want to spend my time de-seeding a cucumber.

Greeks are very passionate about olive oil. While it may be tempting to use everyday EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) this simple salad deserves the very best olive oil from the back of your pantry. I don’t care if it’s Greek or Italian…just use the best you have. You will notice a huge difference in the flavour, guaranteed.

While most traditional Horiatiki Salad recipes do not contain lemon juice, I like to add a splash to the vinaigrette. Sometimes I add the zest, too.

Similarly, use the freshest dried oregano even if that means buying another jar to replace the stale one in the cupboard. Worth it!

Golden dressing being poured over a chopped Horiatiki Salad, or Greek Village Salad.

How to Make Horiatiki Salad at Home

Whipping up a bowl of this salad is so quick and simple. You don’t even need any fancy knife skills to create this attractive side dish. Though there is a cool little tomato trick that is worth trying out…

The most difficult step to this recipe is coring and de-seeding the tomatoes. To do this, place the tomatoes stem side down on a cutting board. With the tip of your knife (and beginning at the blossom end) slice through the tomato flesh and stop just before you reach the stem end.

Cut the ripe tomatoes into six equal wedges, then peel it back to reveal the entire inside of the tomato. This takes a bit of practice so don’t worry if you can’t get the hang of it right away. De-seed and core the tomato however you prefer.

Once you have the slices of tomato, slice them again crosswise to create bite sized pieces. Season with salt and set aside while you prepare the other vegetables.

Next, let’s tackle that cucumber. Slice off the ends and cut it into three more manageable pieces. Slice each piece lengthwise into halves, then lengthwise again into quarters. Chop again into bite sized pieces.

A white bowl of chopped vegetables, olives, and feta cheese beside a stack of pita bread.

Core and de-seed the bell peppers. Cut them into inch wide strips, then cut the strips crosswise into 1 inch squares.

Finally, the onions. They can make or break this salad. If they are quite strong that is ALL you will taste so prepare them accordingly. Chop them in one inch pieces, or smaller if you prefer.

If the onions are quite strong, prepare them ahead of time then allow them to soak in a bowl of cold water for an hour. This will rid them of any strong or bitter flavours and make them more palatable.

To assemble the salad, place the chopped tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, olives, and feta in a serving bowl lined with lettuce leaves (or not),

Finally, mix up the vinaigrette by adding the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to a small jar. Put the lid on the jar and give it a good shake. Pour over the top of the salad and serve!

A Greek meal of Horiatiki Salad, Lamb Spiedini, Tzatziki, olives, and pita bread.

Making and Storing Horiatiki Salad

While this salad is sturdy and portable, it is best eaten on the same day it’s made. It will keep overnight in the fridge but it is definitely not a ‘make ahead’ dish.

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Pinterest image of golden dressing being poured over a chopped Horiatiki Salad, or Greek Village Salad.
Yield: 6 servings

Horiatiki Salad

A white bowl filled with chopped tomatoes, peppers, red onions, cucumbers, black olives, and feta cheese.

Horiatiki Salad is a traditional Greek Village Salad full of freshly chopped vegetables and bursting with vibrant Mediterranean flavours.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 10 black olives
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

FOR THE GREEK VINAIGRETTE

  • 1 lemon; zested and juiced
  • 1 clove garlic; finely minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Chop and de-seed the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit while you prepare the other vegetables:
  2. Peel and dice the onion into one inch pieces or smaller, if you prefer.
  3. Slice the ends off of the cucumber. Cut it into three more manageable pieces. Slice each piece lengthwise into halves, then lengthwise again into quarters. Chop again into bite sized pieces.
  4. Core and de-seed the bell peppers. Cut them into inch wide strips, then cut the strips crosswise into 1 inch squares.
  5. Mix the vegetables together, then place in a serving bowl lined with leaf lettuce (optional).
  6. Crumble the feta onto the salad. If you prefer you can also keep it into neat squares or large slabs. Garnish with olives.

FOR THE GREEK VINAIGRETTE

  1. Place red wine vinegar, juice and zest from the lemon, minced garlic, salt, olive oil, and dried oregano in a small jar that has a lid.
  2. Season with freshly ground pepper, then screw the lid on the jar.
  3. Shake the dressing vigorously, then pour over salad as needed.

Notes

If you find that the onions are especially pungent, prepare them ahead of time. Allow them to soak in a bowl full of cold water for an hour before adding to the salad.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 234Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 555mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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35 comments

  1. Gloria

    This is my kind of salad. We LOVE Greek food. I just ordered some olives in my grocery delivery. I knwo just the place I will be using them!!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I saw you got your delivery today, despite the weather! So glad you remembered the olives. Enjoy the salad!

      Reply

  2. patricia I grab a plate

    What a wonderful salad! Love all the chunky vegetables (and FETA!) and the zesty dressing. Lovely!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      oh, it’s a favourite in our house. It disappears quickly!

      Reply

  3. Chef Dennis

    I love good salads! And this Horiatiki Salad will be my new fave! It’s really delicious and satisfying!

    Reply

  4. Vanessa

    Yummy! I love salads like this especially in the summer when all the produce is local and extra delicious. I could eat the entire bowl ony own🤣

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      True…it can sometimes be difficult to find good tomatoes mid winter. We have a local greenhouse here that grows amazing tomatoes.

      Reply

  5. Des

    I love love LOVE Greek Salad! And that dressing?! So perfect!

    Reply

  6. Audrey McClelland

    Love this recipe! I’ve been dying to make this for a few months now. I’m bookmarking for this weekend.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thanks for saving the recipe…I know I crave a fresh Greek salad once in a while too.

      Reply

  7. NANCY

    thanks for another great salad idea!!

    Reply

  8. Yvonne

    This is so vibrant and fresh – a perfect accompaniment to dinner or fantastic lunch salad!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes! for sure…it can be a meal on it’s own.

      Reply

  9. Jamie

    This salad has all my favorite ingredients including olives and feta! The dressing is wonderful too with lots of Greek flavor!

    Reply

  10. Kushigalu

    What a colorful and refreshing salad with amazing flavor combination. Pinned to try this soon. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      That’s very nice of you…enjoy!

      Reply

  11. Marissa

    You’re speaking directly to my heart with this, Bernice! <3 This is one of my favorite salads and it always makes me think of visiting family in Greece when we'd have large feasts; this was always at the table. I always crack jokes when I see restaurants have "real" Greek salads on their menus, except it's a huge bed of iceberg lettuce topped with feta and olives. Still tasty in their own right, but definitely not the real deal! 😂

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes!! I mean, I’m cutting it pretty close by even showing it with lettuce LOL

      Reply

  12. Naiby

    Yous salad looks so refreshing. My mouth was watering just looking at it. I love your tip about sniffing the tomatoes to know if they should be picked. I’ll keep that in mind, Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Oh yes!! I always give them a good sniff.

      Reply

  13. Kristen

    We love our Greek food around here and have been craving it big time. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Hope this salad satisfies your craving!

      Reply

  14. Jo

    I’m a salad person and this classic Greek salad looks super delicious! With flatbread on side, i’m sorted for dinner. My kinda light meal!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes, that is the perfect dinner for me too!

      Reply

  15. Terri

    I am crazy for Greek salad – I worked in a few different Greek restaurants when I was younger and it got me hooked!~

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Did you?! What an experience…

      Reply

  16. Moop Brown

    I’m a big fan of Greek salads and this one looks super vibrant, flavorful and tasty! Thanks for sharing

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Glad you enjoyed the post, thanks for stopping by.

      Reply

  17. Cindy

    I’ve been craving a good Greek salad and saw your recipe. Will be picking up the olives and cucumbers tomorrow so I can make it as a quick lunch this whole week. I’m especially excited about the dressing!

    Reply

  18. Carolyn

    I never knew the official name for Greek Salad until now! Love it and this is so good!

    Reply

  19. Deborah Brooks

    Greek Salads are my favorite too! Love the easy dressing you have will definitely be trying that out soon

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It’s just so easy to make! Easier than going to the store for dressing.

      Reply

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