This easy Greek Cucumber Salad is loaded with fresh veggies, creamy feta cheese, tangy red onions, and pepperocini! Pepperocini peppers add a bright and zesty flavor to this colorful salad. Chickpeas add a boost of protein, to keep you full.
This salad recipe is perfect for quick weeknight lunches or dinners. It's also a very pretty dish—so you can make it for summer picnics or gatherings without a fuss. To make this recipe vegan, simply use your favorite vegan cheese. Or, if serving a mixed crowd, keep the feta on the side and let people add it themselves.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Healthy: This colorful salad is made with tons of fresh veggies, chickpeas for protein, and olive oil for some healthy fats. The combination is nourishing, yet satisfying.
- Delicious twist on a classic Greek salad: This recipe has a couple of delicious additions that makes this salad special. The addition of slightly spicy pepperoncini adds flavor; while the chickpeas add a plant-based source of protein to keep you full.
- Easy no-cook recipe: If you have 15 minutes, you have the time to make this salad! We make this recipe often because it's fast and easy. And, it's perfect for the summer months, when it's too hot to turn on the stove!
This healthy salad is bursting with fresh veggies, creamy feta cheese, and an easy vinaigrette. Here are the recipe ingredients:
- Cucumber: We love using English (hot house) cucumbers for this salad because they don't need to be peeled.
- Tomatoes: Traditional Greek salads use full-sized tomatoes, but for this recipe, we recommend small cherry or grape tomatoes. They'll get less watery as the salad sits. And, they're often more consistently sweet and flavorful at the store. (If you've ever had a bland grocery store tomato, you know what we mean!)
- Feta: Use your favorite feta for this recipe—dairy-based or vegan. We like to cut the feta into bite-sized cubes, but if you prefer to crumble it, go right ahead!
- Pepperoncini: We love the slightly sweet and spicy flavor that pepperoncini adds to this salad. Chop them up fairly small so you can enjoy some in every bite.
- Chickpeas: They're obviously not traditional, but welike to add chickpeas for a healthy source of plant-based protein. The chickpeas help make this salad "meal-worthy", so you can enjoy it for lunch, dinner, as a side, or as a main!
How to make
This no-cook recipe comes together in 15 minutes. So, it makes the perfect healthy meal when you're short on time! Here's how to make this Greek Cucumber Salad with Feta:
This hearty spin on a Greek salad could stand on it's own for lunch or dinner. But, it would also be delicious served with other Mediterranean-inspired vegetarian or vegan dishes, such as:
- Skillet Pan Spanakopita (Spinach Pie): This delicious, weeknight Spanakopita might just be the most delicious way to eat your greens!
- Mediterranean Chickpea Casserole: This cozy one-pot recipe uses some of the same ingredients—like chickpeas and feta—so you can make the most out of your groceries for the week.
- Greek Collard Green Wraps with Tzatziki: These healthy vegan and gluten-free wraps are great for busy lunches.
- Vegan Greek Gyros: A plant-based spin on Greek gyros that definitely hit the spot!
- Best Vegan Tzatziki: This creamy and delicious tzatziki tastes just like the real deal. Serve it with pita, for dipping.
Frequently asked questions
We don't! English cucumbers, sometimes called hothouse cucumbers, don't need to be peeled because their skin is thin and mild-tasting. They don't have the bitter tasting skin that other cucumbers can have. Of course, if you prefer to peel them, you can—but it's not required.
Kalamata are brown (or dark-purple) almond-shaped olives that are smooth and meaty in texture. They are named after the Greek region where they were original grown. Kalamata olives are sold with or without pits. However, we recommend buying the ones with pits, as they have a firmer texture.
You could substitute black olives—or your other favorite olive—instead of kalamata. If you don't like olives, then just leave them out! If you're skipping the olives, consider adding 1-2 tablespoons of chopped capers instead. Capers would help add back some of the salty, briny elements that the olives would add.
It depends on your heat tolerance, but pepperoncini usually have a mild to medium spice level. They have a slight tingle, but generally aren't as spicy as most other peppers. Pepperoncini are also known as Golden Greek peppers or Sweet Italian peppers.
Greek Cucumber Salad
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 English cucumber, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (or yellow, orange)
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 12 oz cherry tomatoes, halved (1 dry pint, see note 1)
- ⅓ cup pepperocini, chopped (see note 2)
- ⅓ cup kalamata olives (see note 3)
- 1 can (15 oz / 14 fl oz / 398 ml) chickpeas, rinsed
- 8 oz feta cheese (block), cubed (see note 4)
- Make dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, and salt. Add red onions, toss to coat, then let sit for 5 minutes to soften slightly.
- Combine: Add cucumber, red and green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, pepperocini, olives, and chickpeas. Toss to coat. Taste and season with more salt, if needed. Add feta, and gently toss to combine.
- Tomatoes: If you can't find cherry tomatoes, substitute grape tomatoes instead.
- Pepperocini: Also known as Golden Greek peppers, Tuscan peppers, or Sweet Italian peppers. They are yellow to light green in colour, about 2-inches long. Sold in jars packed with brine. Drain before using.
- Olives: We recommend whole (unpitted) kalamata olives, for the best flavor and texture. You could use pitted kalamata olives, but they tend to be a bit softer. In a pinch, you could substitute black olives.
- Feta: Use your favorite block of feta, cut into bite-sized cubes. If preferred, you could crumble the feta instead. If vegan, use your favorite vegan feta alternative.
- Storage tips: Cover and refrigerate this Greek Cucumber Salad for up to 2-3 days.