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Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe with Marinated Feta

This Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe is easy to whip up but quite hard to put down because a forkful is just not enough.

featured image 2 for Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe with Marinated Feta

It’s not a surprise to anybody that I am a huge fan of Greek salads. So, it should also not a surprise that this Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe is finally debuting on Not Entirely Average.

I mean, I’ve brought it with me to enough picnics and cookouts that I am shocked nobody has asked me about it before now. Greek Cucumber Salad is one of those summertime sides you needn’t worry about having too much of left over.

It’s pretty to look at, has a fantastic flavor, and transports very well. I promise it goes with everything from barbecued ribs to burgers to chicken on the grill.

Do You Have What’s Needed to Whip Up This Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe? Check the List!

  • olive oil
  • marinated Feta cheese
  • pitted Kalamata olives
  • pickled picante peppers (pickled hot cherry peppers)
  • dried oregano
  • Persian cucumbers or an English cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
  • red onion
  • flat leaf parsley

optional; additional of each of the following for presentation

  • marinated Feta cheese cubes
  • whole pitted Kalamata olives
  • toasted pine nuts
  • fresh oregano leaves
red onions and grape tomatoes in a Greek Cucumber Salad recipe

How This Recipe Came About…

One of the few ethnic restaurants locally to me here in the south worth its salt happens to be Greek. Actually, the owner is Greek, and her husband and head chef is Moroccan.

Together, they run a highly successful and extremely busy Greek restaurant and exotic spices market. I found them when I was looking for Zatar locally and they were the only ones who had it and sold it.

I thought I was walking into a market only, but to my surprise, stumbled upon a delightful cafe where I enjoyed my first cup of Nous Nous outside of the Middle East. And it was damn good…

Later the same week, I built up the courage to go back and dine alone. I hadn’t anybody to go with me and the familiarity of aromas hadn’t yet stopped racing around in my mind – I simply had to sample the food.

What I tasted that day was nothing short of perfection in food. And what I left with enabled me to assemble the same at home for anybody willing to enjoy it with me.

What Is Greek Salad Called in Greece?

Greek salad is a rustic dish made fabulous with a few good quality ingredients. It’s the definition of simplicity.

Known as ‘Horiatiki’ or ‘Xoriatiki’ it translates to ‘village salad.’ Every bite is brimming with fresh vegetables and glorious Mediterranean ingredients and flavors. 

And forget “Greek dressing…’ It doesn’t exist in Greece the way we’ve Americanized it here. But let’s for just a moment get lost in the sauce – bland salad is a problem and does require something…

In Greece, the real deal is a simple dressing of lemon juice or good olive oil, sometimes Greek yogurt or Dijon mustard, Greek seasoning to include dried oregano and oregano flowers, possibly fresh dill or fresh mint, and sea salt.

In the method I’m sharing today, there is no formal dressing per se either, just olive oil. I use marinated Feta cheese in this recipe, and likewise incorporate a tablespoon or two of the oil from the Feta to dress the salad.

If you required something zestier, a splash of red wine vinegar or a pinch of any of the ingredients I have listed above could be added in moderation to do the trick. But this perfect way to showcase this great salad is to leave it as basic as possible and allow the sweet onion, cucumber slices, and supporting fresh ingredients to shine.

looking down on a Greek Cucumber Salad recipe

Is This an Authentic Greek Salad Recipe?

Yes. I learned it from my Greek restauranteur friend when I complimented the dish. The conversation moved from her telling me how to her showing me how.

I now use this recipe as a side salad during summer barbecues I host, finely chopped as a base for Greek chicken salad, and also as a crunchy veggies relish of sorts atop Balsamic chicken pitas. It’s an easy side dish which requires very little time in my kitchen.

Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe in a pita with chicken
Use Greek Cucumber Salad in a warm, soft pita or naan along with thinly sliced chicken breast for a sandwich some would argue dreams are made of…

What Kind of Cucumbers Should I Use for Greek Cucumber Salad?

Before I jump headlong into this recipe, let me first say that this dish is best served super fresh. As in chop, stir, and serve immediately…

Unlike cucumber salads made with mayonnaise or sour cream or Greek yogurt, the cukes in this method needn’t be salted or soaked and do not require tons of time to marinate.

That said, the cucumbers you use will matter. You’ll need fresh produce for this assembly. Crisp cucumbers varieties that stand up in this easy salad include Persian cucumbers and English cucumbers.

My rule of thumb; buy what looks amazingly fresh. Go Persians if you plan to assemble this salad for yourself or just a handful of folks. Go English cucumber if taking along to a cookout where you’ll be sharing your dish with many people.

I would never purchase Persian cukes for this recipe if it were just me eating it as English cucumbers are much too large. They’re for a crowd. When I make this for myself or for myself and my immediate family, I may use two Persians max.

What is The Difference Between Greek Feta and Danish Feta Cheese?

Texture. There are two acknowledged traditional methods of Feta. Greek and Danish.

Greek Feta is made mostly from goat or sheep milk, and results in a crumbly textured, hard cheese. The Danish feta is made from cow’s milk and has a smooth and soft texture.

Though it isn’t authentic, the Danish style of feta wins hearts and tastebuds over with its mild flavor and ability to be cubed and sliced without crumbling. This is the Feta I seek out, marinated in olive oil and both dried and fresh herbs and spices.

You may use either style you wish. It will likely end up that you will use what you are able to find, as marinated Feta, especially the Danish marinated Feta, can sometimes prove difficult to find. If you do find it, I encourage you to try it as it’s like eating an entirely different kind of cheese let alone it being a Feta.

a jar of Feta cheese cubes marinating in olive oil and herbs

How Do You Make Greek Cucumber Salad?

Preparing the Vegetables and Cheese

Assembling this Greek Cucumber Salad recipe is as easy as chopping the vegetables and stirring them all together. I use a mandolin for the red onion as I want the pieces to be paper thin. The remaining ingredients get the knife and cutting board treatment.

For this dish, I like to chop as small as possible. Bite sized bits and pieces seem to appeal to my eaters more, so I go smaller here.

This means my tomatoes are cut into fourths rather than simply in half. I purchase whole picante peppers from the olive bar at my grocer and use my chef’s knife to cut each in half, then each half into 1/8-inch slivers.

Both Persian and English cukes are narrow in terms of their girth. For Persians, I slice them in half right down the middle, then do 1/4-inch-thick moons. The sliced cucumbers are tossed into a large bowl along with the tomatoes, red onion, and picante peppers.

a bowl of pickled cherry peppers
Picante or pickled cherry peppers – these can often be found where the fresh olives are sold in bins at your local grocer.

I crush several of the marinated Feta cubes with a fork and leave others intact. Same with the Kalamata olives. There is drama in diversity and texture in food, just the vegetables, the spices and the cheese doing their thing.

Into the bowl go the cheese bits and olives along with two or three tablespoons of the oil from the Feta. I add sea salt (just a pinch), dried oregano, and give the whole of it a good stir, breaking up bigger smashed bits of the Feta into the oil as I go.

red onions and grape tomatoes in a Greek Cucumber Salad recipe

Seasoning

As I referenced earlier, I use marinated Feta exclusively. This means not only do I achieve a creamy cucumber salad just by smashing some of the Feta, but also by dressing it with the olive oil the Feta marinated in.

Marinated Feta is CHOCK FULL of Mediterranean flavor and boasts nuances of oregano, peppercorns, bell pepper flakes, black olives, and often fresh lemons. It is sold in jars and oftentimes a bit pricier than a block of Greek Feta or the crumbled stuff but is WORLDS APART in terms of quality and flavor.

Don’t cheat, just seek it out and make the investment in your tastebuds! This also means that aside from some dried oregano, there isn’t much other seasoning that needs to be added.

red onions and grape tomatoes in a Greek Cucumber Salad recipe

How to Serve

If you want to get your Greek on as a salad, crisp chopped Romaine is a great addition to crunchy cucumber. Enjoying this as a traditional Greek salad recipe is great but you could easily make it a main course by tossing in some cooked orzo if necessary.

Or follow here to assemble my Balsamic Chicken Pita where I use this super fresh Greek Cucumber Salad recipe as a condiment for this incredibly fabulous sandwich. It’s one big bite of savory, crunchy, juicy, loveliness.

If You Like This Recipe…

…you might also like:

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Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe with Marinated Feta

This Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe is easy to whip up quite hard to put down because a forkful is just not enough.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: authentic Greek cucumber salad, creamy Greek cucumber salad, cucumber, cucumber salad, Danish Feta, Greek cucumber salad recipe, Greek cucumber salad with Feta, Greek cucumber salad with marinated Feta, Greek cucumber tomato salad, Greek Feta, marinated Feta
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 281kcal
Cost: $1.12 per serving

Want a bigger or smaller serving size? Hover over the serving size and move the bar until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.

Equipment

  • sharp knife
  • cutting board
  • mixing owl

Ingredients

Did you know that it’s super easy to print out a version of a half recipe or even a double recipe on Not Entirely Average? Hover over the serving size (highlighted in blue, it says 24 on this recipe) and then slide the the white line to the left to make less or to the right to make more. This "calculator" allows you to play until you get the number of servings you want. Easy. 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounce jar marinated Feta cheese and 2 to 3 tablespoons of its herby oil may be Greek Feta or Danish Feta; I am using Danish Feta for its mild flavor and creaminess
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 5 whole pickled picante peppers sliced in half, each half sliced into thin slivers
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano flowers or simply dried oregano
  • 2 4 to 5-inch each Persian cucumbers sliced in half lengthwise, each half cut into 1/2" moons
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes; halved and quartered
  • 1/4 small red onion scored in an 'x' and sliced paper thin, about 1/2 cup
  • 1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley rough chopped

optional; additional of each of the following for presentation

  • marinated Feta cheese cubes
  • whole pitted Kalamata olives
  • toasted pine nuts
  • fresh oregano leaves

Instructions

  • Measure out all of the ingredients and chop the vegetables.
  • Add half the jar of marinated Feta cheese to a large mixing bowl. Add the tablespoon of olive oil and mash the cheese using the back of a fork, stirring as you go. To the cheese and oil, add the dried oregano and a liberal pinch of sea salt.
  • Add the cucumbers, Kalamata's, red onion, quartered cherry tomatoes, and picante slivers to the cheese mixture. Add 2 or 3 (or to taste) tablespoons of the olive oil from the marinated Feta to the ingredients and mix everything together very well. Taste for seasoning and add additional sea salt or oregano if necessary. Decide if you will require additional olive oil and add from the marinated Feta jar as necessary.
  • At this stage, and only if using, garnish with additional Kalamata olives, the remaining jar of Feta cubes (left whole), toasted pine nuts, or fresh oregano leaves. Enjoy as a side dish, in a pita, or atop lettuces as a salad.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servings | Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 930mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 736IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 333mg | Iron: 2mg

Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

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2 Comments

  1. We sure have enjoyed featuring your awesome post at Full Plate Thursday, 585 this past week! Hope you are having a great week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen