Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad
on Jul 20, 2023
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This cucumber tomato feta salad is a quick and easy recipe that makes the most of peak summer ingredients. It is a salad and side dish in one that goes with main dishes that have Mediterranean flavors and ingredients. Inspired by a Greek salad, it has a base of sliced Persian cucumbers, halved cherry tomatoes, red onions, and of course, feta cheese.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
It’s incredibly refreshing and crisp. When it’s hot outside, we all need fast, no-cook recipes. This salad takes advantage of produce at its prime with Persian cucumbers and juicy tomatoes.
This is salad without leafy greens, so it won’t wilt. Not only is this great for variety in your summer salad rotation, it’s also handy for potlucks, picnics, cookouts and other summer gatherings where dishes tend to sit out longer since they’re included in an entire spread of food.
You can turn it into pasta salad or a grain salad. All you have to do is add cooked grains like quinoa, barley or pearl couscous. Short pasta shapes make it it simple to transform this cucumber tomato salad into a pasta salad.
This is what you need:
- Cucumbers: I like using Persian cucumbers. You also see them called mini cucumbers. They have thinner skin and very few seeds compared to other varieties. They are mild and sweet and are about 5 to 6 inches long. They have similar diameter to cherry tomatoes, so they look very beautiful in the overall salad. English cucumbers are a good substitute.
- Tomatoes: All you have to do is slice a pint of cherry tomatoes in half. They can be red, yellow or orange. You can substitute with grape tomatoes, but they aren’t as juicy as cherry tomatoes.
- Red onions are one of my favorite kinds of onions for salads. Thinly slice half a small onion for this recipe.
- Feta cheese goes perfectly with cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions. When you cut it into cubes instead of roughly breaking it up into pieces, it will be more consistently mixed throughout the salad. If you aren’t a fan of feta, you can use goat cheese instead. If you do this, you should crumble it. Since goat cheese is creamier and softer, it will coat the cucumbers and tomatoes more than feta which is firmer. Torn fresh mozzarella would be an even milder option, and you would have a cross between a caprese salad and a Greek salad.
- Parsley: For fresh herbs, I stir in lots of chopped parsley. You can also use fresh basil or fresh dill.
- Greek vinaigrette: The dressing is made with minced garlic, whole grain mustard, dried oregano, salt, black pepper, red wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice and olive oil.
- Kalamata olives will turn this into a traditional Greek salad. Make sure to use pitted olives.
- Lettuce: Try chopped romaine, kale or baby spinach. This is a great way to make the salad go farther and serve more people. I love doing this with leftovers too.
- Chickpeas will make the salad eat more like a vegetarian main dish, and it will be more filling.
- Couscous, quinoa, farro or barley: Stir the salad into cooked grains.
- Pasta: There is enough vinaigrette that you can combine the salad with penne, fusilli or another short pasta shape to turn it into a pasta salad.
How To Make This Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad
1. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. That includes the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, feta and fresh parsley.
2. Make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the garlic, mustard, oregano, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl.
3. Pour the vinaigrette into the salad. Stir the veggies and everything together until the salad is well combined with the dressing. Give the salad 15 minutes to sit and let the flavors meld before serving it.
This tomato cucumber salad is a side dish that you can serve with vegetarian main dishes such as Barbecue Tofu Veggie Skewers, Roasted Ratatouille Quinoa or Grilled Tofu Shawarma. Also pair it with pastas such as Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Gnocchi, Fresh Herb Pappardelle or Arugula Pesto Pasta.
Leftovers & Storage
You can keep the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. It will lose some of its crispness. Also, as the red onions and cucumbers sit in the vinaigrette, they will take on a more pickled flavor. If you want, you can pour the salad dressing that collects in the bowl into a separate container from the salad leftovers. This will help it keep more of its crunch.
You can make the vinaigrette in advance, but wait to slice the cucumbers and tomatoes. Keep the dressing in a mason jar or another airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Let it sit out at room temperature. It will likely harden in the fridge.
Cut the feta into cubes when it is cold. In general, feta is a more crumbly cheese. For this salad, I prefer cubes to crumbles. It is easier to cut it more cleanly when it is cold.
This salad is wonderful as written, or it can be a starting point. As mentioned, you can add olives and make this a more traditional Greek salad. Or turn it into a pasta salad or a grain salad.
Use ripe tomatoes for the best taste. This is a summer recipe that’s best during tomato season. If you can, splurge on farmer’s market tomatoes or pick them from your garden if you are lucky enough to have tomato plants at home.
All you have to do is add pitted Kalamata olives, about 1 cup.
There’s no need to peel cucumbers when you’re making a salad. I love the crisp bite that the skin adds. If you use English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers, they have thinner skin than other types.
Persian cucumbers, also sometimes labeled as mini cucumbers, are smaller than regular cucumbers in both diameter and length. They are 5 to 6 inches long. Also, they have thinner skin and less seeds than standard cucumbers.
More Salad Recipes
Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad
- 5 Persian cucumbers sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 8 ounces feta cheese cut into 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, feta and parsley in a large bowl.
- For the vinaigrette, whisk the garlic, mustard, oregano, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Pour the dressing into the salad. Toss to combine. Let the salad marinate for 15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.