Enjoy this Easy Mediterranean Chopped Salad made with cucumber, tomatoes, red onions, Kalamata olives, and a light lemon-olive oil dressing! It is ready in just 15 minutes. Delicious on its own or paired with your favorite protein.
This delicious and healthy salad is Whole30, Paleo, and naturally gluten-free and vegan. Make it part of your healthy weekly meal prep!
You could enjoy this salad on its own. You could serve it with the variations we talk about later on in this post. Or you could make this a meal serving it with grilled chicken, shrimp, or even grilled steak. If you’re vegan, it’s perfect as is! You’ll be munching on this even for breakfast.
Yes, I usually crave something savory for breakfast. When I have a big container of this waiting for me in the fridge, I will enjoy it…because even the colors make this salad so irresistible!
Whether you enjoy this salad as a side to a bigger meal, or top it with chicken or shrimp and call it dinner, the flavors will keep them coming back for more!
There has been more salad making than usual these days. And this is the one salad we can’t get enough of! The crunch of the freshly chopped veggies, a little umami kick from the olives, all mixed with a really fresh and zesty dressing. You’re going to love this as much as we do!
It’s not actually a salad, but more of a chopped veggie side dish. Because the ingredients are chopped so fine, it could even be a condiment. But for simplicity sake, we’ll stick with calling this a salad!
So whether you enjoy this as a big salad on its own, or you enjoy it with grilled protein, trust me when tell you, you’ll be making it every week!
Here is everything you’ll need to get it going in no time:
For the salad:
- cucumbers (English or baby cucumbers)
- red onion
- tomatoes (Plum or Roma are fine)
- Kalamata olives (optional)
For the dressing:
- olive oil
Let’s talk quickly about the simple ingredients in the salad:
- Cucumber: I prefer English cucumbers, but use whatever you have on hand. If you use a regular cucumber, the seeds tend to be bitter, so it’s an extra step you have to do to remove them.
- Tomatoes: Roma or Plum tomatoes are fine. Also, you could use cherry or grape tomatoes.
- Red onions: Use whatever amount you like. A little goes a long way. I have a kid that likes more onion flavor, so we add more.
- Kalamata olives: Other olives could work, but the saltiness of a Kalamata olive make it an even better choice for this salad. You could use another black olive, or leave it out all together.
How to make an easy Mediterranean chopped salad
Once you gather all your ingredients, the main part of the recipe begins.
Step 1: Make the easy dressing by either adding the ingredients to a bowl and whisking together. Or you could add the ingredients to a jar, close the lid, and shake it really well to combine. Set aside the dressing, and prep the salad.
Step 2: With your sharpest knife and a cutting board, you will begin to prep the veggies. It’s best to put a towel under the cutting board so it won’t slip around.
Step 3: You could use the amount of each vegetable that you prefer. If you like more cucumbers, add more. Also, adjust the onions to your taste. If you only like a little bit of onions, just add a little for flavor. Also, the Kalamata olives…add more, if you love the salty flavor. Use black olives, if that’s all you have on hand.
Step 4: Add all the chopped veggies and olives to a large bowl.
Step 4: Once you have all the ingredients in the bowl, add on the dressing and stir to combine.
Step 5: Another option is to squeeze the fresh lemon juice directly on the salad and drizzle on the olive oil (salt + pepper). Or you could add the dressing ingredients to a jar and shake it all together. Double the dressing to have extra for this salad (if you like more dressing)or to use for other salads.
Step 6: Let the salad marinate with the dressing for 5-15 minutes (or even up to 30 minutes)before enjoying. If you’re serving with any protein, prep the salad, dress it, and let it sit while you prep the side dish.
Here’s the thing…this could be your chopped veggie salad or the beginning of something else.
Variations for this chopped salad
- Romaine – or whatever lettuce you prefer
- Chickpeas – use canned (rinse them!) or fresh cooked
- Peppers— green, red or even any sort of spicy peppers for a kick of heat
- Avocados—smooth and ripe avocados make this salad even more healthy
- Lentils—have some lentils cooked up for meal prep, toss some in
- Quinoa—white, red, black or even the tri-colored quinoa is great
- Salmon—an air-fryer cooked piece of salmon would be perfect
- Cheese—feta cheese would be ideal in this salad (there is even vegan feta you could toss in)
- Tortilla chips—serve it with your favorite crunchy tortilla chips
- Pasta— make it a pasta salad by adding 8 ounces cooked pasta (drained and cooled)
Some more recipe tips
- Yield: You’ll get about 4 servings from this salad.
- Storage: If you’re making this for meal prep, make dressing and add on when serving.
- Make ahead: Make the salad and the dressing ahead of time. You could make the dressing even 5 days before. The salad 1-2 days before. Store in separate containers in the refrigerator.
- Make the vinaigrette your own: Get creative with the dressing. If you have chopped garlic on hand, add some in. If you like it spicy, add some red pepper flakes and shake it all up for a dressing with a little kick!
Can I make this salad as part of a main dish?
Yes! Any grilled protein would work great (grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon, steak). You could also serve it with these healthy chicken patties (I have it together at least once a week). If you’re not counting carbs, a vegan idea would be with some pita bread and homemade hummus.
Some other salad ideas to try:
- Whole30 Broccoli Salad
- Chicken Avocado Salad
- Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Salad
- Warm Tuna Nicoise Salad
One last thing…I promise!
Just a quick request: if you enjoyed this really easy Mediterranean chopped salad as much as we did, would you kindly leave me a 5-star rating and a short (or long!)comment–the ratings are what helps get my recipes and hard work discovered, so I can keep leaving you more delish recipes!
Your comments mean the world to me….and I really SMILE when I read them. Thank you so much! XX
Easy Mediterranean Chopped Salad
- For the Dressing:
- juice and zest of 2 large lemons use organic if you’re using the zest
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½-1 teaspoon salt
- For the Salad:
- 1 large English cucumber finely diced
- ½ cup to 1 cup red onion finely diced
- 4 Roma or Plum tomatoes finely diced
- ¼-½ cup Kalamata olives finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt) or more, to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper or more, to taste
- Make the easy dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Or, add all the dressing ingredients in a glass jar. Close the lid tightly and shake vigorously.
- Prep the salad: Rinse the cucumber and tomatoes well. Finely dice all the vegetables. Chop up the olives.
- Add all the ingredients to a large bowl.
- Mix the salad: Add on the dressing to the salad, and stir to combine. Check the flavoring, and add more salt and freshly ground pepper to your taste. Add a little hot pepper, if you enjoy a little spicy kick! You could let it marinate before enjoying( even 5-15 minutes will give the flavors time to nicely combine together).
Dressing: Double the recipe and use the rest for other salad recipes (will keep fresh for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator).
Cucumbers: Use 1 large or 2 smaller English cucumbers. If you use a regular cucumber, it should be peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and diced (no need to peel and seed an English cucumber). Red onions: If using 1 large red onion, 1/2 onion should yield approximately 1 cup finely diced. You could sub a sweet onion. Use 1/2 - 1 cup finely diced onion, Use less, if you prefer.
Tomatoes: Use two large Roma or Plum tomatoes. Or if you have cherry or grape tomatoes on hand, use 1 ½ -2 cups cut in half. If using Roma or Plum, seed if you prefer.
Kalamata olives: If you don’t have kalamata on hand, you could use black olives. To Store: If you’re planning to just have 1 portion, do not add the dressing. Dressing will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator. If you’ve combined the salad and dressing, the dressed salad will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a few days.