31 Fresh Summer Mediterranean Salad Recipes
Mediterranean food is well-known for its focus on fresh, colorful ingredients and simple yet delicious flavors. One of the best ways to enjoy the tastes of the Mediterranean is through salads which showcase the region’s abundant produce and highlight its signature herbs and spices.
Whether you’re looking for a light and refreshing side dish or a satisfying meal on its own, there’s a Mediterranean salad out there for you.
Olive oil, a staple of the Mediterranean cuisine, it’s obviously a key ingredient when it comes to Mediterranean salads, so make sure you have some top quality olive oil on hand (plus some delicious balsamic vinegar). Extra-virgin olive oil is the highest quality and most flavorful, as it is made purely from the first pressing of the olives and is not subjected to any chemical refinement.
Apart from its unique taste, olive oil has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. It’s also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help to protect against cognitive decline.
From classic Greek salads to inventive takes on tabbouleh, these dishes will transport your taste buds to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. So grab your favorite olive oil and let’s get started!
1. Panzanella Toscana Salad
This Italian recipe is a pretty unique take on the humble salad, combining crusty bread, such as ciabatta, toasted in garlic-infused olive oil, with tomatoes, cucumbers, shallots, roasted peppers, and herbs and spices.
It’s a very filling combo, that tickles your senses and taste buds with crunchiness, sweetness, freshness, and acidity. Next to some grilled fish or chicken, it’s the perfect lunch.
2. Purslane Salad with Yogurt
A very underused type of green, purslane has a slightly sour and salty taste, and it’s very rich in a variety of nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and antioxidants.
You should definitely try this salad that combines purslane with yogurt and garlic – refreshing, delicious, and healthy!
3. Mediterranean Salad with Grilled Chicken
Low carb, satisfying, and packed with flavor, this salad makes the perfect summer lunch or dinner. The meat is marinated in yogurt with lemon juice and olive oil, plus herbs and spices, to enhance both taste and texture.
The salad dressing perfectly balances acidity with sweetness and a touch of bitterness, while the other ingredients, including roasted pistachios, cherry tomatoes, arugula and feta, round things up perfectly.
4. Piyaz with Tahini (White Bean Salad)
This salad is filling and rich in protein, due to the white beans and the boiled eggs, so it will keep you satisfied for hours – it’s a great lunch option, and it’s easy to pack for school or for the office.
The tahini, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice dressing is rich, velvety, and very tasty, and tomatoes, onions, and parsley complete the dish.
5. Couscous Salad
The combination of couscous, chickpeas, veggies, and raisins brings a variety of textures and tastes to every bite. The salad is easily customizable as well: you can use your favorite veggies, or even substitute the couscous for quinoa, or brown rice.
6. Çoban Salata (Sheperd’s Salad)
Effortless and tasty, this salad is the perfect accompaniment for this summer’s lunches or dinners.
Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and onion bring to the table everything that a good salad needs, from crunchiness to sweetness. A simple olive oil and lemon juice vinaigrette plus some fresh parsley are the final touches.
7. Fast and Delicious Tabbouleh Salad
Originating in the Middle East, this salad is the very definition of freshness, containing tons of parsley and mint, but also tomatoes, onions, and bulgur wheat. A simple, tangy dressing made of olive oil and lemon juice elevates all the ingredients and allows them to shine.
8. Watermelon and Feta Salad
This sweet and salty combination of tastes, plus the mint leaves, makes it very hard to stop eating this salad. On top of that, you also have some crunchy pita croutons, all drizzled with olive oil. It’s the perfect side dish for grilled fish, seafood, or grilled veggies.
9. Mediterranean Chopped Salad
A bunch of typical Mediterranean veggies, such as tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and peppers, are combined with chickpeas, red beets, and plenty of fresh dill, for a colorful and satisfying salad. Some Greek dressing, feta cheese and pita bread to scoop up the salad is all that’s needed for a complete meal.
10. Salad Niçoise with Potatoes
New potatoes, tuna, olives, eggs, and beans are just some of the ingredients of this salad (or should we rather call it a perfectly balanced, delicious lunch?)
The recipe can be easily tweaked, depending on your preference – just make sure you use liberal amounts of the delicious garlic, olive oil, and Dijon mustard dressing.
11. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Rich in fiber and protein, this salad bets on simple ingredients such as chickpeas, feta, tomatoes, onions, and plenty of fresh herbs, all tossed together with a delicious homemade dressing. Make sure you let it rest for an hour in the fridge, so that all the flavors combine.
12. Watermelon Salad
Watermelon, the quintessential summer fruit, crunchy, sweet and juicy, is the star of this apparently simple yet very refined salad. Only a few ingredients are needed, and the salty and sweet combination, plus a burst of freshness and acidity from mint and lemon will turn the salad into your favorite summer appetizer.
13. Mediterranean Mixed Bean Salad
This hearty salad can be enjoyed year-round, as it revolves around cooked mixed beans, and canned artichoke hearts. The other ingredients, including tomatoes, cucumbers, or celery, are also easy to find regardless of the season.
The vinaigrette, based on the artichokes hearts juice, combined with marinated feta, olive oil, and acidic ingredients, takes the salad to the next level.
14. Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta
Fresh, herby, and tangy, this pasta salad is light yet satisfying, and perfect for hot summer days (and as side dish for your weekend barbecue). It has few ingredients, so it’s easy to whip up at a moment’s notice. The touch of honey in the dressing is a nice surprise and really completes the flavor profile.
15. Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad
Crunchy cauliflower florets are tossed in a sweet, tangy, and flavorful dressing that contains olive oil, red wine vinegar, and honey, among others.
You can assemble the salad, minus the herbs, which should be added just before serving, in advance, to allow the cauliflower to marinate with the dressing and soak up the flavors for an hour or so.
16. Spinach, Strawberries, and Fried Feta Salad
This salad has a lot going for it, from the spinach and strawberries combo bursting with flavor, to the crunchy fried feta. The sumac dressing, that also contains pomegranate molasses, is truly out of the box and you’ll probably use it a lot going forward.
17. Spanish Orange and Pomegranate Salad
Simple yet spectacular, this salad makes for a refreshing side dish that will complement various meats and cheeses. Sweet, tangy, and salty, with peppery notes from arugula, not only does it taste amazing, it also looks spectacular.
18. Best Greek Salad
Why mess with perfection, after all? This recipe checks all the marks for a classic (and beyond delicious) Greek salad: fresh vegetables, crispy pita croutons, crumbly feta cheese, and a from-scratch dressing that combines olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and Dijon mustard with herbs and spices.
19. Sprouted Buckwheat Salad with Basil Pesto
Sprouted buckwheat is easy to digest and choke-full of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. You can buy already sprouted buckwheat or you can easily do it at home. On top of that, the salad also contains carrots, beetroot, fennel, arugula, among other healthy and delicious ingredients.
20. Mediterranean Lentil Salad
This salad makes for a healthy, hearty lunch, packed with proteins, fibers, and other nutrients. Even better, it’s easy to put together and very tasty – just make sure you don’t overcook the lentils, as they can get mushy.
21. Artichoke Salad
Either a side dish or a meal on its own, this salad combines nutty, meaty artichoke hearts with chickpeas, feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, and herbs. The Mediterranean dressing brings all the various tastes and textures together.
22. Mediterranean Pigtail Pasta Salad with Shrimp and Vegetables
This is a complex pasta salad with plenty of ingredients, so it takes a little bit of preparation. However, it has it all: carbs, protein, fiber, fresh veggies, cheese, and a delicious dressing. Make a big batch and you can enjoy the leftovers the next day.
23. Pesto Pasta Salad
Simple and with few ingredients, but a veritable explosion of taste – the cornerstone of this salad is definitely the vibrant, homemade pesto sauce, with plenty of basil.
For good measure (and crunchiness) add some extra toasted pine nuts to the salad itself, plus soft and creamy pearl mozzarella.
24. Mediterranean White Bean Salad
A vegan salad packed with protein, this Mediterranean white bean salad makes for a refreshing and satisfying lunch, next to a crusty piece or bread. The roasted red peppers add smokiness and sweetness to it. It keeps well in the fridge for a day or two.
25. Zesty Quinoa Salad with Mint
The mint and citrus combination make this salad refreshing and very hard to resist, while the quinoa and the chickpeas will ensure that your hunger is satisfied and you are full for hours. It’s best when made ahead and let to chill for a couple of hours.
26. The Ultimate Mediterranean Chopped Salad
This Mediterranean-inspired salad is highly nutritious due to ingredients such as chickpeas, canned tuna, and feta cheese. The roasted peppers and the sun-dried tomatoes are a nice, smoky addition, while the pepperoncini gives it a bit of punch.
27. Roasted Eggplant Salad with Tahini Dressing
A vegan salad inspired by Lebanese cuisine, this one is very satisfying due to the meaty roasted eggplants and the walnuts.
The lemony tahini dressing and the sweet and crunchy pomegranate seeds add plenty of taste and texture.
Simple and fresh ingredients, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and red onions, are front and center and allowed to shine in this Middle Eastern salad.
29. Burrata Salad with Balsamic Glaze
Soft and creamy burrata cheese is definitely the star of this recipe, while the balsamic vinegar, with its tangy and sweet notes, complements the rich, buttery taste of the cheese. Some sweet cherry tomatoes, mixed greens, and fresh basil are all that’s needed for a 100% authentic Mediterranean dish.
30. Cretan Dakos Salad
Conveniently served on a piece of toasted bread, this Cretan salad is perfect for parties, and it makes a very tasty appetizer. Make sure you use sweet, juicy tomatoes, as they do most of the heavy lifting, Feta cheese, olives, and olive oil are bringing it all together.
For more local treats, check out our story on the most popular Cretan foods.
31. Kisir (Turkish Bulgur Salad)
Delicious, nutty bulgur is the base ingredient of this traditional Turkish salad which can be prepared in big batches – you can keep the leftovers in the fridge for a few days.
The bulgur is combined with fresh veggies but also with tomato and pepper paste, and pomegranate molasses, resulting in tasty and nutritious meal.