This Turkish shepherd salad is a traditional mix of cucumber, tomato, olives, and feta cheese with lemon juice and olive oil: an easy summer salad!
Have you ever tasted something you’ve been thinking about ever since? Such was the case with this shepherd salad! Alex and I first tried this traditional Turkish salad in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, of all places. The food was so delicious at a sweet little Mediterranean restaurant we visited that we had to return just to get another taste! Since then, we’ve been dying for cucumbers and tomatoes to be in season so we could try out a shepherd salad recipe. Here’s how to make it at home!
How to make shepherd salad
Was this shepherd salad worth the wait? Every last day. Nothing is more refreshing on a steamy summer night than a cucumber and tomato salad punctuated with salty feta and briny olives – at least in our opinion!
There are lots of variations on shepherd salad. But we wanted to mimic the simple, straightforward flavors we remembered. Parsley is the most traditional of herbs to add here, but we remembered a milder flavor of oregano. We tend to prefer oregano over the bite of parsley, which can sometimes overwhelm other flavors. Feel free to use whatever you prefer!
Here are the basic steps of how to make shepherd salad:
- Peel the cucumbers, seed them, and chop them into bite sized pieces.
- Dice the tomato.
- Dice the red onion.
- Chop the fresh oregano.
- Mix everything together in a bowl with olive oil, lemon juice, Kalamata olives, salt and pepper, and a splash of white wine vinegar.
- Top with feta cubes or crumbles. Let stand for 5 minutes, then dig in!
Cucumber salads from around the world
We can’t seem to get enough of cucumber salads…it seems like each nation has their own version. Along with this Turkish shepherd salad, there are so many varieties of cucumber salads. Here are a few standouts:
- This classic Greek salad is very similar to shepherd salad.
- German cucumber salad features thinly sliced cucumbers and onions in a vinegar dressing
- Thai cucumber salad uses Thai curry paste, cashews and cilantro
- Korean cucumber salad has carrots, spicy gochujang paste, and sesame seeds
- Mexican style cucumber avocado salad features tomatoes, lime and cilantro
What other cucumber salad recipes do you know of? Let us know in the comments below!
This shepherd salad recipe is…
Vegetarian and gluten-free.Print
This shepherd salad is a traditional mix of cucumber, tomato, olives, and feta cheese with lemon juice and olive oil: a perfectly easy summer salad!
- 3 cucumbers
- 4 Roma tomatoes (or 2 large tomatoes)
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 handful fresh oregano
- 1 cup Kalamata olives
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from 1 lemon (about 3 to 4 tablespoons)
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 splash white wine vinegar
- 8 ounces feta cheese
- Fresh ground pepper
- Peel the cucumbers; cut them in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, then chop them into bite-sized chunks. Coarsely chop the tomatoes. Dice the onion. Chop the oregano.
- In a large bowl, mix the cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and oregano with the Kalamata olives. Mix in the the olive oil, lemon, fresh ground pepper, and kosher salt. Add a splash or two of white wine vinegar. Taste, and add more salt or pepper if desired.
- Crumble or cut feta cheese into chunks, then add it to the salad. Let stand for 5 minutes to meld flavors, then serve.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Turkish
Keywords: Shepherd Salad, Turkish Shepherd Salad, Salad Recipes, Summer Salad Recipes, Gluten Free Salad Recipes, Cucumber Salad
Looking for more salad recipes?
Outside of this Turkish shepherd salad, here are a few more of our favorite salad recipes:
- Wedge Salad with Potato Chips
- Easy Bean Salad
- Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad
- Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Caribbean Black Bean Salad
- Greek Salad
- Cucumber Salad with Vinegar
- Classic Vegan Potato Salad
- Peach & Burrata Salad
- Arugula & Tomato Burrata Salad
Last updated October 2019
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.