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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!

Shepherd Salad
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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!

Tomatoes for shepherd salad

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:

  1. Peel the cucumbers, seed them, and chop them into bite sized pieces.
  2. Dice the tomato.
  3. Dice the red onion.
  4. Chop the fresh oregano.
  5. Mix everything together in a bowl with olive oil, lemon juice, Kalamata olives, salt and pepper, and a splash of white wine vinegar.
  6. Top with feta cubes or crumbles. Let stand for 5 minutes, then dig in!
Shepherd salad
This cucumber salad with vinegar is German in origin

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:

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.

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Shepherd Salad (Easy & Delicious!)


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x

Description

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!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Looking for more salad recipes?

Outside of this Turkish shepherd salad, here are a few more of our favorite salad recipes:

Last updated October 2019

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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17 Comments

  1. Bailey says:

    How excited was I to see this was a rift on the salad on Isla, I was searching for a recipe because I am obsessed with the salad there!

  2. jenny says:

    jajaa..i looked at this and instantly thought “Guatemala-Pana”…funny that urs was isla mujeres (where i used to teach, actually!!)…such a simple salad that one wouldn’t associate with either of the two!

  3. Aschwin says:

    This is indeed the traditional Greek salad. We love to eat that for lunch. Just the salad or sometimes we add some Turkish bread with lots of olive oil. This is sooooo nourishing.

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