Shepherd Salad

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

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!)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 votes, average: 4.90 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 46 1x


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


  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

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:

Last updated October 2019

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

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

Cookbook Author and photographer

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.


  • Reply
    Skinny Fat Kid
    July 19, 2011 at 10:39 am

    This looks like an awesome, light salad perfect for summer! I love feta and red onion.

    • Reply
      July 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Thanks! I love them too :)

  • Reply
    July 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

    This looks so fresh and flavorful! A great meal for those busy summer days when you want something light and easy to prepare for dinner!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2011 at 10:58 am

    This salad looks perfect! I’m hungry now :-) It reminds me of the greek salad.

  • Reply
    Adora's Box
    July 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I never knew the name of this salad but it is quite popular here in London. You made it perfectly. Looks so fresh and delicious. Makes me crave for it.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Looks wonderful! Great salad for lunch.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    What a great idea!! This looks fantastic! :)

  • Reply
    July 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Beautiful. Refreshing. Light. = Perfect!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      July 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      You’re welcome!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    July 19, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Hahaha… it’s funny to me that you first had it in Isla Mujeres. :) It looks delicious!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I’m glad to see that is feta cheese, I was worried it was tofu.

    • Reply
      July 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      Haha! I do enjoy tofu – but that would really ruin this salad :)

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Yumm. Comment from my 14 yo son – “I didn’t think I would like this but it is actually really good”. Garden tomatoes and cucumbers needed to be used and this was perfect. We like our feta cheese in smaller doses so we used crumbles and substitutes red wine vinegar. Like a greek salad without the lettuce.

    • Reply
      July 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      That is so great to hear!! Nothing is more flattering than when the kids like it too – thanks for sharing! :)

  • Reply
    April 11, 2012 at 8:11 am

    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.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2012 at 12:23 am

    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!

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