Mediterranean Salad

It’s dinner time and you’ve settled on pulling out the bagged lettuce and topping it with a drizzle of jarred salad dressing. While there’s nothing particularly wrong with that salad, it could be so much more exciting and nutritious! Enter the Mediterranean salad. It’s a breeze to make and requires just a few ingredients and a little time at your cutting board.

What makes this salad so spectacular is that it’s loaded with vegetables, making it feel more like a hearty side dish than a salad. The homemade dressing will leave you wondering why you’ve spent so much money on store-bought versions. The added beauty of this dish is its simplicity. The four-ingredient salad dressing can be made in the same bowl where the salad is tossed and served. Make an extra batch and you’ll have salad that you can enjoy in your lunch the next day.

Besides being delicious, Mediterranean salad is loaded with nutrition. Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber and lean protein. Tomatoes are packed with vitamin A and vitamin C which are powerful antioxidants. The olive oil adds a healthy dose of monounsaturated fats, which benefit heart health.

Not a fan of the strong taste of raw onions? No problem, they can be omitted or try this trick: soak them in a bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes. Drain and add them to the salad. Voilà, delicious onions, without the pungency!

Food safety tip: Mediterranean salad is a great dish to bring to picnics, office parties or potlucks. Keep it safe by storing in a food-safe container with a tight-fitting lid or wrap in plastic and keep in the refrigerator that’s set to 40°F or below. Remember the two-hour rule, too. Don’t let the salad sit out unrefrigerated for more than two hours, and if it’s hot out, no more than one hour.

Mediterranean Salad

Recipe by Sara Haas, RDN, LDN


  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1, 15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ large cucumber washed, quartered, seeded and sliced horizontally
  • ½ medium red onion, washed, peeled and largely diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, washed, seeded and largely diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, washed (halved if large)
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, washed and chopped
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together mustard, red wine vinegar and oregano. Slowly stream in the olive oil and whisk until slightly thickened.
  2. In the same bowl add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

Cooking Note

  • Mediterranean salad tastes even better the next day. Just be sure to cover tightly and refrigerate at 40°F or below.


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Sara Haas
Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, is a Chicago-based dietitian and co-author of the Fertility Foods Cookbook. Read her blog, The Cooking RD, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.