The key to a great Greek salad is the dressing. I often toss fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese with this simple dressing, serve it with toasted flatbread, and call it lunch. Sometimes I include lettuce or spinach, sometimes I throw in cubed bell pepper or thinly sliced onions. Olives make an appearance, as does the occasional grilled chicken. The satisfying flavor and versatility keep me coming back for more.
Greek dressing is a simple mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard, and oregano. I add fresh lemon juice to give the dressing some brightness and a touch of honey to balance out the flavors. The result is a tart, herby, garlicky, and balanced dressing that perks up salads without masking the flavor and texture of the vegetables.
While not exactly what you’d find in Greece, this recipe is faithful to the ones served in Greek American restaurants. Sure, you can buy bottled kind, but it’s so easy to make at home without artificial thickeners or preservatives.
Shake It in a Jar
Some recipes call for adding the oil slowly as you constantly whisk, but I’ve found it’s much easier to add everything to a lidded jar and shake it. The mustard helps emulsify the dressing, allowing the vinegar, lemon juice, and oil to combine into a cohesive and creamy mixture. Leftovers can be stored in the jar and simply shaken again before serving.
Easy Swaps to Try
It’s easy to adjust this recipe to suit your tastes. Here are some simple ingredient swaps to try:
- All vinegar: If you prefer a more assertive red wine vinegar flavor, replace the lemon juice with more vinegar.
- All lemon juice: Similarly, if you like a tart dressing, you can swap some or all of the vinegar with more lemon juice.
- Garlic powder: Don’t have fresh garlic on hand? Use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Make it vegan: Replace the honey with agave or maple syrup.
A Million-ish Ways to Use Greek Salad Dressing
If you’re making Greek salad dressing, chances are you’re planning to make a Greek salad. But let’s think beyond that! This is a versatile dressing that works on a wide variety of vegetables. It’s especially wonderful on:
- Greek Salad in Jars
- Lentil Salad with Summer Vegetables
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad
- Quinoa Greek Salad
Greek salad dressing also makes a nice marinade for grilled meats like:
Drizzle it over these grilled or roasted vegetables:
Greek Salad Dressing
Since this recipe only calls for a few ingredients, quality matters. If possible, use high quality olive oil and red wine vinegar as well as fresh lemon juice for the tastiest dressing.
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon honey, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Combine the ingredients:
In a half-pint or larger screw-top jar, add the garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, honey, if using, and Dijon mustard. Screw on the lid tightly.
Shake, shake, shake:
Shake it vigorously for about 1 minute until the honey and mustard dissolve and the dressing has emulsified into a slightly creamy and uniform mixture.
Taste and serve:
Taste the dressing for seasoning, adding more salt as needed. Use right away or store in the fridge for up to 5 days. It will separate as it sits—give it a good shake before serving and it will be as good as new.
The olive oil may solidify in the fridge, but don’t panic. Warm the mixture slightly, either by letting it sit out on the counter for several minutes or by heating it for 10 seconds in the microwave, and it will turn liquid again.
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