Shepherd's Salad, or choban salad, is a light and refreshing salad that can be tossed together in minutes. It's filled with cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, feta cheese, olives, and a light lemon vinaigrette dressing.
If you're in need of a refreshing and flavorful summer salad, look no further. You're going to love this shepherd's salad because it's filled with simple seasonal ingredients and it's easy to pull together in a moment's notice.
Shepherd's salad is a Turkish chopped salad that's meant to be prepared with any fresh, simple produce you have on hand in a home garden. The name comes from the shepherds who would collect ingredients from their farms and toss them together to make these salads.
Serve shepherd's salad with a slice of crusty bread for a complete meal. It's perfect for hot summer days when you can't imagine turning on the stove.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Fresh produce - Shepherd's salad is meant to be customizable with any fresh produce you happen to have on hand. The most common ingredients include cucumber and tomatoes. I've also added red onion today. Fresh diced pepper is another common ingredient.
- Feta cheese - Adds a creamy, salty element to the salad.
- Olives - I used kalamata olives, but they can be substituted with other olives you have on hand, or omitted entirely.
- Lemon - Adds a bright, citrusy flavor to the dressing. I don't recommend omitting it. However, it can be substituted with an equal amount of vinegar if needed.
- Parsley - Adds peppery flavor to the salad.
- Olive oil - The base of the dressing.
- Seasoning - Salt and red pepper flakes add flavor to the dressing. Red pepper flakes can be substituted with black pepper. Other spices like paprika, sumac, or cumin can be added for a warm, savory flavor.
Add more flavor to your shepherd's salad with these optional additions:
- Chopped fresh herbs like dill, mint, or oregano
- Dried spices like sumac, paprika, or cumin
- Bell pepper
- Jalapeno pepper
- Romaine lettuce
What is choban salad?
Choban Salad, also called shepherd's salad or Çoban salatası, is a Turkish salad commonly made with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onion, and parsley. It is typically topped with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.
The name comes from the shepherds who would make this salad using crops from their farms and common ingredients they always had available.
While there are many versions of a shepherd's salad, the important part is that it's made with easy, inexpensive ingredients that you have on hand.
If you need to make your shepherd's salad a few hours before an event or party, simply refrigerate until it's ready to serve.
Because the salad contains vegetables, some juices will release once they're tossed in dressing. The salad will start to get soggy after a day or so.
If you need to make your salad a day ahead, I'd suggest storing the salad ingredients and dressing ingredients separately.
Just before serving, toss your salad in the dressing.
- 2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
- 4 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- ½ medium red onion, chopped
- 4 ounces feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 ounces kalamata olives, sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- In a bowl, add diced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese, olives, and parsley.
- Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Best enjoyed the same day.
- Try to maintain a uniform size when dicing your ingredients. A salad is easier and more pleasant to eat when all of the ingredients are cut to a similar size.
- Because the salad contains vegetables, some juices will be released once they are tossed in the dressing. The salad will start to get soggy after a day or so.
- If you need to make your salad a day ahead, I'd suggest separating your salad ingredients from your dressing ingredients. Then, just before serving, toss your salad in the dressing. This way, your salad will remain beautiful and fresh, without any wilting ingredients.