It may not exactly be authentic, but this vegan Greek salad is a delight of Mediterranean inspired flavors! Made with cucumbers, kalamata olives, red wine vinaigrette, and dairy-free tofu feta (which is transformed to not taste like tofu), you’ll adore this cheery and flavorful salad.
Greek salad without feta
An oxymoron, you might say! Traditional Greek salad highlights the feta cheese even more than American restaurant versions do: it’s served as one slab atop the vegetables, a centerpiece. The cheese is then cut and crumbled into the salad whilst eating it.
As such, by necessity a vegan Greek salad has to be more in the American style. I love me some baked almond feta and the tofu feta recipe shared here, but realistically speaking, none of them quite have the right texture and flavor to serve as a showstopping salad topper.
And that’s okay! Delicious cubed tofu feta provides pops of flavor in every bite, and while it wouldn’t be served in Greece, this dairy-free Greek salad is savory and satisfying.
Greek salad dressing
When it comes to Greek salad dressing recipes, I do as Ina Garten does and dress my salad simply with a red wine vinaigrette. Compared to her recipe as written, mine has less olive oil, both for nutrition and flavor reasons – it makes the dressing more tangy.
The dressing recipe calls for 2 cloves of minced garlic, and you will regret it if you use giant cloves or increase the amount (something I normally enthusiastically support), since it’s served raw here. Just trust me 🙂
Don’t skip the mustard either, since it’s the emulsifier that helps the oil and liquid bind together.
A vegan Greek salad to write home about
My housemate is subject to recency bias at times, but declared this vegan Greek salad one of his “top 5” recipes I’ve ever made for the blog. Give it a try and see if you agree! Aside from the dressing and the homemade tofu feta (which can and should be made in advance), you’ll need a few more things:
- English cucumber (you can use the other variety of cucumber, but it will be more watery the next day if you have leftovers)
- Bell pepper (orange, red or yellow works best because of the light sweetness)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onion (soak it in water first if you’re sensitive to raw onion flavor)
- Kalamata olives (which, in my mind, MAKE the salad even more than the vegan feta does)
- Pepperoncini (you can leave these out… but the pop of spice is amazing!)
A little bit of chopping and mixing and you’re already done. Super easy recipe, through and through, and the leftovers are great the next day as well. It’s not traditional, but I also added chopped lettuce to my own salad, because I’m forever in pursuit of more leafy greens.
For some other variations, try adding chickpeas (for a more filling meal),
As for what to serve with this Greek salad, it’s great with a crusty piece of bread to sop up the extra dressing, or as a side to pizza or pasta. Perhaps it could also be a starter to pair with your tofu gyros (I’ve also got a great vegan tzatziki recipe on that post). Or, if you just want to have a salad bonanza, try my lemony arugula lentil salad, which is known to be secretly amazing.
Vegan Greek Salad with Tofu Feta
Tangy marinated tofu (requires advance prep time) transforms this dairy-free Greek salad into something unique and satisfying.
For the miso tofu feta:
For the vegan Greek salad:
- 1 English cucumber thinly sliced (1/4" thick)
- 2 bell peppers large dice (yellow/orange/red work best)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced (see note)
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced pickled pepperoncini (see note)
- 1 head romaine (optional) thinly sliced
Prepare the tofu feta:
Drain the tofu and then press out the liquid, either by using a tofu press, or wrapping it in a clean towel and stacking a heavy object on top of it.
Meanwhile, whisk together all of the remaining ingredients for the tofu, from lemon juice through onion powder. Cut the drained tofu into cubes, add it to a bowl or dish, pour the marinade over it, and gently mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate the tofu, and let marinate for at least 12 hours, up to 48 hours for the best flavor.
(Optional step for better texture) when ready to make your vegan Greek salad, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tofu cubes on the parchment paper, reserving the marinade. Bake for about 10 minutes, or just until the tofu cubes start to brown. Remove them from the oven and toss them in the marinade mixture again.
Prepare the Greek salad dressing:
Whisk together all of the ingredients except for the olive oil. Whisk in the olive oil slowly until combined and emulsified.
Prepare the vegan Greek salad:
Toss together all of the ingredients from cucumber through pepperoncini. Pour dressing over them to taste, then add the tofu feta and fold in to combine. Serve cold.
RED ONION: If you are sensitive to the bite of raw red onion, you can soak the sliced onion in cold water for a few minutes, then drain and pat it dry before adding it to the salad. This takes away some of the sharpness without ruining the flavor.
PEPPERONCINI: This is the kind of spicy-ish green peppers that typically come in jars. You can find them in the Italian/international section of your grocery store.
NUTRITION: Nutrition facts include 1/2 of the dressing, and 3/4 of the tofu marinade, which is about how much I used.