Israeli Salad Recipe – Paleo, Vegan & Low Carb

Meet your new favorite side - a simple authentic Israeli Salad Recipe made with finely chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh parsley, lemon, and olive oil. Trust me, this is the best recipe for Israeli salad EVER and it's so easy! Low carb, low in calories, and gluten-free! Feel free to add chickpeas, mint or fresh fruit and serve with pita, shawarma, hummus and pita chips for an Israeli feast  #glutenfree #lowcarb #saladrecipes #lowcal

Meet your new favorite side dish – a simple authentic Israeli Salad Recipe made with finely chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh parsley, lemon, and olive oil. Low carb, low in calories, paleo, vegan and gluten-free! 

overhead shot of a plate of Israeli Salad with a spoon on the side

Meet the refreshing side dish that will complement all those gorgeous main dishes you’ll cook up this summer.

This easy Middle Eastern salad bursts with all that gorgeous summer produce – crisp, fresh veggies and herbs, tossed in a simple lemony dressing that takes seconds to make. On its own, this salad is a clean-eating approved, plant-based, healthy and detoxifying dish that fits into any diet. Summer in a bowl.

side view of a plate of chopped Israeli salad with a spoon on the side

What is Israeli Salad?

Let me start by saying that this salad has different names throughout the Middle East, so you might know it under another name already.

Traditionally, Israeli salad is made from cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and parsley. In Israel, this salad is commonly eaten for breakfast, but not exclusively – it’s also a popular side or appetizer. As for the background story, word is that it evolved from a chopped Turkish salad also known as shepherd’s salad, which again is closely related to a traditional Persian salad known as salad shirazi. Just like the wine we like so much, it’s named after the ancient city of Shiraz.

overhead shot of a bowl of Israeli salad with pita bread and lemon in the background

Turkish Coban salatsi from Israel’s Turkish neighbors became popular on the kibbutzim (communal agricultural collectives) because of the simple, easy-to-grow ingredients. Over time, some ingredients were added while others were taken away, but the basic components remained the same. In its most basic version, it contains only cucumbers and tomatoes dressed in olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. We keep things a bit more colorful and toss in some red onions and parsley.

overhead shot of ingredients needed for making Israeli salad

Whichever ingredients you decide to add, the vegetables should always be diced into even-sized chunks for that signature look. The actual size of the pieces can range from very small, a practice that started in the Ottoman Empire, to more chunky. I like it both ways and it really depends on how much patience I can rustle up.

How to make the best Israeli Salad:

How to dice a tomato the right way:

The best knife for slicing and dicing tomatoes is a serrated knife.

a tomato being chopped into fine cubes to make Israeli Salad

Step 1 – Rinse the tomato and pat dry. Cut it into slices.

Step 2 & 3 – Remove any green stem. Cut the tomato slices into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Now cut these strips crosswise into 1/4-inch dice.

a cucumber being cut into slices, then into fine cubes to make Israeli salad recipe

Step 4 & 5 Halve the cucumber, then slice in half lengthwise. If you have trouble digesting seeds, you can de-seed the cucumber easily by slicing it in half lengthwise and scooping out the seed-filled center. Cut into strips.

Step 6 – Hold the long, thin pieces together with one hand. Slice into small cubes with the other hand.

picture collage demonstrating how to make Israeli salad

Step 7 –  Place the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and parsley in a medium salad bowl.

Step 8 – Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt. Toss to combine and adjust salt to taste if needed.

 

What can I serve with Israeli Salad?

Israeli salad makes a great side dish for most meats and fish. It’s delicious with grilled chicken for instance.

If you want to keep the Middle Eastern them going, I love serving this alongside Chicken Shawarma but you can also keep it vegan and serve with falafel, pita bread or homemade pita chips and tahini sauce, baba ganoush, and hummus.

Tips

  • This salad is best served immediately because it will produce a lot of liquid.
  • The key to flavor consistency is to dice the tomatoes and cucumbers to a similar size.
  • Although not traditional, you can add bell peppers or use mint instead of parsley.
  • If you don’t like raw onions (or are going on a date later), you can make yours without.
  • One of the main ingredients in Israeli salad is cucumbers and if you can find them, I recommend you use Persian. They are smaller and sweeter than English cucumbers and are great for snacking.
  • Persian cucumbers have lots of little seeds, which add to their flavor so I leave them in.

Israeli Salad Recipe

Meet your new favorite side - a simple authentic Israeli Salad Recipe made with finely chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh parsley, lemon, and olive oil. Low carb, low in calories, and gluten-free! 

Course Appetizer, Breakfast, side, Snack
Cuisine Israeli
Keyword chopped turkish salad, Israeli salad recipe, recipe for Israeli salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Marie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ripe tomatoes thinly diced  - if tomatoes are not in season, use cherry tomatoes for the best flavor
  • 2 cups cucumbers thinly diced  - ideally Persian/small cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup red onion thinly minced
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley thinly minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Be sure to chop the tomatoes and the cucumbers thinly and to a similar size. It’s key for flavor consistency. Scroll up in the post to see how I cut them.
  2. Place the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and parsley in a medium salad bowl.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Toss to combine and adjust salt to taste if needed.
  5. This salad is best served immediately because it will produce a lot of liquid.

Recipe Notes

  • The key to flavor consistency is to dice the tomatoes and cucumbers to a similar size.
  • Although not traditional, you can add bell peppers or use mint instead of parsley.
  • If you don’t like raw onion (or are going on a date later), you can make yours without.
  • One of the main ingredients in Israeli salad is cucumbers and if you can find them, I recommend you use Persian. They are smaller and sweeter than English cucumbers and are great for snacking.

If you tried this Israeli Salad Recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

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posted in
Breakfast / Brunch Clean Eating Dairy Free Gluten free Meal Prep Paleo Paleo/Primal Quick & Easy Meals Recipes Refined Sugar Free Salads Side dishes Snacks Spring Recipes Summer Recipes Under 300 cal Vegan Vegetarian
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