My Favorite Greek and Italian Raw Veggie Salads (no lettuce)

posted by Andrea | 01/3/2019

When it comes to eating salads, I’m usually a fan of lots of stuff on top of my leafy greens — meat, cheese, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, eggs, grains, etc. etc. The more “extras” the better for me (I’ve linked to some of my favorite salads at the end of this post!)

However, there are times when eating a simple salad sounds good, or I’m in the mood for raw veggies… but not just plain raw veggies.

In those situations, I turn to one of my 2 favorite Raw Veggie Salads — and yes, you read the title correctly, neither one has actual lettuce, spinach, kale, or any other leafy greens. They are just raw veggies with delicious seasonings and dressings (and some feta cheese) but boy are they tasty.

They are each fantastic side dishes for so many different meals, and I often eat them on their own for a lighter lunch. 

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Recipe for a Simple Greek Salad:

Serves 4

{print recipe}

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2 cucumbers; sliced
  • 4 roma tomatoes; chunked
  • 1 green pepper; sliced (or colored pepper)
  • 1 red onion; cut into thick slices
  • 12 Kalamata olives; halved
  • 1/3 c. Feta cheese; crumbled
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 4 T. balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS: 

Layer veggies and cheese in a large bowl or 4 salad plates.

Mix oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar in a small container.

Pour dressing over veggies just before eating.

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Recipe for Marinated Italian Veggie Salad:

Serves 4

{print recipe}

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 c. broccoli florets
  • 1 c. cauliflower florets
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes; halved
  • 1 cucumber; sliced
  • 3 carrots; sliced
  • 4-6 oz. fresh mushrooms; sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. Feta cheese (or to taste)
  • Italian dressing to taste (roughly 1/4 c – 1/2 c. depending on how big your salad is)

NOTE: You can use WHATEVER veggies you have in the house or whatever your family prefers. Also, this salad would also be good with Ranch dressing!

DIRECTIONS: 

Layer veggies and cheese in a large bowl.

Drizzle with dressing and mix well.

Let veggies “marinate” for at least 30 minutes before serving (I often make this several hours in advance, or even a day before and it tastes great)

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As I mentioned above, these salads are both SO flavorful, and an easy way to enjoy raw veggies without a lot of work or extra ingredients.

If you’re a salad-lover, I have a feeling you’ll like these salads too — even if it is a little strange to have a “salad” with no lettuce!

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A Few More of My Favorite Salads:

Harvest Spinach Salad

This salad is one of my all-time favorite “stuff salads” — most likely because the homemade honey mustard vinaigrette is SO delicious!

Layered Lettuce Salad

This is an excellent salad if you need to make it in advance to bring to a party. It can easily sit (even with the dressing) for a full day or more and still taste fresh!

Italian Chop Salad

This is our favorite salad to eat with homemade pizza or Stromboli.

Apple, Bacon, Pecan Salad

This salad has something for every season — and the homemade Apple Vinaigrette is the perfect dressing for this delicious salad.

Breakfast BLT Salad

I don’t have a link to this recipe, but it’s bacon bits, roasted veggies, cherry tomatoes, and fried eggs on top of spinach, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Broccoli Bacon Salad

This is another really good “non lettuce salad” that actually tastes better when you make it in advance!

Fiesta Chicken Salad

This is a fantastic stand-alone meal, and also a perfect side dish for any type of Mexican meal. The homemade yogurt-based dressing is something I always keep on hand for drizzling over so many Mexican foods!

What about you… what are YOUR favorite salads?

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25 comments

  1. Ana

    01/11/2019

    Oh my goodness! These all look amazing and I will be trying them all!
    I make a lot of your recipes, thank you for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Ana! Hope you like the salads!!

    [Reply]

  2. Chris

    01/03/2019

    I can’t wait to try some of these! I have a question. How do you pick out a good purple onion that isn’t bitter. I always have a hard time finding a sweet one.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    hmmm… not sure. I just buy onions by the bag and never really notice a difference. I’m not super picky, but I honestly don’t feel like I’ve ever had a “bad” onion!

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    OK. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  3. Sarah

    01/03/2019

    I made your apple bacon pecan salad as a part of Christmas dinner. With dried cranberries and red apples against the lettuce, it sure looked festive! Keep the salad recipes coming. I always love homemade dressings.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh yes, we LOVE that salad! It is very festive too!

    [Reply]

  4. Jenny

    01/03/2019

    If this is what you eat to look like you look, then that’s a great testimonial for veggie salads!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I’ll take that as a compliment 🙂
    This is what I sometimes eat for lunch or for one of my side dishes for dinner. I also eat lots of other things too (everything in moderation, right!)

    [Reply]

  5. Margaret

    01/03/2019

    These are very similar to the dinner salads I make every night. Mine vary with what I can find at the farmers’ market or food co-op, but they’re always delicious and I never get tired of them. I’m planning to use your Greek salad for guests–it looks great.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    the Greek salad is fantastic! I will say that I’m still “forcing” myself to eat the olives as they aren’t my favorite… but I’m hoping I’ll learn to like them soon!

    [Reply]

    Susanne Reply:

    Haha…I used to think that olives were such an “adult” food that I came home everyday from high school and made myself eat one. Sure enough, now I love them!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    That’s funny! I’m still at the “forcing myself to eat them” stage — hopefully I’ll start liking them soon!

    [Reply]

  6. Lori

    01/03/2019

    Yum! Your salads are beautiful! I eat salad everyday and I cannot wait to try yours. I am certain your recipes will be a hit in our home!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Lori! We’re big salad fans too! Hope you love these new recipes!

    [Reply]

  7. Jane

    01/03/2019

    I love when you link back to prior posts. I distinctly remember reading the Fiesta Chicken Salad post and wanting to make the dressing. Then life happened and I forgot. I am putting it on the menu plan for next week. I’m so excited!!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh good — glad you found the recipe you were looking for. That fiesta chicken salad dressing is FABULOUS!!

    [Reply]

  8. Calliope

    01/03/2019

    Very timely Andrea! The unavoidable post Christmas diet is here and these will come in handy!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — yes, that was my thought process in sharing the salad post AFTER the holidays!

    [Reply]

  9. Dawn

    01/03/2019

    I love salads but it’s easy for me to be stuck in a rut. These all look yummy and I need to try them soon! Thanks for the inspiration!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — hope you like them!

    [Reply]

  10. Christine

    01/03/2019

    I am not a fan of leafy salads. I often have a veggie tray for lunch. These look delicious!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you’ll definitley love the Italian salad if you’re accustom to eating raw veggies for lunch anyway!

    [Reply]

  11. Jeanne

    01/03/2019

    Oh golly, these look delicious!! Have to try them. Yum.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    they ARE delicious (I just had the Italian salad for lunch today!) hope you enjoy them!

    [Reply]