- I make Greek salad for lunch every day of the week because it’s cheap, filling, and delicious.
- A full week of ingredients only costs me around $23.
- I always include cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, and feta cheese, along with a protein.
Greek salad was almost always part of our meals, including on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Whenever I saw something different in our favorite red bowl — usually one of those pre-washed supermarket salad bags — I couldn’t help but feel disappointed.
All you really need is cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and feta cheese, all mixed together with a splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar.
All you have to do is bring a few ingredients in your bag for a quick assembly at the office.
Even if I wanted to get another avocado or some more chicken to tide me over on Friday, I would have only spent around $25 for an entire week’s worth of lunch.
Cucumbers only contain 16 calories per serving, and they provide a great — and filling — foundation for Greek salads. I always slice a whole one across the middle and then peel each half. I then cut the two halves into fours and slice across them to create dozens of small cucumber slices.
Red onions are similarly just up to preference. I love onions and put plenty in my salad to give it that extra bite. But it can be overpowering to the taste if you put too much, even for me.
I used to make this recipe with a full regular-sized avocado, but found it overpowered the salad (and made it really mushy). So I’ve settled on a half, always storing the extra in a Ziploc bag with some onion. I’ve tried both lemon juice and aluminum foil, but found that this technique works best at keeping the avocado fresh. There’s only ever a little brown on top when I use it the next day.
But, let’s be real. My cheese needs to make it safely from my gym bag to my office fridge after a 30-minute commute. The point of this salad is ease, and pre-crumbled feta has no spill risk. And, most importantly, it still tastes good! There’s plenty of different flavors to try with a variety of added herbs (just please don’t judge me for going fat-free).
And there’s plenty of ways to dress up this salad for vegetarians and vegans, while still keeping it filling throughout the day. I’ve paired horiatiki with spicy black beans and bell peppers, falafel, quinoa that I’ve cooked in Trader Joe’s miso soup (it adds a nice subtle, almost teriyaki flavor), and Trader Joe’s Sriracha baked tofu (I swear this post was not sponsored by Trader Joe’s).
Whatever you need to stay full through the day, Greek salad truly is the perfect base.
Olive oil and red wine vinegar keep things simple and light. Plus, with the creaminess of the avocado, the juiciness of the tomato, and the bite of the onion, you really don’t need much else to take your salad to the next level. And yes, the red wine vinegar is a must. It gives horiatiki a certain tang that makes it taste truly authentic — even when you’re sitting at a desk covered with Post-its.
Sometimes I’ll also throw in a dollop of tomato and basil hummus that I bring for my carrots — just to give it an extra little kick.
Whether I’m thinking of my childhood home in California, or the sparkling Aegean Sea in Santorini, a Greek salad always helps me escape reality.
What kale salad has that power?
But I also recognize that one of the reasons why I love Greek salad so much is that I grew up with it. There’s a nostalgia factor involved, much like why I can watch “Legally Blonde” a thousand times and never get tired of it. So if a daily Greek salad doesn’t speak to you, maybe there’s another healthy dish from your own childhood that could inspire your work lunches.