Greek Salad Dressing
Greek Salad Dressing that tastes just like the the restaurant version packed with lemon juice, red wine vinegar, oregano, olive oil, and garlic.
This easy at home Greek dressing is made with items you likely already have in your pantry and instantly makes any salad something special. Use it to make your own Greek salad at home or get creative and use it for marinating proteins, grilling vegetables, and making pasta salad.
If there is a Greek salad on the menu, you better bet I will be ordering it. I just can't get enough of the salty feta cheese, crispy vegetables, and briny olives. All that in the lemony Greek dressing. It's hard to beat. Lately, I have been recreating that restaurant meal at home and the key to making this salad taste like the real thing is definitely the dressing.
Greek dressing needs to have the perfect combination of lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and oregano. This gives it brightness and tons of herbal flavor. Normally this dressing is also made with a lot of Greek olive oil, but this version is lightened up and still tastes just as delicious. Finish it with some garlic and a touch of Dijon mustard for depth, and you have a dressing you will want to eat on everything. Around here, we do.
Last week when I made a quadruple batch of this recipe, I ended up using it to marinate chicken. So so good. Also, I also drizzled it on grilled vegetables, used it for grain bowls, and there were some salads too. The bright flavors are perfect for warmer weather and it's just one of those dressing that tastes good on everything.
How to make Greek salad dressing from scratch?
Making Greek dressing at home is surprisingly easy since it relies on ingredients most of us already have in our pantries. The key components to any Greek dressing should always be olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, and oregano.
After that, it becomes a matter of preference. Some people like to add some Dijon mustard to deepen the flavors. Others add dried basil to kick up the herbal component. Some people add onion powder or fresh shallots. Others add a touch of sugar or honey to balance the tanginess.
Since this is a lower calorie option when it comes to Greek dressing, I like to add some Greek yogurt. It makes for a creamy style dressing, although it's not super thick. This allows you to get all the same great flavor without having to use as much olive oil. If you are not counting calories, you could replace the Greek yogurt with extra olive oil for a more traditional dressing.
Ways to Use Greek Dressing
- Salads: Make a big salad, with or without the lettuce, and use this as your dressing. It works for Greek style salads as it was intended, but can be used for any salad you like. The neutral flavors work well with everything.
- Marinade: this is a terrific marinade for chicken and pork. The lemon juice and red wine vinegar help to tenderize the meat. It adds tons of flavor before tossing the protein on the grill, in a pan, or in the oven.
- Pasta Salad: Make a Greek style pasta salad by combining cooked pasta, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, green peppers, feta, and a double batch of this dressing. Add some sliced pepperoncinis if you like things slightly spicy.
- Pizzas: Combine the flavors or pizza and Greek salad by topping a traditional pizza crust with a thin layer of melted cheese and then a big pile of Greek salad tossed with this dressing. The perfect summer meal.
- Vegetables: Make some grilled or roasted vegetables and drizzle this on top right before serving. You can also marinate the vegetables in the dressing before cooking.
How to Make a Classic Greek Salad
There are actually multiple schools of thought when it comes to Greek salads and what should be included. The main point of contention is whether or not it should contain lettuce. Most classic recipes do not include lettuce. Here's how they are prepared:
- Chopped cucumbers
- Chopped tomatoes
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Thinly sliced green pepper
- Greek Kalalmata olives
- Sliced or cubed feta (not crumbled)
- A drizzle of Greek olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice (no mixed Greek dressing)
- Heavy sprinkling of oregano
American style Greek salads will also usually contain chopped Romaine lettuce, pepperoncini peppers, and are topped with a mixed Greek dressing as opposed to the separate components.
Recipe Ideas and Tips
- Make a creamy version of this dressing by adding Greek yogurt, plain yogurt, light mayonnaise, or sour cream to the dressing mixture.
- Crumble some feta cheese right into the dressing instead of serving it in the salad. This is really delicious for roasted vegetables.
- Add some chopped olives or olive tapenade to the dressing to create a more dynamic flavor.
- Instead of salt, use a squirt of anchovy paste in the dressing to add depth and flavor.
- Add more herbal flavor by adding some Italian seasoning or dried basil to the dressing.
- Use fresh oregano instead of dried. You'll need about double the amount. Dressing made with fresh oregano is best served right away.
- If you don't like a strong garlic flavor, use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic for a milder taste.
More salad dressing recipes
- Healthy Ranch Dressing
- Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Lemon Feta Vinaigrette
- Light Italian Dressing
- Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing
How to lighten this dressing up even more
There are a few ways you can make this dressing even lighter is you like, but it will change the consistency and flavor since olive oil is a big part of any classic Greek salad dressing.
- Replace some or all of the olive oil with chicken or vegetable broth for an oil free option.
- Replace the oil with Greek or plain yogurt for a creamy version of the dressing.
- Simply make the dressing without the oil. Many people love topping their salads with just lemon juice or vinegar.
Greek Salad Dressing
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- 1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Salt and pepper
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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