Athenian Salad Recipe - Greek Salad with Turkey and Feta

Athenian Salad

Athenian Salad Recipe - Greek Salad with Turkey and Feta
Region / culture: Greece | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4


Athenian Salad
Athenian Salad

The Athenian Salad is a delightful blend of Mediterranean flavors, combining the hearty texture of turkey cutlets with the freshness of tomatoes, olives, and green onions, all brought together with a tangy Caesar dressing. This recipe is perfect for those who love a nutritious yet flavorful meal, embodying the essence of Greek cuisine with a modern twist. Whether you're looking for a light lunch or a substantial dinner, the Athenian Salad is versatile and sure to please.


The Athenian Salad, while not an ancient recipe, draws inspiration from the traditional ingredients and culinary practices of Greece. The use of olives, feta cheese, and tomatoes pays homage to the staples of Greek cuisine, while the inclusion of turkey and Caesar dressing introduces a contemporary fusion. This recipe reflects the evolution of Mediterranean cooking, adapting to modern tastes while celebrating its historical roots.


How to prepare

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the reserved marinade in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Discard the remaining marinade and reserve the tomatoes.
  2. Add the turkey and cook and stir for 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned and cooked throughout.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Combine the turkey, rice, reserved tomatoes, and onion in a large bowl.
  5. Gently stir in the cheese.
  6. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to combine, and serve immediately over lettuce.


  • For a vegetarian version, replace the turkey with grilled tofu or chickpeas. You can also experiment with different dressings, such as a Greek vinaigrette, to vary the flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best flavor and texture for your Athenian Salad, consider the following tips:

- Use fresh ingredients, especially for the tomatoes and green onions, to enhance the salad's freshness.

- For a more authentic Greek flavor, opt for a high-quality Greek feta cheese.

- When cooking the turkey, ensure it's thoroughly cooked to avoid any foodborne illnesses.

- Let the cooked turkey cool slightly before adding it to the salad to prevent wilting the lettuce.

Serving Suggestions

The Athenian Salad can be served on its own or accompanied by a slice of crusty bread or pita for a more filling meal. It's perfect for a summer lunch or a light dinner.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is sautéing the turkey to ensure it's fully cooked and flavorful. Gently tossing the salad ingredients preserves the texture and freshness of the vegetables.

Ingredient Substitutions

If turkey is not available, chicken or pork can be used as alternatives. For a dairy-free version, omit the feta cheese or use a dairy-free substitute.

Make Ahead Tips

The components of the Athenian Salad can be prepared ahead of time, with the final assembly done just before serving to maintain freshness.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the salad in a large, shallow bowl to showcase the colorful ingredients. Garnish with extra feta cheese and a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs for added appeal.

Pairing Recommendations

The Athenian Salad pairs well with a crisp white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc, or a light, citrusy beer. For a non-alcoholic option, consider a sparkling water with lemon.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

This salad is best enjoyed fresh. However, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It's not recommended to reheat the salad, as the lettuce and other fresh ingredients will wilt.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Athenian Salad contains approximately 350 calories, making it a moderate-calorie meal that can fit into various dietary plans.


The Athenian Salad is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary source being the cooked rice. A serving of this salad contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those monitoring their carb intake.


The fats in this recipe come from the feta cheese, Caesar dressing, and olives, contributing to the salad's richness and flavor. A serving contains about 15 grams of fat, with a balance of saturated and unsaturated fats.


This salad is an excellent source of protein, thanks to the turkey cutlets. Each serving provides roughly 25 grams of protein, making it a filling and nutritious meal option.

Vitamins and minerals

The Athenian Salad is rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A from the lettuce and tomatoes, Vitamin C from the tomatoes, and calcium from the feta cheese. It also provides iron and potassium, contributing to a balanced diet.


This recipe contains dairy (feta cheese) and may contain gluten in the Caesar dressing, depending on the brand used. Those with allergies or sensitivities should adjust the recipe accordingly.


Overall, the Athenian Salad offers a balanced mix of nutrients, including proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals, with a moderate calorie count. It's a nutritious meal that supports a healthy lifestyle.


The Athenian Salad is a nutritious, flavorful meal that combines the best of Mediterranean ingredients with a touch of modern flair. Whether you're seeking a light lunch or a substantial dinner, this salad offers a satisfying option that's both healthy and delicious. With its versatile ingredients and easy preparation, it's sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I knew it was something I had to try. It was a warm summer day in Athens, and I was exploring the bustling markets filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, and fragrant herbs. As I wandered through the stalls, a kind old woman caught my eye. She was surrounded by a colorful array of ingredients, and as she deftly chopped and mixed them together, the most delicious aroma wafted through the air.

Intrigued, I approached her and asked what she was making. With a gentle smile, she told me she was preparing Athenian Salad, a traditional dish that was a staple in Greek households. She offered me a taste, and from the first bite, I was hooked. The combination of crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, tangy feta cheese, and briny olives tossed in a simple vinaigrette was a symphony of flavors that danced on my taste buds.

I begged the old woman to teach me how to make the salad, and she graciously agreed. As we worked together in her small kitchen, she shared stories of her own grandmother teaching her the recipe, passing down the tradition through the generations. I was captivated by her tales of family gatherings and celebrations centered around this beloved dish, and I knew that I had stumbled upon a culinary gem.

After a few hours of chopping, mixing, and tasting, the salad was finally ready. We sat down at her cozy kitchen table and savored every bite, savoring the fresh, vibrant flavors that reminded me of the sun-drenched streets of Athens. As I bid farewell to the old woman, she pressed a handwritten recipe card into my hand, urging me to continue the tradition in my own home.

Back in my own kitchen, I carefully followed the instructions on the card, my heart filled with nostalgia for that warm summer day in Athens. The familiar scents of tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs wafted through the air, transporting me back to the bustling markets and narrow alleyways of the city. As I took my first bite of the salad I had made, I felt a sense of connection to the generations of women who had come before me, sharing their love and culinary heritage through this simple yet delicious dish.

Over the years, I have perfected the recipe for Athenian Salad, adding my own twists and variations to make it uniquely my own. I have shared it with friends and family, passing on the tradition that was so generously shared with me by that kind old woman in Athens. Each time I make the salad, I am reminded of the power of food to connect us to our past, to our loved ones, and to the vibrant tapestry of cultures that make up our world.

As I sit down to enjoy a bowl of Athenian Salad, the flavors bursting on my tongue, I am grateful for the simple yet profound joy that cooking and sharing a meal can bring. And I know that as long as I continue to make this dish, the memories of that warm summer day in Athens and the lessons learned from the kind old woman will always be with me, nourishing both body and soul.


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