This refreshing shirazi salad with a lemon-olive oil vinaigrette is an herby Middle Eastern party in a bowl. It’s ready in 15 minutes, packed with crunchy veggies, and goes from side dish to appetizer with the help of crispy pita chips.
The Best Shirazi Salad Recipe
If you usually struggle with eating all your veggies, this crunchy shirazi salad is a game-changer for you. It’s chopped into little pieces so you can eat it by the spoonful or push it onto a pita chip for a light appetizer. The combination of cucumbers, sweet tomatoes, and spicy red onions is simply perfect. Tossed with fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, and dill, there’s a beautiful balance of flavors with the mint being the wow-factor of it all. Drizzled with a simple tangy vinaigrette, you’ll definitely be setting the main dishes aside for another serving of this refreshing shirazi salad.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Salad
This shirazi salad recipe is proof that salads don’t have to be boring or complicated.
- Quick. Everyone has time for a 15-minute salad!
- Refreshing. Juicy cucumbers, fresh herbs, and lots of lime juice make this a refreshing side dish you can serve with all your meals.
- Authentic. The ingredient list is exactly like the one you’d find at a traditional Persian restaurant.
- Light. It’s all veggies! It’s so good you won’t feel like you’re eating salad at all.
What is Shirazi Salad?
Shirazi salad is a traditional Persian side dish. It’s made with finely chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions. For herbiness, lots of parsley, cilantro, and dill are added too. Its signature herb for a refreshing bite, however, is dried mint. The simple salad is seasoned with olive oil and lime juice. It’s served with lunch or dinner alongside Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern mains.
The fresher the veggies and herbs, the better your salad will be. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.
- Persian cucumbers – Regular cucumbers are a great swap.
- Red onion – Yellow onion works too.
- Parsley – The leaves should be bright green and fresh. Stay away from yellowing and wilted parsley leaves.
- Cilantro – Use the leaves, not the stems.
- Dill – If using dried, reduce the amount by half.
- Dried mint – You can swap it for 1-2 finely chopped fresh mint leaves.
- Tomatoes – I prefer Roma, but heirloom tomatoes work too.
- Lime juice – Feel free to use lemon juice.
- Olive oil – Extra-virgin is best. You can also use avocado oil.
- Salt – Fine sea salt is great here.
- Black pepper – Make sure it’s freshly ground.
How to Make Shirazi Salad
If you’re not serving the salad right away, hold the vinaigrette and lime juice until right before dinner to keep the veggies crunchy. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.
- Dice the cucumbers. Peel the cucumbers in alternating stripes and cut off the ends. Dice the cucumbers into ¼” squares. If you’re using regular-sized ones, you must remove the seeds.
- Mix the veggies. Place the onions and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Mix in the diced cucumbers.
- Prep the tomatoes. Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and dice them into 1/4″ pieces. Add them to the veggie mixture along with the dried mint. Mix well.
- Make the vinaigrette. Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper until well combined. Set it aside.
- Adjust the seasoning. Pour half of the vinaigrette into the salad. Stir well and season with more salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste. Feel free to add more vinaigrette.
- Serve. Refrigerate the salad until ready to serve or enjoy it at room temperature. Enjoy!
Tips & Variations
Cut the veggies into even pieces and chill the salad in advance to make sure your shirazi salad turns out absolutely perfect.
- Add spices. Mixing 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of sumac or zaatar into the salad can increase its Middle-Eastern vibes. Sumac is slightly tangy while zaatar is smokey and earthy.
- Even cuts. Dice the veggies evenly so that the salad is super crunchy and absorbs the flavors well, otherwise some pieces will be under-seasoned.
- Chill it. Place the bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving so that the herby flavors and lime juice can come together.
- Use more veggies. As long as you dice them into the same size, bell peppers can add more crunch to the salad.
- Make it spicy. Add red pepper flakes, Aleppo pepper, cayenne pepper, or chili oil to taste for a bit of heat.
What Goes with Shirazi Salad?
This tangy shirazi salad is a great appetizer when served with pita chips. It’s also a wonderful side if paired with Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern recipes. For fish ideas, try it with my Lemon Rosemary Steamed Salmon or Baked Cod. For chicken, go for my Greek Chicken Skillet or Chicken on a Stick. If you’re craving pork or steak, then serve it with my Stuffed Baked Steak or Balsamic Roasted Pork Chops.
Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight when on the counter for serving. Enjoy it straight out of the fridge or at room temperature.
More Easy Salad Recipes
- Easy Tomato Burrata Salad
- Watermelon Cucumber Salad with Feta and Mint
- Spring Mix Salad with Champagne Dressing
- Lemon Quinoa Salad Recipe
- Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Pistachios
- 3 to 4 Persian cucumbers about ¾ pound or 1 large cucumber
- ½ of a red onion diced
- 2 tablespoons EACH of finely chopped fresh parsley cilantro, and dill
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 2 to 3 medium tomatoes about 1 pound I used Roma
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice from about 2 limes, plus more as needed
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Remove alternating stripes of peel on cucumbers and trim ends.
- Dice cucumbers into ¼-inch pieces and place in a large bowl with onion and fresh herbs.
- Using a spoon or your fingers break up any large pieces.
- Remove tomato cores and dice into ¼-inch pieces, toss with cucumbers and onion mix.
- Add herbs and dried mint. Toss to combine.
- In a small bowl, make the vinaigrette by whisking together ¼ cup lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Just before serving, add ½ vinaigrette and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lime juice as needed and additional vinaigrette.
- Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.