Shirazi Salad Recipe

This simple side dish of shirazi salad will become a staple in your house because of how easy it is and how much flavor it packs. Recipe developer and registered dietitian nutritionist, Kristen Carli, MS RD, has worked her magic on creating this recipe for us. Only requiring eight ingredients and five minutes of prep time, this shirazi salad strikes the perfect balance of nutrition, flavor, and freshness.

As a dietitian, Carli has a lot to say on incorporating vegetables into your diet: "Not everyone is a fan of the traditional salad made with lettuce. This is where the shirazi salad can come in. It is lettuce-free, but remarkably crunchy. When I advise my patients to eat more vegetables, I always recommend adding in a lot of flavorful additions such as lemon juice and herbs. We marinate our meat, so why don't we treat vegetables the same way." That's a good point! A little bit of effort can go a long way.

So, what exactly is a shirazi salad? According to Unicorns in the Kitchen, the word "shirazi" refers to an area in southwest Iran, where this salad is said to have originated from. Shirazi salad is typically made from Persian cucumbers, which are naturally smaller in size and void of seeds. This lettuce-free salad is full of flavor thanks to the herbs and lemon juice and is typically served as a refreshing side dish of many protein and rice dishes. So, let's get started!

Gather your ingredients to make shirazi salad

To make this refreshing side salad, gather your ingredients. You will need four Persian cucumbers, four Roma tomatoes, ¼ of a red onion, two tablespoons chopped mint leaves, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Get prepared by dicing your tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion. Then chop the mint leaves. This small step of preparation will help to speed up the process of making this shirazi salad. And, according to Carli, there is some room for ingredient swaps. Instead of lemon juice, you can easily swap in lime juice. If you want to add a bit more crunch, you can add diced green bell pepper into the salad. And, if you are craving a bit of sweetness, Carli also suggests adding in some pomegranate seeds for a little bright bite.

Add the tomatoes, cucumber, and onion

In a large mixing bowl, add your diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, and diced onion. Be sure to choose a large enough bowl to have room for the mixing you will be doing after. Carli recommends choosing a "large metal bowl as they are lightweight and easy to clean." As frequent home cooks, we love a lightweight bowl as opposed to a heavy glass option. We will take her advice and stock up on some nesting metal bowls.

Dress up the salad!

Now, it's time to dress up the salad. Go ahead and add your flavorful remaining ingredients. Add the chopped mint, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Carli recommends "adding a ½ cup of lemon juice or roughly the juice of two lemons." She also advises to "cut the lemons in half and squeeze over the palm of your other hand as this will catch any seeds that come out while squeezing." Give it a good stir and you are all set!

What to serve it with

This chilled marinated salad is ideal as a side dish. It goes best on the side of grilled chicken kabobs and rice dishes such as Adas Polo or Lubia Polo. This salad gets better with time in the fridge. Be sure to make it and chill it at least one hour before serving. If you have any leftovers (but let's be honest, it's unlikely), you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. We hope you enjoy this incredibly simple but flavorful (and healthy!) shirazi salad!

Shirazi Salad Recipe
4.9 from 22 ratings
This shirazi salad is the perfect side dish — it's loaded with vegetables, freshness, and a deliciously subtle dressing.
Prep Time
Cook Time
shirazi salad in bowl
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 4 Persian cucumbers, diced
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  1. In a large bowl, add the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion.
  2. Next, add the mint, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Stir well, then serve as a side dish.
Calories per Serving 96
Total Fat 7.1 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 9.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Total Sugars 4.2 g
Sodium 465.7 mg
Protein 1.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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