Our Simple Fattoush Salad is a bold and herby take on the Lebanese vegetable salad. This salad is packed with fresh herbs, crunchy pita chips, a combination of tomatoes and cucumber, and our favorite spice, sumac. It’s the perfect picnic salad or side dish for BBQs and al fresco dining. 

Why This Recipe Works

Our take on the Lebanese salad celebrates the flavors and textures of the classic dish while taking a few creative liberties to make it our own. In keeping with the traditional fattoush salad, we’ve loaded this salad with a mix of tomatoes and cucumber. 

Instead of red onion we use shallot which we marinate with some grated garlic in lemon juice to soften both of their potencies. 

We also find that many fattoush recipes just have too much parsley. Our version pulls back on the parsley and uses a combination of parsley, dill and mint. Dill isn’t traditional but it is spectacular in this dish. 

Play around with the ratio of herbs you use—you can always use equal parts of each, but if you’re like us and love dill we encourage you to be a little heavy handed with that. 

sumac, tomatoes, cucumber, shallot, lemon, oil, balsamic and herbs set out and arranged on a counter

Ingredient Notes

Pita Chips

We prefer to make homemade pita chips for this salad—making your own chips allows you to control the thickness of the chips, which we found imperative. Store-bought pita chips can be used when you’re short on time or motivation.

Shallot & Garlic 

Marinated shallot and garlic adds depth and savoriness without being too pungent (which can happen when both of these ingredients are used raw). Thinly slice the shallot then grate the garlic using a microplane (one of the easiest and cleanest ways to prep garlic.) 

Vegetables 

We keep the veggies simple and traditional in our version of this salad. You’ll need vine-ripe tomatoes (medium-sized tomatoes sold on the vine) and an English cucumber.

We prefer an English cucumber for this dish because it has a thin skin and tiny seeds. We also smash the cucumber—one of our favorite methods for prepping cukes, which draws out moisture while retaining its wonderful crunch. 

Herbs

We’re straying from the classic combination of parsley and mint by adding some fresh dill which we find to be absolutely spectacular in this recipe. Fresh is always best, and in this instance it’s totally necessary. Dried herbs just won’t do. If you don’t want to buy all three, pick the two herbs that are your favorite and use those. 

Seasonings 

There are a lot of flavors going on in this salad, but when you look at the ingredient list it’s pretty darn simple. Aside from the produce, the other seasonings we use include sumac (we can’t get enough of this tangy Middle Eastern spice), lemon and a splash of balsamic. 

pita and vegetable salad in a shallot white bowl with a red-handled spoon set in it

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Don’t mix the pita chips into the salad until right before serving. The salad is loaded with moisture which will overly soften the chips if added too early. 
  • If your tomatoes and/or cucumber is overly juicy, transfer the cut chunks to a strainer and allow them to sit for a bit. A shake here and there will help release even more excess liquid. 
  • We don’t recommend making this ahead of time. It’s best prepared and served right away. Once refrigerated, tomatoes take on an undesirable mealy texture. 

Variations on This Recipe 

  • Add thinly sliced radish to the mix of veggies for even more crunch. 
  • A chunks of green onion to the salad instead of marinating thinly sliced shallot.
  • Add some chopped romaine lettuce to bulk up the salad and add some crisp crunch. 

More Salad Recipes to Try

FAQs 

Can I use a different type of tomato?

Technically, yes you can use whatever tomatoes you have or like (roma, bushel boy, cherry tomatoes). In regards to preference, we recommend using vine-ripe tomatoes. They have the perfect ratio of flash to seeds, they’re soft but not overly juicy, slightly sweet and very flavorful. 

Can I use a regular cucumber?

This is another preference thing. If you like regular cucumbers you can use that. If you do, we recommend removing some of the peel (peel off a few strips) and removing the seeds. Regular cucumbers tend to be a bit more watery and will dilute the salad if not seeded. All that to say, we stand firm in recommending an English cucumber instead. 

Can I add feta?

You can absolutely add some chunks of feta, that would be delicious. As written this recipe is vegan. If you add the cheese it will not be vegan but will be vegetarian. 

What can I do with leftover pita chips?

Use leftover pita chips to make this delicious pita and chickpea dish known as Fatteh

Equipment + Ingredients

Sumac

Simple Fattoush Salad

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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Yield 7 cups (7 servings)
Category Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Lebanese, Middle Eastern

Description

This herb-packed vegetable salad hailing from Lebanon is the perfect side dish for grilled chicken, fish or any protein of your choice. 

Ingredients

  • 2 pita breads*, separated in half and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium clove garlic, grated
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 pound vine-ripe tomatoes (about 3 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup chopped mixed herbs, such as dill, parsley and/or mint
  • 4 teaspoons sumac

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC)with rack set in middle position.
  • Separate pita breads into two thin rounds by peeling apart (cut edges with kitchen shears if needed).
    pita bread separated into two thinner halves
  • In a large bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil then season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.
    pieces of pita bread tossed in a glass bowl with oil, salt and pepper
  • Arrange pita pieces smooth side down on a wire rack set inside a sheet pan.
    pieces of pita bread arranged on a wire rack set inside a baking shet
  • Bake until pita pieces are crisp and golden brown, 12–15 minutes. Let cool on rack.
    baked pita chips on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet
  • Meanwhile, add shallot, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt to a now empty large bowl; toss with hands to combine then set aside.
    shallots in a glass bowl with garlic and lemon zest
  • Slice cucumber in half lengthwise. Place cut-side down on a cutting board and with heel of hand, smash down until cucumber cracks. Tear into bite-sized pieces.
    diced cucumber on a wood cutting board
  • Cut tomatoes into ¾-inch chunks. Transfer to a colander and let drain.
    chunks of tomato in a colander
  • Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and balsamic to bowl with lemon juice, shallots and garlic.
    oil, vinegar, shallot and lemon zest in a glass bowl
  • Add cucumber, tomatoes, and herbs to bowl; toss to coat then add sumac and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    tomato chunks, cucumber chunks and herbs in a glass bowl topped with sumac
  • Right before serving, stir in half of the pita bites, then transfer to a bowl and top with remaining pita bits.
  • Alternatively, serve vegetable salad on a large platter and spread pita chips over top.

Notes

We tested this recipe with both regular and whole-wheat pita bread. Regular pita bread toasts better and retains its crunch in the salad far better than whole-wheat.
Pomegranate molasses is a traditional ingredient often used in this salad. Feel free to use it in place of the balsamic.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2.5gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 263mgFiber: 1.5g
Keywords Fattoush salad
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!
pita and vegetable salad in a shallot white bowl with a red-handled spoon set in it

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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