Middle Eastern food is all about fresh ingredients and subtle flavors, and this easy Fatoosh (aka Fattoush) salad recipe is the perfect example.
This salad comes together super quick and uses just a handful of ingredients and a simple dressing, which makes it a great side dish or even as a light meal.
With the perfect Mediterranean flavors and a super simple process, this is one salad you absolutely need to try your hands at.
Fattoush salad has just the right balance of flavors and textures from all the ingredients.
You'll get the crunch from the lettuce, the pungent flavor from the garlic, the tanginess from the lemon juice, the juiciness from the tomatoes and the crispy bite from the toasted bread.
If there's a salad that just hits the sweet spot between being healthy, tasty and versatile all at the same time, it is this.
What's So Great About the Recipe?
The simplicity of this delicious Fattoush salad is what I love the most about it.
The salad ingredients are easy to source, and I almost always have most of them in my refrigerator. Plus, I can also tweak and play around with the ingredients based on what I have at hand.
I also love the fact that just like other Mediterranean salads, this salad is super versatile. I can pair it with my grilled meats, my curries and even enjoy it as a meal in itself.
Tomatoes: You can use any fresh, juicy tomatoes you can get your hands on. Cherry tomatoes and Roma tomatoes are two good choices.
Cucumber: Thinly sliced Persian cucumbers bring some juiciness and a bit of crunch factor to the salad. You can use any other kind of cucumbers too.
Lettuce: Fresh iceberg or Romaine lettuce lends the salad that nice crunchiness. This one's an absolute must for any basic Fatoosh recipe.
Pita Chips: I've used homemade pita chips seasoned in my favorite Dukkah blend. You can also choose to use a store-bought version if that's what you have at hand.
Sumac: Sumac is a beautiful blend of tart berries, and its flavor is hard to replicate. You can get it from your local food specialty store for just a few bucks.
Olive oil: Use the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on- it really makes a difference. I know I did!
Onion: Sliced red onions bring a nice pungent kick of flavor to the salad. You can also use the sweeter onions if that's what you prefer.
Bell peppers: I've used green bell peppers because I had those at hand and I love how they taste. They're totally optional though, and are not traditionally a part of an authentic Fattoush salad.
Radish: Thinly sliced radish lend the salad a pungent flavor and an incredible crunch factor that's unmissable.
Mint leaves: Fresh mint leaves when chopped and added to the salad dressing can lend it an incredible amount of freshness. You can use dried mint too!
Garlic: Fresh minced garlic can really lift the flavors of the salad. This one's an absolute must.
Pomegranate molasses: Pomegranate molasses, teamed up with the Sumac, really brightens up the salad dressing and lends it a nice tart flavor.
Pomegranate arils: I had some fresh pomegranate at hand, so I went ahead and threw some arils into the salad too, for those small bursts of flavor and juiciness.
Lemon juice: Just a little dash of lemon juice can lend the Fattoush salad some nice tangy flavor.
Seasonings: I've used a simple seasoning mix of salt and pepper. You can add in other seasonings if you want to.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make the Fatoosh Salad
Combine the minced garlic, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Add the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, radish, lettuce, bell peppers, pita chips and chopped mint in a large bowl.
Drizzle the salad dressing into the bowl and toss well.
Sprinkle pomegranate arils and sumac over the salad and serve.
Substitutions & Variations
- If you don't have the sumac powder that the recipe calls for, you can stick to any basic seasoning you have at hand. While the flavors won't be authentic, they'll be close enough, and you'll be able to enjoy a good, filling salad.
- If you don't have fresh garlic, you can use some garlic flakes or garlic powder to add that little pungent flavor.
- Don't have fresh lemon juice but still want that tanginess? A dash of apple cider vinegar (or even just regular vinegar) should do the trick.
- If you don't have mint leaves that the recipe calls for, throw in some chopped parsley to bring in some freshness.
If you don't have Sumac spice, use a simple mix of Italian herbs like oregano, basil and rosemary and a dash of cayenne pepper to lend some flavor and a pop of color to the salad dressing.
How to Store the Leftover Fatoosh
This salad, like most other fresh salads, tastes best when you make it and serve it immediately.
Storing it for longer will not only cause the veggies to wilt and lose their crunchy texture, but will also cause the pita to soak up all the juices and turn soggy.
If you want to prep the salad ahead of time, I would recommend preparing the salad mix, the toasted pita chips and the dressing separately. Then, all you need to do is toss everything together in a large bowl when you want to serve it.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- Just like with any other fresh salad, the key to getting the Fatoosh right is to choose ripe, fresh ingredients, right from the tomatoes and cucumber to the herbs.
- Pita chips add a nice element of crunch to the salad, but if you don't have pita chips, you can easily make them from some leftover pita bread that you may have.
- To make pita chips, cut pita bread into squares, toss them in a mixture of olive oil, salt and pepper and bake them in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
- You can actually make these pita chips ahead of time and store them in an airtight container too. These can be added to any other salad as well!
- Crumbled feta or goat cheese can also be a great addition to the Fatoosh salad and can be a beautiful creamy element that can balance out the other flavors.
How to Serve the Fattoush Salad
There are many ways to enjoy this fresh and versatile salad. Here are a few of my personal favorites to help you get inspired.
As a Light Meal
This fresh and crunchy salad can be enjoyed on its own as a light meal. I love making Fatoosh during the warmer months of the year when I can get my hands on lots of fresh produce, and when I'm craving for a light and healthy dinner.
I love teaming this salad up with my homemade kebabs. It just balances the plate wonderfully and the entire meal looks so well put together.
In fact, I also whip this salad up whenever I'm entertaining- it really is such a crowd pleaser.
With Grilled Meats
This fresh salad can be a great teammate to any grilled meat, which makes it such a perfect summer side.
You can also put a quick 5 minute sumac onion side along with it and serve it with your grilled chicken and other meats.
With Hummus and Pita
I absolutely love teaming this salad up with some homemade hummus and pita. The creaminess of the hummus and the soft pita complement the crunchy, fresh flavors of the salad, making it an absolute ride for your taste buds.
In addition to the cucumber, tomatoes, onions and lettuce that the recipe calls for, you can also add in other veggies that you want. Red or yellow peppers, heirloom tomatoes, cabbage, arugula, carrots, green onions and pitted olives are all great additions to the salad.
If you don't have any fresh tomatoes to use, you can make do with some sundried tomatoes too.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Fatoosh | Fattoush Salad
- 1 Romaine lettuce
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 1 cucumber cut into ¼-inch
- 2-3 radishes cut into ¼-inch
- 1 onions sliced
- ¼ cup bell pepper diced
- 2-3 tablespoon fresh chopped mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- Pita bread chips as needed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves grated or knife minced
- 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
- Combine the minced garlic, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Add the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, radish, lettuce, bell peppers, pita chips and chopped mint in a large bowl.
- Drizzle the salad dressing into the bowl and toss well.
- Sprinkle pomegranate arils and Sumac over the salad and serve.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove