This shirazi salad recipe is a delicious Middle Eastern cucumber and tomato salad that is vibrant and full of flavor! This Persian salad with diced cucumber and herbs, is gluten free, dairy free, and is a healthy salad recipe for all.Jump to Recipe
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Middle Eastern food prides itself in fresh and healthy ingredients. It is also true of this Persian cucumber salad.
There are similarities among many different Middle Eastern and Mediterranean salads. Lebanese tabbouleh and fattoush salad are some of the classic Arabic salads that are famous and I highly recommend that you try them.
But what is the difference between shirazi salad and tabbouleh?
Parsley, mint, extra virgin olive oil and citrus bind all of these Middle Eastern salads together. But where these salads differ, is in the use of a grain. Tabbouleh salad contains bulgur wheat, and fattoush salad has fried pita chips in it, but Shirazi salad is gluten free completely.
Shirazi Salad (salad e shirazi) is an Iranian salad that originated in the city of Shiraz, hence the name. Like many other Arabic salads, it is a colorful, crisp and fresh salad full of healthy ingredients.
Persian Shirazi salad ingredients are:
- Persian cucumbers *see note below
- roma tomatoes
- red onion
- parsley (I use curly parsley)
- green bell pepper
- fresh cilantro
- mint (either dried mint or fresh mint)
- extra virgin olive oil
- lime juice
- salt and pepper
Many local stores do not carry Persian cucumbers, so if you are wondering what is a good substitute for Persian cucumbers, it would be English cucumbers
Persian cucumbers have a thin skin and are crisp and delicious, though they maybe slightly smaller than a standard cucumber. A seedless English cucumber will give the same flavor and feel to this Persian salad recipe.
How to make shirazi salad. Let's get started by washing and preparing all of our ingredients. Take particular care when you wash the parsley. Parsley is usually grown in sandy soil and can retain some of that sand and dirt. You should actually soak parsley in a bowl of cold water for several minutes in order to ensure that all of the sand and dirt gets removed.
I also recommend using a salad spinner, after it soaks, in order to dry the parsley.
You can go ahead and leave the skin on the cucumber and dice it into small pieces. If you are not using a seedless cucumber, you will need to removed the seeds from the middle. No one wants a Mediterranean tomato cucumber salad that is full of seeds.
Make sure everything is chopped up finely for this salad.
Place all of the chopped ingredients into a salad bowl or large mixing bowl. Add the salt and pepper.
Immediately before serving, squeeze the lime juice over the top of all of the ingredients. Toss the salad together. Proceed to add the olive oil and toss again. Serve right away and enjoy!
💭 Top tip
When making any salad with lemon, lime or citrus, it is important to add the citrus to the salad first and toss it together before adding the olive oil. If you add the olive oil first, the oil will create a barrier between the ingredients and the citrus so that the citrus will not touch the salad, but will gather at the bottom of the bowl.
The first several times I ever made Lebanese salads from scratch, I did this and learned the hard way. Always add the citrus first to the salad!
🥗 Side dishes
Authentic Shirazi salad goes with many Middle Eastern recipes and with my favorite, Lebanese recipes. Some of the things I like to serve Persian salads with are Lebanese Arayes, beef kafta, chicken freekeh, chicken shawarma, baked kibbeh or fried kibbeh, and of course a side of homemade hummus and pita bread.
If you are not familiar with Middle Eastern food, you can check out my article "What is Lebanese Food"
Some Shirazi salad recipes use lemon juice instead of lime, and the bell pepper is completely optional. I personally like it with the bell pepper, it's just a little bit so it's not overpowering at all.
Check out this video for how to make Shirazi Salad:
Check out these other popular recipes!
- Mexican Ceviche Recipe (Ceviche de Pescado)
- Lebanese Cucumber Salad with Yogurt and Mint
- Marinated Mozzarella Balls
- Burrata Bruschetta
- Caramelized Mushrooms
I ALWAYS recommend having a good Santoku knife or Chef's knife for your kitchen. It needs to be nice and sharp! Check out my review of my Henkel knife set (which I love) or just check out my favorite knife in the affiliate link below, along with my favorite salad spinner:
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- 2 English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers if available
- ½ cup red onion
- 3-4 Roma tomatoes
- ⅓ cup curly leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried mint leaf or ¼ cup fresh mint leaves chopped
- ⅓ cup cilantro
- ¼ cup green pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 limes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- Wash all of the fresh ingredients thoroughly
- Finely dice the cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers and red onions and place theme in a medium sized mixing bowl
- Chop the parsley and cilantro and add them to the bowl
- Add the salt and pepper and squeeze the juice of the lime over the top of all of the ingredients
- Toss the salad a little bit. Add the olive oil then toss the rest of the way. Serve and enjoy