Here’s An Easy Shopska Salad Recipe to Create This Iconic Dish!
Shopska Salad is a quick and easy salad consisting of fresh vegetables and cheese. It’s a popular dish in many Balkan countries, especially in Bulgaria, where it is considered a national dish.
Made with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onions and tossed with oil, salt and pepper, it is then topped with a generous amount of shredded Sirene cheese, a type of cheese similar to feta cheese.
It’s a refreshing salad that goes well with any meal!
Shopska salad has a rich and interesting backstory. While its origins are somewhat disputed, it is often said to have originated in Bulgaria.
The colors of the salad also resemble the colors of the Bulgarian flag (red, green, and white).
Nevertheless, similar variations – often the cheese is the point of differentiation – of this fresh and cold salad are eaten in Serbia, North Macedonia, and a number of other places around the Balkans.
Here are the shopska salad ingredients that you will need to pull off this awesome recipe:
- Tomatoes – Choose ripe, but firm tomatoes for the best taste and texture.
- Cucumber – A fresh, firm cucumber.
- Yellow Onion – Alternatively, you can use a red or white onion.
- Bell pepper – Either red or green bell pepper.
- Sirene cheese or Feta cheese – Traditionally, it is made with sirene cheese, but feta cheese also works well.
- Sunflower oil – Use good-quality sunflower oil for best flavor. Alternatively, you can use olive oil if you don’t have sunflower oil.
- Salt – To enhance the overall flavors.
- Black pepper – To add a hint of spice.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
Before you make this Bulgarian salad recipe, have a quick read through these recipe tips for the best results:
- Use fresh, ripe vegetables for the best taste.
- Add salt and pepper to taste depending on your personal preference. If the cheese you’re using is very salty, be careful not to add too much salt.
- You can garnish the salad with some chopped parsley if you want.
How to Make Shopska Salad – Step by Step Instructions
In this part of the post, we’ll show you exactly how we made our shopska salad. We’ve included all the steps of the recipe in the photos.
This way, you can follow along at home and check how your creation is coming along. It’s really easy!
And of course, you can find the printable recipe card with the exact measurements and details at the bottom of the post!
Add the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and onion to a salad bowl.
Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to combine.
Sprinkle crumbled or grated Sirene or feta cheese over the salad. You can also sprinkle some chopped parsley on top if you like.
Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Once you’ve made this salad, it’s best enjoyed fresh while the vegetables are crisp and juicy.
If you have leftovers, you can store them in a sealed container in the fridge. They will last for up to 2 days like this.
Over time, the vegetables can lose their freshness and get soggy while the cheese may harden and dry out – so eat leftovers sooner rather than later.
Here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions about shopska salad!
Shopska salad is a fresh, vegetable-based salad that is popular throughout the Balkans, especially in Bulgaria. It is made with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions and sirene cheese (a type of cheese similar to feta). While its origin is sometimes disputed, shopska salad is a national dish of Bulgaria.
Shopska salad is famous because it is considered a national dish of Bulgaria since the colors of the ingredients resemble the colors of the Bulgarian flag (green cucumber, red pepper and tomatoes, and white onion/cheese).
A traditional Bulgarian shopska salad is made with sirene cheese, which is a type of brined, crumbly cheese. In other Balkan countries, cheese with a similar taste and texture – such as feta – is sometimes used instead.
To make shopska salad, chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and onion and add them to a bowl. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss until well combined. Grate or crumble the Sirene cheese or Feta cheese over the top and serve.
If you enjoyed this fresh salad, here are some other Balkan recipes that are popular in many parts of the region:
- Cold Cucumber Soup (Tarator)
- Bulgarian Cheese Pie (Banitsa)
- Ajvar (Balkan Pepper Spread)
- Serbian Burger (Pljeskavica)
- Cevapi (Balkan Sausage)
- Burek Recipe
- 4 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
- 3.5 ounces Sirene cheese or feta cheese, crumbled or grated
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
- salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- Add the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and onion to a salad bowl.4 tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1 red or green bell pepper, 1 yellow onion
- Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to combine.3 tablespoons sunflower oil, salt, black pepper
- Sprinkle crumbled or grated Sirene cheese or feta cheese over the salad.3.5 ounces Sirene cheese or feta cheese
- Serve immediately.
- Use fresh, ripe vegetables for the best taste.
- In Bulgaria, it is traditionally made with sirene cheese. You can also use feta cheese or similar cheese.
- Add salt and pepper to taste depending on your personal preference. If the cheese you’re using is very salty, be careful to not add too much salt.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.