Bulgarian Salad

5 from 1 vote

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My mom has been making salads like these for as long as I can remember so this recipe just tastes like home to me. 🥗 What makes this Bulgarian Salad next level is taking the time to slice the ingredients as thinly as possible, which ensures the dressing coats every little piece. If you love yogurt or dips like Tzatziki, then this salad is for you. If you are dairy-free or don’t eat yogurt, use white balsamic vinegar instead.

Why You’ll Love Bulgarian Salad

This salad is cool and refreshing and great to have in your repertoire for spring and summer. You can easily customize this to make it dairy-free, and add a few hard-boiled eggs🥚on top to amp up the protein. This makes a wonderful desk lunch or side dish for a barbecue. Everyone will love it.

How to Prepare Bulgarian Salad

🥬 First, stack the lettuce leaves, roll them tightly (just like a cigar), and then thinly slice the lettuce with a sharp knife. The thinner the better!

🥣 Transfer the lettuce to a serving bowl.

🧂 Next, add the green onions, radishes, cucumbers, yogurt, and olive oil to the bowl and then season with good salt.

😋 Finally, mix until well combined and taste for seasoning and creaminess, adding more yogurt or salt if needed. Enjoy!

Nonna’s Tip

There is no exact recipe for this Bulgarian Salad. Use the provided quantities as suggestions. Some people prefer more yogurt and others like less. Please feel free to add whatever quantity of each ingredient, as you like.

Bulgarian Salad

Variations and Substitutions for Bulgarian Salad

  1. If you are dairy-free or don’t eat yogurt, use white balsamic vinegar instead.
  2. If you are vegan, use white balsamic vinegar or a plant-based yogurt alternative instead of the yogurt and add some crispy baked chickpeas to the salad instead of the hard-boiled eggs.
  3. If you want to play around with the lettuce varieties here, choose a hardier variety to hold up to the thick yogurt dressing (arugula or spinach wouldn’t work). Try baby kale, or crisp iceberg lettuce🥬, instead. Even very thinly sliced or shredded cabbage would work!

Similar Recipes

Best Served With

  • Enjoy this salad on a hot day, with grilled chicken or beef.
  • Serve this with “Kofte” (which is also known as “Keftede” in Greece, “Kufteta” in Bulgaria, or “meatballs” in English).
  • “Cevapi” which are known as “Kebapcheta” in Bulgaria also pair perfectly with a salad like this.

Common Questions

CAn I make this Bulgarian Salad ahead of time?

If you want to meal prep this salad, cut all the produce, add it to a glass container, line the top with a paper towel, secure the lid, then and store in the fridge. You can mix the salt, yogurt, and olive oil together in a small jar and store it separately in the fridge. Toss it all together just before serving!

Will this get soggy if I pack it for lunch at work?

If packing up this salad to eat later in the day, I would pack the dressing and chopped salad separately and keep them in a cooler bag. Alternatively, you could pack this with the dressing as the bottom layer in the container or jar and the veggies sitting on top. Then mix when ready to eat.

How do you get super thin lettuce slices?

A sharp knife, a sturdy cutting board and a foolproof technique are the secret to super thin slices. I have a full tutorial here: How to Thinly Slice Lettuce. I think it’s really worth the extra effort in this Bulgarian Salad!

What are some protein options to serve on top?

My mom always added hard-boiled eggs on top, but I also love this with grilled salmon, chicken or steak. Oven-roasted crispy chickpeas would be delicious, too!

Would any other types of lettuce work instead of Romaine?

Because the dressing is thick and yogurt-based, I suggest sticking to a hardier variety of lettuce that will hold up. Baby kale, iceberg lettuce, or mixing in some radicchio would work. Very thinly sliced or shredded cabbage (purple or green) would be nice too!

Bulgarian Salad

Bulgarian Salad

What makes this salad so appetizing is really taking the time to slice the ingredients as thinly as possible, which ensures the dressing coats every little piece. If you are a lover of yogurt, or dips like Tzatziki, then you will love this easy and fresh salad.
5 from 1 vote
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Bulgarian
Servings: 1
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 7 to 8 romaine lettuce leaves, any crunchy lettuce you enjoy
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped, or a small handful finely chopped chives
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Instructions 

  • Stack the lettuce leaves, roll them tightly (just like a cigar), and thinly slice the lettuce. The thinner the better, but you can cut the lettuce in any way you prefer. Transfer the lettuce to a serving bowl.
  • Add the green onions, radishes (if using), cucumbers, yogurt, and olive oil to the bowl and season with salt. Mix until well combined and taste for seasoning and creaminess, adding more yogurt or salt if needed. Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 217kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 48mg, Potassium: 897mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 17528IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 161mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Bulgarian
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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2 Comments

  1. Is it best to combine dressing ingred together and then mix in salad or just add everything in the bowl and try best to mix?

    1. I like to combine the dressing ingredients on top of the salad and mix it in, but you can also mix up the dressing in a bowl or jar separately.