Shirazi salad is a vibrant Persian salad with crisp cucumber, fragrant onion, and juicy tomatoes seasoned with cooling dried mint and fresh lime juice.

It’s lovely with Mediterranean spreads and dips on a mezze platter, stuffed vegetables, or grilled foods.

You’ll love how easy, refreshing, and delicious this recipe is.

Shirazi salad on a blue plate with hand holding a spoon

Dietary Note: this recipe is suitable for a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diet. It’s low in cholesterol and saturated fats.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO RECIPE HERE!

What is Shirazi salad?

Shirazi salad with bell pepper and hand holding a pita bread

Shirazi salad (also known as Salad-e Shirazi) takes its name from the city of Shiraz in Southwestern Iran, where this recipe is considered a national dish.

They serve it throughout the year, mainly as an appetizer or a side dish.

The main veggies in this refreshing Persian salad are cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions.

However, while this dish looks similar to a Tabbouleh salad or a simple cucumber tomato salad, its taste is unique thanks to dried mint.

Baba ganoush on a plate with halloumi, pita, and shirazi

The original Shirazi salad recipe calls for Verjuice in the dressing.

Verjuice (ab-ghooreh in Persian) is a sour grape juice from crab apples, unripe grapes, or other fruit.

However, since Verjuice is uncommon in Western supermarkets, we replace it with fresh lime juice or lemon juice.

Our favorite way to enjoy this dish is with other Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean recipes, such as hummus, eggplant dip, pita bread, grilled eggplant, falafel, and Moroccan carrot salad.

Ingredients for Shirazi salad

ingredients for Shirazi salad

Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

Cucumbers

Traditionally, small Persian cucumbers are used for Shirazi salad. Persian cucumbers are smaller than American or English cucumbers, have a thinner peel, and have fewer or no seeds.

If you can’t find Persian cucumbers, replace them with an American garden or a large English cucumber.

If your cucumbers have many seeds, you might want to discard some by cutting them off with a paring knife.

Tomatoes

We like to use beefsteak tomatoes, vine tomatoes, or heirloom tomatoes.

If you can’t find these, you can use Roma tomatoes or other varieties, as long as they are ripe but not overripe and soft.

Please ensure you use tomatoes at room temperature, as they taste much better than cold tomatoes.

Onion

White onion is best.

Substitute shallot, scallions, red onion, or spring onions for white onion.

Dried Mint

Dried mint is essential in a traditional Shirazi salad.

The best substitute for dried mint is dried oregano, za’atar, or finely chopped fresh mint, although that changes the salad’s flavor quite a bit.

Lime or Lemon juice

We use lime or lemon juice instead of Verjuice (ab-ghooreh in Persian).

Verjuice is a sour grape juice obtained from crab apples, unripe grapes, or other fruit and is difficult to find in Western supermarkets.

Olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is not always used in the original recipe; however, we like to add some to balance the citrus acidity and the freshness of the cucumber and tomatoes.

Extra-virgin olive oil is best because it has a fruitier and richer flavor than most oils.

Salt and Pepper

Use sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor.

You can add fresh herbs and vegetables such as fresh parsley, dill, cilantro, olives, and diced green bell peppers.

While these ingredients are not present in the original Shirazi salad recipe, they are a good flavor match, so feel free to add them in if you like.

Shirazi salad on a plate with lime and pita bread on the side

How to make shirazi salad

US cups + grams measurements in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

Chop the cucumbers and the tomatoes into small 1/5-Inch or 0.5-cm dice and add them to a large bowl.

Peel and finely chop the onion and add it to the same bowl.

Tip: If you use large English cucumbers or garden cucumbers, we recommend peeling off some skin and removing some of their seeds.

Tip: If your tomatoes are very watery, drain some of their water before adding them to the bowl. Also, ensure your tomatoes are at room temperature for the best taste.

Nico chopping the vegetables for Shirazi salad

Season the vegetables with extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, salt, black pepper, and dried mint.

Tip: There’s quite a bit of dried mint in the Shirazi salad. Start by adding one tablespoon, mix, then add more if you like. We like it with one and a half tablespoons of dried mint.

mixed shirazi salad in a salad bowl

Toss well until the mint is distributed evenly, then taste and adjust for salt before serving.

Tip: You can make the salad an hour before serving it to allow the flavors to meld. Remember that tomatoes are most flavorful at room temperature, so if you keep the salad in the fridge, take it out at least 15 minutes before eating.

Shirazi salad after mixing on a plate with fresh lime and tomatoes on the side

Variations

Shirazi salad with green bell pepper

Shirazi salad with green bell pepper

Try adding a diced green bell pepper for more crunch and flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Shirazi salad is one of our favorite side dishes, especially in summer and early autumn, when tomatoes are at their best.

It’s delicious with anything Middle Eastern and Mediterranean, such as:

falafel bowl with pita bread, shirazi, and baba ganoush
A meze platter with Shirazi salad, olives, grilled halloumi, pickled jalapeños, sumac onions, pita bread, falafel, tahini sauce, and baba ganoush.

You can also check out Louise’s roundup post, which includes 25 lovely Middle Eastern recipes.

We also love it next to stuffed vegetables, such as:

Storage & Make Ahead

Make ahead: It’s best to make Shirazi salad about 1 hour before serving so the flavors can meld.

You can also make it up to a day in advance and store it in the fridge. However, tomatoes and cucumbers might release water if you do so.

If this happens, drain some of the liquid from the salad, then add fresh olive oil and lime juice before serving it.

Refrigerator: Store Shirazi salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Take it out of the fridge 15 minutes before serving it because the tomatoes taste best at room temperature.

Freezer: We do not recommend freezing it.

Questions

Do you need to peel Persian cucumbers?

You don’t need to peel Persian cucumbers because their skin is very thin and completely edible.

What does Shirazi mean?

Shirazi is the name of the people of Shiraz, a city in southwestern Iran, where this salad is from.

Can you substitute regular cucumbers for Persian cucumbers?

You can substitute regular cucumbers, such as American garden or English cucumbers, for Persian cucumbers.

Western cucumbers might have a thicker peel and more seeds than Persian cucumbers, and you might need to peel them or seed them. That’s up to you.

Is Shirazi salad gluten-free?

Shirazi salad is gluten-free and suitable for vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and low-carb diets.

More salad recipes

If you are looking for more easy, tasty, and refreshing salads, see these side dish favorites:

shirazi salad on a blue plate with a silver spoon and pita bread

Shirazi Salad

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 8 votes
Shirazi salad is a vibrant Persian salad with crisp cucumber, fragrant onion, and juicy tomatoes seasoned with cooling dried mint and fresh lime juice.
It’s lovely with Mediterranean spreads and dips on a mezze platter, stuffed vegetables, or grilled foods.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Appetizer, Side dish
Cuisine: Middle-Eastern

Ingredients

  • cups cucumber about 1 pound, cut into ⅕-Inch or 0.5-cm dice.
  • cups vine tomatoes about 1 pound, cut into ⅕-Inch or 0.5-cm dice
  • 1 medium white onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint or more to taste
  • ¼ cup lime juice or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • teaspoon black pepper

Instructions 

  • Chop 3½ cups cucumber and 2½ cups vine tomatoes into small 1/5-Inch or 0.5-cm dice and add them to a large bowl.
    Finely chop 1 medium white onion and add it to the same bowl.
    Tip: If the tomatoes are watery, discard some of their seeds and water.
    Nico chopping the vegetables for Shirazi salad
  • Season with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper and 1 tablespoon dried mint.
    mixed shirazi salad in a salad bowl
  • Toss well until the mint is distributed evenly, then taste and adjust for salt before serving.
    Check out the "Serving suggestions" chapter for ideas on how to serve it.
    Shirazi salad after mixing on a plate with fresh lime and tomatoes on the side

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 serving of Shirazi salad out of 4 servings.
SUBSTITUTIONS
Cucumbers: you can use Persian, English, or American cucumbers.
Tomatoes: you can use vine, beefsteak, heirloom, or Roma tomatoes.
White onion: substitute a shallot, red onion, or spring onions.
Dried mint: substitute dried oregano, za’atar, or fresh mint.
Lime juice: substitute Verjuice or lemon juice.
Extra virgin olive oil: substitute regular olive oil.
Add-ins: you can add a chopped green bell pepper, fresh parsley, dill, olives, and crumbled feta.
STORAGE
Make ahead: It’s best to make Shirazi salad about 1 hour before serving so the flavors can meld.
You can also make it up to a day in advance and store it in the fridge. However, tomatoes and cucumbers might release water if you do so.
If this happens, drain some of the liquid from the salad, then add fresh olive oil and lime juice before serving it.
Refrigerator: Store Shirazi salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Take it out of the fridge 15 minutes before serving it because the tomatoes taste best at room temperature.
Freezer: We do not recommend freezing it.

Nutrition

Calories: 112kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 592mg, Potassium: 486mg, Dietary Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1069IU, Vitamin B6: 0.2mg, Vitamin C: 26mg, Vitamin E: 2mg, Vitamin K: 22µg, Calcium: 42mg, Folate: 41µg, Iron: 1mg, Manganese: 0.3mg, Magnesium: 32mg, Zinc: 0.5mg
Tried this recipe? Leave a comment below or mention @theplantbasedschool on Instagram. We are also on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.

If you liked this shirazi salad, you might also enjoy:


Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

5 from 8 votes (6 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love all your recipes and it’s great that you include meat/fish eaters too! Have made lots of your salads. Well done keep the recipes flowing. Thank you very much. Kind regards Sharon x

    1. Thank you, Sharon! I’m very happy you enjoy our content and suggestions, we appreciate you being here ❤️

      All the best, Louise

  2. 5 stars
    Your recipes are abesoulty decelious and very neutresious, thank you very much for your contributions of your receipes.
    .