Panera Greek Salad with homemade salad dressing is a delicious meal to enjoy for lunch or dinner. There’s no need to go to Panera Bread when this DIY salad is so much better and less expensive.
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What Makes the Panera Greek Salad the Perfect Greek Salad?
Greek salads are tasty and satisfying with salty feta, tangy tomatoes, acid purple onions, and fruity kalamata olives over a bed of dressed lettuce. A large Greek salad can make a wonderful main course, while a smaller portion is a versatile side salad.
The version of Greek salad that Panera Bread serves adds pepperoncini and parmesan cheese for an even more complex flavor.
Why Should You Make This Recipe at Home
A good Greek salad is all about the freshness of the ingredients. Use garden-picked or direct-from-the-farmers’-market veggies for the best flavor. And when it comes to taste, you can’t beat homemade Dijon vinaigrette dressing!
But perhaps the biggest advantage of making a Greek salad at home, besides saving money, is the opportunity to add your own twist. Check out the section below on recipe variations for a few suggestions.
Copycat Panera Greek Salad Recipe Ingredients
To make Panera Greek Salad dressing, you’ll need:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Dijon mustard
- Fresh lemon juice
- Dried oregano
- Dried thyme
- Dried basil
- Minced garlic or garlic granules
- Ground black pepper
For the rest of the salad, you’ll need:
- Romaine lettuce
- Grape tomatoes
- Feta cheese, cubed
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- Kalamata olives
- Whole pepperoncini peppers
- Fresh ground black pepper
Producers make feta cheese from sheep milk or a combination of sheep and goat milk. Its crumbly texture and salty, slight tangy lemony flavor makes it ideal for sprinkling on just about anything.
There are several types of feta but look for one that is made in the Greek style and comes in a single block submerged in the brine. To get rid of some saltiness, you can give the feta a quick rinse before using it.
Kalamata olives are originally from the sun-drenched Peloponnese peninsula in Greece and represent Greek cooking. They have a naturally pronounced fruity flavor with a bit of bitterness, and the brining solution gives these olives their tang. A Greek salad is just not the same without these little beauties.
Pepperoncini are small yellow-green pickled peppers with just a little heat but full-sized flavor. You should be able to buy pepperoncini in most supermarkets, but banana peppers are a good substitute if you have problems finding them.
How To Make Panera Greek Salad
To prepare the Greek dressing:
- Combine all the ingredients for the Panera Bread Greek Salad dressing recipe in a bowl.
- Use a whisk to combine.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.
- The flavor of this dressing is the best when it is at room temperature, so plan accordingly.
To finish assembling the Panera Bread Copycat Greek Salad recipe:
- Rinse and dry the romaine lettuce. Slice into one-inch strips.
- Toss the romaine lettuce with salt, pepper, and two tablespoons of the homemade salad dressing. Transfer the dressed lettuce into a large bowl for serving.
- Slice the grape tomatoes in half and scatter them on top of the lettuce.
- Place the kalamata olives, Greek pepperoncini, and slices of onions in the serving bowl.
- Crumble the feta cheese over the other ingredients and sprinkle on the parmesan cheese.
What To Serve With It
Serve a few slices of focaccia or olive along with a large Greek salad. A Greek salad also pairs well with any grilled beef or chicken dish.
How To Make One Ahead of Time and To Serve It Later
The salad dressing will last for up to five days in the fridge.
If you are packing the Greek salad to go, keep the dressing on the side to prevent the lettuce from getting soggy.
Possible Recipe Variations
Try experimenting with different add-ins. Here are a few suggestions:
- Modern Greek Salad Bowl: Grain bowls are taking over, and it is easy to turn this basic recipe into a filling meal by adding a layer of warm quinoa to the bottom of the serving bowl and topping with a half portion of salad. You may want to add a few shaved almonds, a scoop of hummus, and extra dressing.
- Add meat or fish. Ordering a Panera Greek Salad with chicken is popular at the restaurant, but there is no reason why you can’t add thinly sliced beef or even roasted salmon for extra protein.
Love Panera? Try These Copycat Recipes
And there are even more Panera Salads copycat recipes.
Favorite Salad Recipes
- Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
- Chicken Caesar Salad
- Chicken Fajita Salad
- Easy Broccoli Salad
- Kale Brussel Sprout Salad
- Original Cobb Salad
- Spinach Bacon Salad
- Taco Bell Salad
- Thai Noodle Salad
- Wedge Salad
Panera Greek Salad
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon minced garlic or garlic granules
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 to 5 cups sliced romaine lettuce
- 2 tablespoons grape tomatoes halved lengthwise
- 1½ tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 to 4 thin slices red onion cut into rings
- 8 black Kalamata olives
- 3 pepperoncini
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together well.
- If you do not use all of it right away, store the remainder in a sealed container in the fridge.
- Place the lettuce in a bowl.
- Top with the rest of the salad ingredients.