Recipes/ Salad/ Side Dish

Shopska Salad – Easy Bulgarian Summer Salad Recipe

26/05/2016 (Last Updated: 25/07/2019)

Only three main ingredients are needed for this super quick and refreshing Bulgarian Shopska Salad. Tomato, cucumber and Bulgarian feta or sirene cheese. Are you ready for the easiest, coolest, tastiest three ingredient salad in the world? 

Shopska salad in a bowl sprinkled with freshly grated feta.

Why We Love This Recipe

  • Full of juicy tomatoes and crunchy cucumber, Shopska salad is not only refreshing but super quick to prepare. That makes it perfect as a light lunch or colourful side dish for barbecues, potlucks and other gatherings. 
  • It’s also a budget-friendly dish, transforming low cost everyday ingredients into addictive summer salad you’ll love to share with friends and family. 

Shopska salad bowl next to a juicy tomato and serving spoon & fork.

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A man buying fresh veggies from a market vendor in Bulgaria.

What is Shopska Salad?

Shopska Salad is traditionally made with a very generous sprinkling of sirene cheese, which is pretty similar to feta in both taste and texture.

If you can’t find any sirene or feta near you, you could try sourcing some online or you can even make your own if you’re feeling adventurous!

All you need after that is diced tomatoes and cucumbers and your super simple salad is ready to rumble. If you want to kick things up a notch, feel free to throw in some diced capsicum/pepper and your favourite marinated olives.

We once even threw in some salami for all the meat-lovers out there!

Diced tomato and cucumber in a bowl.

How to Make Shopska Salad (Bulgarian Summer Salad Recipe)

  • Pop your diced tomatoes and cucumber in a serving bowl and give everything a stir until evenly distributed.
  • Optional step: Add in your optional ingredients such as red pepper, olives, olive oil, vinegar, and salt & pepper if you’re using them and stir through again.
  • Let it snow! Grate that cheese right over the bowl until well and truly covered.
  • Serve immediately (or store for around 30 mins in the fridge).

Grating fresh sirene cheese over diced cucumber and tomato.

Recipe Tips

  • For an extra cooling salad be sure to keep your ingredients in the fridge right up until you’re ready to prep. You can even pop them in the freezer for just a few minutes to cool them right down.
  • For extra flavour, serve your shopska salad with vinegar, oil, salt or fresh parsley on the side. You and your guests can then tweak the flavours just how you like. 

FAQs

Can shopska salad be made in advance?

If you’re not quite ready to eat, shopska salad can be made in advance and will store nicely in the fridge for around half an hour.

Shopska salad in a bowl covered in grated cheese.

Variations & Substitutes

  • If you can’t source sirene cheese, substitute with Bulgarian feta, or any firmer feta that can be grated easily.
  • For something a bit different, try adding diced salami to your shopska salad. This will quickly transform your side dish salad into a light main meal.
  • For an even more refreshing experience, serve your shopska salad with rakia (Bulgarian fruit brandy) or a frosty beer!

 

Looking for more Bulgarian delights? Check out this aromatic Spiced Apple Cinnamon Sumac Cake, and our favourite super simple White Bean Salad. Hint hint: They’d be perfect for a summertime picnic!

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Shopska salad in a bowl covered in grated cheese.

Bulgarian Shopska Salad

Only three main ingredients are needed for this super quick and refreshing Bulgarian Shopska Salad: Tomato, cucumber and Bulgarian feta. Are you ready for the easiest, coolest, tastiest three ingredient salad in the world? 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Bulgarian
Servings: 1 salad
Calories: 432kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Chopping Board
  • Grater
  • Salad bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 tomato large, diced
  • 1 cucumber continental, diced
  • 100 g sirene cheese or substitute with feta

Optional Garnishes

  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 50 g marinated olives
  • olive oil
  • vinegar
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Pop your diced tomatoes and cucumber in a serving bowl and give everything a stir until evenly distributed.
  • Optional step: Add in your optional ingredients such as red pepper, olives, olive oil, vinegar, and salt & pepper if you're using them and stir through again.
  • Let it snow! Grate that cheese right over the bowl until well and truly covered.
  • Serve immediately (or store for around 30 mins in the fridge).

Notes

Recipe Tips

  • For an extra cooling salad be sure to keep your ingredients in the fridge right up until you're ready to prep. You can even pop them in the freezer for just a few minutes to cool them right down.
  • For extra flavour, serve your shopska salad with vinegar, oil, salt or fresh parsley on the side. You and your guests can then tweak the flavours just how you like.

FAQs

  • Can shopska salad be made in advance? If you're not quite ready to eat, shopska salad can be made in advance and will store nicely in the fridge for around half an hour.

Variations & Substitutes

  • If you can't source sirene cheese, substitute with Bulgarian feta, or any firmer feta that can be grated easily.
  • For something a bit different, try adding diced salami to your shopska salad. This will quickly transform your side dish salad into a light main meal.
  • For an even more refreshing experience, serve your shopska salad with rakia (Bulgarian fruit brandy) or beer.

Nutrition

Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 1911mg | Potassium: 1013mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 5585IU | Vitamin C: 178.4mg | Calcium: 573mg | Iron: 2.4mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

 

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    Sylvie
    25/07/2019 at 7:38 pm

    Yummy fresh veggies AND cheese, what is there not to love!? Such a perfect recipe for summer, yum!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      29/07/2019 at 9:48 am

      I know right, tasty AND healthy? Win win!

  • Reply
    Cliona
    25/07/2019 at 7:20 pm

    I’m always looking for new summer salads and this looks simply devine! I’ve never really eaten any Bulgarian food so this will be a great way to start.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      29/07/2019 at 9:48 am

      Hope you enjoy this new addition to your repertoire!

  • Reply
    Emily
    25/07/2019 at 6:02 pm

    So simple and fresh this is my kinda summer food, yum!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      29/07/2019 at 9:47 am

      I know right! Cooling salads are the best way to cool down on a summer’s day. 😀

  • Reply
    Michelle Miller
    25/07/2019 at 4:24 pm

    I love to explore the world through food! Bulgarian food is a first! Thank you for sharing, this looks super refreshing.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      29/07/2019 at 9:47 am

      Ah so glad we could be part of your kitchen adventures!

  • Reply
    Farah
    25/07/2019 at 4:04 pm

    That looks so refreshing, light delicious and easy! Definitely my type of recipe.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      29/07/2019 at 9:46 am

      Agree, we love the convenience factor too!

  • Reply
    Gergana
    16/08/2016 at 4:55 pm

    Hey Ladies,

    I am ssooooo happy you’re spreading the word of our lovely Bulgarian cuisine. Next time you go – please give me a shout, I’ll direct you to great food places & dishes to try with pleasure! 🙂

    May I suggest a small variation, which is a MUST-TRY? We usually eat this salad as a mix of the following ingredients:
    – Tomatoes & Cucumbers as main filler ingredients
    – Cheese for the finishing, always
    and here comes the difference:
    – raw, very thinly sliced red or white onions
    – roasted red peppers (you char them under the grill untill almost all of the surface is black, then peel the skin off)
    – and we finish with a bit of salt and sunflower seed oil (a little salt, as our Sirene cheese is quite salty)

    Being Bulgarian, I’d suggest this for the most authentic version, hope you’ll give it a try, and maybe suggest this variant to your readers.

    Gergana

    • Reply
      Gergana
      16/08/2016 at 4:57 pm

      oh, and how could I forget: PARSLEY< LOADS OF PARSLEY 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/08/2016 at 3:37 pm

      Hey Gergana, thanks for stopping by. Excellent suggestions and totally happy to share. P.S. Would love to take you up on that offer – Bulgaria is such a lovely country and we had such an awesome time there, we’ll definitely head back one day! 🙂

  • Reply
    THE HUNGRY MUM
    31/05/2016 at 5:14 pm

    Literally Miss 10’s three fav ingredients! We usually have a Greek salad most nights, will have to mix it up a bit.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/06/2016 at 10:07 am

      Awesome! It’s crazy how similar this is to Greek salad when you look at the key ingredients, but the flavour is so, so different it’s on a whole new level. Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply
    Florentina
    28/05/2016 at 5:14 am

    I love tomato and cucumber together ! Nothing screams summer and healthy like those two in my mouth haha

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/05/2016 at 9:06 am

      Hahah couldn’t agree more Florentina!

  • Reply
    Kathrina
    28/05/2016 at 4:55 am

    Oh wow…this salad is speaking my language! I love simple and flavorful salads like this, and that snow-like dusting of cheese is just perfect. I can’t wait to make this one soon. I may or may not share with my family. 😉 Haha!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/05/2016 at 9:06 am

      Good luck Kathrina, but you should probably make a double batch just in case. 😉

  • Reply
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
    28/05/2016 at 2:03 am

    Lots of beautiful colours in this dish. It looks so light and fresh too, and perfect for a summers evening.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/05/2016 at 9:05 am

      Absolutely! Hope you enjoy Dannii!

  • Reply
    Kate @ VeggieDesserts
    28/05/2016 at 1:49 am

    Feta snow!!!! What a great way to make this extra special. I want to grate everything now!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/05/2016 at 9:03 am

      Yayyyy! Us too! So grate-ful you stopped by. 😉

  • Reply
    Tara
    28/05/2016 at 12:48 am

    Love Shopska Salad! Yours looks amazing! Such beautiful photos.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/05/2016 at 8:59 am

      Thanks Tara! How addictive is it?! So much health, so little time 😛

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Champagne Tastes
    26/05/2016 at 11:46 pm

    Oh man! My husband and I ate this salad at every restaurant we went to in Bulgaria last summer! It was SO DELICIOUS! I do think their feta tastes a little different, but I didn’t realize it actually was a different type of feta. I will have to look for it.. the husband mourns that he hasn’t had this salad recently haha. This is awesome!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      27/05/2016 at 9:22 am

      Yess! So nice to meet a fellow shopska addict haha 😀 Sirene’s definitely got a unique flavour but when you can only get your hands on feta at home we think it’s close enough. But we’ll have to go back for the real thing one day! 😀

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