Shirazi Salad (Persian Cucumber Onion Tomato Salad)

5 from 13 votes
Jump to RecipeJump to Video

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

How to make Shirazi salad (salad Shirazi), a fresh, simple Persian cucumber onion tomato salad – but with a twist. This Shirazi-inspired Persian salad contains just 8 ingredients and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and a delicious side to tons of meals!

Mixing tomato cucumber salad

Having shared a simple cucumber and tomato salad with mint recently, you’re probably wondering what the difference is here, and I don’t blame you. However, this Shirazi salad has subtle differences that make all the difference!

These types of super simple, fresh salads are similar to what I’ve grown up with in Lebanon – like tabbouleh and fattoush! They make for the perfect appetizer or side. Best of all, this recipe takes just minutes to prep (and a little patience while it marinates)!

Shirazi salad in a bowl

What is Shirazi Salad?

Shirazi salad is an Iranian-origin, simple, fresh cucumber onion tomato salad named after Shiraz in southern Iran. The fresh veggies are traditionally combined with olive oil, spices, verjuice (an acidic sour fruit juice), and/or lemon. 

The resulting Persian salad makes for the perfect summery appetizer or side dish for kebabs, proteins, rice, etc. A little like the Persian “Pico de Gallo.”

Looking for more simple, fresh regional salads? How about this Lebanese fattoush salad, Italian Caprese salad, vegan Greek salad, or Asian cucumber salad (sunomono)!

The Ingredients

A traditional Shirazi salad is a simple cucumber onion tomato salad with salt and pepper and lemon/lime juice. But, for my version, I’ve added in a few “extras” for a Shirazi salad with a twist!

Ingredients for Shirazi Salad
  • Tomatoes: one of the key ingredients in this Persian cucumber salad – use ripe, flavorful tomatoes like vine-ripened, Roma, or heirloom tomatoes. 
  • Cucumber: it’s best to use Persian cucumbers if available; they contain fewer seeds for a less “watery” salad. However, you can also use English cucumber (with seeds or de-seeded). I recommend using 3-4 small Persian cucumbers to one English cucumber. Avoid cucumber with thick waxy, and somewhat bitter skin. 
  • Onion: I used a red onion, which is slightly sweeter. Feel free to reduce the amount if preferred. Alternatively, you could use shallots, which are slightly more mellow in flavor.
  • Herbs: I used dried mint, which is traditional. However, you could also use a combination of fresh and dried. Alternatively, use parsley, dill, scallions, cilantro (definitely not traditional or common to Persian cuisine), or even a little Sumac. 
  • Olive oil: I recommend using a good quality extra virgin olive oil. 
  • Lime: or lemon juice – use fresh juice for the best results. You could also substitute this for sour grape juice (ab ghooreh/ab ghoreh) or verjuice.
  • Vinegar: I recommend using a sweeter vinegar, like grape vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Salt: to taste.

Optional add-ins and variations

  • Red or green bell pepper
  • Feta (or vegan feta)
  • Walnuts
  • Dried rose petals
  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Avocado
  • Chili

How to Make Shirazi Salad?

Step 1: Chop the vegetables

First, finely dice the cucumber, tomatoes, and onion. If your tomatoes contain lots of seeds, then first scoop out the seeds then finely chop them. 

You could also use a “chopper” for the cucumber and onion, though the pieces won’t end up as uniform.

Cutting cucumber tomatoes and onion

Step 2: Combine the ingredients and marinate

Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and toss lightly to combine.

Then transfer the salad to the refrigerator for around two hours. This will help the flavors to meld and develop for a delicious Persian salad!

Preparing tomato cucumber salad

Before serving, taste the cucumber onion tomato salad and adjust any of the seasonings as necessary: add more salt, lime juice, vinegar, etc. 

Mixing tomato cucumber salad

How to Store Persian Salad

I recommend enjoying this Persian cucumber salad fresh while the ingredients are still fresh and crunchy. However, leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for between 1-2 days. 

Just note that over time the veggies will soften and release juices, thus softening the overall Shirazi salad. 

Make ahead: if you plan on making this salad ahead, I recommend using seedless cucumbers, de-seeding the tomatoes, and also omitting the dressing and salt from the recipe until a couple of hours before serving. This way, it should last 3-4 days in the refrigerator – though still best within 2-3 days.

A bowl with shirazi salad

How to Serve Shirazi Salad

This Persian salad makes for the ultimate side dish, perfect for sharing alongside practically any meal you can think of. However, here are some of my favorite options:

Let me know in the comments how you’d serve this Persian cucumber salad.

Mixing shirazi salad

Recipe Notes & Variations

  • Don’t forget to marinate: this simple Persian salad really benefits from the marinating time. The flavors all meld together and develop wonderfully.
  • If your tomatoes are juicy: if your tomatoes are a little TOO juicy, you can either them cut in halves or quarters in a colander for a while. Alternatively, lightly salt the tomatoes first before leaving to drain for 15-30 minutes. This will help pull all the excess liquid from the tomatoes. 
  • Experiment with herbs: feel free to use a combination of herbs with the dried mint. I recommend adding a little parsley and a good pinch of sumac. 

If you try this simple Shirazi salad recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Shirazi Salad (Persian Cucumber Onion Tomato Salad)

5 from 13 votes
By: Samira
How to make Shirazi salad (salad Shirazi), a fresh, simple Persian cucumber onion tomato salad – but with a twist. This Shirazi-inspired Persian salad contains just 8 ingredients and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and a delicious side to tons of meals!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 sides

Ingredients 
 

  • 12 tomatoes Roma or heirloom
  • 4 Persian cucumbers or 1 English cucumber
  • 1 red onion or shallot
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dried mint or combination fresh and dried
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar either grape or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced or lemon, 2 Tbsp juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions 

Step 1: Chop the vegetables

  • Finely dice the cucumber, tomatoes, and onion. If your tomatoes contain lots of seeds, then first scoop out the seeds then finely chop them.
    You could also use a "chopper" for the cucumber and onion, though the pieces won’t end up as uniform.

Step 2: Combine the ingredients and marinate

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and toss lightly to combine.
  • Then transfer the salad to the refrigerator for around two hours. This will help the flavors to meld and develop for a delicious Persian salad!
  • Before serving, taste the cucumber onion tomato salad and adjust any of the seasonings as necessary: add more salt, lime juice, vinegar, etc.

How to Store Persian Salad

  • I recommend enjoying this Persian cucumber salad fresh while the ingredients are still fresh and crunchy. However, leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for between 1-2 days.
    Just note that over time the veggies will soften and release juices, thus softening the overall Shirazi salad.
    Make ahead: If you plan on making this salad ahead, I recommend using seedless cucumbers, de-seeding the tomatoes, and also omitting the dressing and salt from the recipe until a couple of hours before serving. This way, it should last 3-4 days in the refrigerator- though still best in 2-3.

Video

Notes

Recipe Notes & Variations
  • Don’t forget to marinate: this simple Persian salad really benefits from the marinating time. The flavors all meld together and develop wonderfully.
  • If your tomatoes are juicy: if your tomatoes are a little TOO juicy, you can either them cut in halves or quarters in a colander for a while. Alternatively, lightly salt the tomatoes first before leaving to drain for 15-30 minutes. This will help pull all the excess liquid from the tomatoes.
  • Experiment with herbs: feel free to use a combination of herbs with the dried mint. I recommend adding a little parsley and a good pinch of sumac.

Optional add-ins and variations:
  • Red or green bell pepper
  • Feta
  • Walnuts
  • Dried rose petals
  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Avocado
  • Chili
 
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Persian
Freezer friendly: No
Shelf life: 2-3 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 155kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 313mg, Potassium: 1022mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 3184IU, Vitamin C: 59mg, Calcium: 64mg, Iron: 2mg

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

Leave a comment

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

Recipe Rating