Santorini Salad with Cucumber-Basil Yogurt Dressing


Santorini Salad with Cucumber-Basil Yogurt Dressing is a light and refreshing, gluten-free salad.

Santorini Salad with Cucumber Basil Yogurt Dressing |

Hey, hey everybody, hope you had a nice weekend and welcome to a new week!

This was one of the best weekends at home in awhile – I got a million things done but still had time for fun. My Mom and I kicked things off with a trip to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday. It was awesome to be back among the early morning hustle and bustle. The energy is amazing!


One of my most exciting purchases was a Sweet 100 cherry tomato plant which I put under dirt later that day. I planted a couple of these in my garden a few years ago and they grew as big as trucks but produced truck LOADS of sugary-sweet cherry tomatoes. Grow baby, grow!


We also sampled a few gluten free goodies at the market including this monster cookie from the Sweet Treat Without Wheat folks. Oh my gosh, I would have never in a million years guessed that it wasn’t a traditional cookie. Totally chewy, gooey and totally worth cheating on the online sugar-free course I’m currently taking. I just had to have it. I just had to!


Later that afternoon I ninja-kicked a ton of housework then took a break mid-afternoon to pick a bouquet of tulips from our garden for my Mom/Mother’s Day. Don’t they look like a wedding bouquet? We moved into our house late last summer so I didn’t even know we them in our gardens until they popped up last week. Such a fun surprise!


She absolutely loved them!


Ben and I had very intense plans for Saturday night: wine tasting. Twist my arm.


We love Louis Martini, which has a cabernet from both Napa Valley and Sonoma County, but always forget which region’s we prefer. So, we bought a bottle of each then covered, poured, sipped, and judged. The winner? Sonoma. Bonus that it’s the cheaper of the two, too!


On Sunday, Mother’s Day, I slept in while the boys did cute things, then the whole family convened at my brother and sister-in-law’s house for a Mother’s Day feast to celebrate the most important lady in my life. My Mom! (And Ben’s Mom from afar, of course!)


There was a last minute change of plans because of some morning rain, and our BBQ potluck, which Ben made Grandpa’s Pasta Salad and Green Bean Casserole for, got turned into brunch with pancakes and eggs. It was quite the eccentric spread, but delicious nonetheless.


So thankful to that I get to call the most generous, thoughtful, kind, caring, and giving person I know, Mom. (Arm out for my homie, aka my little brother.)


Also incredibly thankful that I got to celebrate my first Mother’s Day with the people that made me a Mama! I can’t even look at my little boy without wanting to burst into a million pieces, and Ben made this entire weekend very special. Love them. :)


In other news, salad! Nice transition, eh? ;)

I don’t know about you but I could eat a salad every single day of my life, and Santorini Salad with Cucumber-Basil Yogurt Dressing is one of the best I’ve had in awhile thanks to the crunchy combo of romaine lettuce, crispy baked garbanzo beans, fresh tomatoes, tangy feta cheese and sauteed lemon shrimp drizzled with a killer Cucumber-Basil Yogurt Dressing.

I usually forgo creamy dressings in favor of vinaigrette – unless I’m individually squeezing a line of Ranch on a carrot stick, of course – but this cooling Greek-yogurt number is divine!

Santorini Salad with Cucumber Basil Yogurt Dressing |

Now, I can’t take all the credit for this creation. The Santorini Salad is one of the menu items at SweetGreen, the made-to-order salad shop we visited the last time we were in DCI was trying to decide between the Kale and Wild Rice Bowl and this salad, and while the Wild Rice Bowl eventually won out, I obviously haven’t been able to get this fresh, Mediterranean-inspired salad out of my mind.

This is the kind of meal that you feel yourself getting healthier after eating. How many other dishes can you say that about?!

Santorini Salad with Cucumber Basil Yogurt Dressing |

Start by making the baked garbanzo beans which are a decadent-tasting, crispy-crunchy topping on the salad (recycled pics from my Chicken Power Bowls.) These babies are like healthy corn nuts. Love ’em!

Drain then rinse 1 can garbanzo beans, which are also sometimes called chickpeas.

Dry the beans off well in a kitchen towel then toss with 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper then bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown, shaking the pan halfway through. The garbanzo beans will crisp as they cool, FYI. Set those babies aside to cool and try not to munch your way through the entire batch before assembling your salads.

You’ve been warned.

Next make the Cucumber-Basil Yogurt Dressing – my favorite part of the salad. In food processor (could probably use a blender) combine 1/2 small cucumber, 2 Tablespoons each plain Greek yogurt, chopped fresh basil, and extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 small garlic clove, salt and pepper then let ‘er rip. Dressing = done! Mmm, you’ll just love it. I think it’d make an awesome chicken marinade for the grill, too.

Santorini Salad with Cucumber Basil Yogurt Dressing |

Next get the shrimp ready. I almost always buy frozen raw shrimp that’s been peeled and de-veined as it’s a cinch to thaw – just pop the frozen shrimp in a bowl of cool water for about 10 minutes then they should be ready to go.

Santorini Salad with Cucumber Basil Yogurt Dressing |

Pat 1lb peeled and de-veined shrimp dry with a paper towel then mist with extra virgin olive oil and season with garlic salt and pepper. Add them to a hot skillet over medium-high heat then cook for 1-2 minutes a side, or until pink and bouncy. You may need to do this in a couple batches as to not crowd the skillet.

Santorini Salad with Cucumber Basil Yogurt Dressing |

Finish up by squeezing the juice of 1/2 lemon over the shrimp and let the juice sizzle away for 30 seconds or so before removing them to a plate. Could not be easier, people!

Santorini Salad with Cucumber Basil Yogurt Dressing |

Fill plates with chopped romaine lettuce then top with the sauteed lemon shrimp and crispy baked garbanzo beans, along with halved grape or cherry tomatoes, and crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle the Cucumber-Basil Yogurt Dressing on top, then chow down!

Santorini Salad with Cucumber Basil Yogurt Dressing |

Santorini Salad with Cucumber-Basil Yogurt Dressing

serves 4


Santorini Salad with Cucumber-Basil Yogurt Dressing is a light and refreshing, gluten-free salad.


  • 2-10oz bags romaine lettuce
  • 15oz can garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas)
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • garlic salt and pepper
  • 1lb peeled and de-veined shrimp
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • For the Cucumber-Basil Yogurt Dressing:
    • 1/2 cup peeled and seeded chopped cucumber (about 1/2 small cucumber)
    • 2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
    • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 small garlic clove, chopped
    • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain garbanzo beans then rinse and pat dry with a towel (the dryer the better.) Pour onto a baking sheet then add extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper then toss with hands to coat. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown, shaking pan halfway through (beans will continue crisping as they cool,) then set aside to cool completely. Can be made ahead of time - bake then cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
  2. Combine ingredients for Cucumber-Basil Yogurt Dressing in a food processor then blend until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary then set aside. Can be made ahead of time.
  3. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat then spray with nonstick spray or mist with extra virgin olive oil. Pat shrimp dry then season with garlic salt and pepper. Add to skillet then cook for 1-2 minutes on one side before flipping and cooking for 1-2 minutes on the other side, or until pink (don't overcook.) Squeeze lemon into skillet then cook until evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove shrimp to plate then set aside.
  4. Divide lettuce between plates then top each with 2 Tablespoons feta cheese and a quarter of the tomatoes, shrimp, and crispy garbanzo beans. Drizzle dressing on top then serve.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


The dressing on this salad makes it feel very fancy – but you saw how easy it was to make. Plus, thanks to the cooling cucumber and yogurt, it makes for a wonderful meal on a hot spring or summer night. Enjoy!

Santorini Salad with Cucumber Basil Yogurt Dressing |

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  1. That recipe looks delicious! It seems like you’ve had such a wonderful day. And congratulations on your first Mother’s Day! The cookie looked so good, I can imagine that was a nice surprise!

  2. Kristin, happy first Mother’s Day! I love the look of this salad. I love summer salads when it gets too hot to cook (and eat heavy dinners).

  3. Happy first Mother’s Day, so special that first year! It’s been 4 years for me and I’ll hear the words “mommy, mommy” and think to myself, who are those kids talking too anyhow? And then I realize, oh, me, right….I’m their mother. Duh.

    Smashing salad, I love eating food that I feel good about. No guilt complex afterwards, no forced 80’s workout!

  4. Chicago Jogger 05.12.2014

    That dressing looks so perfect for spring and summer! I also have loved adding roasted chickpeas to everything lately. Looks like a great mix.

  5. Lea 05.12.2014

    I’ve been on a total salad kick lately, thanks to the 80+ days we are seeing now in DC and this is totally making an appearance this week. YUM! I love all thing Mediterranean.

  6. Yay! I need this salad in my life just to remind me that it is actually Spring almost summer. My garden is currently sitting under a bunch of soggy snow.

    • Kristin 05.12.2014

      Noo! Nina, remind me where you live?

      • Denver… this always happens when you get too cocky and break out the flip flops :)

        • Kristin 05.12.2014

          That’s what I thought. My little brother lives there too and we could not BELIEVE there was snow coming down as we were Face Timing with him yesterday!

  7. Anne [A Squared] 05.12.2014

    Lettuce Turnip the Beet? That’s so cute!

  8. Love all of this! I saw that picture of you with the tomato plants and thought, “Oh – LOVE her coat.” Then I said, “Wait…she’s still wearing a coat?!” Sorry it’s still cold in Iowa!! :( I’m not normally a seafood girl, but I might make an exception for this :) Looks amazing!

    Happy Mother’s Day :)

    • Kristin 05.12.2014

      I WAY over dressed – I’m not sure what I was thinking. We hit upper 80s later that day, thank God!!

  9. sounds like you had a wonderful mother’s day! good for you for getting that cookie. i feel like when you find a good gluten free one, you have to indulge!

  10. MOM 05.12.2014

    Being your mom is a blessing every single day-you are the gift that keeps on giving:)!

  11. Kelly Mitchem 05.12.2014

    This salad looks divine!
    So happy to hear you had a wonderful Mothers Day!

  12. Heather 05.12.2014

    I am crushing on cucumbers at the moment, they are so big and ripe right now!! Can’t wait to make this salad for lunch this week :)

  13. Y’all are seriously the most adorable family in the world I love it and am so glad you had a fabulous Mother’s Day! This salad looks really good, I’m in serious need of a diet detox aka to stop eating anything other than vegetables for a few weeks lol. Too much indulgence lately but it’s hard to say know with a chef around all the time! #foodieproblems :/

  14. Megan 05.12.2014

    I love hearing about other people that are doing the Go Sugar Free course! I went to college with Jacqueline and have been toying with doing her course for the last year or so. Will you be posting about your experience at all? I hope so!

  15. What a perfect Mothers Day weekend! Those tulips are just so beautiful…but Lincoln definitely steals the show. Those baby feet, eek!

    The dressing for this salad sounds incredible too. I will definitely be giving it a try!

  16. i love that photo of you lincoln and your husband…so cute!!!!

    happy belated mother’s day!

  17. MKS 05.12.2014

    I’ve been wavering the GSF course and can still join “fashionably late” until tonight. What are your thoughts so far? Have you been doing it since the 7th? Is it worth it?

    • Kristin 05.12.2014

      For me it’s been about community – if it’s just me I’m totally not sticking with anything. I have ZERO will power. Knowing that there’s somebody who’s holding me accountable has pretty much been the only reason why I’ve been successful (except for that cookie!)

  18. Looks like you had a fabulous weekend! Wine tasting is always fun. Also, happy belated Mother’s Day! Looks like you had an awesome first Mother’s Day! :)

    That salad looks very refreshing! I enjoy cucumbers and can only imagine how delicious that yogurt dressing tastes!

  19. Nancy 05.12.2014

    Ahhh!!! Always love seeing pictures of little dude-L. (Failed at giving him a nick name just then haha) – glad you had such a nice FIRST mothers day :) :)

  20. Fran 05.12.2014

    Happy First Mothers Day and and many,many more to come! Love all your recipes so healthy and great tasting!

  21. This looks so light and refreshing, the perfect summer salad!

  22. Lori 05.12.2014

    I LOVE your blog, and always look forward to your Friday Favorites. I just had to comment to say how absolutely adorable Lincoln is. I love when you include him in your posts. He just looks like the sweetest little guy. Blessings to you and your family and hope you had a great 1st Mother’s Day!

    Oh yeah, the salad looks yummy! Think I’ll try it this week.

  23. Sounds like you had a very sweet Mother’s Day! Your flowers are gorgeous, too! Loved hearing about your weekend. I never thought to roast garbanzo beans, but that sounds awesome! I’m definitely going to give those a try.

  24. Oh wow! You are reading my mind girlfriend! Gimme salad or give me nothin! This looks like the perfect summer salad for sitting on the patio, soaking in the sun, and maybe a bottle of beer… or two!!! Excellent recipe

  25. Leslie W 05.13.2014

    The tulips are gorgeous ! The salad dressing sounds great. & I’m with you on the Louis Martini cab – I can’t remember which one comes from where but I like the cheaper one better. (sorry LM). Happy Mother’s Day!

  26. This looks AMAZING. Must try this salad! Love that it looks easy enough for even me to do!

  27. Medeja 05.13.2014

    This salad looks so colorful and flavorful!

  28. The pictures of your farmers’ market always makes me want to visit Iowa!!

  29. This looks like the perfect summer meal. Now, if only it would warm up enough to actually eat it outside. That dressing sounds really delicious!

  30. Zosia 05.19.2014

    This is delicious! Enjoyed it with a glass of white wine in my garden this evening. Bringing some to work tomorrow for my lunch too!

  31. […] recipe for a hot day like I hope we’ll get this weekend, I’ve found one for you. It’s the Santorini Salad from Iowa Girl Eats. I made this Wednesday night and it was amazing. Refreshing, healthy and […]

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