Colourful, bright and refreshingly delicious, you can not go past this popular Lebanese fattoush salad recipe. We adore the crunchy homemade fried pita chips and zesty sumac dressing all mixed in with chopped seasonal fresh vegetables to create the perfect easy side salad.
Why You’ll Love Our Fattoush Salad Recipe
There is something different about a fattoush salad that keeps me coming back for more.
Yes, the salad ingredients in a fattoush are familiar. We’ve all seen lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes chopped up in a salad but the added iconic fried pita bread and sumac salad dressing completely changes the dynamic.
I love how fattoush salad adds a refreshingly light component to a meal but also with crunchy volume. You don’t feel like you are eating rabbit food with fattoush. There is good substance there.
Easy to make with a few chopping actions and done in less than 15 minutes. Fattoush is a fresh summer salad perfect for outdoor entertaining and helps cut through heavy dishes. It will be a great companion with our homemade falafel balls too.
What Goes In a Fattoush Salad?
Fattoush (الفتوش), pronounced “faht-toosh”, is essentially Lebanon’s version of a garden salad. This popular salad is normally served with lunch or dinner at family gatherings.
Similar to classic Greek salad, you will find various combinations of ingredients in a fattoush salad, depending on what is in season and fresh at that time. Every family will have their own twists and recipes handed down through the generations.
Fattoush salad ingredients generally include a combination of cucumber, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, bell peppers, radishes, mint, parsley and pomegranate.
Some family recipes will include all, some may not include lettuce, and some won’t have radishes.
The vegetables may change in a fattoush recipe but there are two common ingredients that threads them together – fried pita bread and zingy sumac fattoush dressing.
No fattoush salad recipe would be truly a fattoush without these elements.
Flavour/Texture: Fresh and crunchy. That is essentially the textures of a fattoush salad.
The flavours of fattoush are light and zingy. I love how sumac and pomegranate molasses in the salad dressing elevates this easy salad recipe and gives that something extra.
Ease: Other than making sure the pita bread doesn’t burn when fried, the salad is very simple to make. The main action required is chopping.
Time: Including frying pita bread, this fattoush recipe will take no more than 20 minutes.
These are the main ingredients you need for fattoush salad:
Pita bread/Lebanese flatbread: Adding fried pita bread is a great way to use up any leftovers as well as adding crunch. Use regular or wholemeal pita pockets or, alternatively, Lebanese flatbread.
Cos/Romaine lettuce: Cos or Romaine lettuce is best suited to fattoush because it will hold the dressing better than iceberg or other lettuce with softer leaves.
Cucumber: my go-to is, of course, Lebanese / Persian cucumbers. They are smaller and sweeter.
Tomatoes: I used cherry tomatoes in this recipe but choose your favourite variety and cut into smaller chunks.
Radish: I love adding radish to salads for the peppery, crisp flavours. You can slice or cut into quarters.
Bell Peppers: Red peppers are my favourite bell pepper as they are far sweeter than green. Plus, it adds a great pop of colour!
Sumac: Even a small dash of sumac helps lift the fattoush dressing. You can purchase sumac from larger supermarkets, local Middle Eastern grocery stores or online speciality stores.
Pomegranate Molasses: I adore pomegranate molasses as it adds a deep sweet-tart flavour like no other. It is a pantry staple for us. Goes so well with sumac and the fresh vegetables. Try our pomegranate molasses dressing for other green salads.
Variations and Substitutions
No lettuce: I’ve seen other fattoush recipes where there is no lettuce. It is possibly because lettuce wilts quicker in the salad dressing. In place, I have also noticed some people adding purslane, which is a leafy vegetable. However, I don’t often see purslane here, so I used lettuce.
Seasoning the bread: I did not season my bread prior to frying. I feel there is enough flavour in the salad in general, but you’re welcome to season it with sumac and salt.
Sumac replacement: I don’t really think there is an equivalent replacement for sumac in the fattoush dressing. There is no harm in having sumac in your pantry as it is such a versatile spice.
However, if you cannot find it, you can add little allspice and cinnamon and increase the lemon juice in the dressing.
Pomegranate molasses: If you don’t have pomegranate molasses, you can omit it from salad dressing.
Step by step instructions for how to make fattoush salad:
How to Make The Salad
Using scissors, cut pita bread into small triangles or small squares.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add cut pita bread into oil and fry until golden brown. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
You may need to do this in batches as you don’t want to overcrowd the skillet. Do watch the pita bread as they cook very quickly.
Remove fried pita bread and rest on paper towels until ready to serve.
Wash and roughly chop cos lettuce.
Slice cucumbers in quarters lengthwise and chop into small pieces.
Cut tomatoes into quarters.
Slice bell pepper in half and remove seeds. Cut into bite size pieces.
Wash and trim radishes. Finely slice them.
Peel and thinly slice red onion.
Roughly chop parsley and mint.
How To Make The Sumac Salad Dressing
In a small mixing bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, sumac and dried mint together.
Whisk until salad dressing is combined.
How to Assemble the Salad
In a large bowl, add all the chopped salad ingredients except for fried pita bread.
Pour dressing on top and toss to combine.
Add fried pita bread just before serving and gently toss again.
How to Make This Salad Perfectly (Expert Tips)
Use the freshest ingredients: There is nothing to hide in fattoush salad, so it is important to have the freshest ingredients. Also use a high quality olive oil. The clean peppery flavours will help carry the salad ingredients together.
Do not add fried pita bread until serving: Like other salads with bread, fried pita bread will soften with the salad dressing, so don’t add fried pita bread until the salad is ready to serve. You may want to leave a small portion later to top up as well.
Serve immediately after dressing the salad: Fattoush is best served as soon as you dress it. So if you are preparing it in advance, don’t dress the salad until ready to serve.
Great Mains for This Salad
A traditional Fattoush Salad Recipe deserves an equally delicious Lebanese main dish. Try these:
For a vegetarian meal, this kousa mahshi (stuff zucchini) might just be for you. Perfect dish to have with a classic fattoush salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
We use sumac powder in cooking, which comes from the red berries of a sumac bush. The red berries are dried and then pounded to form a coarse powder, purple-red in colour. Sumac has a tangy, fruity taste and adds citrus flavours to a recipe.
We adore this spice and use it in various recipes. Try our Summer berry fruit salad for a refreshing summer dessert, or add in salad dressings like our spiced yoghurt honey dressing. Sumac can be added to spice rubs with grilled meats for a tangy finish.
You can prepare all the fattoush salad ingredients ahead of time but only dress the salad and add fried pita bread when ready to serve.
Yes, you can! Definitely can bake in the oven or use the air fryer for fried pita bread, just like pita chips. Brush lightly or spray pita bread with some olive oil.
There is no doubt why fattoush salad is one of the most popular Middle Eastern salads. It’s vibrant, fresh and deliciously zingy. Plus, oh so easy to make.
The fried pita bread and zesty sumac dressing make this salad one of a kind. Definitely give this classic salad recipe a try for your next social gathering.
More Vegan Salad Recipes
Fattoush Salad Recipe
- 2 cups cos lettuce, chopped
- 200 g tomatoes
- 1 cucumber, Lebanese
- 1 bell peppers, green, small
- 5 radish, red, sliced
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup mint, chopped
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 flatbread, /pita bread
- ½ cup oil, for frying
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Cut pita bread into small triangles or small squares. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add cut pita bread into oil and fry until golden brown. This will take about 3-4 minutes. Remove and rest on paper towels.
- Wash and roughly cut cos lettuce.
- Chop cucumber into small pieces.
- Cut tomatoes into quarters.
- Slice and cut bell peppers into bite size pieces.
- Wash and trim radishes. Finely slice them.
- Thinly slice white onion.
- Roughly chop parsley and mint.
- In a small mixing bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, sumac, dried mint together.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Whisk until combined.
- In a large bowl, add all the salad ingredients except for fried pita bread.
- Pour dressing on top and toss to combine.
- Add fried pita bread just before serving and gently toss again.
- Use the freshest ingredients you can find for fattoush salad.
- Fry the pita bread in batches if you need to. Do not overcrowd the skillet. Do watch the pita bread as they cook very quickly.
- If you can not find sumac, you can add little allspice, cinnamon and increase the lemon juice in the fattoush dressing.
- If you don’t have pomegranate molasses, you can omit it from the salad dressing.
- Keep fried pita bread separate until the salad is ready to serve.
- Dress the salad only when you are ready to serve.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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