Fattoush (Middle Eastern Bread Salad)

Fattoush is a fresh and herbal Middle Eastern salad of pita bread and greens. Its unique feature is fried pita bread which is generously tossed on the greens. Rounded off with herbal dressing, fattoush is one of the most popular Middle Eastern salads.

I’ll show you how to make fattoush salad the way you find it in the Middle East with this step-by-step recipe.

Fattoush salad

What is Fattoush?

Fattoush is a herbal salad which is hugely popular across the entire Middle East, from Lebanon, Syria to Jordan. Traditionally, the idea behind fattoush salad was to use leftover pita bread. The base of the salad consists of a few simple ingredients. In contrast to tabbouleh (Arabic parsley-bulgur salad), the ingredients for fattoush don’t need to be as finely chopped. This makes fattoush easier to prepare than tabbouleh.

As you might know, pita bread plays a huge role in the Middle East. Now as then, families keep multiple loaves of fresh pita bread at home. Most of it is consumed on the same day or the day after, but leftovers aren’t uncommon. Instead of going to waste, leftover pita bread has led to many new dishes being invented. Fattoush is one of them.

Fattoush salad makes a great light meal, especially during summer. It can also be served as a mezze or as a side to rice and meat dishes.

Fattoush Ingredients

To make Arabic fattoush, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Pita bread: For fattoush salad, pita bread is cut into medium-sized cubes. It’s traditionally fried in olive oil and added on top of the salad. However, you can also toast the bread in a pan or bake it in the oven. Don’t use store-bought pita bread chips. They’ll never be able to compete with homemade pita chips.
  • Lettuce: Lettuce is the base for fattoush. You can use Romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce. The lettuce is roughly chopped.
  • Mint: A handful of mint are finely chopped. They complement the taste and texture of the salad.
  • Tomatoes: Use ripe, medium-size tomatoes for the best taste. For fattoush, they will be roughly chopped.
  • Cucumbers: Cucumbers go very well with mint and tomatoes, so make sure not to skip them in your salad. In some countries, large English cucumbers are standard. For the best result, I recommend that you use the smaller Arabic cucumbers. They are less watery and have a better taste. You’ll find them in most Middle Eastern grocery stores.
  • Bell pepper (capsicum): Bell peppers make a great addition to your salad. They will be finely diced for your fattoush. Most people use either bell peppers (any color) or another type of vegetables such as radishes. I personally prefer bell peppers over radishes, but you can choose either.
  • Scallions: Scallions (also known as spring onions) are optional, but most people (including me) prefer to add at least a few stems. Make sure to finely chop.
  • Dressing: As for most Arabic salads, the fattoush dressing consists of a simple mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate syrup, sumac and salt. The taste is similar to vinaigrette. Pomegranate syrup and sumac are available in any Turkish or Middle Eastern grocery store.

Most people add leftover vegetables they have at home. That’s why the versions of fattoush vary, depending on the region and the season. You can add scallions, capsicum and/or radishes to your fattoush.

Note: The exact quantities (according to the amount of servings) can be found in the recipe card at the end of this recipe.

Fattoush recipe

How to Make Fattoush (Step-by-Step)

Step 1: Chop the lettuce

For fattoush, you can either use iceberg or romaine lettuce. Roughly chop the lettuce and add to a large mixing bowl. Dispose of the stem.

Step 2: Chop the tomatoes

Use ripe tomatoes as these will be juicier. Roughly chop and add to the lettuce. Dispose of the core.

Step 3: Chop the cucumbers

Cut off the ends of the cucumbers. You don’t need to peel them, but can do so if you prefer to. Roughly chop and add to the bowl.

Step 4: Chop the bell pepper

Bell pepper (capsicum) is a great addition to fattoush. They go well with toasted bread and the slightly sour dressing of this salad. I prefer bell peppers over radishes, but you are free to use either (or both) of them. You can use red, yellow or green bell peppers or a combination of all colors.

Step 5: Chop the scallions

Almost the entire scallion is edible (simply cut off the ends). The upper parts (dark green) are usually milder than the lower parts (whitish). Either one works fine for fattoush. Finely chop and add to the bowl.

Step 6: Chop the mint

Mint adds to the herbal flavor of this Middle Eastern salad! Mint has thick stems which you shouldn’t eat. Pick the mint leaves from the stems one by one. Finely chop and add to the bowl.

Step 7: Prepare the dressing

Salads taste best when eaten fresh. If you’re making fattoush to be eaten right away, you can perfectly add the ingredients for the dressing straight into the bowl and mix them with the salad. The easiest way to prepare fattoush dressing is to combine olive oil, sumac and pomegranate syrup. Round off with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine with the salad. You can add the juice of half a lemon (optional).

Add fattoush dressing

Step 8: Fry pita bread

Roughly chop (or break) the pita bread. The best is to make cubes of about 2×2 cm (¾ x ¾ inches) in size. Briefly deep fry in oil until golden brown. If you’d like to save on the calories, you can perfectly toast the pita bread in a thin layer of olive oil in a pan or the oven. Toss the fried/toasted bread on the fattoush.

Toast pita bread

Step 9: Serve

Fattoush tastes best when the pita bread is still warm, so make sure to serve it right away. Sprinkle some pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional).

Fattoush recipe

What to Serve with Fattoush?

Fattoush is a hugely popular Middle Eastern salad. It’s commonly served along with a main dish, anything from grilled meat to rice dishes. You can also serve it with other mezze, such as hummus (chickpea dip), mutabal (eggplant dip) or tabbouleh (parsley salad).

Make Ahead & Storage

Fattoush can be made ahead of time. Store the salad (without dressing!) in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Leftovers (with dressing) can be consumed the next day.

Making fattoush for multiple days? To maximize freshness, it’s best to store the chopped vegetables in separate containers. Always store the dressing in a separate container and mix with the salad only when serving.

Any Questions or Feedback?

If you liked this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you could leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. In case you’ve any questions or feedback, please leave me a comment (down the page). I’m happy to help you make delicious Middle Eastern food at home.

Fattoush salad

Fattoush (Middle Eastern Bread Salad)

Kitty Ramasamy
Step-by-step recipe for fattoush, the famous Middle Eastern bread salad. The signature of fattoush salad is fried pita bread generously tossed on seasonal greens. The salad has a pleasant herbal and slightly acid flavor.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish, Salad
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 8 people
Calories 124 kcal

Ingredients
 

Fattoush Salad

  • 1 lettuce head iceberg or romaine
  • 2 tomatoes medium
  • 4 cucumbers small
  • 1 capsicum red, yellow or green
  • 2 pita breads
  • 1/2 bunch scallions
  • 1/2 bunch mint
  • 1/4 pomegranate optional

Fattoush Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate syrup
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lemon optional

Instructions
 

  • Roughly chop the lettuce and add to a large mixing bowl. Dispose of the stem and the outer leaves.
  • Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the lettuce.
  • Cucumbers don’t need to be peeled, but you can do so if you prefer. Roughly chop the cucumbers and add to the bowl.
  • Chop the capsicum. You can roughly or finely chop them into small cubes or slices.
  • Cut off the ends of the scallions. Finely chop and add to the bowl.
  • Pick the mint leaves from the stems one by one. Finely chop and add to the bowl.
  • Prepare the dressing by combining olive oil, sumac, pomegranate syrup, salt and pepper. Add to the salad and mix well.
  • Break (or cut) the pita bread rounds into medium-sized cubes. Deep-fry or toast in a pan until golden brown. Add onto the salad.
  • Garnish with pomegranate seeds (optional). Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Make sure you use small cucumbers. These can be found in any Middle Eastern grocery store. If you don’t have them available, you can use the larger English cucumbers. Scoop out the middle parts. 1 English cucumber is equal to 4 small Middle Eastern cucumbers.
  • If you intend to make a larger batch to eat over several days, don’t add the bread and the dressing to the salad yet. Add oil, spices and bread prior to eating (as the salad would turn soggy when preserved in oil over several days). Store in seperate containers in the fridge and consume within 1-2 days.
  • The nutrition facts are rough estimates and can vary according to the exact weight, brand and type of ingredients used.

Nutrition

Calories: 124kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 3gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 88mgPotassium: 411mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1532IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is only a rough estimate and may vary depending on factors such as the cooking method, exact weight, type, and brand of ingredients used.

Keyword Salad, Fattoush
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2 Comments

    1. Kitty Ramasamy says:

      Hi Amina! Yes, it’s actually part of this recipe (check out the recipe card). In Middle Eastern cuisine, we generally use salad dressings based on olive oil, lemon, often pomegranate molasses and a few spices.