This Grilled Zucchini Salad with Feta and Sweet Croutons offers a perfect balance of flavors.

A few years ago I wrote a post called Salads 101: Everything You Need To Know, which discussed how to create a perfectly balanced salad based around our four main tastes: sweet, salty, bitter and sour. This salad has every one of these taste components and it’s awesome.

This Grilled Zucchini Salad with Feta and Sweet Croutons offers a perfect balance of flavors.

There aren’t a ton of ingredients here. To create that perfect balance I use baby arugula (bitter), Hawaiian sweet rolls (sweet), lemon juice (sour) and good quality feta cheese (salty). I recommend using the feta blocks that come packed in water as opposed to the pre-crumbled stuff. It costs a little bit more but it’s really worth it when you have a dish that relies on just a few basic ingredients. If you’ve never tried Hawaiian sweet rolls, take note that they’re not sugary sweet. They have a light honey-flavored sweetness. Challah or brioche would also work here but the sweetness won’t be quite as pronounced.

This Grilled Zucchini Salad with Feta and Sweet Croutons offers a perfect balance of flavors.

Grilled Zucchini Salad with Feta and Sweet Croutons
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 salads
  • 2 Hawaiian sweet rolls, cubed (see notes)
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into quarters lengthwise
  • ¼ cup good quality feta, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for croutons
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • baby arugula
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place the cubed sweet rolls in a bowl and toss with a small amount of olive oil. Place the rolls on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Toast in the oven, checking every 5 minutes and flipping when the bottoms turn golden so that they crisp evenly. This should take around 15 minutes total. Set aside.
  3. Preheat a grill until very hot. Brush a light coating of high heat oil or clarified butter on the zucchini. Place the zucchini slices on the grill and cook for 2 minutes, uncovered, then flip and cook the other sides for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Place the 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously to emulsify the ingredients.
  5. Place a large handful of baby arugula on 2 salad plates. Top each salad with 2 slices of zucchini, 2 tablespoons of feta and some of the croutons (there may be leftover croutons; save for later use).
  6. Drizzle lightly with vinaigrette.
It's best to used 1-2 day old sweet rolls because they will be much easier to cut into croutons. I used King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.


  • Melissa from

    Awww Hawaiian sweet rolls! Great trick and awesome croutons idea. Thanks!

  • Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain

    Loving this salad, Jennifer! The Hawaiian sweet rolls as croutons is genius!

  • Ashley

    Oh my goodness! Those Hawaiin rolls!! Amazing idea for croutons. Loving the simplicity of this salad. YUM.

  • Matt Robinson

    I’m not a huge salad guy, but this is exactly how I like mine, simple and healthy. Perfect. And with my favorite bread of all time, YES!! I could live on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls:)

  • Kate @ Diethood

    What a gorgeous salad! I especially love all that feta! :)

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    I love the grilled zucchini, gorgeous!

  • Helen @ Scrummy Lane

    How lovely! Simple but tasty … and clever. How on earth did you get those perfect grill marks on the zucchini? ;-)

  • Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs

    Wow- the Hawaiian sweet roll croutons really made this recipe shine! Love it!

  • Megan {Country Cleaver}

    Those croutons? That salad? And grilled? yES!!!

  • Gerlinde @ sunnycovechef

    I am new to your website and love it. The salad looks yummy and easy to make. I love European style sourdough bread for my croutons.

  • Kitchen Belleicious

    i believe the sweet croutons are calling my name. salad or not salad they sound amazing. I love the grilled zucchini being the star in this dish. Awesome