Everyday Salad

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My favorite “everyday” salad recipe is quick and easy to make, tossed with a simple and delicious lemony dressing, and so versatile that it goes with just about everything!

Everyday Salad Recipe

Friends! Do you have a go-to side salad recipe in your repertoire that you absolutely love? This simple green salad — which we fondly call our “everyday” salad here in our house — is mine.

It’s the no-frills, easy-breezy, fresh-and-flavorful, always-a-winner green salad recipe that we make most often here in our house behind the scenes. And even after eating it literally hundreds of times, it’s one of those staple recipes that we somehow never grow tired of. It’s incredibly quick and easy to make with a bag of greens (we most often use spring greens), a veggie or two (we usually add red onion, plus cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, or whatever’s in the crisper drawer), a sprinkling of nuts/seeds for protein and crunch (we’re partial to pepitas or sunflower seeds), and my favorite “everyday” salad dressing (that’s super-simple to whip up). Best of all, this tossed salad comes together in less than 10 minutes and always tastes wonderfully light and fresh and flavorful. And it also happens to be naturally gluten-free and vegan — and somehow magically goes with just about any meal!

The sky’s the limit, of course, when it comes to customizing this recipe with whatever greens, veggies, nuts, or even dressing ingredients that you happen to have on hand. And if you feel like making a meal out of this salad, it also tastes delicious with an extra protein (such as chicken or shrimp) and/or some croutons added in too.

Anyway, if you’re interested in working more salads into your weekly lunch and dinner rotations, I hope you’ll give this salad recipe a try. It is definitely a favorite here in our house!

Everyday Salad Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Slicing English cucumber and red onion to make a side salad

Everyday Side Salad Ingredients:

As I mentioned above, the base ingredients in this salad are all incredibly flexible. So feel free to use whatever you love best or have on hand! You will just need some type of…

  • Fresh greens: I tend to go with spring greens, baby arugula, or some sort of mixed greens for this salad. But any greens that you love best will work.
  • English cucumber: We always keep a few English cucs in the refrigerator because they are easy to work with (you don’t have to mess with removing the seeds), they last for quite awhile in the crisper drawer (yay!), and they always taste so delicious with this salad! That said, feel free to use any type of cucumber that you prefer for this salad, or see other fresh veggie ideas below too.
  • Red onion: If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, you know that I can never resist adding some thinly-sliced fresh red onions to my salads. But if you don’t love them as much as I do, feel free to leave them out (or use sliced shallots as a milder alternative instead). Or to take the edge off of the red onion flavor, you can also briefly rinse the sliced onions in water before adding them to the salad.
  • Nuts/seeds: Feel free to add in whatever nuts or seeds that you love best to give this tossed salad some extra crunch and protein! We’re partial to salty pepitas, toasted pine nuts, or sunflower seeds in our house. But toasted almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or any other favorite nuts/seeds would be delicious options too.
  • Everyday dressing: See below!

Everyday Salad Dressing

Everyday Salad Dressing Ingredients:

So many of you have made and loved my “everyday” salad dressing recipe over the past few years that I’ve since created a separate recipe post completely devoted to it if you would like to read more. ♡ But it’s basically just a great all-purpose salad dressing that comes together in minutes and goes with just about everything! To make it, you will need the following salad dressing ingredients:

  • Olive oil: As always, I recommend using good-quality extra virgin olive oil when it comes to salad dressing recipes, since its flavor will really shine through.
  • Lemon juice (or vinegar): We usually use freshly-squeezed lemon juice for this dressing. But if you don’t happen to have any fresh lemons on hand, you can sub in red wine vinegar instead.
  • Dijon mustard: Which just adds some subtle flavor here and helps to round all of the flavors out. (Don’t worry, it won’t make it taste too mustard-y!)
  • Garlic: I prefer to use minced or pressed fresh garlic in this dressing, but you can also sub in garlic powder if you prefer.
  • Salt and black pepper: And finally, we will use fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to season the dressing.

*The recipe included below makes a small amount of salad dressing, which we find works great with the portions listed in the recipes. But some readers prefer to double the amount of dressing, or you can make a considerably larger batch (as shown in the photo above) if you would like to have some pre-made salad dressing ready to go in the fridge for later in the week.

Everyday Salad Ingredients in Salad Bowl

Optional Salad Add-Ins:

Beyond the base ingredients mentioned above, there are all sorts of extra add-ins and variations you can try out with this salad. So please feel free to customize this salad recipe and make it your own! For example, you could…

  • Add a protein: Cooked chickensteakporkshrimpsalmon (or other kinds of fish), scallops, or tofu would all be delicious additions to this salad.
  • Add cheese: A variety of hard cheeses (such as shaved Parmesan, Pecorino, or Manchego), soft crumbled cheeses (such as goat cheese, feta, or gorgonzola), or soft mozzarellas (such as burrata or mini mozzarella) would all be delicious in this salad too.
  • Add extra fresh veggies: In addition to (or in place of) the sliced English cucumbers, feel free to add in any other fresh veggies that you love, such as sliced bell peppers, carrots, radishes, celery, corn, etc.
  • Add jarred veggies or olives: Feel free to also toss in any jarred veggies that you love, such as roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, pepperoncini peppers, or olives.
  • Add tomatoes: Fresh or sun-dried tomatoes would also be delicious in this salad.
  • Add beans: And of course, you’re also welcome to add in any beans for extra protein too, such as chickpeas, lentils, white beans, or red kidney beans.

Adding salad dressing to salad bowl

More Side Salad Recipes:

If you’re looking for more side salad inspiration, check out the rest of our simple “everyday” salad recipe collection, which includes simple recipes for Kale Salad, Italian Salad, Mexican Salad, Mediterranean Salad, and Sesame Slaw. Or feel free to check out some of our readers’ other favorite green salad recipes, including…

Everyday Side Salad Recipe in Enamelware Bowl

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Everyday Salad

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 small servings 1x

Description

My favorite “everyday” salad recipe is quick and easy to make, tossed with a simple and delicious lemony dressing, and so versatile that it goes with just about everything!


Ingredients

Scale

Salad Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces spring greens mix (or any salad greens you prefer)
  • half of an English cucumber, very thinly sliced
  • half of a medium red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pepitas or toasted pine nuts (or any other nuts or seeds you prefer)

Everyday Salad Dressing Ingredients:


Instructions

  1. To Make The Dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl (or shake together in a mason jar) until combined.
  2. To Make The Salad: Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss with the dressing until evenly combined.  Serve immediately and enjoy!


Everyday Salad from Gimme Some Oven

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Recipe rating

49 comments on “Everyday Salad”

  1. The perfect recipe to use garden produce for! I love having salads often too.

  2. What a nice meal to reach for on an average day!
    Kari
    http://sweetteasweetie.com/beer-bread-for-dad/

  3. 5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this!

  4. Except for the raw onion, which I would have to omit, this sounds like a great salad. I rarely make “real” salad dressings, except for my mole vinaigrette. My everyday salads are lettuce, tomato and cucumber, with perhaps some leftover red bell pepper, topped with olive oil and good balsamic vinegar. We never get tired of that, but I also enjoy doing something different occasionally, so I’ll definitely try your dressing at some point. I really like the inclusion of pepitas in this salad.

  5. Loved it!!!

  6. I just want to say keep up the good work! I check your blog weekly for menu planning. I love the photos and the recipes are spot-on.

  7. I am 75 years old, retired and love to cook. Recently I have been spending several hours a week browsing recipes online looking for new or innovative ways to cook the foods we like. We are about 75% mediterranean diet, with much reduced red meat. I just found your blog site and recipes this morning and have spent the last three hours happily reading and making copies of recipe after recipe. It finally occured to me I should probably subscribe to your blog so I don’t have to waste so much paper on copying./ Your recipes are great, mostly very easy and you are an interesting reader to read. Haven’t decided how many of your recipes I will cook this week. My search this morning started with instant pot carnitas, so that will be one of them. Then I will definitely have to make the carnitas soup, and two or three chicken dishes. Thanks for contributing so much to older, stay at home people like me.
    Linda

  8. 5 stars
    This salad is soo excellent! The dressing alone is a reason to go straight in face first but the versatility of the recipe is the real shining star. My first round was romaine, arugula and spinach with almonds and it was KILLER. Plus, it looks real snazzy next to a risotto and marsala chicken. I’m all about Ali’s recipes!!

  9. 5 stars
    Such a Great Simple salad! The whole family loved it! So fresh and quick!

  10. 5 stars
    I put this dressing in Mason Jars & layered the cucumber & onion, etc ending with the Arugula pressed down at the top…it stays so fresh & lunches are made…Bonita

  11. 5 stars
    I just tried this salad today and I have made it twice! My dad also LOVED it! I have been looking for an easy homemade salad dressing and this is perfect. I’m a busy mom of two toddler boys and am always look for healthy, quick, and easy meals. This is definitely a new favorite. Thanks!

  12. 5 stars
    Love love love this salad! I make it at least a few times a week.

  13. 5 stars
    This is a fantastic recipe!!! LOVED IT! So fresh! I added avocado to it and toasted my pumpkin seeds – delicious!

    Thanks for sharing – I needed a new go-to salad recipe!

  14. Excellent choices! Thank you!

  15. Just exactly what I need! Thank you for this recipe!

  16. 5 stars
    Used red leaf and bib lettuce; soaked the red onion in ice water to mellow it a bit, still only used 1/4 of one; half an English cucumber, pepitas were perfect addition. But the dressing!!! Wonderful and allowed the veggies to shine with just the right touch of mellow from the oil and brightness from the lemon. My sister, who lives in Milan, cannot understand the American obsession with bottled dressing. I try to stick with Newman’s Own Vinegar and Olive Oil but that still has bunch of other stuff in it. She would be proud I made this. Shook it up in a Mason jar. Many thanks!!!

  17. My guests loved this salad. Easy, uncomplicated, tasty.

  18. 5 stars
    Delicious, refreshing and addictive! :)

  19. 5 stars
    I am really not a fan of salads, but this was actually delicious :-) Great job with this recipe !

  20. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this salad! We make it at least twice a week.

  21. 5 stars
    Awesome salad

  22. Loved this salad – especially the dressing!

  23. rlly good recipe

  24. Delicious – thanks!

  25. I’ve made this salad twice now, once with toasted pine nuts abs once with toasted blanched almonds, which I then chopped up. It’s really easy, and delicious. The nuts give it that extra bit of a lift. Beats my usual effort, plain old green salad

  26. Thank you very much for sharing these different kinds of salad which is very helpful for us who are on diet. Without salad dieting is impossible. If you take rice, fastfood forget dieting. We need these types of salad recipes. I we eat salad our Granite kitchen floor will nit and clean.

  27. I love this salad recipe! It’s simple yet so delicious! I made a few changes, but it still came out great! I used sunflower seeds bc that’s all I had and I substituted the red onions with green onions.

  28. I made this salad and the dressing (lemon) last night. I am normally not crazy about salads but this was really delicious! Thank you for sharing.

  29. The dressing recipe is incredible! Paired amazing with daikon radish, carrot, green leaf lettuce.

  30. I am very thankful for thi salad recipe, give me idea about north indian salad

  31. Love this salad and salad dressing so much!!! My 6 year old daughter eats the dressing by the spoonful. So simple and so delicious. We make extra of the dressing and use it for all sorts of other things.

  32. Best ever salad recipe for a fitness lover as well as for a gym freak. I make this salad at my home and it was amazing . Really feel to have it. Sharing here another avacado chicken salad recipe. Check it out here:

  33. Delicious!!!

  34. Made this tonight for dinner it was delicious!!! I did add some pickled watermelon and grill chicken. This recipe is a keeper.🤗

  35. So good and easy!

  36. I add feta to this salad and I put grilled chicken or tofu over top to have it as a complete meal. It’s so good that I could eat it every day!!! I always get lots of compliments when I serve it to others too

  37. it is very good and healthy I ate mine with parmesan cheese and tomato’s the reason i give it four stars is because the after taste is a bit bitter but all in all great salad.

  38. I made this for a family thanksgiving. I used romaine lettuce. The salad dressing is great!

  39. Made this as a side to go with your Jambalaya. So delicious and easy.

  40. Anyone know the calories per ounce of the dressing?

  41. I love easy homemade salad dressing recipes and this is a very good one!

  42. Perfect dressing, thanks

  43. To those who don’t like raw red onion in a salad, try soaking the onion in ice water for about 10-15 minutes, then drain. It takes away some of the harshness of raw onion and makes a world of difference.

  44. Hi! I didn’t make this recipe yet, but I will very soon! For Easter, I did make your 1-hour dinner rolls! They were amazing! I brushed the tops with melted butter seasoned with onion powder and garlic powder and oregano and sweet basil! Delish! Just wanted to let you know your “old recipes” are winners too! Congrats again on the little one! Happy all are doing well!

  45. THIS LOOKS GREAT!

    DID I MISS THE BABY ARRIVAL POST?

    HOPE ALL IS WELL!

  46. Tried this and loved it!!!

  47. ❤️

  48. I am so picky with dressing, but this was wonderful. I especially appreciated the comment about the dijon mustard not making the dressing to mustard-y since that would usually turn me off. One question – does this dressing keep for a couple of days in the fridge? Or does it need to be made fresh daily? Hoping to take a large batch with me this weekend while out of town with family. Thanks again!

  49. We make this salad all the time now and really enjoy it. Thank you for your recipes!