Everyday Salad

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My everyday salad recipe — perfect for serving as a side salad or main dish.  And since it also happens to be vegan and gluten-free, this simple salad is also perfect for serving to a crowd!

Everyday Side Salad Recipe

Guys!  Do you have a favorite go-to everyday salad recipe that you love?

This beauty right here is mine. 

It’s the real-life, no-frills, easy-breezy, nice-and-healthy, fresh-and-flavorful, always-a-winner green salad recipe that we make at home at least 2-3 times a week…and love.  Truly.  I think I’ve now made a version of this salad at least a hundred times, and we still somehow never grow tired of it.  It’s one of those go-to standards we can always count on.  It’s made with simple, healthy ingredients that are easy to always keep on hand.  And it somehow magically goes with just about everything.

So if you’re looking for a quick and easy new salad recipe for your rotation, bookmark this puppy right now.  I can vouch that it’s a keeper!


English cucumber and red onion | The Best Side Salad Recipe

Everyday Side Salad Ingredients:

Like I said, part of the reason this salad is on such regular rotation in our house is because the ingredients are genuinely easy to keep stocked in your kitchen.  When you go grocery shopping for the week, just be sure to pick up a new bag of greens, and English cucumber, red onion and lemon.  Then the rest of the ingredients can be easily stored in your pantry/fridge for weeks or months at a time.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh greens: I tend to usually go with a spring mix or bag of baby arugula for this salad, but any greens you have on hand will do.
  • English cucumber: I prefer these because they are less bitter and have minimal seeds, but any kind of cucumber will do.
  • Red onion: I love lots and lots of red onion in my salads, but feel free to use less or leave these out entirely if you prefer.  (Some sliced green onions would also be an alternative.)
  • Nuts: Pepitas (roasted and salted) are our go-to lately with this salad, which I love because they are perfectly crunchy, flavorful and inexpensive.  But when we feel like a splurge, toasted pine nuts are always a fave too.
  • Dressing: See below!

Everyday Lemon Salad Dressing Recipe

Everyday Healthy Salad Dressing Recipe:

Lately, we’ve been on a lemon kick with this simple salad dressing.  But if you don’t happen to have fresh lemon juice on hand, you can turn it into a vinaigrette by subbing in your favorite kind of vinegar.  Also, you might note that this recipe yields a pretty small amount of dressing.  I tend to prefer more lightly-dressed salads, both for the taste and for a healthier meal.  But feel free to double the recipe if you would like the option of adding more dressing.

  • Olive oil: Extra virgin for the win!
  • Lemon juice: Freshly-squeezed makes all the difference.  (You know me — I always say avoid the bottled stuff.)
  • Dijon mustard: Even if you’re iffy about mustard, trust me — it’s not overpowering here and instead really just rounds the flavors out.
  • Garlic: I prefer to use fresh garlic, but you can also sub in garlic powder in a pinch.
  • Sea salt: Definitely give the dressing a taste and add more if you’d like.
  • Freshly-cracked black pepper: I’m a pepper nut, and like plenty in my dressing and also lots cracked on top.  :)

Everyday Salad Ingredients

How To Make This Salad Recipe:

To make this salad, simply:

  1. Prepare the salad dressing: To make the salad dressing recipe, just whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl (or shake them up in a mason jar) until combined.
  2. Toss all of your salad ingredients together: Combine them in a large bowl, drizzle evenly with the dressing, then toss lightly until combined.
  3. And…serve!  And enjoy!  :)

How To Make Salad

Optional Add-Ins:

Some other ingredients we like to toss in from time to time include:

  • Cheese: either some freshly-grated Parmesan or soft feta or goat cheese
  • Tomatoes: fresh or sun-dried
  • Fresh veggies: chopped bell peppers, radishes, and/or avocado all work great
  • Jarred veggies or olives: roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes and/or olives are also delicious, and perfect for grabbing from the pantry.
  • Beans: chickpeas or white beans are a great way to amp up the protein
  • Proteins: cooked chickensteakporkshrimpsalmon, or tofu would all be great added to this salad.

Everyday Salad Recipe

More Side Salad Recipes:

If you’re looking for more side salad inspiration, here are a few more of my faves:

Hope that you all enjoy this one as much as we have!  Cheers!


Everyday Salad

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Our real-life, no-frills, easy-breezy, nice-and-healthy, fresh-and-flavorful, always-a-winner everyday green salad recipe.



Salad Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces spring greens mix (or whatever greens you have on hand)
  • 1 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 whatever nuts you have on hand)

Everyday Salad Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, pressed or finely-minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper


  1. To Make The Dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl (or shake together in a mason jar) until combined.  Use immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
  2. To Make The Salad: Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss until evenly combined.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Easy Salad Recipe

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39 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!

  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.

  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.