Our Favorite Everyday Salad Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This is our favorite (and quickest!) go-to Everyday Salad Recipe, complete with mixed greens, a few veggies, and a tasty but simple vinaigrette.

Try some of our other delicious veggie salads like this Garden SaladCaesar SaladItalian Salad, or Olive Garden Salad.

Overhead image of our favorite Everyday Salad recipe

This Everyday Salad recipe is part of our Back-To-School Lifesavers — a series of recipes that are intended to have little (or no) veggie chopping, minimal prep time, around 10 ingredients, or less (not including pantry staples), and use kid-friendly ingredients. Click here to see all the recipes in the series!

A Quick Everyday Salad Recipe

It’s no secret we love salads (Have you seen our vast collection?!), but some salad recipes are definitely more involved than others. So today I’m sharing the salad I make the most often — it is easy to throw together, has the quickest vinaigrette, and is a very forgiving and adaptable recipe.

Pretty much anything you’ve got lingering in your fridge can get added in. You could even just serve lettuce tossed in the vinaigrette to add some greens to dinner plates. This is a recipe to become uniquely yours — exactly how you like it!

We love this recipe in the series because it is my go-to for busy weeknights. The more greens I can get my kids to eat, the better! And sometimes this salad turns into the full dinner — we’ll add some seasoned grilled chicken, fish, steak, or shrimp — delish!

Process shots-- images of the dressing being made in a mason jar

Salad Dressing

The vinaigrette could not be much easier to make! Just throw a few ingredients into a jar with a lid and shake it together!

Not only is making your own dressing more economical, but it also allows you to perfectly control flavors and know exactly what ingredients are in it. (Plus, we think they always taste better!) Here are the simple ingredients in this Everyday Salad’s dressing:

  • Dijon mustard. We love Grey Poupon® Dijon best. Make sure to use Dijon, not yellow mustard. 
  • Olive oil. We recommend extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. Better oil = better flavor.
  • Honey. Add less for a tangier dressing, and more for a sweeter one. If you prefer (and want to adhere to Whole-30 guidelines) you can skip it entirely.
  • Red Wine Vinegar. This vinegar adds a nice tang and a wonderful bite (slight bitterness) to the salad recipe.
  • Salt & pepper. Every dressing needs salt and pepper, and this vinaigrette is no exception. Add to taste preference, remembering that an extra pinch can be the difference between a good and a stellar dressing!

Process shots of our favorite salad recipe-- images of the greens being added and then the toppings being added on top

Salad Recipe Ingredients

  • Spring mix blend: To keep things nice and easy, grab a prepared (washed and chopped) blend of lettuce in the produce section of the store. We love a blend of spring mix and baby spinach best. 
  • Avocado: A ripe avocado adds a nice creamy element to this salad. If you don’t want to chop an avocado, try this product! The only listed ingredient is mashed Hass avocados (it’s not guacamole, just mashed ripe avocados). Add a spoonful on top of individual salad servings.
  • Pepitas: Roasted and crunchy pepitas (pumpkin seeds) make for the best addition to this easy Everyday Salad! They add a sweet and nutty flavor, similar to sunflower seeds, but a bit sweeter. When purchasing these seeds, make sure they’re roasted and salted (not raw) for loads more flavor. You can generally find them in the bulk section of a grocery store, or with other salad toppings like candied nuts and dried cranberries.
  • Red onion: We love the bite this onion adds, but if you aren’t a fan, no problem– just leave it out or replace it with another veggie.
  • Cucumbers: We love and highly recommend English or Persian cucumbers (sometimes labeled as mini cucumbers) which have a wonderful texture and superior flavor.

QUICK TIP

If you enjoy red onions, but are sensitive to them, soak the sliced onions in a bowl of cold water for 5-10 minutes. Thoroughly drain and add to the salad.

Process shots-- images of the dressing being drizzled on top and it all being tossed together

VARIATIONS

More Ideas For Preparing Your Ideal Salad 

  • Add some meat. Grill some chicken or prepare some grilled flank steak (thinly sliced) to serve on the side or to chop and mix into the salad. Shrimp, salmon, halibut, or even scallops would also be a great addition to this Salad Recipe. OR: add a “lifesaver” protein like shredded rotisserie chicken. Pre-cooked and seasoned chicken saves so much time on its own, but to save even more time on the chicken, purchase rotisserie chicken meat already pulled from the bones and shredded or diced — then throw it in the salad! Vegetarian options: tofu, quinoa, chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs, etc.
  • Add some cheese. We usually add some hard cheese (like shaved Parmesan or Pecorino) to this salad. Soft crumbled cheeses are also amazing (think feta, goat cheese, or gorgonzola). Mini mozzarella pearls are another great option.
  • Toss in some legumes. Think cooked lentils, roasted chickpeas, beans, etc. Not only do these additions add texture and flavor, they also will contribute additional protein.(Note: Legumes are not included in the Whole-30 plan.)
  • Add a grain. Cooked and cooled (or leftover) grains are always nice additions that add a lot of staying power. Think quinoa, brown rice, farro, bulgur, etc. (Grain is also not Whole 30 compliant, FYI.)
  • Throw in more veggies! In addition to the veggies in this salad (or as a replacement) consider any veggies you enjoy or have lingering in the fridge like sweet peppers, carrots, radishes, fresh sweet corn, celery, tomatoes, mushrooms, snap peas, snow peas, cooked beets, green beans, etc.
  • Add some fresh herbs or micro-greens. Think basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, sprouts, mint, thyme, etc.
  • Throw in some jarred salad favorites. Think olives, pepperoncini peppers, artichokes, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled onions, pickles, etc.

Up-close overhead image of our favorite Everyday Salad recipe in a bowl

STORAGE

Salad Recipe Storage

  • This salad doesn’t sit very well with the dressing — it wilts the veggies and greens quickly. Additionally, everything will taste a bit like red onion after sitting for an extended time. The avocado will also begin to brown and soften.
  • If you aren’t planning to eat the entire salad in one sitting, toss and add dressing, avocado, and onion to the amount you’ll be eating at this time. Undressed, the salad stays fresh for 1-2 days in the fridge.

More Salad Recipes:

FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.

Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
This is our favorite (and quickest!) go-to Everyday Salad recipe complete with mixed greens, a few veggies, and a tasty but simple vinaigrette.
Print Recipe

Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
This is our favorite (and quickest!) go-to Everyday Salad recipe complete with mixed greens, a few veggies, and a tasty but simple vinaigrette.
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegetarian
Keyword salad, salad recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 -6 as a side
Calories 235kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $7.12

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each: Dijon mustard, honey
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic, optional
  • Fine sea salt & pepper

Instructions

  • DRESSING: Combine all the dressing ingredients into a jar with a lid. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I add 1/4 tsp of each). Shake well to combine and place in fridge for now, shaking again before dressing salad.
  • SALAD: In a large bowl add all the mixed greens and toss gently with about half the dressing until well coated (Read Instruction #3 first). Add red onion, cucumber, avocado, and pepitas. Drizzle on the remaining dressing (or as much as you'd like) and gently toss. If using, top with shaved Parmesan (I just grab a block of Parmesan and grate with my vegetable peeler over the salad). Serve promptly.
  • STORAGE: This salad doesn’t sit very well with the dressing -- it wilts the veggies and greens quickly. If you aren’t planning to eat the entire salad in one sitting, toss and add dressing, avocado, and onion to the amount you’ll be eating at this time and storing leftovers separately. Undressed, the salad stays fresh for 1-2 days in the fridge.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Cucumbers: This is about 2 mini cucumbers. We love and highly recommend English or Persian cucumbers (sometimes labeled as mini cucumbers) which have a wonderful texture and superior flavor.
Note 2: Pepitas: Roasted and crunchy pepitas (pumpkin seeds) add a sweet and nutty flavor, similar to sunflower seeds, but a bit sweeter. When purchasing these seeds, make sure they’re roasted and salted (not raw) for loads more flavor. You can generally find them in the bulk section of a grocery store, or with other salad toppings like candied nuts and dried cranberries.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 6.2g | Fat: 21.5g | Cholesterol: 2.4mg | Sodium: 96.6mg | Fiber: 4.2g | Sugar: 1.5g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

More Recipes You'll Love

Asian Cucumber Salad

20 mins

Asian Cucumber Salad

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad

30 mins

Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Balsamic Vinaigrette

10 mins

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Beet Goat Cheese Walnut Salad

15 mins

Beet Goat Cheese Walnut Salad

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

FREE BONUS

FREE BONUS

EASY MEAL SECRETS:
How to Make Mealtime Hassle Free!

5 secrets to easy, fast and delicious dinners.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




0 Comments

Never Miss a Recipe

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.