A fresh and easy tossed garden salad is the perfect side salad for any meal! Or enjoy it with some protein like chicken or salmon to create a complete meal.
This tossed garden salad is a quick and easy recipe for lunch or dinner that is packed with tons of veggies and flavor. This salad is packed with the flavor of some of your favorite restaurant-style salads but with a lighter, healthier dressing. It’s a classic salad that everyone loves!
Garden salad ingredients
A freshly tossed garden salad is made of a few ingredients. Feel free to add or substitute any ingredients to make it your own!
- Leafy greens or spring mix – use your favorite type of greens for this salad.
- Tomatoes – we love using campari tomatoes but any kind will work.
- Red onion
- Feta cheese – you can omit the cheese to make this recipe dairy free or substitute for another type of cheese.
- Seasoned croutons – you can omit the croutons to make this salad lower carb or gluten free.
Garden salad dressing
The dressing, in my opinion, is really what makes this salad. It’s made with staples like olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and other herbs that are always in my pantry. This dressing recipe is also lighter as it doesn’t contain any mayo. It cuts down on the calories but still packs the flavor to create a simple tossed salad recipe.
Combine olive oil, Parmesan cheese, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, fresh parsley, salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning in a food processor or blender. Pulse until the ingredients are combined.
Making salad more interesting
The secret to making exciting salads is to make it a bit more interesting with the toppings. Toppings add more color and flavor. We even love adding the olives and pepperoncini to this salad.
Next time you are looking to make your salad a little more interesting, add a few more toppings. Nuts, seasonings or cheeses are some of my favorite things to add to a salad. We also love:
- a soft cheese, like goat or feta;
- nuts, like walnuts, sliced almonds, pine nuts or chopped cashews;
- a whole-grain like quinoa or couscous;
- berries like raspberries, strawberries or blueberries; and
- seasonings such as poppy seeds, sesame seeds, mint or other seasonings to bring extra flavor to your salad.
If you want to make this salad a complete meal then add some baked chicken cutlets or baked salmon. Serve it alongside grilled lobster tail, turkey tenderloin, zucchini lasagna or baked bbq chicken, the options are endless!
This fresh garden salad recipe is such a simple dish to prepare, but it will bring all the fresh flavors to your table. Made with plenty of vegetables and a dressing made with pantry staples, this dish is ready in under 20 minutes.
If you’re looking for a simple and fresh tossed garden salad recipe, then this salad is the perfect addition to your menu. It’s quick, easy and always reliable. Save or print this recipe for later so that you can make it again and again.
Tossed Garden Salad
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 clove garlic, minced
For the salad:
- 4 cups mixed greens, (you can use romaine or a spring salad mix)
- 3 campari tomatoes, quartered
- 3/4 cup cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup carrots, julienned
- 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 ounces seasoned croutons
- Combine oil, Parmesan, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic in a food processor, processing until thoroughly combined.
- Combine salad mix, vegetables, cheese, and croutons in a large bowl. Drizzle salad with dressing; toss to coat. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
The salad dressing was incredibly easy and a real hit among friends! We had fresh sourdough bread too and people were enjoying the dressing as a bread dipping sauce.
This is a great basic salad recipe. LOVE that you give all the options for layering and customizing. I’ll be able to use this recipe in a pinch for any dinner. Just delicious.