The “Goes with Everything Side Salad” is the perfect addition to any meal! Add this easy and delicious salad to your dinner for a pop of color and extra nutrients!
Need to add more veggies to your meal? Quickly throw this easy Side Salad together to serve with whatever else you’ve got planned. It seriously goes great with EVERYTHING and everyone loves it! Serve it along side Skillet Lasagna, Mini Meatloaf, Cornflake Chicken, Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Gravy, and more!
Easy Side Salad
This is a staple at our home because it works well with almost any dish and I almost always have all the ingredients on hand. I especially like to have this salad as a side to high calorie dishes that lack veggies like pizza or hamburgers.
Ingredients for side salad:
- Romaine Lettuce– This is a great base for a salad because it has a mild flavor and crisp sturdy leaves.
- Cucumber– These are so refreshing and crisp. For better flavor, select English cucumbers or any variety with small seeds (large seeds are bitter).
- Bell Peppers– Choose any color you wish. I like a combination of yellow and orange for color but also their sweetness.
- Olives– Black, green, or Kalamata work great in this salad. Stick with black for a milder flavor.
- Red Onion– This type of onion is a little more potent than white but it balanced by the sugar. The bold color is gorgeous in salads!
- Tomatoes– Grape or cherry tomatoes are delicious and so easy to throw in salads; however, other varieties (especially home grown or farm fresh) would also work in this salad.
- Parmesan Cheese– I love the strong flavor this adds to the salad. It is so yummy paired with the Italian dressing.
- Sunflower Seeds– These add such a yummy salty crunch to the salad!
- Croutons– Who doesn’t love crunchy croutons in their salad?! It adds so much texture!
How to make a side salad:
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Wash and cut/tear all vegetables and then place in a large bowl.
- Dress & Toss
Add cheese, croutons, sunflower seeds, and dressing. Toss using tongs or two spoons until evenly mixed and dressed in vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
Don’t have romaine lettuce on hand? This salad is also good with baby spinach, spring mix, Massaged Kale, or iceberg lettuce as a base.
Not all greens are created equal! While they are all pretty low in calories, some do not contain as many nutrients than others. To get the most nutrients, go for the darker greens. Learn more about various greens and their nutrients here.
Once salad is tossed in dressing the leaves begin to wilt. This side salad should be consumed within 2 hours of tossing.
To make this salad in advance, wash and all all the vegetables. All the vegetables, olives, and cheese can be stored together in an airtight container (Tupperware or Ziploc bag). Keep the seeds and croutons in airtight containers at room temperature and dressing in the fridge. When ready to enjoy, add the seeds, croutons, and dressing to the veggies and toss together.
Tearing lettuce by hand prevents the cells from breaking and therefore delays browning. If prepping lettuce for a salad more than a day in advance, it is best to tear the leaves by hand. If eating within a day, chopping lettuce with a sharp knife is just fine and a lot quicker.
TOOLS USED TO MAKE THIS SALAD:
- Pyrex Mixing Bowls with Lids– I love my mixing bowls with lids because I’m able to stack them up in the fridge and easily transport food to gatherings.
- Knife Set– I’ve had these for 10 years, use them multiple times a day, and they’re still going strong!
- Tongs– I prefer to toss my salad with two separate tongs (this can also be done with two spoons) but I find that buffet tongs are better if people are going to be dishing up their own salad like at cookout party.
- Salad Spinner– Got this as a wedding over 10 years ago and it’s still spinning strong. Drying lettuce couldn’t be any easier!
LOOKING FOR MORE SIDE SALADS? CHECK OUT THESE:
- Apple & Bacon Spinach Salad
- Rainbow Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Crunchy Asian Broccoli Slaw
- The Best Broccoli Bacon Salad
Easy Side Salad
- 1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped or torn
- 1 bell peppers (yellow &/or orange), sliced
- 1/2 English cucumber, sliced and halved
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1 cup olives, (black or green)
- 1/4 red onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup butter croutons
- 2 tablespoons dry roasted sunflower seeds
- ~1/4 cup Homemade Italian Dressing, (or Good Seasons Zesty)
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss together until evenly mixed and coated. Serve immediately.*