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Just a simple green salad recipe or probably the best green salad in the world! It’s my absolute favorite – fresh, delicious, and ready in under 10 minutes, it’s everything you want in a salad and more.

simple green salad in a bowl

This classic green salad is a staple in my home, making an appearance at least every other day. It’s versatile enough to be a starter, a side salad, or a light meal with some added toppings and freshly baked bread.

You might think that preparing a green salad is a no-brainer, but I’ve found that not everyone has mastered the art of creating a truly fresh and delicious salad. No more store-bought dressings! Say goodbye to mediocre lettuce swimming in subpar dressing. Let me show you how to prepare the best green salad in less than 10 minutes. This recipe is tasty, healthy, and definitely a keeper!

a bowl filled with the world's best green salad

What Readers Are Saying

Readers who have made this recipe are raving about it! Here is what they had to say after feeding their family:

5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
I never leave reviews BUT I had to leave one for this one. My husband said it tasted like restaurant quality 🤪 save, save, save. It was a hit and nothing leftover! Thank you!
Jhen Vega
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
I absolutely love this salad and dressing. I take it to parties and am always asked for the recipe. Such good flavor and so easy!!
Ashley

Ingredients

Simple Green Salad Ingredients

See recipe card for quantities.

  • Lettuce: I love to mix different salad greens or use assorted small young salad greens (also known as mesclun or spring mix). Best lettuce for this recipe to mix: Green & red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, little gems, baby spinach, arugula, and microgreens.
  • Nuts: Toasted hazelnuts add a delightful crunch and extra flavor. Substitute with almonds, cashews, pine nuts, pistachios, pecans, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds. Always toast nuts in a skillet for a few minutes to enhance their flavor.
  • Dressing: A mild balsamic dressing made with balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, maple syrup (or honey), Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. → Garlic lover? Add some minced garlic (about ¼ of a garlic clove is enough).

Variations

  • Vinegar: Swap balsamic vinegar with apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Make sure to stick to 2 parts oil and 1 part vinegar, you don’t want your dressing to be too oily or sour.
  • Dressing: Feel free to use this White French Dressing, Honey Mustard Dressing, Strawberry Vinaigrette, or Pumpkin Seed Oil Salad Dressing instead of the balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Cheese: Crumble some feta, goat cheese, or shaved parmesan cheese over the salad for a creamy, tangy twist.
  • Herbs: Tastes excellent with fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, parsley, dill or chives.
  • Berries: I love to add fresh berries such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries for a summer version.
  • Seasonal Twists: Feel free to swap out or add ingredients based on what’s in season or what you have on hand. Radishes, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, shallot, red onion, or shredded carrots make excellent additions. You can even add some dried cranberries.
  • Reader’s Choice: Add pears, walnuts, and blue cheese as one of my readers did – see comment section (thank you Jamie Bakondy for this splendid idea)!
  • Protein Boost: Add roasted chickpeas or a protein of your choice to turn this salad into a more substantial meal.
  • Double The Dressing: If you add any toppings, you might want to double the green salad dressing!

Tips & Tricks

  • Make sure to spin dry your lettuce thoroughly after washing it with cold water. Any remaining water can dilute the salad dressing, making your salad taste bland. I love to use this salad spinner for this.
  • If you want to make this salad ahead of time, store all ingredients individually in the fridge for up to one day. Toss right before serving.
a bowl filled with the world's best green salad

More Green Salad Recipes You Will Love:

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Feb 7, 2020. It was republished with new images and more helpful content on June 19, 2024.

📖 Recipe

simple green salad in a bowl

Simple Green Salad

Just a simple green salad recipe or probably the best green salad in the world! It's my absolute favorite – fresh, delicious, and ready in under 10 minutes, it's everything you want in a salad and more.
Author : Aline Cueni
4.78 from 31 votes

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :5 minutes
Cook Time :5 minutes
Total Time :10 minutes
Servings : 2
Calories : 240kcal

Ingredients
 

Salad

  • 3.5 oz (100 g) mixed salad greens or any favorite lettuce
  • ¼ cup (30 g) hazelnuts roughly chopped & toasted

Dressing

Instructions
 

  • Toast roughly chopped hazelnuts in a skillet without oil until golden brown (approx. 5 minutes).
  • Wash salad greens with cold water and dry them thoroughly, preferably in a salad spinner. → Any remaining water can dilute the salad dressing, making your salad taste bland.
  • Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. → Add ¼ minced garlic clove if you are a garlic lover!
  • Arrange salad greens and toasted hazelnuts in a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Toss well and serve immediately!

Notes

  • Hazelnuts: Substitute with almonds, cashews, pine nuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds. Always toast nuts in a skillet for a few minutes to enhance their flavor.
  • If you want to make this salad ahead of time, store all ingredients individually in the fridge for up to one day. Toss right before serving.
  • Toppings: Add toppings of your choice such as tomatoes, onions, shredded carrots, radish, cucumber, shaved parmesan cheese, crumbled feta, or any seasonal toppings you like. You might want to double the dressing if you add too many of them! 😉
  • Dressing: If you are looking for a twist, add this Homemade White French Dressing!

Nutrition

Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 564IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




4.78 from 31 votes (26 ratings without comment)

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14 Comments

  1. I never leave reviews BUT I had to leave one for this one. My husband said it tasted like restaurant quality 🤪 save, save, save. It was a hit and nothing leftover! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    This salad was a serious hit with my family! I love that the dressing was so easy and all the ingredients are common pantry staples. I added cherry tomatoes, feta, and roasted almonds! Delicious!!!

    1. Thank you for your Feedback, Rae! Happy to hear & love your twist on this salad with feta and almonds! 💕

  3. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this salad and dressing. I take it to parties and am always asked for the recipe. Such good flavor and so easy!!

  4. 5 stars
    I tried this dressing with a salad that had pear, walnuts, blue cheese and mixed greens and the dressing is my new favorite I have shared with several friends the must make of this recipe!

    1. Jamie, thank you so much for your kind comment! I am thrilled to hear that you like this easy dressing so much! 🙏💕

  5. 5 stars
    I made this salad today for dinner and my family loved it! This will definitely be my go to salad since it’s now a family favorite, so thank you for the recipe! I didn’t have any hazelnuts so substituted with walnuts and pecans and it came out wonderful. Will the adding more toppings next time!

    1. Hi Lily, thank you for your kind comment! ❤️ I am super happy that you like this simple salad recipe! It’s also my go to salad – so easy yet delicious! 🥗