This healthy garden salad recipe is a classic. This is by far the easiest and quickest salad that you can make with the typical ingredients you most likely have on hand.
I feel one of the most important things to have a healthy salad is to source the vegetables from your garden and if not, purchase organic produce.
- 2 bunches red leaf lettuce
- 2 carrots
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- cutting board
- chef knife
How to make a healthy garden salad
Making a healthy salad is so easy! It’s such a refreshing healthy meal starter or meal. Choosing your vegetables for your salad may vary from person to person but we are going to make a traditional garden salad here.
1. Wash the vegetables
You always want to start by washing your vegetables. Whether you wash them in a veggie spinner or just simply rinse them under cold water.
So many chemicals like pesticides get on vegetables when they are grown or even during transport so it’s always a good habit to wash them all first.
Even vegetables that you are going to peel should be washed because when you peel them you are going to introduce the pesticides or bacteria while you are peeling.
2. Garden Salad Ingredients Prep
These are the main ingredients for a Classic garden salad. We are going to prepare them for the salad.
Carrots add a great sweet flavor and crunch to your salad. Not only are they healthy but they add some color as well which makes a salad more pleasing.
You want to wash and peel your carrots. Cut off the ends and then slice them into rounds as thick or thin as you desire.
Sometimes I even use a grater and grate up the carrots.
Not everyone thinks to add celery to their salad but I think it’s a must! It adds a crunch and freshness to garden salads.
Of course, wash them first, and then cut off the ends and tips, then slice them into 1/8-inch slices.
If you like them a little thicker, go for it!
Cucumbers are so refreshing and light! A must in your garden salads!
Start as always by washing and peeling them. Slice them into rounds about 1/4in thick.
You can cut them into halves or quarters from there but I think keeping them as whole rounds looks better for presentation.
Learn how to tell if a cucumber is bad to ensure that your healthy garden salad is indeed healthy.
What is a garden salad without tomatoes? Juicy bright red tomatoes are a staple in any garden salad.
I prefer to use grape or cherry tomatoes and cut them in half. They are small and can be kept just the way they are as well.
You can also use beef steak or heirloom tomatoes also. Cut them into wedges by cutting them in half and then cut those halves in half again.
Adding red onions to your salad adds sweetness and a sharp bite. The color is also great for adding a pop to the dish.
Red onions add lots of flavor to a salad.
You want to cut the onion in half and peel off the papery skin layer.
Laying the flat cut-side down slice thin slices and place the strips on top of your garden salad.
Lettuce is the base ingredient in a garden salad. There are so many varieties to choose from.
There is the red leaf, green leaf, iceberg, and romaine just to name a few. It’s all personal preference.
The more leafy the lettuce, the less crunchy it will be and the lighter. Make sure that you wash all the leaves and either spin them in a salad spinner or you can pat them dry with a towel.
Cut your lettuce so that it is size.
CRUNCH! Croutons add a big crunch to your salad!
You can buy different types of croutons. Some are seasoned and some are plain.
Depending on what you like, I like the seasoned ones because they add flavor as well.
3. Toss the salad
Once all of your ingredients are washed and prepped, it’s time to toss it all together. In a large bowl start by adding your lettuce, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and tomatoes, and toss together.
Plate your tossed salad on a plate and then add a few red onions and croutons on the top.
Wait to add the dressing so that you don’t wilt the lettuce and make a soupy mess. Serve to your guests and let them add the dressings.
Kale is a great way to add more nutritional value to your salad, Find out how to tell if kale is bad so that you can be sure that you are adding fresh greens to your salad.
Different dressing for garden salads
- Italian Dressing: This by far is probably one of the most common dressings that will go on a garden salad. I really enjoy the light and clean flavor that it has with the pop of vinegar.
- Ranch dressing: Ranch is a creamy dressing that is also very popular when it comes to salad dressing. Made with buttermilk, herbs, garlic, and onions.
- Vinaigrette: A mixture of oil and something acidic like vinegar or lemon juice and salt and pepper. This is a great healthy and simple choice, especially when making your own dressing.
- Honey Mustard: This buttermilk honey mustard dressing recipe by Mindys’ Cooking Obsession, is easy to follow and can be used for more than just a salad dressing!
Tips for storing a garden salad
- When storing your salad it’s important not to pack it too tightly. To keep the lettuce crisp, you can place a paper towel at the bottom of the container. The moisture with collect in the paper towel instead of the lettuce getting too wet and soggy.
- If you are planning on serving your salad at a later time or plan to have leftovers, do not pour dressing over the salad. Instead, dress each salad individually. The salad will get soggy and wilt if you try and refrigerate it with dressing.
- Wait to add the toppings to your salad until you are going to serve it. This will help keep the lettuce crisp and make for a more refreshing salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Healthy Garden Salad Recipe
- Chef knife
- Cutting board
- Salad Spinner
- Red leaf lettuce
- red onion
- grape tomatoes
- celery stalk
- Rinse all vegetables under cold water to remove any pesticides or bacteria.
- Spin lettuce dry, and cut to your desired size.
- Remove the papery skin from your red onion, and slice thinly.
- Halve the grape tomatoes, or cut larger varieties into wedges.
- Peel, and slice the cucumbers into 1/4-inch rounds.
- Cut off the ends and tips from your celery stalks, and slice them into 1/8-inch slices.
- Peel, and slice your carrots into rounds or grate them.
- In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
- Plate the mixed salad and top with red onion slices and croutons.
- Wait to add the dressing until ready to serve to avoid wilting the lettuce.