Easy Green Salad

By Maria Lichty

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Quick Summary

Easy Green Salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, Parmesan cheese, croutons, and a quick balsamic vinaigrette. This simple salad recipe is the perfect side dish for any meal.

green salad with homemade croutons and balsamic vinaigrette.

I try to eat a salad with all of my dinners, no matter what is on the menu. My go to salad is this Green Salad. It goes with EVERY meal and is easy to throw together. There is nothing fancy about it, but that is why I love it. It is a great way to get in extra greens and the flavors are fresh and delicious!

This easy green salad is the perfect salad for weeknight meals, but it is also great for serving to family and friends at dinner parties and potlucks because it is SO good. Everyone loves this basic salad recipe because there is nothing fancy about it. Sometimes simple is best and that is true with this salad recipe. It is perfection without any fuss!

mixed greens in bowl, grape tomatoes on plate, balsamic dressing, red onion slices in small bowl, homemade croutons in bowl, and shaved parmesan cheese in small bowl.

Salad Ingredients

  • Greens-The greens are the star of the salad! I like to use mixed greens or chopped Romaine lettuce. Kale, arugula, or butter lettuce are also good options, use whatever you have in the fridge!
  • Tomatoes-For this green salad, I like to use cherry or grape tomatoes. If it is tomato season and your garden is producing lots of large tomatoes, feel free to chop up big tomatoes and add them to the salad.
  • Cucumber-Cucumber slices add a refreshing crunch. I prefer seedless cucumbers, but any variety will work.
  • Red Onion-A little red onion gives the salad a pop of flavor and color! If you are not an onion fan, you can leave it out, but we are big onion fans!
  • Parmesan Cheese-Make sure you use GOOD Parmesan cheese for this salad, not the stuff in the can:) You can use shaved or freshly grated Parmesan cheese. And if you want to mix up the cheese, feta, goat, or shredded white cheddar cheese would also be good!
  • Homemade Croutons-I LOVE adding my homemade croutons to this salad. If you don’t have time or need the salad to be gluten-free, you don’t have to add them, but I highly recommend them! You can make them in advance, they will keep in an airtight container for up to one week. I like to make them on Sunday and use them in our salads all week! And they really are easy to make, they take less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette– The balsamic vinaigrette dressing makes the salad. I promise it is easy to whisk up with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. You can make the vinaigrette in advance and keep it in the fridge for one week. You can even double the recipe! Our family LOVES this balsamic vinaigrette, it is SO much better than store bought dressing!
Green Salad in bowl with balsamic vinaigrette being poured over the top.

How to Make Green Salad

  • I make this salad every single week because it is so easy! I am telling you, there are no excuses when it comes to this salad! You should be eating this salad with every single meal. It is SO easy and SO good.
  • You can make the croutons and balsamic vinaigrette in advance.
  • You can also wash your greens in advance. I like to use a salad spinner to wash and dry my greens. If you want to chop your salad greens in advance, store them in a plastic bag or container with paper towels and it will keep the greens extra fresh!
  • You can even slice up your cucumbers, onions, and halve your tomatoes in advance so when dinner time rolls around all you have to do is toss your salad!
  • When ready to eat, combine the greens, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, Parmesan cheese, and croutons in a large bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and toss well. Serve immediately. So simple!

Dressing Options

I love this salad with our homemade balsamic vinaigrette, but it is also great with the following dressings.

What to Serve with Green Salad

Like I mentioned earlier, this salad can be served with ANY meal. It is the best basic side salad. We call it our house salad because it is a family favorite and we make it all of the time! If you wanted to make a meal out of the salad, you could top the salad with grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, beef, or beans!

If you need some ideas on what to serve with our easy green salad, here are a few of our favorite recipes, but really, you can serve this green salad with ANYTHING!

More Salad Recipes:

Green Salad in serving bowl topped with homemade croutons, Parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.
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Green Salad

An Easy Green Salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, Parmesan, croutons, and a quick balsamic vinaigrette. This simple salad recipe is the perfect side dish to pair with any main meal.
4.62 from 42 votes


  • 5 cups chopped lettuce or mixed greens
  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Homemade croutons
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette


  • In a large bowl, combine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, Parmesan cheese, and croutons. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and toss well. Serve immediately.


After tossed in dressing, the salad is best the day it is made. You can make the dressing and croutons in advance. 


Calories: 163kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 128mg, Potassium: 236mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 2620IU, Vitamin C: 9.6mg, Calcium: 74mg, Iron: 0.8mg
Keywords salad

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. I made this salad for guests tonight and everyone raved about the whole thing including the balsamic vinegar and the homemade croutons (which kept very well in a sealed container from yesterday when I made them)! It was a total hit and I’ll definitely be making it again!

  2. 5 stars
    This salad is AMAZING! As is the dressing! I felt like I was eating a special salad at a restaurant. Thank you Maria. Love your blog!

  3. Maria
    Your recipes look and sound terrific.
    I am planning on having guests for dinner Saturday and am going to make your carrot ginger soup, easy green salad with homemade croutons and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Along with your Buttermilk biscuits. Can you recommend appetizers? Of course I will be making a dessert, so perhaps you could also recommend a dessert to go with everything.
    Thanks in advance..
    Pam Koller

    1. Thanks! Your dinner sounds wonderful. For appetizers, you could do baked brie or stuffed mushrooms. For dessert, you could make flourless chocolate cake or raspberry almond ricotta cake! All of the recipes are on our blog! Have fun!