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Garden salad up close overhead

BEST Garden Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 7 reviews


This classic garden salad has all your favorite toppings including cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, croutons and cheddar cheese! Serve it tossed with this easy homemade Italian dressing for a 15 minute green side salad.


Units Scale


  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, optional
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash or salt free seasoning blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


  • 12 ounces salad greens blend (preferably with iceberg)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks or shredded on a box grater
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into rings or strips
  • 1 large tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 3/4 cup shredded orange cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cup croutons, gluten-free if desired
  • 8 pepperoncini, optional


  1. Make Vinaigrette: Mash garlic and salt with the side of a knife on cutting board until it forms a paste. Scrape into a jar. Add in oil, vinegar, sugar Dijon, Mrs Dash and oregano. Close jar and shake well to combine.
  2. Make Salad: Add salad green to large salad bowl. Arrange carrots, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, onion and cheese on top. Just before serving, drizzle on dressing and toss to coat. Add croutons and toss again. Serve immediately with pepperoncini if using.


Make Ahead Notes For The Dressing:

  1. This dressing can be made up to 1 week ahead. Keep it in the refrigerator.
  2. The olive oil in the dressing will become solidified after a day or two. To make it liquid again, simply let it sit at room temperature or set it in a dish of warm water and shake it every minute or two.
  3. Shake it well before serving.

Make Ahead Notes For The Salad

  1. If you want to make this salad ahead of time do not add the croutons or tomatoes.
  2. Layer the greens, cucumbers, pepper, carrots and onion in the bowl.
  3. I like to take a damp paper towel and lay it over the top of the salad and then loosely wrap it with plastic wrap and refrigerate the salad.
  4. Keep the dressing separate.
  5. Cut the tomato and add it with the croutons and dressing just before tossing and serving.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 334
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 2 g
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