Need a simple side salad recipe to go with your meal? Our Gluten-Free House Salad is the perfect easy green salad recipe for almost any dinner!
I’ve been on a salad kick with dinner lately! One of my kids loves to dip the ingredients in dressing, which means they’re eating their veggies without complaint. THAT’S SOMETHING I COULD USE MORE OF!
A “house salad” is a nickname usually given to restaurant-style side salads. These easy green salads are fresh and light, meant to be a great starter or complement for a larger meal. I love a good green salad recipe, and this combination is what I’d consider our family’s house salad.
It’s a light combination of crisp lettuce, a few fresh vegetables, and a simple homemade salad dressing to pull it all together. The end result is fresh, vibrant, and so satisfying. A perfect side dish!
You can serve a simple green salad recipe like this one to pair with pasta night favorites like Cheesy Baked Ziti & Gluten-Free Spaghetti, homestyle classics like Sloppy Joes and meatloaf, or paired with lighter fare, like rotisserie chicken or glazed salmon.
No matter what you serve it with, you’ll love how easy it is to pull together. You can have this simple salad on the dinner table in no time.
Here’s all you need to get started on this easy green salad recipe…
Simple ingredients For House Salad:
- Lettuce. We usually use crisp romaine lettuce or green leaf lettuce, but butter lettuce is another great choice. Ideally, something fresh, crisp, and vibrant!
- Cucumber. Crisp, cool, crunchy cucumber is one of my favorite house salad mix-ins! I love English cucumbers or thin-skinned Persian cucumbers so I don’t have to peel them!
- Grated Carrots. You can absolutely use sliced carrots or diced carrots, but I love how shredded carrots or julienned carrots look & feel in a green salad like this.
- Tomatoes. You can dice larger tomatoes, but I usually halve cherry tomatoes. They’re easier to eat and don’t make your salad as soggy!
- Gluten-Free Croutons. Whenever I can, I love to make these homemade croutons. They only take a few minutes, but they taste AMAZING. Otherwise, keep an eye out in grocery stores for gluten-free brands of croutons like Olivia’s or Aleia’s.
- A Simple House Dressing. My go to vinaigrette is made from simple ingredients, like fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and some dried oregano (if you want). It’s easy, fresh, and delicious, but don’t miss more homemade salad dressing options in the FAQ below!
- Salt & Pepper. Sounds silly, but seasoning your salad with some salt and pepper makes a HUGE difference in the flavor! I love using flaky sea salt for more impact.
What’s The Best Lettuce For Green Salads?
It’ll kind of depend on what mix-ins & dressing you’re adding, but here are a few common options for salad greens:
- Romaine Lettuce – crisp, cool, crunchy. Can hold up to creamy dressing or vinaigrette dressings.
- Iceberg Lettuce – very cool & crisp, but not very flavorful or colorful. I prefer this for wedge salads.
- Butter Lettuce – Beautiful green, mild flavor & tender. I love this with more delicate or sweet mix-ins.
- Spring Mix – Made of green and red leaf lettuce, baby spinach, and other tender greens. This looks beautiful, but tends to work best with lighter dressing.
How To MAke An Amazing Green Salad, Step By Step:
First, Make The Homemade Vinaigrette
- Juice The Lemons. If you haven’t already, squeeze the fresh lemon juice and remove any seeds.
- Combine. Add lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon mustard, oregano, salt, and pepper to a mason jar or small bowl. Whisk to combine until well blended.
- Whisk In Olive Oil. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you whisk. Adding the oil gradually helps you incorporate it better.
- Taste & Adjust. Then, taste the dressing. Add additional salt, pepper, herbs or lemon juice, if desired. Dressing will keep up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Then, Build Your Green Salad:
- Combine The Veggies. In a large bowl, combine salad leaves, cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes (along with any other veggies you plan to add).
- Dress the salad by pouring 2-3 Tablespoons of salad dressing over the lettuce & veggies. Gently toss the salad with forks or tongs to coat the veggies with dressing, adding more salad dressing if needed.
- Season the salad with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Don’t skip this step!
- Finish The Salad. Sprinkle with crunchy croutons, if using. (Along with any cheese or crispy mix-ins, like crisped bacon, nuts/seeds.)
More Toppings & Mix-Ins To Try
Want to take this classic house salad recipe to the next level? Feel free to play with the mix-ins! Try adding some of these extra veggies & delicious options to change things up.
- Chickpeas – Canned chickpeas or crispy chickpeas for some crunch!
- Peperoncini – Whole or sliced peperoncini or banana peppers add a lovely tangy punch!
- Parmesan Cheese – I love thickly shaved parmesan for a house salad!
- Nuts or Seeds – Mix in salted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or some toasted nuts for a little extra crunch!
- Black olives – So great if you’re an olive fan! (You can also swap in kalamata or green olives!)
- Bell Peppers – These are great for color and crunch. Add your favorite bell pepper, sliced into thin strips or a large dice for easy eating.
- Radishes – Look for fun, colorful varieties like watermelon radishes for even more color!
- Bacon or Bacon Bits – Who doesn’t love a little bacon in their salad for extra flavor!?
- Avocado – One of my favorites. I love the creamy avocado texture and healthy fats
- Onion – Red onion, pickled onion, shallots, green onions, crispy onions, etc.
- Spring Mix! – Or swap out the green lettuce for a spring mix. This adds a touch of elegance, and works especially well with vinaigrette dressings
- Mushrooms – If you’re a fan of sliced mushrooms in salad, this is a great mix-in!
- Baby Mozzarella – The tiny little bite-sized pieces of mozzarella can be a fun addition!
- Fresh Herbs – Have a little parsley, dill, cilantro, or basil leftover? Toss it into this salad or add some to your dressing.
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Green Salad:
Aim For Consistent Size. Salads can easily get unwieldy to manage, so to make them easier to eat, try to keep all vegetables and mix-ins a similar size. Small, bite-sized pieces are best!
Season With Salt & Pepper. One of the BEST tricks for the best green salad is to add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the greens after tossing them with the simple homemade dressing. This tiny little tweak adds MAJOR flavor to the salad, along with a touch of elegance!
Elevate This To Main Dish Status by adding some grilled chicken, salmon, or shrimp!
Keep Your Lettuce Fresh. The best salads include fresh greens! To keep my lettuce fresh, I wash the leafy greens, then dry them in a salad spinner (or clean kitchen cloth). Then, I store the clean lettuce leaves in a plastic bag with a square of paper towel to absorb any extra moisture. This prevents you from getting soggy salad greens!
More Dressing Options To Try:
My simple house salad dressing below is bright, tangy, and delicious, but it’s only the beginning! Feel free to swap in another delicious dressing! Try:
- Italian Vinaigrette
- Homemade Ranch Dressing (THE BEST!!!)
- Classic Caesar Dressing
- Honey Mustard Dressing
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- French Dressing (Catalina-style dressing)
- Thousand Island Dressing
- Creamy Parmesan Dressing
⭐ Don’t forget to leave a star rating and comment below when you make our Gluten-Free House Salad. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!Print