Need a go-to recipe for a simple dinner salad? Look no further! My house salad recipe is packed with fresh and flavorful ingredients and is sure to become a new favorite. Not only is it delicious, but it's also super easy to make in 15 minutes.
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But during the week I tend to opt for this classic salad recipe based on one from my favorite restaurant. It is a simple recipe with fresh vegetables and leafy greens, and my house dressing recipe which is tangy and easy to make.
📖Why This Recipe Works
In addition to being gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan this salad has a lot going for it.
- Easy to Make - You can whip up this traditional house salad in 10 minutes and serve it multiple days in a row. Once you have made it once you can do it from memory.
- House Dressing - A simple homemade vinaigrette dressing is the perfect finishing touch for the perfect American house salad.
- Versatile - No matter what time of year it is, you can always find the ingredients for this salad It is a great side dish for any meal and pairs perfectly with your favorite entrée.
Plus, it's the perfect side dish for any meal or a great light lunch option. So, let's get started on this tasty and healthy house salad!
Crisp lettuce is the key to this basic salad recipe. I use a mix of romaine lettuce and butter lettuce for the base. It has the perfect balance of sweet and crunchy.
You can substitute iceberg lettuce for romaine. And gem or Boston leaf lettuce for the butter lettuce.
Carrots - You can use orange or any rainbow-colored carrot you like.
Not sure which cut to use? This how to cut carrots tutorial will break it down.
Tomatoes - I prefer to use small Campari tomatoes but you can also use larger tomatoes, be sure to dice them, or cherry tomatoes, also called grape tomatoes.
Not sure which cut to use? This how to cut tomatoes tutorial will break it down.
Cucumber - I prefer to use seedless cucumbers but if you use a regular garden cucumber you should deseed it.
Red Onion - Be sure to thinly slice to prevent them from overpowering the salad. You can also substitute pickled red onions or sliced green onions in this recipe. I do not recommend raw white or yellow onions.
Olive Oil - Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
White Wine Vinegar - You can use any light vinegar like rice wine vinegar or champagne vinegar.
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Granulated Sugar- Just a pinch makes a huge difference so I don't recommend omitting this.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
💭 Additional Add-Ons
The best part of this classic house salad is that you can customize it based on what you have in your fridge and pantry.
- For extra crunch try adding sunflower seeds, nuts, or croutons.
- Us you can add additional vegetables like bell peppers, pickled vegetables like watermelon radishes, olives, blanched green beans, or chopped broccoli.
- Add cheeses, feta, parmesan cheese, and blue cheese are my top 3 recommendations. But I certainly wouldn't turn my nose up at some shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
- Add fresh herbs to your dressing, I like dill here.
⏲️How to Make a House Salad at Home
Most of the work in this salad is in the prep of the vegetables. If you are a beginner in the kitchen check out our guides on cutting tomatoes for salads and how to cut carrots.
For this recipe, I prefer to shred my carrots and cut my tomatoes into small wedges, but there are other options.
STEP 1: Prep the Veggies
Start by chopping your romaine into bite-size pieces. You can discard the lower 1 inch of the stem. Tear or chop your butter lettuce discarding the very end of the bulb.
In a large bowl, toss together the two kinds of lettuce and the shredded carrots. Layer on the thinly sliced onions, tomato wedges, and sliced cucumbers.
STEP 2: Make the Salad Dressing
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly to emulsify,
If you are uncomfortable doing this by hand you can make the dressing in a blender.
If serving the salad all at once you can pour on the dressing and toss the salad with tongs. Or you can serve it on the side.
🥗What to Serve with a House Salad
A House Salad is a great side dish for any main course. Think of any easy weeknight dinner if you want to add more veggies.
To make quick work of prepping vegetables for this salad recipe, try using a food processor with slicing attachments or a mandolin.
🌡️Meal Prep and Storing Leftovers
If you are making the salad ahead of time for meal prep, store the vegetables, dressing, and greens separately.
You can store the vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. After that, the lettuce should be stored in a separate container with a damp paper towel or cloth over it to help keep it crisp.
When you're ready to serve the salad, combine all of the ingredients and toss with just enough dressing to coat. This is also a great way to make sure your salad isn't soggy by adding too much dressing!
More Easy Salad Recipes
💬Frequently Asked Questions
A house salad is a basic green salad with vegetables served at many American restaurants. It usually consists of lettuce, tomato, onion, and cucumber. A few types of cheese, nuts, olives, or other vegetables may also be added.
A house salad is typically served with a vinegarette-style dressing but may be served with an Italian dressing, ranch dressing, or blue cheese dressing.
This recipe serves 4 to 6 as a main course and 2 to 3 as a main course.
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📖 Printable Recipe Card
Traditional House Salad
- 6 cups romaine lettuce chopped
- 4 cups butter or gem lettuce chopped
- 1 cup carrots shredded
- 4 small tomatoes cut into wedges or diced
- ½ seedless cucumber sliced
- ½ cup red onion thinly sliced rings
- In a large serving bowl mix together the lettuces and carrots. Top the salad with the remaining ingredients.6 cups romaine lettuce, 4 cups butter or gem lettuce, 1 cup carrots, 4 small tomatoes, ½ seedless cucumber, ½ cup red onion
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and sugar. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking until emulsified.¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon granulated sugar, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- You can use all romaine lettuce or a 50/50 blend.
- Make it into a main dish salad by adding grilled chicken, shrimp, or other proteins.
- You can also shake the dressing in a Mason jar for easy mixing and storage or use a blender.
- Meal Prep Notes- Store the vegetables, dressing, and greens separately. You can store the vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. When you're ready to serve the salad, combine all of the ingredients and toss with just enough dressing to coat.