A simple side salad recipe is what you need for a convenient and fast meal. Let’s see how to make it in this article of Apronese.

Why Should You Opt for Side Salads?

There are many great things about the side salad:

  • Its light texture and the flavor of the dressing can lighten up a heavy meal.
  • It just takes five minutes to make.
  • It’s a great way to use up your leftover vegetables.
  • It adds so much color, texture, and flavor to your plate. It’s an extra dose of vegetables.

Perfect Side Salad Formula

It’s best to keep your side salad simple, use as few ingredients as possible, and don’t spend more than five minutes on it.

To prevent over thinking your salad, use this formula:

Greens + one vegetable + dressing + topper

That’s all you need!

A fork taking a piece of Baked Pizza Chicken from the plate with chicken, garlic bread, and salad.

Best Greens for Side Salads

There are a lot of options for salad greens for simple side salads. I like to go with a green that is light, delicate, and that has a lot of color and texture.

But you could use anything from kale to spinach, or even finely shredded cabbage.

Don’t use iceberg because while it does have texture, it’s totally lacking in the flavor and color department.

Spring mix in a bowl

How Much Salad Greens to Use?

Keep in mind that this is a simple side salad. So it’ll be served as an accent for your dinner, and you don’t need a lot. You’ll only need one large handful, or about one ounce, of greens for each serving.

Add A Vegetable (or Two)

For this simple side salad recipe, you only need one vegetable to make the salad good. But if you have some leftover vegetables in your fridge that need to be used up, just add them in there

Here are some vegetable ideas for your side salad:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Red onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Zucchini or yellow squash
  • Carrot
  • Sweet corn
  • Radish
  • Mushrooms
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Olives

You can also add the following fruits to your side salad:

  • Avocado
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Mangoes

tomatoes added to the salad greens

Best Dressing for Side Salads

You can use almost any salad dressing for your side salad. My dressing here is a simple vinaigrette.

A light coat will go better with your side salads. A thicker or heavier dressing like ranch or blue cheese would be too heavy and overpower the salad.

Bottled Dressing Vs Homemade Dressing

Bottled dressing lasts longer in the fridge than homemade one. So it’s great to have a bottle on hand that you can use a tablespoon or two of at a time without having leftovers go to waste.

Use a red wine vinaigrette, champagne vinaigrette, an Italian dressing, or a non-creamy Caesar dressing.

If you want to use a homemade dressing for your side salad, check out this homemade balsamic vinaigrette, tomato basil vinaigrette, or a classic like the homemade Italian dressing.

Dressing being poured over the side salad

How Much Dressing to Use?

Have your greens just kissed with the lightest hint of dressing to keep the salad light and fresh, and not to overpower the flavor of the greens.

Drizzle only about 1/2 tbsp of dressing for each serving and toss the salad until everything is lightly coated.

Make sure to dress the salad just before serving, so the greens don’t go limp.

Salad Toppers

Here are some ideas for your side salad toppers:

  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Flakey salt (like Maldon)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Toasted breadcrumbs
  • French fried onions
  • Nuts or seeds (walnuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds, etc.)

Simple Side Salad Recipe

Use this easy formula to make a simple side salad that will add color, texture, and flavor to your dinner plate.

Author: Beth

Prep Time: 5 mins / Total Time: 5 mins


  • Salad greens
  • Vegetables (or fruit)
  • Salad dressing
  • Salad topper


  • Add your favorite salad greens to a bowl.
  • Add one sliced or chopped vegetable or fruit.
  • Drizzle lightly with a vinaigrette or a mix of olive oil and vinegar. Toss to coat the greens and vegetables in dressing.
  • Sprinkle a “topper” ingredient over the salad to add extra texture and flavor.

What is Your Favorite Side Salad?

And that’s all for simple side salad recipe. There are more easy side salad ideas to make. Leave a comment below to share your favorite side salad ingredient or combination with us! And don’t forget to come back to us for more updates!