The Best Tossed Salad is a healthy and refreshing side dish full of crisp fresh veggies! You can serve this easy side salad with everything from Pork Tenderloin to Baked Chicken Thighs

With so many colorfully crunchy options, this simple tossed salad recipe can also be a meal in itself topped with your favorite proteins from shrimp to Grilled Chicken Breast!

Tossed Salad in a white bowl with two spoons

Great tossed salad recipes are a staple, really versatile and start with the freshest and crispest of ingredients! From an Easy Italian Salad to a simple Cucumber Dill Salad, they make the perfect fresh side dish!

What to Add to a Tossed Salad

BASE (Greens or Lettuce)

When making a tossed salad start with your base…the greens! There are so many options! Iceberg lettuce is super crunchy because it is so water-dense, but as far as nutrition and color goes, it’s on the simpler classic side.

Romaine, endive, baby spinach, radicchio, and arugula are not only super nutritious and fun, but add a colorful component to a tossed salad. You can easily find this combination of greens called ‘Spring Mix’ at your local supermarket.

Overhead shot of greens in a bowl surrounded by various salad vegetables

Salad Vegetables

When choosing veggies, go for a combination of colors and textures. Choose something juicy and something crunchy and add in a rainbow of oranges, reds and greens!

  • Juicy – tomatoes, cucumbers,
  • Crunchy – bell peppers, radish, celery,
  • Sweet – roasted butternut squash, fruits, berries
  • Colorful – beets, purple cabbage, shredded carrot
  • Flavorful – onions (green/red/white), fresh herbs

Flavor Boosters

Flavor boosters keep your salad from being boring! This adds in the smoky, nutty, cheesy flavors.

  • Olives (Nicoise, Kalamata, black or green) – salty
  • Toasted nuts (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or almonds) – nutty (of course)
  • Bacon – smoky/salty
  • Dried Fruits – sweet, chewy
  • Cheese – creamy, salty (goat cheese and feta are my favorites)
  • Homemade Croutons

There are so many more things that you can add, it’s hards to list them all! Let yourself be creative and try adding your favorites into this salad there is no wrong addition here.

Overhead shot of a Tossed Salad before mixing together

How to Toss a Salad

This tossed vegetable salad recipe is chock full of the healthy stuff you love without being too time consuming to put together. I prewash my lettuce and keep it fresh in the fridge for days by washing it in icy cold water, giving it a spin in a salad spinner and placing it in a freezer bag with paper towel. Depending on the variety it can stay fresh for a couple of weeks.

To make salad ahead of time, prepare your tossed salad and place it in a bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate for a couple of hours. If it’s going to be longer than a couple of hours, cover with plastic wrap.

Pouring dressing over a Tossed Salad in a white bowl

What Kind of Dressing Goes on a Tossed Salad?

A simple vinaigrette is all you need to bring out the individual flavors of each component to this salad. In a jar or salad dressing cruet, shake up some olive oil, vinegar (cider, balsamic, or white), some honey and a dash of salt and pepper to taste and gently add to the salad.

Other Favorite Dressings

Pouring dressing over a Tossed Salad in a white bowl
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The Best Tossed Salad

You can customize this salad with whatever veggies you have on hand making it the perfect way to utilize your fresh veggies!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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  • 8 cups lettuce
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables radish, shredded carrot, purple cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons almonds or sunflower seeds toasted


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar cider, balsamic or white
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • seasoned salt & pepper to taste


  • Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Place dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well mixed.
  • Toss salad with dressing to taste and serve immediately.
5 from 35 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 214 | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 468mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3370IU | Vitamin C: 14.9mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American

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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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