Nothing says it’s dinner time better than a big old, tossed salad in the middle of the table! We LOVE tossed salads and all the lovely additions to make them not only healthy but super tasty. If you love starting dinner with a tossed salad, read on to find out how to make the best tossed salad ever!
Learn How to Make the Best Tossed Salad that Is Healthy and Delicious!
Easy Tossed Salad Recipe for Dinner
Steps on How to Make a Yummy Tossed Salad for Lunch or Dinner –
We have probably eaten a million tossed salads in our lives, but our favorite is still the basic salad! Well maybe not a million, but we bet that’s a pretty close number!
What’s a great way to add more nutrition to a meal? Serve the meal with a tossed salad! A green lettuce salad can bump up the nutritional value of your meal without adding a lot of fat or calories.
What makes the best tossed salad?
Fresh ingredients makes for the perfect dinner salad –
Fresh Lettuce (a blend of different varieties) Wash and Dry Lettuce before using
Cucumber – No salad is complete without some fresh cucumber!
Fresh Picked Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper (don’t forget to add a little salt and pepper!)
Favorite Crumbled Cheese
Handful of Sunflower Seeds or Almonds
Your Favorite Shredded Cheese – crumbled hard cheese like blue cheese works well.
Homemade Salad Dressings – Ranch and Italian Dressing
- Try adding some dark leafy greens to your salad like chopped up spinach or kale. Dark leafy greens are loaded with folate. Folate is a B vitamin that promotes healthy red blood cells.
Making the best tossed salad requires a few key elements: fresh ingredients, a variety of textures and flavors, a balanced dressing, and proper preparation. Here are some easy steps you can follow:
- Choose your greens – Start with a base of fresh greens such as romaine, spinach, arugula, or mixed greens. Rinse and dry them thoroughly.
- Add some crunch – Add some crunch to your salad with chopped vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, and bell peppers. You can also add nuts or seeds like almonds, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds.
- Include some sweetness – Add some sweetness to your salad with fruit like apples, grapes, or strawberries. You can also add dried fruit like cranberries or raisins.
- Add some protein – Add some protein to your salad with grilled chicken, tofu, hard-boiled eggs, or beans.
- Salt & pepper – Don’t forget to sprinkle a little salt & pepper.
- Mix up your dressing – Mix together your favorite dressing ingredients in a separate bowl, and toss it with your salad just before serving. A simple vinaigrette with olive oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard is a classic option.
- Toss it well – Toss your salad well to make sure that all the ingredients are well mixed and evenly coated with the dressing.
- Serve immediately – Serve your salad immediately to keep it fresh and crisp.
A tossed salad recipe consists of the same main ingredients.
4 Most Common Types of Salad Lettuce: Butterhead, Iceberg, Leaf, and Romaine.
- Lettuce – a good lettuce choice like leafy healthy Romaine or green leaf lettuce. A nice crisp head of iceberg lettuce is great for making a classic wedge salad. Try adding some leafs of red lettuce as well for more of a nutritional boost.
- Tomato – a nice ripe tomato of your choice. This can either be slices of a whole tomato or little cherry or plum tomatoes.
- Cucumber – slices of fresh peeled cucumber.
- Radishes – Radishes are often overlooked but are an important part of a basic salad. We will show you how to cut the radishes so you will enjoy them more.
- Celery – Low in fat and high in fiber. Celery will also give you that bit of extra crunch.
- Olives – black or green.
- Cheese – There are many options here but two of our favorites for a basic tossed salad would be blue cheese crumbles or shredded mozzarella. Go with a nice fresh feta cheese for a lower calorie option.
What About Salad Dressing?
Experiment with different fresh salad dressings by making your own. Remember when using salad dressings – less is best. Salad dressings can add tons of fat so be cautious when using them. Bottled dressings are also a great choice and there are tons of varieties to choose from. From organic dressings to yogurt dressings, you are sure to find one that is a perfect fit for you.
The healthiest salad dressings are olive oil based dressings.
How to Make A Basic Tossed Salad
STEP 1 . Wash your lettuce in a colander using a light spray of water. Wash both sides of the lettuce. Shake the colander to remove most of the water from the lettuce or use your salad spinner. If there is still a lot of water, wipe with a clean paper towel. Cut any ends off of the bottoms.
STEP 2 – Lay Romaine lettuce on your cutting board and even up the ends the best you can. Start cutting from the right side in small swipes/slices.
Step 3. Once you have all the lettuce evenly chopped, toss it in your bowl and lightly salt & pepper. Don’t forget the salt and pepper! This is an important step in a great tossed salad.
Step 4. Cut your cucumber and tomatoes. If it is a salad for one person then (1) small tomato is fine. If it’s for a larger salad then use a large tomato or 4 smaller ones. Peel the cucumber and cut both ends off at the tips. Slice cucumber in half, and using a small spoon, gently scrape away the seeds. Cut the cucumber into small pieces for your salad.
Our Tossed Salad is now Complete and Ready for the Table!
Using your sharp knife, cut everything one more time into small pieces. Pour on your favorite dressing and a little more salt & pepper.
Now add your radishes, olives and cheese for some extra salad fun! Maybe toss in a few nuts or seeds for extra crunch!
Learn how to cut your radishes for salads so they are enjoyed by everyone.
To make radishes more tasty in your salad, chop them into small sticks. Lightly salt the radish sticks before using.
Do you know the most used salad dressing? Take a guess! RANCH DRESSING!
HOW TO MAKE DELICIOUS HOMEMADE RANCH DRESSING
1 cup Mayonnaise – try your hand at Homemade Mayonnaise – fresh and healthy
1/4 tsp. Dried chives
1/4 tsp. Dried parsley
1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Onion powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1 cup Buttermilk
Place all ingredients except for the buttermilk in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for about 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium, and beat until smooth, about 30 additional seconds.
Scrape sides of bowl, and increase the speed to high. Gradually add the buttermilk, and continue beating until buttermilk is well mixed into the mayonnaise mix and the dressing is smooth, about another 2 minutes.
Place the dressing in a container with a lid, and refrigerate overnight. Stir well before serving. Makes approximately 2 cups.
How Many Calories in a Tossed Salad?
Lettuce – 20 calories 1 bowl
Tomato – 10 calories (1/2 a tomato)
Cucumber – 5 calories (1/4 cup)
You can have a low amount of calories in a tossed salad if you stick to fresh vegetables. As you start to add cheese, dressing and nuts your calorie count will go up.
Bagged Lettuce Vs. Fresh Lettuce
Is there a big difference between bagged lettuce and fresh lettuce? We recommend buying fresh lettuce from a trusted vendor vs. bagged lettuce. Commercially bagged lettuce can contain lettuce grown from various locations. If there is a problem with the lettuce in the bag, the source is not always easy to identify.
Should You Always Buy Organic Lettuce?
Yes, if purchasing fresh lettuce, your best bet is to buy organic lettuce. It may cost just a little bit more, but it is well worth the price. Organic lettuce is typically grown without any pesticides or chemicals.
SALAD TOOLS WE LOVE
Salad Spinner! – Get the Water off of Your Lettuce Easily!
We have made about a million salads here at DinnerPlanner.com, and we definitely love using a salad spinner for a crisp and clean salad!
You can find our favorite spinner here –> Salad Spinner
Save Money and Keep Your Lettuce Fresh by Storing it Properly –
This is what we use – it’s a “breathable” storage container that definitely helps to keep your produce fresher longer.