Easy Garden Salad Recipe (2024)

This easy Garden Salad is inspired by our family’s favorite restaurant house salad. It’s filled with crisp chopped lettuce and ripe tomatoes tossed with crispy bacon, croutons, and creamy homemade Ranch Dressing.

We love recreating restaurant-style salad recipes right in our own kitchen, from a classic Caesar Salad to this all-American Cobb Salad. You’ll love the delicious combination of textures and flavors in this fresh garden salad.

Easy Garden Salad Recipe (1)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Easy Garden Salad with Homemade Dressing

Have you ever gone to a restaurant just for their house salad? We have! This is my son’s favorite salad at Goodwood Grill. He loves it so much, we decided to re-create it at home. This restaurant-inspired salad is easier than you think.

It’s loaded with crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, Crumbled Bacon, and a surprising ingredient: Boiled Eggs. The eggs make this house salad the perfect protein-packed side dish or meal in itself. It’s drizzled with our favorite homemade Ranch Dressing and never disappoints.

What is a Garden Salad Made of?

Below you’ll find the ingredients you’ll need for this easy salad. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card for the full amounts and details.

  • Iceberg Lettuce –Chopped iceberg lettuce is a popular choice for garden salads. It’s crisp, inexpensive, and really lets the other ingredients shine. Other good options are romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, or bibb lettuce (or any combination thereof).
  • Tomatoes –We use cherry tomatoes, but chopped garden tomatoes or Roma tomatoes will also work.
  • Bacon – Crumbled Baked Bacon (or Air Fryer Bacon) brings a delicious smoky, salty crunch to this garden salad recipe. Feel free to omit the bacon or replace it with chopped smoked peanuts or cashews if you’re making this salad vegetarian.
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs –Eggs offer tons of extra protein. We have an easy method for Perfect Boiled Eggs that you can use.
  • Croutons –Crunchy croutons are one of our favorite salad ingredients. You can even make your own with our recipe for Crunchy Garlic Croutons.
  • Red Onion –For one more layer of flavor. You can also use chopped green onion or chives if you’d like.
  • Ranch Dressing –If you have the time, I encourage you to make your own Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. It takes minutes with basic ingredients and you’ll really taste the difference. Otherwise, you can use your favorite store-bought ranch dressing instead.
Easy Garden Salad Recipe (2)

Pro Tip: For even more protein, add sliced Baked Chicken Breast, Sliced Grilled Steak, Cooked Shrimp, or diced Ham.

How to Make a Garden Salad

The best part about this restaurant-copycat garden salad: It’s incredibly easy to make. With your ingredients prepped and ready, here’s how quickly it comes together:

  1. Start with Lettuce –Add your chopped iceberg lettuce to a large bowl.
  2. Add Toppings –Sprinkle on tomatoes, bacon, diced eggs, croutons, and red onion.
  3. Dress and Serve –When you’re ready to serve, drizzle over ranch dressing and give everything a toss. Serve your salad as a light meal, a starter, or as a side (see below for ideas).
Easy Garden Salad Recipe (3)

Pro Tip: If you’re making this salad in advance, leave the dressing and croutons off right up until you’re ready to serve. That way the croutons will stay crisp and the salad won’t become soggy. See further down in the post for more make-ahead instructions.

What is the Best Garden Salad Dressing?

We love dressing this salad in my family’s favorite tangy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. It’s as easy as combining buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, white vinegar, herbs (chives, parsley, dill, and garlic), plus salt and pepper in a bowl. Give it a whisk, and it’s ready to serve. Refer to the link for the detailed recipe –you won’t be sorry!

If you prefer to toss this recipe with another homemade salad dressing such as:

  • Homemade Italian Dressing
  • Perfect Caesar Dressing
  • Avocado Ranch Dressing

Common Questions

Why do they call it a “garden salad”?

It’s called a garden salad because it’s often made with veggies typically grown in the garden (tomatoes, lettuce, onions, etc.)

Is a garden salad healthy?

This garden salad recipe is high in protein (from the eggs) and packed with fresh veggies, for a healthy meal-in-one. Plus, you can adapt it to your family’s needs and preferences.

Can I double the recipe?

Absolutely. This salad is a total crowd-pleaser, so if you’re making it for a party or a large crowd, feel free to scale the ingredients as needed.

Easy Garden Salad Recipe (4)

Salad add-ins and Variations

The beauty of a homemade salad is that it’s truly customizable depending on the season or the vegetables you have on hand. There’s room to really make this garden salad your own. Try these easy add-ins to your garden salad:

  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Black olives
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Endives
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cubed feta cheese
Easy Garden Salad Recipe (5)

Ways to Serve a Garden Salad

This is such a satisfying salad, I’ll often enjoy it as a main course for lunch with a piece of soft Focaccia Bread. It also makes a perfect house salad, pairing well with just about anything from Pan Seared Steak to Juicy Baked Chicken Breast.

A fresh garden salad also makes a great addition to a salad bar when we entertain. We’ll serve it next to more easy ideas like a classic Greek Salad, Macaroni Salad, or Caprese Salad.


You can assemble this garden salad 2-3 hours ahead of time, leaving off the dressing and croutons. Simply store the salad covered in the fridge. Right before serving, add the croutons and drizzle with the dressing. You can also prepare the Ranch Dressing up to one week in advance, and refrigerate it.

Easy Garden Salad Recipe (6)

This effortless homemade Garden Salad is protein-packed and so tasty. Even the kids go crazy for the salty bacon and creamy ranch dressing. Have you made it yet? We’d love to hear what you think.

More Easy Salad Recipes

If you love this recipe for an easy house salad, wait until you try these other hearty homemade salad ideas:

  • Panzanella Salad
  • BLT Salad
  • Asian Chopped Salad
  • Kale Salad
  • Chickpea Salad
  • Beet Salad

P.S. Did you see our cookbook is now available to order? I’m so excited to finally share it with you! Actually, my favorite category in the book is Salads and we have amazing salads in the book that have never been shared on the blog. Click to learn more about Natasha’s Kitchen’s Cookbook!

Easy Garden Salad Recipe

5 from 7 votes

Author: Natasha Kravchuk

Easy Garden Salad Recipe (9)

This restaurant-inspired House Garden Salad is full of fresh ingredients and tossed with tangy homemade buttermilk dressing. It's the perfect easy salad recipe with loads of flavor and texture, ready to customize with your favorite veggies.


Prep Time: 5 minutes mins

Total Time: 5 minutes mins


Servings: 6 servings

  • 1 medium head Iceberg lettuce, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, diced
  • 1/2 cup croutons
  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced into half rings, or 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 recipe, Buttermilk Ranch Dressing


Nutrition Per Serving

336kcal Calories9g Carbs6g Protein31g Fat5g Saturated Fat16g Polyunsaturated Fat7g Monounsaturated Fat0.01g Trans Fat83mg Cholesterol679mg Sodium257mg Potassium1g Fiber5g Sugar612IU Vitamin A8mg Vitamin C45mg Calcium1mg Iron

  • Full Nutrition Label
  • Nutrition Disclosure

Nutrition Facts

Easy Garden Salad Recipe

Amount per Serving



% Daily Value*






Saturated Fat





Trans Fat



Polyunsaturated Fat



Monounsaturated Fat






































Vitamin A





Vitamin C















* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Salad, Side Dish

Cuisine: American

Keyword: best salad recipes, easy salad recipes, garden salad

Skill Level: Easy Peasy

Calories: 336

Natasha Kravchuk

Easy Garden Salad Recipe (10)

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Easy Garden Salad Recipe (2024)


What does a garden salad contain? ›

What is Garden Salad? Garden salad is a a type of tossed green salad made with lettuce (usually a blend including mostly iceberg lettuce.) As the name implies it also has garden fresh veggies including carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. Often garden salads include croutons and cheese.

What is the difference between green salad and garden salad? ›

A green salad, or green leaf salad, another name for garden salad, is most often composed of leafy vegetables such as lettuce varieties, spinach, or rocket (arugula). If non-greens make up a large portion of the salad it may instead be called a vegetable salad.

What can I put in a salad to make it more interesting? ›

Add spices and flavours such as paprika, chilli flakes, curry powder, harissa or parmesan. Add acidity or sourness with vinegar, lemon juice or pomegranate molasses to transform your salad.

What are 5 types of other ingredients that can be used for salads? ›

They add different flavours, crunch, texture and colour. Also, simple fruit salad can be served during a meal or as a sweet after a meal. You can use a range of fruit in season. You can use a range of other ingredients in salads, including: ▪ meat ▪ fish ▪ seafood ▪ nuts ▪ cheese ▪ olives ▪ eggs ▪ pasta ▪ rice.

What vegetables are good for salad garden? ›

  1. Broccoli.
  2. Green beans.
  3. Mustard greens.
  4. Snow peas.
  5. Cauliflower.
  6. Mache, sometimes called corn salad.
  7. Mint—very good in fruit salads.
  8. Edible flowers like nasturtiums, pansies or squash blossoms, as long as they have never been treated with chemicals.

How do you make a salad not to be boring? ›

  1. Tip #1: don't be afraid to mix textures, temperatures, vegetables and fruits! When it comes to salads, mixing is key. ...
  2. Tip #2: the final garnish is the difference between a good and a great salad! Examples? ...
  3. Tip 3: seasoning, seasoning, seasoning! Use anything your heart desires. ...
  4. Tip 4: make your salads unique!

How do you pimp up salad? ›

One of the easiest ways to get some flavour in your salad is to mix up your leaves with bright herbs that pack a punch. Plants like parsley, dill, mint and coriander can really kick your salads up a notch and give them some (much needed) depth and can give a great dose of flavour in every bite.

What is the most important ingredient in a salad? ›

Obviously, every salad needs a base, some type of leafy greens. Choose a salad green that's loaded with health benefits… and STAY AWAY from that iceberg lettuce. You can also use a mix of these to give your salad a little more variety.

What is the healthiest salad you can eat? ›

10 Nutrient-Dense Salad Recipes
  • Low-Carb Asian Chopped Salad.
  • Spicy Shrimp, Avocado, and Arugula Salad.
  • Tofu and Kale Salad.
  • Pear, Grape, and Feta Salad.
  • Mediterranean Chicken Salad.
  • Blood Orange and Quinoa Kale Salad.
  • Golden Beet and Pomegranate Salad.
  • Roasted Chickpea and Kale Salad.
Jul 20, 2021

What's in a millionaire salad? ›

  1. 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling.
  2. 1 (8 ounce) carton Cool Whip.
  3. 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk.
  4. 1 (16 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained.
  5. 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges.
  6. 1 cup seedless grapes (optional)
  7. 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  8. 1 cup mini marshmallows.

What is a garden salad? ›

noun. : a tossed salad made with vegetables that are commonly grown in a garden (such as lettuce, tomato, and cucumber)

What are the three main parts of a salad? ›

The basic parts of a salad are the base, the body, the garnish, and the dressing. The five basic types of salad are green salads (tossed or composed), bound, vegetable, fruit, and combination.

What is a common ingredient in most bound salads? ›

Bound salads are probably not the healthiest option in the land of salads, but they are so delicious! The reason they are a less-healthy option is that the binding agents are typically mayonnaise-based. Some of the most popular bound salads are egg and tuna.

What are the 5 types of salads? ›

Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes including green salads; vegetable salads; long beans; salads of pasta, legumes, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads. They often include vegetables and fruits.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 6054

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Birthday: 1996-05-19

Address: Apt. 114 873 White Lodge, Libbyfurt, CA 93006

Phone: +5983010455207

Job: Legacy Representative

Hobby: Blacksmithing, Urban exploration, Sudoku, Slacklining, Creative writing, Community, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Merrill Bechtelar CPA, I am a clean, agreeable, glorious, magnificent, witty, enchanting, comfortable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.