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This quick and easy side salad goes with everything. It’s a great way to add more green vegetables to your diet, and completes your meal.

Everyday side salad with carrots and cucumbers in a white serving bowl, on a marble background.

My Go-To Green Salad Recipe

This simple green salad recipe is one that I make all the time in my house, so I thought it was time to share it with you. People often ask me about side dish recipes. When I post a main course, they ask – what would be a good side dish for this? More often than not, one of the answers is a green salad.

If you’ve been following for awhile, you know that I prefer unfussy recipes. This salad is just that. The dressing only has 4 ingredients and is whisked right in the bowl – one less dish to wash!

Ingredients for side salad - mixed greens, shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, olive oil and lemon.

What kinds of greens are best for a side salad?

It’s up to you what kinds of greens to use, but I’ll be honest, I usually use bagged spring mix. To me, saving the time on prepping and washing lettuce is worth it. Here in the photos I added shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers – but there are definitely nights that I whisk together the dressing, dump the greens in the bowl and call it good. If you have extra veggies and you have the time to peel and chop – go for it! If not, at least you got something fresh and green on the table.

The lemon vinaigrette

Here is where I diverge from the standard lemon vinaigrette. Most recipes use Dijon mustard to emulsify the dressing. I don’t like Dijon mustard, so I don’t. And it’s OK. Since the dressing is made right before tossing and eating the salad, it really doesn’t need to be emulsified. BUT if you like and miss the flavor of Dijon, go ahead and add it in.

The point of this salad is it is REALLY EASY. I have salads that are slightly more work, like this Autumn Harvest Salad, this Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad and this Strawberry Basil Pecan Salad. But for an everyday dinner, this easy green salad is what I turn to.

Squeeze in some lemon, add some olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, whisk it all together in the bottom of whatever bowl you plan to serve the salad in. Add the greens and any other vegetables you want to, Toss it all in the dressing and serve.

Mixed greens with shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers in a metal mixing bowl.

What are good toppings for salad?

If you want to get fancy, you can add some extra toppings to your heart’s content. Some topping ideas for salad:

  • croutons
  • dried fruit
  • nuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • pepitas
  • goats cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella balls
  • bacon bits
  • pickled sweet peppers
Green salad with carrots and cucumbers in a metal mixing bowl.

What can be served with a side salad

This salad isn’t meant to be a meal, I usually serve it on the side of a main course. To make it a full meal, serve it with:

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Simple Green Salad

Prep 5 minutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt pinch
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups mixed greens I use baby spring mix
  • 1 carrot peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cucumber sliced into half moons


  • Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a large serving bowl. Whisk until fully blended.
  • Add greens and vegetables. Toss until everything is coated in dressing, serve right away.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 170mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3029IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Did you like this recipe?Please comment, rate and share! And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @foxandbriar AND #foxandbriar so I can see what you made!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase the items I recommend through the links I provide, I get a small commission. For more info, please see my disclosure policy. Thanks for supporting Fox and Briar!

Hello! I’m Meghan.

I am so glad that you are here! I am the recipe developer, photographer, and writer here at my blog Fox and Briar. I am a passionate, self-taught home cook and believe that most things are better homemade and that good food doesn’t need to be complicated.

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