This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated.
House Salad with Balsamic Mustard Dressing is the perfect go-to salad for every day. It's fresh, easy to prepare, and completely customizable.
Why you will love this house (garden) salad
I love serving a green salad with dinner every night, and this house salad is a family favorite. It's full of fresh greens and veggies and is paired with tangy homemade balsamic dressing.
- Readily available ingredients - House salads are made with produce staples that you likely have on hand.
- Easy to prepare - Just a little slicing and dicing is all that's needed to assemble this salad.
- Customizable - Use what you have on hand or change up ingredients based on your own preferences.
- The perfect pairing - Serve alongside favorites like lasagna, turkey meatloaf, or grilled cheese.
What is a house salad?
A house salad is a mix of lettuce and fresh produce such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions, and often includes croutons for crunch.
House salads are typically found on restaurant menus and may also be called side salads or garden salads. But since they are so easy to assemble, there's no reason not to enjoy these salads at home.
- Lettuce - Crisp varieties such as iceberg and romaine are the most common. But I love mixing up textures and flavors so feel free to use a combination including spring mix, red or green leaf lettuce, spinach, or arugula.
- Vegetables - Cucumbers, red onions, carrots, and tomatoes are most common. I love adding red and green bell peppers for extra flavor and crunch. Feel free to use what you love and have on hand.
- Croutons provide buttery crunch. I love using sourdough bread, but French, Rye, and Pumpernickel can also be used. Store-bought croutons can also be used.
- Dressing - Anything goes here, but I'm sharing a simple blend of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and Dijon mustard for the perfect tangy bite.
- Cheese - Cheddar is often the go-to for house salads, but you can also try Colby, blue cheese, feta, goat cheese, and gorgonzola.
- Bacon provides a salty and smoky flavor that is a welcome addition to any salad.
- Toppings - Add crunch with fried onion strings, tortilla strips, or nuts like pecans, walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds.
- Protein - Create an entree salad by adding grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, or steak.
See the recipe card for complete instructions and ingredient amounts.
- Slice, dice, or shred your vegetables of choice. (Image 1)
- Combine the salad greens and veggies in a large serving bowl. (Image 2)
- Toss torn bread with oil in a skillet and toast until crispy. Add to the salad. (Images 3 and 4)
- Add the vinegar, oil, and Dijon to a mason jar. Shake to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on the side.
Dressings for house salad
Use your favorite bottled dressing or elevate your salad game with these homemade dressings:
- Blue Cheese dressing is a creamy blend of mayo, sour cream, and tangy blue cheese that brings a steakhouse vibe to any salad.
- Creamy Caesar dressing isn't just for Caesar salad. It packs tons of flavor with garlic, lemon, and Parmesan.
- Green Goddess dressing has a bright herby flavor that keeps the salad feeling light.
What do I serve with salad?
House salads are the perfect accompaniments for:
- Grilled steak, chicken, or fish.
- Roasts, casseroles, or pasta.
- Sandwiches or quiche
- Pizza or appetizers
Tips for storing and making ahead
Salad is best eaten fresh, but if you need to make it ahead of time, here are my best tips.
- After washing the lettuce, dry it thoroughly before refrigerating it in a zipper-top bag
- Store veggies like cucumbers and tomatoes separately so they don't make the lettuce soggy.
- Add cheese and toppings right before serving.
- Serve the dressing on the side so any leftover salad can be stored without turning soggy.
Mixing bowl | Vegetable peeler | Mason jar | Liquid measuring cup | Measuring spoons
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House Salad with Balsamic Mustard Dressing
- 5 ounces spring mix (or other greens)
- 1 small carrot (shredded)
- 1 small red onion (sliced, or ½ large onion)
- ½ large green pepper (sliced)
- ½ large red pepper (sliced)
- 2 mini cucumbers (sliced or ½ large cucumber)
- 2 cups torn pieces of Sourdough bread (or similar)
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- tomatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil (or similar)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the lettuce, carrots, onion, peppers, and cucumbers. Toss together.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the torn bread and toss to coat with the oil. Cook until the bread is crispy and toasted. Serve with the salad.
- In a mason jar, add the balsamic vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Shake well until well combined. Serve with the salad.
- Salad is best eaten fresh, but if you need to make it ahead of time, follow these tips. After washing the lettuce, dry it thoroughly before refrigerating it in a zipper-top bag. Store veggies like cucumbers and tomatoes separately so they don't make the lettuce soggy. Add cheese and toppings right before serving. Serve the dressing on the side so any leftover salad doesn't turn soggy.
- Customize the salad with ingredients of your choice. Try different greens, veggies, cheeses, and proteins like chicken or salmon, nuts, etc.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.
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