How to Make the Best Tossed Salad

Updated on January 9, 2020
Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye has been cooking for over 50 years and loves to share her recipes and cooking tips with everyone.

Ken's Favorite Tossed Salad Recipe
Ken's Favorite Tossed Salad Recipe

A Salad For Lunch

My husband, Ken, eats a tossed salad every day for lunch! He has his own recipe that he never varies because he says, "It's already the best tossed salad, so why mess with it?" I've eaten it, and I have to agree. He's had friends in and served it to them, and they also agree.

I decided to share his recipe since we think it's so good. It's not very complicated. After all, it's a tossed salad; it can't be that hard. It is just his special combination of ingredients that make it taste so good.

I recommend trying it "as is" at least once, but then feel free to add a few of your favorite ingredients or leave off anything you don't like. Personally, when I make it for myself, I leave off the onions.

Here's what Ken likes in his salad:

  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Radish
  • Sweet Onions
  • Craisins
  • Walnuts
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Bacon Bits
  • Sweet Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing

Gather Ingredients

I like to keep everything already prepared in the fridge. It makes it quick and easy to make this salad. I start by setting everything out on the counter.
I like to keep everything already prepared in the fridge. It makes it quick and easy to make this salad. I start by setting everything out on the counter.

Step-By-Step Directions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Add lettuce to bowl.Add broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes.Add sweet onions.Add craisins and walnuts.Add shredded cheddar cheese and sprinkle on a few bacon bits.
Add lettuce to bowl.
Add lettuce to bowl.
Add broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes.
Add broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes.
Add sweet onions.
Add sweet onions.
Add craisins and walnuts.
Add craisins and walnuts.
Add shredded cheddar cheese and sprinkle on a few bacon bits.
Add shredded cheddar cheese and sprinkle on a few bacon bits.

Now It's Ready to Eat!

Ready for Lunch!
Ready for Lunch!

Add Crackers and a Beverage, and You Have Lunch

My husband likes his salad with Ken's Steak House brand Lite Sweet Vidalia Onion salad dressing. He adds a few Triscuit crackers and a Miller High Life Light Beer! Sometimes he adds a boiled egg on the side. Every day at 12 noon, you will find him eating his special salad. Oh, and add a couple Dove's Dark Chocolate for dessert!

Helpful Hints

Ideas to Save You Time and Money

  • I like to keep my lettuce and vegetables already prepared and ready to add to the salad.
  • Keep your salad fixings in covered plastic containers to keep them crisp and fresh.
  • I buy iceberg and romaine lettuce and shred them myself, since it's a lot less expensive than buying shredded lettuce in bags.
  • Use a salad spinner to dry your lettuce. It's so much easier.
  • Store lettuce in an air tight plastic bag or container.
  • Don't tear lettuce more than two or three days ahead or it will turn brown.
  • I also buy my broccoli and cauliflower by the head, and wash and separate it before storing.
  • I buy large bags of craisens and walnuts when I find them on sale and stock up. I keep about a weeks worth in smaller containers that are easier to use.
  • I freeze the nuts to keep them fresh and take out about a weeks worth at a time.
  • If you don't have much time, you can always purchase the lettuce and vegetables already prepared for you.

Use a Salad Spinner for Your Lettuce

I always use my handy, dandy salad spinner for drying lettuce.
I always use my handy, dandy salad spinner for drying lettuce.

The OXO Salad Spinner

I love my OXO Salad Spinner for drying lettuce. I used to lay lettuce on a mat to dry, but it takes so much time and space. I decided to try a salad spinner about three years ago and will never go back. The OXO brand is well made and works like a top! No kidding, you push the top button down like on a spinning top and it makes the basket go around so fast it dries the lettuce. The water collects in the bowl. Another plus is that you can use the bowl of the spinner for a large salad bowl.

OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner
OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner
The salad bowl, basket, and spinner top.
The salad bowl, basket, and spinner top.

The Best Tossed Salad Has All of Your Favorite Ingredients

How to Make the Best Tossed Salad

This recipe is our favorite. However, there are many ways to make a tossed salad. Ultimately, remember this:

  • The best recipe is the combination of ingredients that you love the most.
  • There is no limit to combinations.

Tossed salads are one of the easiest meals you can make and very nutritious as well. So, give it a try. I'd love to hear about your favorite salad.

The Recipe

Ken's Tossed Salad Recipe

This is my husband, Ken's, favorite recipe for a salad. He has eaten this same salad for his lunch every day for at least 5 years now. If, for some reason, he can't have it for lunch, he has it for dinner that night. Even if he's on a road trip, we pack it and take it in a cooler. If he has a friend over, I serve it to them, too, and they always love it!

You'll notice that this salad does not have tomato or cucumber. The reason being, my husband doesn't care for them. However, you can add them or any other ingredients you like in a salad. Sometimes my hubby adds some leftover chicken to his salad or eats a hard boiled egg along with it.

Note: You do not need to use exact amounts. I never measure, I just eyeball it. The measurements are just to give you a general idea of how much of each item that I use. You can put in the amount you prefer. You might like more or less of an ingredient, or you might want a smaller or larger salad, which therefore would alter how much you need of each thing.

Prep time: 10 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: 1


  • 1 cup Iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup Romain lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1 - 2 sliced radishes
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup craisens
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sprinkle bacon bits
  • 2 Tablespoons (approximately) Ken's Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing or your favorite salad dressing


  1. Layer the first 10 ingredients in bowl in the order given. (Add optional chopped meat or boiled egg if desired.)
  2. When ready to eat, add salad dressing.
  3. Serve with crackers and beverage of your choice.
  4. My hubby sometimes eats a whole hard boiled egg along with his salad, for protein. You could also add chicken, turkey, or ham.
  5. You can make this salad ahead, tightly cover, and store in fridge until needed later that day or for up to two days.
Cast your vote for Ken's Recipe for Tossed Salad

Ideas for Other Ingredients You Could Add

There's more than one way to make a salad! This recipe is our favorite, but you might like to add or leave off some ingredients. Unlike my husband, I don't like the same salad every day. I like a little variety, so I change up the ingredients occasionally. Below are a few ideas of ingredients you could add:

  • Meat: ham, chicken, turkey (whatever you have on hand)
  • Hard Boiled egg
  • Raisins instead of craisens
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Green peppers
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Fruit
  • Beans
  • Croutons

More Salad Ideas

If you'd like to experiment with a variety of salads, the video below, featuring Chef David Bishop, shows how to make three different salads. Plus, he gives ideas for the many different ingredients you can add to a salad. You'll enjoy this video.

How to Make Lemon Twist Dressing

If you watched the video above, and you're like me, the next thing you want to know is the recipe for the Lemon Twist Salad Dressing he mentioned in the video. Well, I looked for it, and here it is below. I don't know about you, but I'm making this dressing because it sounds wonderful.

My Report: I DID make this dressing and it IS wonderful! The combination of the honey and lemon is just right. You can taste both, but in a such a subtle way that neither is overpowering. It makes a very light dressing with a taste that I really can't describe. Just right, as far as I'm concerned. It would taste good on a vegetable or fruit style salad. I also discovered that it taste best at room temperature. I hope you'll try it. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved it.

Are You Ready to Make Your Salad?

This article is all about our favorite tossed salad, with step-by-step directions, photos, and recipe. I hope you'll try out the recipe and see for yourself how good it is. But, also use some of the suggestions for additional ingredients to change it up a little and make what will be your own "best tossed salad". Let me know how it goes in the comment section below. Have a great day!

Questions & Answers

    © 2010 Faye Rutledge


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      • Adventuretravels profile image


        5 years ago from UK

        Sounds tasty but, like you, I like a bit of variety! Once a week would suit me nicely :)

      • AstroGremlin profile image


        5 years ago

        This is exactly my salad recipe. Except I leave out everything but the lettuce and put a hot pork chop on top.

      • SilverLotus1 profile image


        5 years ago

        this salad is similar to one that I regularly make, although I usually don't measure out the ingredients, just "eyeball" them.

      • Faye Rutledge profile imageAUTHOR

        Faye Rutledge 

        5 years ago from Concord VA

        @favored: Thanks, favored1. I sometimes add raisins, too. I often add mandarin oranges and slivered almonds to my salad, too. Yum!

      • Faye Rutledge profile imageAUTHOR

        Faye Rutledge 

        5 years ago from Concord VA

        @Gypzeerose: Thanks so much, bloomingrose. I hope you will enjoy eating this salad. :)

      • Gypzeerose profile image

        Rose Jones 

        5 years ago

        This is an excellent lens, I actually read it as opposed to just scanning it. I want to bring more veggies into my life, and this is a great way. Pinned to my salad board, as well as out to twitter and G+ and emailed to myself so I can make it.

      • favored profile image

        Fay Favored 

        5 years ago from USA

        Yes, I do add raisins sometimes. Just finished a salad. So good on a warm summer night.

      • Faye Rutledge profile imageAUTHOR

        Faye Rutledge 

        5 years ago from Concord VA

        @Richard1988: Thanks for your visit and comment, richard1988. Yes, my hubby eats lots of healthy foods, but he doesn't mind eating cookies and ice cream, too.

      • Richard1988 profile image


        5 years ago from Hampshire - England

        This sounds really tasty - I bet your hubby is a really healthy dude!

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        nice salad

      • Merrci profile image

        Merry Citarella 

        6 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

        This sounds like a great combination, and a filling one too. Thanks for sharing his blend!

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        I pretty much love all tossed salads. Your recipe looks good.

      • Blackspaniel1 profile image


        7 years ago

        Salads are always great.

      • biminibahamas profile image


        7 years ago

        sounds terrific ... like the idea with the nuts!

      • Faye Rutledge profile imageAUTHOR

        Faye Rutledge 

        8 years ago from Concord VA

        @indigoj: WordCustard, thanks so much for blessing my Tossed Salad lens! I'll tell my hubby that his salad has been blessed! :) Triscuits are a whole wheat cracker made by Nabisco. You can read more about them here:

      • indigoj profile image

        Indigo Janson 

        8 years ago from UK

        I'm impressed that you have such a healthy husband, and thanks Ken for sharing this great recipe! It looks colourful and appealing too which of course is almost as important as the taste. Raw broccoli must be packed with nutrients, I'll have to try it. Just one question, what's a triscuit? Is it just a salted cracker, or something unique?

      • Faye Rutledge profile imageAUTHOR

        Faye Rutledge 

        8 years ago from Concord VA

        @miaponzo: Thanks so much, miaponzo, for the blessing! Pomegranate and pine nuts sound like a great idea! :)

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        Now. I think I would take out a couple of things, and I might even add a thing or two (like pomegranate and pine nuts) but that sounds like a YUMMY salad! Blessed!

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        Looks like a great tossed salad recipe to me. Thanks so much for sharing. I usually add whatever I have to a salad, but I do love my salad recipes with honey.

      • victorianpassage profile image


        8 years ago

        Great looking recipe!

      • chrissuard lm profile image

        chrissuard lm 

        9 years ago

        Thank you for the recipes, I might try this for the big day tomorrow!

      • WorldVisionary3 profile image


        9 years ago

        Thanks for the healthy recipes and the great photos on your lens!

      • ElizabethSheppard profile image

        Elizabeth Sheppard 

        9 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

        Your salad looks scrumptious. I look forward to trying it. Thanks for sharing!

      • KimGiancaterino profile image


        9 years ago

        This salad does look delicious. Nice job on the step-by-step photo gallery too! We eat salad nearly everyday, though I have not tried craisins yet. I'll have to pick up a bag at Costco next trip.

      • Sylvestermouse profile image

        Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

        9 years ago from United States

        I am no very creative. I tend to just grab a little lettuce, add cheese and top it with Thousand Island dressing. Would you believe I tried a salad diet once and gained 5 pounds? Tis true. I think it was the Thousand Island dressing :)

      • TreasuresBrenda profile image

        Treasures By Brenda 

        9 years ago from Canada

        I do and I'm lensrolling your salad page to my best-ever garden salad lens.

      • RhondaAlbom profile image

        Rhonda Albom 

        9 years ago from New Zealand

        Your salad sounds great, and I love the idea of a chocolate bar for dessert.

      • SandyMertens profile image

        Sandy Mertens 

        9 years ago from Frozen Tundra

        The tossed salad looks good. Often we will have a meal, just with salad.

      • profile image

        Leanne Chesser 

        9 years ago

        I think it's awesome that your husband eats a salad every day for lunch! I also have a favorite tossed salad. I use mixed baby greens, fresh herbs, avocado, raw sunflower seeds, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers and grape tomatoes. It's so yummy. Thanks for including my dill veggie soup here!


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