Best Simple Side Salad

This is our go-to simple side salad! Easy to prep, great flavor, and pairs with everything! Plus, it has the BEST Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette that will become your go-to dressing too!

Best Simple Side Salad gluten-free Easy Recipe
Best Simple Side Salad

Simple, Savory and Delicious!

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This is our go-to Side Salad and has been for years!

It’s super fresh-tasting, flavorful and pairs with everything!

We’ve literally served it with everything from grilled chicken or salmon to pizza to pasta to simple sandwiches to a holiday dinner…

And it works well on it’s own if you wanted to add some additional protein too it for lunch.

Best Simple Side Salad gluten-free Easy Recipe

Plus it’s EASY to make!

I have a cooking video on this page with some serving tips.

As with all my recipes, there is a printable recipe with exact measurements and directions on the bottom of this page.

This salad is simply:

romaine lettuce or mixed greens 

chopped cucumbers


red onion

olives  (here I used kalamata, black olives would work well too)

crumbled feta

all tossed in my go to dressing…Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette.  

Best Simple Side Salad gluten-free Easy Recipe

As with all many of my savory recipes, I give ranges on the ingredients so you can add more or less of your favorite ingredients and adjust to taste.

But the key here is not only in the combination of the ingredients but in the Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette!

This balsamic vinaigrette was the first salad dressing we ever made (as in not store-bought) and it’s been our go-to ever since!

It’s just 3 main ingredients and it’s SO GOOD, every time!

All you’ll need is:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Dijon Mustard

Salt and garlic powder to taste (we use just a pinch of each)

Best Simple Side Salad gluten-free Easy Recipe

And all you do it whisk it together!

Literally takes less than 5 minutes to make!

Best Simple Side Salad gluten-free Easy Recipe

Because it’s so simple and so delicious, it’s a great transition to making your own salad dressing.

Once you have all your ingredients all you do it toss everything together in a big bowl!

Best Simple Side Salad gluten-free Easy Recipe


Then when you’re ready to serve, dress it and enjoy!

Best Simple Side Salad gluten-free Easy Recipe

Super quick, easy and crowd-pleasing!

Pro tips:

1. Picking your greens for this salad: we love to use a leafy or heartier green like romaine lettuce or even a Spring Mix with “structure” to it so that the lettuce doesn’t look limp compared to all the other ingredients

2. To keep the salad freshest, if making ahead, make the dressing but don’t dress it until right before serving.

3. Plating: To make the salad look magazine-worthy, serve the salad on a flat platter, rather than a deep bowl. This way, the heavier ingredients won’t sink to the bottom of the bowl and it will look super colorful and inviting.

Hope you love it as much as we do!

One more serving idea, this salad is so tasty and versatile, we’ve even served in on pizza!

Best Side salad gluten free

For more salad dressing ideas, click here.

For more salad ideas, click here.

PIN it!

Best Simple Side Salad gluten-free Easy Recipe

Scroll down for the recipe and leave a comment if you make it.



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5 from 1 vote

Best Simple Side Salad

A simple flavorful salad that pairs with just about everything! Start with the basics -- romaine, cucumbers, red onion and tomatoes-- then add olives, some feta (optional if dairy free) and toss with our go to salad dressing, Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Salads, Veggies, Side Salad
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan
Keyword: balsamic vinaigrette, best side salad recipe, simple side salad recipe, easy side salad recipe, easy balsamic vinaigrette
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Author: Healthy Gluten-free Family


Salad (adjust quantities to taste)

  • 1 5 oz container mixed leafy greens or Romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cucumber cut in slices, then quartered (approximately 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup cherry Tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 Red onion sliced thin, then halved
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup kalamata olives Black olives would work well too!
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta

Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Garlic powder a pinch or to taste
  • Salt a pinch or to taste


Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Whisk together ingredients.
  • Can be made ahead and keeps well in the refrigerator for several days.


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss with vinaigrette to taste when ready to serve.
  • Extra dressing saves well for several days.

Pro tips:

  • To make magazine-worthy, serve on a flat platter so you can see all the ingredients.
  • To keep freshest, dress just before serving
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyGFfamily or tag #healthyGFfamily!


5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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