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Easy garden salad on a white platter.

Easy Garden Salad

This Easy Garden Salad is colorful, delicious, and completely customizable depending on the season, where you live, and what you have. It's the perfect side dish to almost any meal!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings (2 cups each)
Calories 204kcal


For the ranch dressing (see note 1):

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon red onion minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 8 cups lettuce such as romaine, green leaf, or iceberg, torn into bite-sized pieces (see note 2)
  • 1 blub endive cored and chopped (see note 3)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved lengthwise (see note 4)
  • 4 radishes ends trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced
  • 2 Persian cucumbers or 1 hot house cucumber halved lengthwise and chopped


  • To make the ranch dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, red onion, dill, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Refrigerate at least 10 minutes to blend flavors. Whisk to recombine before serving.
  • To assemble the salad, in a large bowl, combine lettuce, endive, tomatoes, radishes, carrots, and cucumbers. Drizzle with salad dressing and toss until evenly coated.



  1. Ranch dressing: If you don't want to make your own, substitute a bottle of store-bought (or choose whatever salad dressing you prefer).
  2. Lettuce: Choose one or more of romaine, iceberg, mixed greens, spinach, arugula, Bibb lettuce, or butter lettuce.
  3. Endive: Belgian endive is a chicory lettuce with white, tightly curled leaves with yellow tips. Omit it if you can't find it.
  4. Grape tomatoes: 1 ½ cup diced tomatoes may be substituted for the grape tomatoes. Seed your tomatoes if desired.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of salad, enough for 6 generous (2-cup) servings.
  6. Storage: Store leftovers (undressed is best) covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. Make ahead: Wrap washed, dried lettuces rolled in a clean kitchen towel in the refrigerator. Peel and chop any vegetables the day before. The ranch dressing can be prepared up to 3 days in advance (whisk to recombine before serving).
  8. More mix-ins: Customize with your favorites such as bell peppers, onions, avocados, blanched broccoli, fresh herbs, croutons, bacon bits, black olives, sesame seeds, or blue cheese crumbles.
  9. Toss last-minute: To serve a large tossed salad for a crowd, wait until the last minute to add the dressing. The acidity in the dressing can wilt the greens.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 479mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4740IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg