My Mom’s tossed salad really is the best. Loaded with healthy vegetables and my Mom’s little trick of adding cubed cheddar cheese, this is always a crowd-pleaser and is so easy to customize.
The Best Basic Tossed Salad
No word of a lie, but when I was finally old enough to venture out to restaurants by myself as a teenager, I was appalled by the side salads that restaurants served. You know the type: it comes in a bag, it’s wilted, the radishes are sad, etcetera, etcetera. Also: no cheese!!
When I was growing up, my parents considered a tossed salad, an integral part of dinner almost every night (and they still do.) But Mom’s wasn’t like the restaurants; it was always loaded with veggies and, yes, that cubed cheddar cheese.
She was wise beyond her years – if you put cheese on it, it not only becomes a million times better but you massively up the chances of kids eating it!
Ingredients for Tossed Salad
This is just a list of ingredients for you to skim over and see if you have them or need to shop, the exact amounts of ingredients are listed in the printable recipe card below!
- Lettuce (Iceberg or Romaine works best here)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onion
- Cheddar cheese
- French dressing
How to Make A Tossed Salad
- Put all your salad greens in a big salad bowl
- top with all your other ingredients
- Pour over your dressing
- Toss with salad forks and serve
What Else Could You Add to This Tossed Salad?
The joy of a tossed salad is that it is a blank canvas for whatever you feel like adding to it.
Want a more carnivorous salad? Add in some finely chopped, crispy bacon or some shredded chicken. Want more of a crunch? Add a handful of toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or even some whole walnuts!
This recipe serves as an excellent base for whatever you prefer in your salads. Just make sure you don’t add so much stuff that it becomes unhealthy!
What Kind of Cheese Can You Use?
To stick as close as possible to my Mom’s frankly genius recipe, you should use cubes of cheddar cheese. You can use either the stuff that comes pre-cubed in a little bag or takes any block of cheese you want and cut it into small cubes.
If you really don’t want to use standard American cheddar, you could totally sub in any type of cheese you like. Just be careful you don’t make something too flavorful, though, as you otherwise make the whole salad taste like the cheese.
A nice aged gouda cheese is lovely, but if you add enough of it to this salad, everything is going to taste like gouda.
It’s best to stick to the classics and use the standard American cheese – save the fancier stuff for dessert!
Enjoy! I hope I’ve provided some inspiration for your next salad!
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The Best Basic Tossed Salad
- Prep Time
- 20 minutes
- Appetizer, Side Dish
- Karlynn Johnston
- 10 cups chopped Romaine or iceberg lettuce
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes washed and halved
- 1 whole English cucumber washed and sliced
- 1 medium carrot peeled and grated
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 2-3 radishes washed and sliced
- 1 cup cubed cheddar cheese small cubes
- French Dressing
- Place the salad greens in a large salad bowl.
- Top the greens with the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, carrot and cheese cubes.
- Pour the French dressing over the salad.
- Toss the salad with two forks or salad tongs to coat the ingredients.
- Serve with salad tongs.
- pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- slivered almonds
- grated purple cabbage
- crumbled Feta cheese
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.