Everyday chopped salad (or, my kids will eat anything covered in ranch dressing)

everyday chopped salad

 We have two favorite salads at my house, and they couldn’t be more different. First we have sweet: baby greens, fruit, candied pecans, blue cheese, tossed with a light balsamic vinaigrette.

Then we have savory: hearts of romaine, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta, bacon, you name it, preferably tossed with ranch dressing.

It’s the savory one we could eat everyday because 1. It’s easy, and 2. It’s hard to get tired of.

I started making this salad after I discovered Melissa Joulwan’s paleo ranch dressing recipe in Well Fed. I’ve never made the recipe as written, but my whole family loves my lazy riff on it.  Crunchy lettuce and any savory fixings hanging out in the fridge are a perfect accompaniment.


Everyday chopped salad

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (preferably homemade or Hellman’s)
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large or 2 small hearts of romaine, chopped.
  • whatever salad fixings your heart desires, such as hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, bacon, cucumber, cheese, bell pepper, olives, carrots, radishes, avocado, croutons, etc., chopped into bite-size pieces

Plunk your mayonnaise in the bottom of your salad bowl. Add lemon juice, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk. (This step can be done in advance. Refrigerate before serving.)

Add romaine to bowl. Toss.

Add salad fixings to bowl. Toss. Taste and adjust seasonings; serve.

Serves 4.

everyday chopped salad (or, my kids will eat anything with ranch dressing)

Notes: My favorite combo is eggs, bacon, tomato, cucumbers, and feta. Add sliced grilled chicken to make this an entrée salad.

Do you eat more salads in the spring and summer? What are your favorites?

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  1. Shannon says:

    Yummy! That looks delicious. Keeping a salami hidden in the fridge for a savory salad addition works really well for me during the summer months when we eat a lot of salads for dinner.

  2. Tim says:

    We eat more fruit salad in the spring and summer. A couple times a week we’ll slice strawberries and melons of various kinds and fresh pineapple and whatever other fruits are coming into season, all going into an oversized salad bowl that takes up half a shelf on its own in the fridge.

    That’s one of our staples this time of year. It’s great on its own or with yogurt or granola or both!

  3. We eat salads in the summer. Usually a mix of mixed greens, honey roasted almonds, fruit (oranges, strawberries, cranberries, peaches, etc ), a protein (hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, of flank steak), and maybe some feta. We almost always use a homemade sweet onion poppyseed dressing.

    I unfortunately, cannot stand ranch dressing. Once when I was in middle school I poured too much on my salad and one teachers made me eat it with spoon. It took a long for me even to try dressing after that, the smell of ranch still upsets my stomach.

    • Anne says:

      I wouldn’t eat ranch dressing again either if I’d suffered through that experience! Luckily, sweet onion poppyseed sounds delicious. 🙂

  4. This looks MARVELOUS! We’re in the middle of a Whole30 right now we’re inviting friends over for an untraditional Easter dinner (they’re also doing Whole30). This will be the perfect addition (minus the cheese), although I think I’ll substitute prosciutto since I have yet to find Whole30 approved bacon. My husband will be so excited about the ranch dressing! Thank you!

  5. Jamie says:

    Pinning this to my recipe board for later! We eat salad much more in the spring and summer. I have picky eaters in my house but everyone will eat any type of lettuce so we have “salad bar” night at least once a week during the summer with whatever we can scrounge from the fridge. I have to admit the “old ____ bar” (fill in the blank with potato, salad, taco, etc.) is a lazy dinner night for me but my kids think it is the greatest invention since “breakfast for dinner” (another meal idea they think we invented. Hahaha!) Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Amy says:

    I love Melissa’s homemade mayo recipe – I pretty much always have it in the fridge as a sauce/dressing/salad starter. I also make the shredded Buffalo Chicken from Well Fed to have on hand for easy salads.

    My “go to” salad base is spinach + strawberries + nuts – salad season definitely ramps up more as the farmer’s markets start back up.

    A couple of favorite homemade mayo uses:
    – Chicken salad with dried cherries/cranberries and nuts
    – Citrus Curry Aioli for roasted shrimp & asparagus
    – Egg Salad or Deviled Eggs
    – Sriracha Coleslaw (great with pulled pork)
    – Made with a few cranberries & basil for leftover turkey sandwiches

  7. This looks super easy and delicious. I’m a big salad eater and make a simple green salad with a vinaigrette as a side several nights a week. I also wanted to add that your sub-title made me smile because m y kids have recently discovered ranch dressing (thanks to a grandmother) and now won’t even eat any vegetables unless they have dressing! My daughter, who is 20 months old, will even suck the dressing off! So yes I’m in the same boat as you, if there is ranch dressing, they will eat it! 🙂

  8. Jill B. says:

    Love these ideas….thanks for sharing! 🙂 Trying to lean more heavily into our fruits and vegetables here….

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