This easy Garden Salad is inspired by our family’s favorite restaurant house salad. It’s filled with crisp chopped lettuce and ripe tomatoes tossed with crispy bacon, croutons, and creamy homemade Ranch Dressing.

We love recreating restaurant-style salad recipes right in our own kitchen, from a classic Caesar Salad to this all-American Cobb Salad. You’ll love the delicious combination of textures and flavors in this fresh garden salad.

Close up of homemade garden salad in a large white bowl topped with croutons and drizzled with Ranch dressing, with two serving spoons.

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Easy Garden Salad with Homemade Dressing

Have you ever gone to a restaurant just for their house salad? We have! This is my son’s favorite salad at Goodwood Grill. He loves it so much, we decided to re-create it at home. This restaurant-inspired salad is easier than you think.

It’s loaded with crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, Crumbled Bacon, and a surprising ingredient: Boiled Eggs. The eggs make this house salad the perfect protein-packed side dish or meal in itself. It’s drizzled with our favorite homemade Ranch Dressing and never disappoints.

What is a Garden Salad Made of?

Below you’ll find the ingredients you’ll need for this easy salad. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card for the full amounts and details.

  • Iceberg Lettuce – Chopped iceberg lettuce is a popular choice for garden salads. It’s crisp, inexpensive, and really lets the other ingredients shine. Other good options are romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, or bibb lettuce (or any combination thereof).
  • Tomatoes – We use cherry tomatoes, but chopped garden tomatoes or Roma tomatoes will also work.
  • Bacon – Crumbled Baked Bacon (or Air Fryer Bacon) brings a delicious smoky, salty crunch to this garden salad recipe. Feel free to omit the bacon or replace it with chopped smoked peanuts or cashews if you’re making this salad vegetarian.
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs – Eggs offer tons of extra protein. We have an easy method for Perfect Boiled Eggs that you can use. 
  • Croutons – Crunchy croutons are one of our favorite salad ingredients. You can even make your own with our recipe for Crunchy Garlic Croutons.
  • Red Onion – For one more layer of flavor. You can also use chopped green onion or chives if you’d like.
  • Ranch Dressing – If you have the time, I encourage you to make your own Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. It takes minutes with basic ingredients and you’ll really taste the difference. Otherwise, you can use your favorite store-bought ranch dressing instead.
The ingredients for easy garden salad.

Pro Tip: For even more protein, add sliced Baked Chicken Breast, Sliced Grilled Steak, Cooked Shrimp, or diced Ham.

How to Make a Garden Salad

The best part about this restaurant-copycat garden salad: It’s incredibly easy to make. With your ingredients prepped and ready, here’s how quickly it comes together:

  1. Start with Lettuce – Add your chopped iceberg lettuce to a large bowl.
  2. Add Toppings – Sprinkle on tomatoes, bacon, diced eggs, croutons, and red onion.
  3. Dress and Serve – When you’re ready to serve, drizzle over ranch dressing and give everything a toss. Serve your salad as a light meal, a starter, or as a side (see below for ideas).
A fresh garden salad in a large white bowl topped with croutons.

Pro Tip: If you’re making this salad in advance, leave the dressing and croutons off right up until you’re ready to serve. That way the croutons will stay crisp and the salad won’t become soggy. See further down in the post for more make-ahead instructions.

What is the Best Garden Salad Dressing?

We love dressing this salad in my family’s favorite tangy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. It’s as easy as combining buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, white vinegar, herbs (chives, parsley, dill, and garlic), plus salt and pepper in a bowl. Give it a whisk, and it’s ready to serve. Refer to the link for the detailed recipe – you won’t be sorry!

If you prefer to toss this recipe with another homemade salad dressing such as: 

Common Questions

Why do they call it a “garden salad”?

It’s called a garden salad because it’s often made with veggies typically grown in the garden (tomatoes, lettuce, onions, etc.)

Is a garden salad healthy?

This garden salad recipe is high in protein (from the eggs) and packed with fresh veggies, for a healthy meal-in-one. Plus, you can adapt it to your family’s needs and preferences.

Can I double the recipe?

Absolutely. This salad is a total crowd-pleaser, so if you’re making it for a party or a large crowd, feel free to scale the ingredients as needed. 

A fresh garden salad in a large white bowl topped with croutons and drizzled with Ranch dressing, next to serving spoons and a bowl of dressing.

Salad add-ins and Variations

The beauty of a homemade salad is that it’s truly customizable depending on the season or the vegetables you have on hand. There’s room to really make this garden salad your own. Try these easy add-ins to your garden salad:

  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Black olives
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Endives
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cubed feta cheese
Close up of homemade garden salad in a large white bowl topped with croutons and drizzled with Ranch dressing.

Ways to Serve a Garden Salad

This is such a satisfying salad, I’ll often enjoy it as a main course for lunch with a piece of soft Focaccia Bread. It also makes a perfect house salad, pairing well with just about anything from Pan Seared Steak to Juicy Baked Chicken Breast

A fresh garden salad also makes a great addition to a salad bar when we entertain. We’ll serve it next to more easy ideas like a classic Greek Salad, Macaroni Salad, or Caprese Salad.

Make-Ahead

You can assemble this garden salad 2-3 hours ahead of time, leaving off the dressing and croutons. Simply store the salad covered in the fridge. Right before serving, add the croutons and drizzle with the dressing. You can also prepare the Ranch Dressing up to one week in advance, and refrigerate it.

A half-empty bowl of garden salad with two serving spoons.

This effortless homemade Garden Salad is protein-packed and so tasty. Even the kids go crazy for the salty bacon and creamy ranch dressing. Have you made it yet? We’d love to hear what you think.

More Easy Salad Recipes

If you love this recipe for an easy house salad, wait until you try these other hearty homemade salad ideas:

P.S. Did you see our cookbook is now available to order? I’m so excited to finally share it with you! Actually, my favorite category in the book is Salads and we have amazing salads in the book that have never been shared on the blog. Click to learn more about Natasha’s Kitchen’s Cookbook!

Natasha holding Natasha's Kitchen debut cookbook

Easy Garden Salad Recipe

5 from 7 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
A fresh garden salad in a large white bowl topped with croutons and drizzled with Ranch dressing, with two serving spoons.
This restaurant-inspired House Garden Salad is full of fresh ingredients and tossed with tangy homemade buttermilk dressing. It's the perfect easy salad recipe with loads of flavor and texture, ready to customize with your favorite veggies.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 6 servings

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, add chopped iceberg lettuce
  • Scatter the remaining toppings over the lettuce: tomatoes, cooked bacon, eggs, croutons and onion.
  • Just before serving, drizzle with dressing and serve.

Nutrition Per Serving

336kcal Calories9g Carbs6g Protein31g Fat5g Saturated Fat16g Polyunsaturated Fat7g Monounsaturated Fat0.01g Trans Fat83mg Cholesterol679mg Sodium257mg Potassium1g Fiber5g Sugar612IU Vitamin A8mg Vitamin C45mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Easy Garden Salad Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
336
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
31
g
48
%
Saturated Fat
 
5
g
31
%
Trans Fat
 
0.01
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
16
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
7
g
Cholesterol
 
83
mg
28
%
Sodium
 
679
mg
30
%
Potassium
 
257
mg
7
%
Carbohydrates
 
9
g
3
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
612
IU
12
%
Vitamin C
 
8
mg
10
%
Calcium
 
45
mg
5
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best salad recipes, easy salad recipes, garden salad
Skill Level: Easy Peasy
Calories: 336
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Comments

  • Melinda
    June 28, 2023

    Hi Natasha,
    This salad looks so pretty and so yummy, I am going to make this for the 4th of July along with the Perfect Burger:)
    Can you suggest a dessert to go along with my dinner? Please & Thank You

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 28, 2023

      Hi Melinda! This is a perfect choice to go alongside the burgers! The no-bake strawberry blueberry trifle, banana pudding, and Rice Krispie Treats are great and quick options. A few other favorites are the Strawberry Pretzel Salad, Fruit Tart and of course any of our cheesecakes from the dessert category.

      Reply

      • Melinda
        July 5, 2023

        Hi Natasha,
        Thank you for giving me suggestions, I made the Strawberry Pretzel Salad & the Rice Krispie Treats:)
        The perfect burgers were Perfect and the Garden Salad too. I had no left overs!!!!
        Thank You Very Much
        Happy day after 4th of July

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          July 5, 2023

          That sounds like the perfect 4th of July celebration and menu! I’m so glad these were a hit!

          Reply

  • Laurie Baker
    March 15, 2023

    I am a vegetarian and this Easy Garden Salad recipe is great!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 15, 2023

      Thanks, Laurie. I’m glad that you loved it!

      Reply

  • Melissa
    March 7, 2023

    One of my favorite things to eat. Delicious, and goes perfectly with an meal. Great recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 7, 2023

      Hi Melissa! That’s wonderful. I’m glad you love the recipe. Thank you.

      Reply

  • Jessica
    March 7, 2023

    This was great! Everyone needs an easy classic salad recipe in their box. Thank you so much.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 7, 2023

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Jessica!

      Reply

  • April
    March 7, 2023

    Love a good garden salad! I always have to add cucumbers to mine.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 7, 2023

      Yes, me too! This one is so refreshing!

      Reply

  • Louie Prazma
    March 7, 2023

    Congratulations on your cookbook, Natasha! I put in a pre-order for my copy! I have a question, though. Will you still be sharing your new recipes via email like you are now???

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 7, 2023

      Hi Louie, there are a lot of new recipes in the cookbook that will not be shared online. Thanks for preordering, I hope you will love it!

      Reply

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