How to Make the Perfect Simple Salad

Last modified on June 12th, 2019 at 10:00 pm

With a strong leafy base, crunchy bits and a creamy dressing, our 6 tips to layering a simple salad is the perfect recipe for spring. 

What does the perfect simple salad look like? A medley of spring, fresh fruits, local veggies and homegrown herbs. With the rising temperature, one of our favourite spring meals is the classic, versatile and energy boosting simple salad. More of an experience than it a recipe, this layered salad is an opportunity to curate your own meal that’ll leave you feeling energized, healthy and satisfied.

Green Spring Salad on a plate next to a bowl of Green Goddess Salad Dressing

While often associated as sad or the obligatory pre-dinner (or post in our house) must-eat, salad should never feel like an after-thought. In fact, a well prepared salad has the potential to be the star of the meal. Here are a few of our favourite ways to layer a simple salad with tips and tricks to make your salad the best and most delicious part of the meal.

Salad Recipes All Salad Recipes

Close up of Green Salad on a Plate

Steps to Making a Salad


Selecting a nutrient-packed base is the first step in building your simple salad. Start by creating a solid foundation of leafy greens whether it be kale, spinach, mustard greens, romaine or a simple spring mix from your local grocery store. And be sure to mix it up — use raw, steamed or sautéed greens or even grilled romaine or iceberg — or change the way you prep your salad. Try a wedge, tear your lettuce, use big leaves, little leaves or fine chop your lettuce. Whatever your preference, this is your simple salad.


For us, the perfect salad is all about textures and layering textures to create the perfect bite. Chewing on lettuce reminds us of a cow chewing the same grass blade repetitively, no one wants this. We believe the key to an interesting salad is the crunch factor – raw fennel, crispy snap peas, crunchy radishes, chopped nuts, crispy croutons, sprinkles of seeds, julienned cucumbers or sliced pear. The crunch add’s a bit of oomph that can turn a motionless salad into a soundtrack of bass and melody.

Close up of various spring produce


Go fruit and veggie crazy and pile on all the fixings you desire. Adding a colourful array of produce ensures you get your daily quota of fruits and vegetables. And it’s a great way to get rid of the leftovers in your refrigerator. We love asparagus stems, crunchy fennel, radishes and beets. To add even more green to your palate and for even more punch to your dish, try adding in your favourite herbs like dill, mint or basil depending on the flavour profile you’re building.


Fat seems to get a bad rap, but we’re talking about the good fats, nuts, seeds, avocado, olives, goat cheese, feta — mmm, this is starting to sound delicious. Instead of fearing the fat, learn the differences and benefits of incorporating good fats into your diet that’ll keep your metabolism working. The key here is moderation. While we’d love to use the whole avocado, we slice half and save the rest for later. Same for nuts, seeds and cheese, the perfect simple salad follows the everything in moderation rule.

Peas, avocado, egg, asparagus and goat cheese


A salad without protein is like coffee without caffeine! You need some protein to keep you energized (and full). After all, protein forms the building blocks of our muscles and organs so the body will always crave it. If you’re opting for animal protein, we suggest hard-boiled eggs (don’t toss the yolk) or treat yourself to a handful of bacon. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, fermented tofu like tempeh or sprouted organic tofu (½ cup), legumes like chickpeas, kidney beans or black beans or protein-rich grains like quinoa (½ cup) all make for excellent additions to a simple salad.


A naked salad is a boring salad. Don’t smother your spring salad with bottled dressings — this is a major salad no no and can easily turn your curated simple salad into an unnecessary salad . One of our favourite dressings is a simple balsamic with olive oil, dijon mustard, salt, black pepper or for a creamier dressing try homemade mayo, lemon juice, dill, garlic, salt and black pepper. Make sure you know what’s going into your dressing.

With spring in every bite, and a wholesome approach to fats, fuel and protein, our tips to creating the perfect simple salad makes curating your own dish a fun and vibrant experience. What are your go-to tips and tricks to making the perfect salad?

Bon Appetit xo

Chef | Sous Chef

Pouring Green Goddess Dressing on a Salad

Helpful Tools for Making a Simple Salad

Below are affiliate links to products that will assist you in making a salad. If you purchase an item through the links, Chef Sous Chef Inc. will receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you.

Thank you for helping support us through these purchases. If you have made this recipe, please let us know in the comments below!


How to Make the Perfect Simple Salad

With spring in every bite, and a wholesome approach to fats, fuel and protein, our Simple Spring Salad with Green Goddess Dressing is the perfect lunch or accompaniment to any dinner.

  • Author: Chef Sous Chef
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Food and Drink, Salad


  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 3 eggs, hard boiled
  • 150g fresh greens
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup sugar snap peas
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • ¼ cup bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 23 radishes, thinly sliced


No.1 | Prepare all your salad ingredients and place the greens in a large bowl.

No.2 | In a small food processor, add the mayo, parsley, basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

No. 3 | Lightly dress the greens with ¼ of the dressing and arrange on a large plate. Arrange the remaining ingredients on top of the greens and drizzle with the green goddess dressing.

Keywords: Real Food, Salad, Easy Recipe

Plate of vibrant salad with text: six steps to making the perfect simple salad


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Stella Hampers
    April 12, 2018 at 10:44 am

    There is nothing like a good salad, this salads looks , and I am sure mouthwatering. I cannot wait to start making this. Yum!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Two things: Your photography is AMAZING and two, the dressing is our new fave. Thanks for the great tips and recipe.

  • Reply
    October 19, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Hello, I have an assignment for my Introduction to Computers class at the Community College I attend. The assignment is to build our own 4 page website. I am doing my website on Healthy salads/meals and would like to feature one of your salads. Would you give me permission to use your picture of your simple salad recipe and information on how to build a simple salad on my website? I would be including a link to your website for reference on where my information came from. I just love your recipe and tips to building the salad! Thought it would be a great meal for any time of the day! Please let me know if I have your permission. Thank you, Tina Venable

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      October 23, 2019 at 9:51 am

      Of course Tina! Thank you for asking us before moving forward. Good luck with the assignment!

    Leave a Reply

    Recipe rating

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.