Tossed Salad With Homemade Croutons and Oil and Vinegar Dressing

Basic tossed salad with homemade croutons

The Spruce

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
215 Calories
18g Fat
13g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 215
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 170mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 6mg 32%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 198mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This simple tossed salad is one that will go with just about any meal, any time of the year. And although basic, what makes it special is the addition of homemade crunchy croutons flavored with garlic and herb. Drizzled with an easy red wine vinegar dressing, this salad feels complete, but couldn't be easier to prepare.

The salad is also extremely versatile. It calls for romaine lettuce leaves, red leaf lettuce, and some radicchio or endive, but feel free to use your favorite greens. You can also make it heartier by adding chicken, hard-boiled eggs, or chickpeas. With any of those additions, it makes a great supper salad for a hot summer evening.

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Click Play to See This Easy Tossed Salad Recipe with Homemade Croutons Come Together

Ingredients

For the Croutons

  • 4 slices bread

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, or dill

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Kosher salt, to taste

For the Salad

  • 3 cups romaine lettuce leaves, torn

  • 3 cups mixed greens, torn

  •  1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or sliced, or 2 medium tomatoes, diced

  • 4 to 6 radishes, sliced

  • 1 medium red onion, quartered and thinly sliced

  • 1 medium carrot, julienned or shredded

  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced, optional

  • 1 (4-ounce) can olives, sliced, optional

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp, ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

Make the Croutons

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for croutons
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  2. Heat the oven to 375F.

  3. You can either leave the crust on the bread or trim it off if you prefer. Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes and put in a bowl.

    Trim the crust
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  4. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the basil or dill; toss to coat. 

    Drizzle oil
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  5. Spread the bread cubes out on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with the garlic powder and some kosher salt.

    Spread out on a baking sheet
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  6. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or just until browned.

Make the Salad

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Mixed Greens
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  2. In a large bowl, combine the romaine lettuce, mixed greens, tomatoes, radishes, onion, and carrot. Toss well.

    Salad
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  3. Top with sliced cucumbers and olives, if using.

    Make the salad
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  4. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Make the Dressing

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Dressing ingredients
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  2. In a jar with a screw-on lid or another type of container with a lid, combine the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, and sugar.

    Jar of dressing
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  3. Shake to blend. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed. Keep refrigerated until serving time.

For Serving

  1. To serve the salad, toss with dressing and top with croutons; or top individual servings with the croutons and pass the dressing at the table.

    Mixed Salad
    The Spruce
  2. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • Of course, a salad is a perfect recipe to add your own personal touches to. Feel free to swap out any ingredients you don't care for and replace with your favorite vegetables.
  • You can also add crumbled bacon, grilled chicken strips, or diced cooked ham to the salad.
  • Cheese is always a welcome addition; toss in about 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded cheese to the salad, or sprinkle the salad with crumbled feta cheese.
  • Add 1/2 cup of toasted slivered or sliced almonds or pecan halves; the nuts contribute extra flavor and crunch.
  • If you prefer, you can replace this dressing with a homemade buttermilk dressing, a balsamic and mustard vinaigrette, or a purchased salad dressing.