Romaine Salad With Queso Fresco Recipe

Romaine Salad with Queso Fresco
Katie Workman /
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
188 Calories
14g Fat
14g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 188
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 285mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 57mg 286%
Calcium 142mg 11%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 444mg 9%
*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 is a great salad to make when you need an accompaniment to a Mexican dinner, whether it be enchiladas, tacos, or burritos. This salad really is a lovely green salad with onions and peppers, and a simple clean vinaigrette, that goes with a variety of dishes. 

Vidalias are sweet onions, available April through early September, are sweeter than regular white, yellow or red onions, and while they still have an onion-y flavor it’s not nearly as sharp. This makes it a nice onion to use in salads when you are introducing onions to kids or to people who think they don’t like onions (many people just get nervous that onions will be too strong, but they add so much flavor to dishes, both raw and cooked, that they are a shame to miss out on).


For The Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoons minced shallots

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For The Salad:

  • 6 cups slivered romaine lettuce

  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery

  • 1/2 onion Vidalia onion, very thinly sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 1/3 cup crumbled queso cotija, see Note

Steps to Make It

  1. In a small bowl combine the vinegar, olive oil, shallots, mustard, and salt and pepper. Or place the ingredients in a small container or shake well to combine.

  2. In a large bowl combine the lettuce, celery, onion, bell pepper, then add the dressing and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl, and sprinkle over the queso cotija.

Note: Queso Cotija is a hard, crumbly dry cow’s milk cheese with a pronounced salty flavor. It is named after the town of Cotija, Michoacán. A little bit goes a long way. Cotija can be purchased in small rounds or large blocks, and it is often used crumbled or grated as a topping for burritos, soups, salads, tostadas, beans and tacos. You can often buy it crumbled or grated.

Queso cotija is not to be confused with queso fresco, which is also a Mexican cheese. Queso fresco is a creamy, soft, and mild unaged white cheese.

Other great Mexican dishes for your family include quesadillas, since you can't go wrong with tortillas and melted cheese. Also try this chorizo avocado rice bowl for a quick and easy meal that is filling. Spicy guacamole makes a great dip with chips or vegetables, or use it to top other dishes like enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas and burritos (like this breakfast burrito recipe to start your day!)