Chef Salad

5 from 1 vote

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Looking for a quick and easy salad? Look no further than this Chef Salad! This salad features crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, crunchy croutons, and rich ranch dressing.

chef's salad in round wooden bowls.
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This salad may seem simple, but it adds flavor and depth to any meal. The simple ingredients in this recipe compliment each other perfectly to create a side dish with plenty of depth. The sweet, juicy tomatoes help balance the rich, creamy ranch dressing. The swiss cheese adds a sharp tang to the salad, but you can also use mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese.

You can use both homemade and store bought croutons to add a light crunch to your salad. One of our favorite things about this recipe is how easy it is to customize. The vegetables and dressing can be easily substituted to give your salad a new and unique flavor.

forkful of chefs salad over a wooden bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It can be easily modified with a variety of ingredients.
  • Comes together in minutes and elevates any dish.
  • Is full of light, flavorful ingredients.

Recipe Ingredients

Digitally labeled ingredients for chef salad
  • Romaine Lettuce—Serves as the base of your salad. Iceberg lettuce will work as well.
  • Cherry Tomatoes—Sliced in half.
  • Cucumber—Sliced and quartered. You can peel your cucumber or leave the skin on.
  • Swiss Cheese—Chopped.
  • Croutons—Gives your salad a savory crunch.
  • Ranch Dressing—Adds a creamy richness to your salad. Feel free to switch it out for your favorite salad dressing.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How To Make A Chef Salad

portion bowls each with raw ingredients to make chef's salad recipe.
clear mixing bowl showing the progress of making a chefs salad.

Step #1. Portion out all of the ingredients needed for making a chef salad.

Step #2. Toss the lettuce, tomatoes, croutons, cucumbers, and cheese together in a large bowl until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

clear mixing bowl showing the progress of making a chefs salad.
clear mixing bowl showing the progress of making a chefs salad.

Step #3. Pour your dressing over the salad and fold the mixture again until the salad is evenly coated in dressing.

Step #4. Serve and enjoy! 

Recipe FAQs

What else can I add to my chef salad?

One of our favorite ways to modify this recipe is to add protein. You can add sliced deli ham, chicken strips, or chopped hard boiled eggs to give your salad some protein and extra flavor. In addition to adding protein to your salad, you can add chopped bell peppers, oil and vinegar, avocado, or kale.

What dressing goes best with a chef salad?

The kind of dressing you use is completely up to you! We usually use homemade ranch dressing since it adds some creaminess and richness to the salad. We also like the strong savory flavor of ranch dressing. With that being said, switching up your dressing is an easy way to modify the flavor of your chef salad.

How do you make homemade croutons?

If you have some extra time on your hands then we always recommend making your own croutons. Doing so will add a personal touch to your salad and allow you to more easily modify the flavor of your salad. To make your own croutons you will first want to cut a loaf of your favorite bread into 1 inch cubes. You will then want to coat the bread in ⅓ cup of olive oil and whatever spices you would like to use. Cook your croutons for 20 minutes at 375°F, or until they are golden brown.

chef's salad in round wooden bowls.

How to Store Your Leftover Salad

If you want to store your salad then we recommend keeping the salad dressing separate. While it is not necessary, storing your salad without any dressing on it will keep the salad crisp and prevent the lettuce from getting soggy. You can store your salad in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can place a paper towel on the bottom of your container to absorb excess moisture and keep your salad fresh for longer. 

Expert Tips

  • You can replace the cherry tomatoes with diced roma tomatoes. It is important to note that roma tomatoes are slightly less sweet.
  • The swiss cheese can be replaced with fresh mozzarella cheese or grated parmesan cheese. All of these cheeses provide the salad with a sharp tang.
  • Other veggies you can add to your salad include shredded carrots, broccoli, diced zucchini, and beets.
  • Other dressings you can use in this salad include Italian dressing, thousand island dressing, and balsamic vinaigrette.
  • We like to use store bought croutons to save on prep time, but you can make your own croutons to add a personal touch to this dish.

More Salad Recipes To Consider

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clear mixing bowl showing the progress of making a chefs salad.
5 from 1 vote

Chef Salad

Indulge in our Chef Salad: a burst of crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, crunchy croutons, and creamy ranch, all in one delicious bite!
Prep: 15 minutes
Assembly time:: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup croutons
  • 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, cubed
  • 3/4 cup ranch dressing

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, toss together your lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, croutons, and cheese. Make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Drizzle your dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Alternatively, you can wait and let people add their own dressing.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • The best way to store this salad is to keep it in an airtight
  • Other veggies you can add to your salad include shredded carrots, broccoli, diced zucchini, and beets.
  • Other dressings you can use in this salad include Italian dressing, thousand island dressing, and balsamic vinaigrette.
  • We like to use store bought croutons to save on prep time, but you can make your own croutons to add a personal touch to this dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 281kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 465mg, Potassium: 286mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 4429IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 160mg, Iron: 1mg
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