Simple Lettuce Salad Recipe (That Tastes Amazing)

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Tired of boring salads? This simple lettuce salad is the perfect side dish for summer days or a relaxed light lunch. The wonderfully tangy but sweet dressing and a touch of parmesan cheese give it a wow factor! A great way to get your daily dose of healthy greens!

Love this? Try this Maroulosalata (Greek Lettuce Salad), or check out these 25 Lettuce Salad Recipes for more inspiration!

Don’t get me wrong, I adore cooking.

But on those nights when I’m craving something quick and light that’s a breeze to prepare but tastes delicious, I’ll pull out this simple lettuce salad.

Not only is it packed with easy-to-find ingredients that are incredibly good for you, but it’s literally ready in minutes!

And sure, it might look like a simple green salad. But this dish is packed with everything from vitamin A to powerful antioxidants!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re searching for a quick and refreshing salad to support your healthy eating habits or want to find an easy way to use up those heads of lettuce sitting in the crisper (we’ve all been there!).

This lean and tasty recipe has got you covered!

What Is the Best Lettuce For Salads?

The best lettuce for salads depends on what you’re making, but lettuce varieties with upright heads and crisp leaves tend to work best as they take well to dressings.

close up image of a delicious lettuce salad topped with parmesan cheese

These are the best lettuces for salads, as they’re sturdy and flavorful. 

  • Bibb lettuce
  • Belgian endive
  • Arugula
  • Frisée
  • Cabbage
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Kale
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Mesclun lettuces
  • Radicchio
  • Spinach
  • Romaine
  • Watercress

Just be warned that some have a more delicate flavor than others!


For the salad

  • Heart lettuce: The main ingredient in this simple lettuce salad! It’s packed with vitamins A and C, tons of folic acid, and a bunch of magnesium, forming a well-rounded base for this dish. 
  • Red leaf lettuce: Red leaf lettuce adds a hint of color and plenty of vitamin K and potassium to the mix. It’s also rich in antioxidants!
  • Crushed red pepper flakes: I’m a sucker for red pepper flakes as they add just a slight hint of heat that kicks things up a notch. If you’re not into spice, leave them out.
  • Finely grated parmesan: Adds a rich nuttiness and tanginess that pairs perfectly with the sweet and sharp dressing. You can also use goat cheese or feta cheese!
top view of heart lettuce, red leaf lettuce, lemon, pepper flakes, and honey


  • Lemon: Lemon juice and zest add an amazing tang to the dressing, but it’s also a key ingredient for stopping your salad leaves from wilting.
  • Honey: Adds a glorious sweetness to the salad that isn’t overwhelming. If you don’t have honey, maple syrup works too!
  • Dried oregano: Gives the recipe an earthy and slightly minty flavor. Just be careful not to add too much, or it may overpower the dressing.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: I love using extra-virgin olive oil in salads as it’s loaded with fatty acids and antioxidants. But it also adds a smooth texture and mild flavor to the salad that’s just glorious. If you don’t have olive oil, avocado oil is a great alternative.
  • Salt and pepper

How to Make This Simple Lettuce Salad

  1. Prepare the leaves: Start by chopping the lettuce leaves and soaking them in ice-cold water. This will help you achieve crisp lettuce with a crunchy texture. 
  2. Dry the leaves: Drain the leaves well to remove excess moisture and pat them dry with a paper towel. If you have a salad spinner, this is a fabulous time to use it!
  3. Make the dressing: Once the leaves are dried and crisped up, put them on one side and prepare the salad dressing. Mix the lemon juice and zest, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper together in a jar or small bowl before setting it aside.
  1. Put the salad together: Grab your leaves and place them in a large mixing bowl along with the dressing ingredients. Toss everything to combine until every leaf is coated with dressing. Feel free to throw in a few cherry tomatoes or hard-boiled eggs here if you’d like a hit of vibrant color and extra protein.
  2. Add the extras: Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese over the leaves and add the red pepper flakes. Toss again and serve immediately out of a large serving bowl for best results.
Plate filled with lettuce salad

How to Store Lettuce

Lettuce is quite delicate, but if you wash it ahead and store it properly, it is a great healthy ingredient to have ready during the week.

Here are a few tips for storing it properly:

  1. Wash: Chop the stems from any leaves before filling a large bowl with cold water. You can then wash the leaves to remove dirt and grit before patting the lettuce dry with paper towels or whizzing them in a salad spinner.
  2. Keep it dry: There’s nothing worst than slimy lettuce! But you also need a tiny bit of humidity to avoid withered leaves. Keeping the leaves in a Ziploc bag or airtight container lined with paper towels helps them to stay fresh for up to a week.
  3. Give it some space: Just be careful not to pack the leaves too tightly. Leave enough room for air to circulate.

How to Store This Salad

It’s no secret that salads don’t keep very well once they’ve been smothered with dressing.

So, you should consume this simple lettuce salad immediately with a side of vegan egg muffins or fresh zucchini pesto pasta to prevent it from becoming soggy in the fridge!

top view of a full plate of lettuce salad with dressing ingredients

If you’re a meal-prep mogul, wash the salad and store using these tips. Prepare the dressing and keep it in the fridge.

You can then take any dressing out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature (do this approximately an hour before you’re ready to eat!) and drizzle it over the salad.

Why I Love This Simple Lettuce Salad

  • Fresh and vibrant enough for the entire family.
  • Ridiculously easy to make and ready in minutes.
  • Loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.
  • Combines sweet, nutty, and herby flavors.
  • Uses super-crunchy lettuce for a pleasant mouthfeel.
  • The perfect side dish that’s packed with fresh vegetables!

If you try this simple lettuce salad recipe, please leave a comment and a rating, and let me know how much you liked it!

Simple Lettuce Salad Recipe

Tired of boring salads? This simple lettuce salad is the perfect side dish for summer days, a light lunch, or relaxed weeknight meals. And the wonderfully tangy but sweet dressing and a touch of parmesan cheese give it a wow factor! A great way to get your daily dose of healthy greens!
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 129kcal
Author: Sara Trezzi


  • 2 hearts lettuce - romaine or butterhead
  • 1 bundle red leaf lettuce
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan


  • 1 lemon - zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon honey - or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Chop the lettuce and wash it in icy water (this will help to crisp it up). Drain very well and pat dry.
  • Mix the lemon juice and zest, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper in a jar or small mixing bowl.
  • Add the lettuce and the dressing to a large serving bowl and toss to combine.
  • Add the grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes (optional) and toss again.
  • Serve immediately.


Note 1: You can use any variety of crispy lettuce for this salad: Romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, little gem, and frisée lettuce. You could also add some Belgian endive, radicchio, or arugula to give this salad more punch.
How to store: Salads don’t keep very well. You should consume it immediately, as the lettuce will become soggy quickly after adding the dressing. You can, however, wash the lettuce and store it in the fridge. You can also make the dressing ahead and store it in the fridge. Remove the dressing at least 1 hour before serving, and mix with the salad.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate per serving.


Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g

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  1. Mira Mistry says:

    5 stars
    It was so good! was a perfect side dish for my soup, and i also added black olives for an extra pop of flavor. Thanks so much for the lovely recipe.