Best Salad Ever (My Most Requested Salad Recipe) (2024)

by Mary Neumann ·

Today I am sharing one of my most requested recipes, The BEST SALAD EVER!! If you like the ingredients, you will LOVE this! Gorgonzola, apple, cherries (or cranberries), pecans and bacon, with a sweet balsamic dressing. Trust me, you will be going back for seconds…maybe thirds – it’s that good!

Read the rave reviews from people who tried this recipe on Pinterest!

Read more reviews from my original post for this salad.

Best Salad Ever (My Most Requested Salad Recipe) (1)

The Best Salad for Dinner Parties, Holidays, Special Occasions!

I created this over twenty-six years ago when I was pregnant with my first child, trying to cure my salty, sweet, tart craving. Since then, it has been my go-to and one of my most requested recipes. I make it for dinner parties, holidays, special occasions, and it’s what my first child requests every single birthday – fitting.

I highly recommend using my saladdressingrecipe below – no substituting. All the flavorstogether is what makes this salad so delicious.

Best Salad Ever (My Most Requested Salad Recipe) (2)

Mary’s Best Salad Ever (My Most Requested Salad Recipe):

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  • 1 bag spring salad mix
  • 1 bag romaine
  • 3 oz bag of Oscar Mayer real bacon (It’s best to make your own bacon – but I almost always cheat – applewood smoked bacon is awesome with this salad)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 1 large granny smith apple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans or almonds
  • 5 oz Gorgonzolaor blue cheese crumbled

Clean lettuce, place in large bowl and top with ingredients – toss.

Mary’s Sweet Balsamic Dressing


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or canola
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8teaspoondry mustard (or a little squeeze of yellow or Grey Poupon mustard)
  • Few twists of fresh cracked pepper Or use 1/8 tsp of reg ground pepper

Whisk all the ingredients together, until sugar and oil are blended. It takes a few minutes for the oil and sugar to blend. Keep whisking….it will blend.


You can substitute dried cherries with dried cranberries and sub Gorgonzola/blue cheese with goat or feta cheese.

The dressing is easy to adapt by adjusting the amount of sugar. If you like less sweet, add a little sugar at a time until you reach the desired sweetness.

Some people have made the dressing with olive oil and enjoyed the results. I have not used olive oil, so I am unable to tell you if it changes the taste of the salad. If you want to use olive oil, make a small batch to taste test.

Chop the apple right before serving to prevent it from browning.

Top with chicken (grilled is wonderful) for a meal.

Best Salad Ever (My Most Requested Salad Recipe) (3)

If you make the salad, please let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Reader Interactions


  1. Megan

    How many does this serve?

    • Mary Neumann

      Serves 6-8 people Megan.

  2. Kristy

    A friend of mine made this salad for our Christmas party last year, and I immediately had to ask her for the recipe. It’s so good! It’s been my go-to salad ever since.

  3. Debi

    Made this for Thanksgiving dinner and everyone loved it. Will definitely make over and over. I don’t like gorgonzola so substituted with crumbled goat cheese. Delicious!!

  4. JJeanie Schuler

    I apologize if I missed this information – how many servings are there in this recipe? It sounds like the perfect salad for our neighborhood ladies’ progressive lunch next week. Thank you!

    • Mary Neumann

      When I make this, it serves up to 8 people.

  5. Julie

    I made this salad and brought it to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. It was so delicious and I was asked to share the recipe. This is a keeper! Thank you for posting it!

  6. Debbie

    Hi Mary….I am an avid and very adventurous cook and so when I came across your balsamic dressing, I had to chuckle bc I’ve throwing those ingredients together with a few others and everyone goes wild. I also will throw some tortilla shells on the grill and brush some of the dressing onto it and flip and do the other side until it’s as soft or crisp as you like. I use honey and brown sugar in place of regular sugar. I also throw in some garlic, onion powder, and some herbs, and I mix in some apple cider vinegar as well. Try it and let me know your thoughts!!! Thanks for sharing!!! I love it!! 🙂

  7. Martha Merrill

    What is the size of each bag of salad? I need to know so I am making the correct amount of salad.

  8. Dede

    Best. Salad. Ever.
    I never comment or write reviews but this is worth it.
    I followed recipe exactly. Unbelievable combination of tastes.
    Thank you so much for the recipe!

  9. Debby

    I am highly allergic to blue cheeses -what can I sub?

    • Mary Neumann

      You can sub with feta or goat cheese, Debby.

« Older Comments

Best Salad Ever (My Most Requested Salad Recipe) (2024)


What are the 3 types of salad according to how you will serve it? ›

Appetizer salads – light, smaller-portion salads served as the first course of the meal. Side salads – to accompany the main course as a side dish; examples include potato salad and coleslaw. Main course salads – usually containing a portion of one or more high-protein foods, such as eggs, legumes, or cheese.

How do you make first watch lemon dressing copycat? ›

Start with zest from one lemon, so it's about a tablespoon, half a cup of extra virgin olive oil. Now I'm gonna juice some lemons. I'm aiming for about 1/4 to half a cup of lemon juice, pinch of salt, tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of honey, and a tablespoon of Poppy seeds. Give it a good mix.

What are the five main types of salad? ›

The five basic types of salad are green salads (tossed or composed), bound, vegetable, fruit, and combination. The five basic salads that can be served throughout the course of a meal are starter, accompaniment, main course, intermezzo, and dessert.

What are 5 components of a satisfying salad? ›

There are five elements to a perfect salad: greens, sweetness, creaminess, crunchiness, and dressing.

What are the three keys to a quality salad? ›

The three keys to ensuring a quality salad are:
  • freshness of ingredients.
  • the ingredients blend together in harmony.
  • appealing to the eye.

What can I use instead of lemon juice in a dressing? ›

Apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, and rice vinegar can all be substituted at a ½:1 ratio. If your recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, then, sub 1 tablespoon vinegar and replace the rest with water if needed.

When to use white balsamic vinegar? ›

Restaurant chefs use white balsamic vinegar not only for its milder flavor, but also because it won't turn a salad dressing or sauce brown the way the regular stuff will. Use it in any vinaigrette recipe, for dressing roasted vegetables, or for deglazing a pan of crispy chicken thigh bits.

Can I use vinegar instead of lemon juice marinade? ›

Vinegar is best used in small amounts as an acidity replacement, as the flavours are much stronger and very different than lemon. Rice vinegar, aka rice wine vinegar, tends to be milder, and slightly sweeter, than plain or cider vinegars, making it a less noticeable substitution.

What's in Millionaire's salad? ›

  1. 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling.
  2. 1 (8 ounce) carton Cool Whip.
  3. 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk.
  4. 1 (16 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained.
  5. 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges.
  6. 1 cup seedless grapes (optional)
  7. 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  8. 1 cup mini marshmallows.

What vegetables can you put in a salad? ›

The list of salad vegetables includes broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, endive, escarole, green onions, lettuce, mushrooms, peas, bell peppers, chili peppers, radishes, romaine, spinach and tomatoes.

What is the most important ingredient in a salad? ›

"The most important thing for me in a salad is crisp, fresh greens," says Chef Joseph Buenconsejo, with whom I co-own Rooted Seeds Catering in Danbury, Connecticut. "They add texture and are the body of the salad." When shopping for salad ingredients, look for the freshest produce you can find.

What does a perfect salad contain? ›

Lettuce greens, sliced strawberries, chopped cashews, grated carrot, sliced purple cabbage. Ranch dressing is perfect as it balances the flavors. Keep it simple: cut up cucumber, good tomatoes, red onion and add a few splashes of wine vinegar and olive oil. Crumble in some feta cheese.

How do I make my salad more interesting? ›

Add spices and flavours such as paprika, chilli flakes, curry powder, harissa or parmesan. Add acidity or sourness with vinegar, lemon juice or pomegranate molasses to transform your salad.

What are the ways of serving salads? ›

6) Cups, bowls, plates, platters - you can use a variety of interesting bowls, dishes and ramekins to create visual interest and to complement the food. Think of your serving ware as a canvas for your creation! We LOVE white plates - you can never go wrong with a white plate.

How should salad be served? ›

Serving salad after the main course of a meal is an older tradition in Italy, and nowadays it is usually observed at large and formal dinners rather than during everyday meals. Eating a salad after a meal can help digestion, while eating one before a meal may help discourage overeating.

How are salads usually served? ›

Americans have their salads right off the bat, prelude to the main event. At the very least, salad is served alongside the main course. In Europe, however, salad is often served after dinner. It's considered a cleansing finish before cheese or dessert.

How can salads be served? ›

Rather than toss your salad before guest arrive and risk a soggy salad, artfully arrange the ingredients on top of salad and toss it with the dressing just as the guests arrive. And don't forget: The dressing goes on only the moment the party starts.


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