A vegan Rainbow Chopped Salad filled with bright colors and plant-based nutrients. It's tossed in a creamy avocado basil dressing, or you can simply use your own favorite dressing. (Gluten-free with an oil-free option.)
This rainbow chopped salad is so fresh, colorful, and filled with healthy plant-based nutrients!
We combine bright veggies with crisp lettuce. Then tossed it with a creamy avocado dressing.
Plus it's quick and simple to prepare!
It works great as a side dish, lunch, light dinner, or for meal prep or gatherings.
Ingredients for Rainbow Salad
For the salad portion you will toss together in a large bowl:
- Romaine lettuce: Or you can use another leafy green of choice, but I like the crisp, fresh taste of romaine in this salad.
- Red cabbage
- Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes: I use these because they are sweet and flavorful, but you can use roma tomatoes or other garden tomato if desired.
- Cucumber: I use hothouse/English cucumbers, but you can use regular garden cucumbers if desired.
- Yellow bell pepper
Ingredients for Avocado Dressing
For the creamy dressing you will blend in a small blender or food processor:
- Lemon juice: You will need about one lemon for this recipe. Lime juice could also work.
- Fresh basil: Or switch it up with other herbs like fresh chives, cilantro, parsley, etc.
- Fresh garlic cloves: You can use one or two depending on how much you like garlic.
- Agave: Or another sweetener of choice like maple syrup.
- Olive oil: Use a high quality extra-virgin olive oil or your own favorite vegetable oil. (For an oil-free version, simply omit this and replace with water to thin to your desired consistency.)
- White wine vinegar: Or substitute apple cider vinegar.
- Salt and water: You can also include black pepper to taste if desired.
Tip: The dressing is also a great vegetable dip! Simply add less water to create a thicker consistency.
Protein: Stir in white beans, black beans, quinoa, or garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for added protein and fiber. Or you can top it with nuts and seeds like almonds, peanuts, or pumpkin seeds for crunch and texture.
Veggies: You can also add other vegetables to your bowl like cooked sweet corn, sprouts, fresh herbs, red onion, green onion, red pepper, sugar snap peas, broccoli, spinach, radish, etc. Or you could add warm toppings like roasted cauliflower and sweet potato!
Dressing: Use your own favorite salad dressing instead of the one listed. Toss it with a balsamic vinaigrette, vegan ranch dressing, hummus dressing, or this Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing.
Make ahead: Feel free to make the dressing in advance and toss with the salad right before serving. (We find the dressing gets even better as it sits in the fridge after the flavors combine.)
Store dressing and salad in separate airtight containers in the fridge to help keep it fresh and crisp. We find it keeps for about 3-4 days.
For more inspiration, also browse all vegan salad recipes.
Rainbow Chopped Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
- 1 large head romaine
- 2 cups red cabbage (about 1/2 small head)
- 8 oz. cherry/grape tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 1-2 medium carrots
- 1 yellow bell pepper
For the creamy avocado dressing:
- 1 avocado (peeled and pitted)
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 2/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil (omit for oil-free)
- 1 tsp. agave (or sweetener or choice)
- 3 Tbsp. water (to thin)
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Make the dressing: Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (Add more/less water as needed to thin to desired texture.) Adjust flavors if necessary or add more salt to taste. Place in fridge to let flavors combine while you make the salad.
- Chop romaine and all salad vegetables and place in a large bowl.
- Pour dressing over top and toss well to combine. (Or store dressing & salad separately to better keep it fresh and crisp.)
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you are enjoying this vegan rainbow chopped salad recipe, also check out:
- Southwestern Chopped Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Tomato-Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Vegan Greek Farro Salad