A vegan chopped Summer Salad recipe tossed in a creamy herb dressing. It's so tasty and easy to customize with your own favorite vegetable combinations! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This chopped salad is summer in a bowl!
It's full of bright colors, seasonal flavors, and ultra-fresh goodness.
Plus you can easily customize it based on your own favorite veggies.
It's a great dish to make when garden vegetables are at their peak harvest.
Ingredients for Summer Salad
For the salad portion you will toss together in a large bowl:
- Romaine: Or you can use other mixed greens of choice, but I prefer the crispness of romaine with this recipe.
- Cucumber: I use English/hothouse cucumbers because I find they are more flavorful. But seedless garden cucumbers work great too.
- Orange bell pepper
- Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes: I like these best with this salad because they are so sweet and flavorful. But you can substitute roma tomato, plum tomatoes, garden tomatoes, etc.
- Red onion: Or you can substitute green onion for milder flavor.
- Sweet corn: Either use a cooked fresh ear of corn, canned corn, fire-roasted corn, etc.
Note: This recipe is adapted from my Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing that we simply adore.
Creamy Garden Herb Dressing
For the dressing recipe, you will need:
- Avocado: You will need either one small avocado, or half of a large avocado.
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh basil: Or substitute other herbs like cilantro, dill, chives, etc.
- Lemon juice: You will need about one lemon for this recipe.
- Fresh garlic cloves: Use either one or two cloves depending on how much you enjoy garlic.
- White wine vinegar: Or substitute with apple cider vinegar if needed.
- Agave: Or other sweetener of choice.
- Salt: I use fine grain salt for this recipe. Use as much or as little as desired.
The creamy herb dressing brings it all together! It's oil-free, slightly tangy, and so fresh and flavorful.
Vegetables: Add other veggies like sugar snap peas, purple cabbage, roasted red bell pepper, kalamata olives, artichokes, or even fresh sprouts.
Nuts + seeds: Sprinkle in some sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, or other nut or seed of choice.
Beans: Add garbanzo beans (chickpeas), white beans, or any other beans that sound good. Seasoned vegan bacon crumbles would also be tasty.
Vegan cheese: Add dairy-free cheese like feta crumbles or vegan blue cheese if desired.
Store separately: If making ahead of time, store the dressing and salad separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. This helps it stay fresh and crisp. Then simply toss together to combine right before serving.
Summer Chopped Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing
- 1 large head romaine (or other mixed greens of choice)
- 1 cucumber (I use English/hothouse)
- 1 orange bell pepper (or carrot)
- 6 oz. grape tomatoes
- 1/3 cup red onion (or green onion for milder flavor)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked sweet corn
- Optional additions: garbanzo beans, sugar snap peas, sprouts, purple cabbage, sunflower seeds, etc.
For the Creamy Garden Herb Dressing:
- 1 small avocado (or 1/2 large)
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley (thick stems removed)
- 1/3 cup fresh basil (stems removed)
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon, or more to taste)
- 1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. agave (or other sweetener)
- 1/8 tsp. salt (more to taste)
- 3 Tbsp. water to thin (more as needed to desired consistency)
MAKE THE DRESSING:
- Puree all dressing ingredients in a small food processor or blender until smooth (scraping down sides with spatula as needed.)
- Add more water if needed, a little at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (More salt, lemon juice, sweetener, etc.)
PREPARE THE SALAD:
- Roughly chop romaine and place in a large bowl.
- Dice cucumber and bell pepper. Halve/quarter tomatoes. Finely dice red onion. Add to bowl.
- Add corn to bowl. Then pour desired amount of dressing over top and toss well to combine. (Alternatively, you can store salad and dressing in separate containers in the fridge until ready to serve.)
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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