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.

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


How to make a salad that actually tastes good? ›

How to Make a Salad You'll Actually Want to Eat
  1. 1: Think Beyond Lettuce and Greens.
  2. 2: Add Heft with Grains and Nuts.
  3. 3: Add Beans or Other Proteins.
  4. 4: Make Your Own Homemade Salad Dressing.
  5. 5: Make it a Flavor Party.
Jan 18, 2024

What are good ingredients to put in a salad? ›

leafy greens such as romaine, arugula, kale and spinach. whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and bulgur. chopped or shredded vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, cabbage, and beets.

Why do restaurant salads taste better than homemade? ›

Restaurants salt their salads.

This resulted in every bite tasting vibrant and flavorful. "Season your salad just like you would anything else," Simpson said. "Salt is a big difference between salads at home and salads in a restaurant." This doesn't mean you have to make your salads salty!

How to make salad at home taste like restaurant? ›

Do This to Make Restaurant-Quality Salads at Home
  1. Use the freshest ingredients. Pre-bagged salads may make life easier, but they taste kind of blah. ...
  2. Choose the right lettuce. ...
  3. Add some crunch. ...
  4. Add color. ...
  5. Include protein. ...
  6. Give it some bulk. ...
  7. Mix sweet with savory. ...
  8. Add herbs.
Jun 27, 2023

What are the three keys to a quality salad? ›

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

What is the most important ingredient in a salad? ›

Choosing the Ingredients

"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 are 5 components of a satisfying salad? ›

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

What is the most popular salad dressing in the world? ›

Most Famous Dressings in the World
  1. Ranch Dressing. The ranch is a salad dressing or dip made with buttermilk, salt, garlic, onions, herbs (dill, parsley, chives, etc.), and spices (mustard seeds, black pepper, paprika, etc.) ...
  2. Fry Sauce. ...
  3. Chermoula. ...
  4. Blue Cheese Dressing. ...
  5. Thousand Island Dressing. ...
  6. Italian Dressing.

What is the most popular salad dressing? ›

Ranch dressing is the most popular salad dressing in the United States, with 40% of Americans naming it their favorite. Italian dressing is the second most popular salad dressing, preferred by 10% of the US population. 8% of Americans prefer Caesar salad dressing.

How can I jazz up my salad? ›

Simple ways to spice up your salad
  1. Use a lettuce that you actually like! ...
  2. Add roasted veggies: I love adding roasted sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts or broccoli to a salad! ...
  3. Mix it up & Chop it up! ...
  4. Add a little crunch: A little texture difference is a big thing in a salad!
Aug 5, 2019

How do you pimp up salad? ›

One of the easiest ways to get some flavour in your salad is to mix up your leaves with bright herbs that pack a punch. Plants like parsley, dill, mint and coriander can really kick your salads up a notch and give them some (much needed) depth and can give a great dose of flavour in every bite.

What can I add to salad to make it feel full? ›

Add heart-healthy fats such as sliced avocado, nuts, seeds, or olive oil to your salad to make it more filling. The body needs fats for various functions, so we shouldn't fear them. Fats provide energy, support cell growth, and protect organs.

Why does my salad taste bland? ›

If your salad tastes bland despite having a ton of flavorful ingredients in it, it probably just needs some salt.

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