The ingredients in this greens salad are so simple that it almost seemed silly putting them in a formal recipe. But this is a salad I make at least two to three times per week and I had to share it with you! It’s helpful having quick and delicious sides that you can serve with just about anything, and this Green Leafy Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing has got to be the quickest and easiest of them all, taking just 5 minutes to prepare!

Green Leafy Salad
This simple, 5-minute salad is made with the leafy greens of your choice, topped with a delicious dressing featuring extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Pre-made, bottled salad dressings can be expensive and can quickly land us in “half-opened bottles cluttering the fridge” territory. Homemade dressings taste so much better and recipes like this make it very easy to avoid the bottled varieties. Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper. That is all you need! And it tastes AMAZING.

This green leafy salad is the perfect side to almost anything. Cottage pie, steak, barbecues, chicken schnitzel, risotto or pasta, you name it and this salad works with it. You can choose any greens you like, but I normally go for a mixed leaf variety from the supermarket. The one I’ve been buying lately is a mix of butter lettuce and tender greens. And it’s absolutely divine!

Green Leafy Salad
I like to include a mix of leaves, from pale green lettuce and pea shoots to darker red-leaved lettuces and radicchio. Your local supermarket will have a variety of mixed leaf combos for you to try.

Does it matter which oil, vinegar and seasoning I use for my salad?

Yes! Because this salad is so simple, it’s all about the ingredients.

Olive oil – Choose a good-quality olive oil. Extra-virgin is the least processed, highest-quality and most flavour-packed type.
Vinegar – Use a high-quality balsamic vinegar. I have taken a photo of the one I’m using at the moment and love. It can be found at Harris Farm here in Australia and also on Amazon, but don’t stress if you can’t get it. Just try and look for a balsamic vinegar that has no sugar and contains “grape must” as the first ingredient, rather than vinegar, as these balsamics are thicker, more drizzle-worthy and naturally sweeter – an aged balsamic also gets extra points.
Salt – Sea salt flakes versus regular table salt offers not only an incredible flavour but an amazing texture with little pops of salty crunchiness
Pepper – Freshly cracked black pepper has a completely different fragrance and flavour to the pepper you can purchase pre-cracked at the supermarket, so I highly recommend it.

Green Leafy Salad
These are the ingredients I use. A good quality balsamic vinegar with no added sugar is recommended, along with an extra-virgin olive oil.

Salad toppers – for extra flavour and crunch!
These delicious, crispy toppers are fantastic to jazz up salads, whenever you want a little extra flavour and texture.
Toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) – Toasted pepitas add a gorgeous crunch and nutty flavour to salads. Toast 1 cup (150 g) of raw shelled pepitas in a dry frying pan until golden brown and season with ½ tsp of salt before sprinkling on your salad.
Chorizo crumb – Finely dice chorizo and cook it in a dry frying pan until crispy. Crumble it onto your salad to add a smoky, spicy flavour-bomb.
Crispy bacon bits – Fry bacon until crispy in a dry pan and crumble it over the top of your salad. Add a little maple syrup if you like.

Green Leafy Salad
A delicious dressing, made with good-quality ingredients, will take any simple salad to the next level.

What are some other super quick and easy salads?

Tomato and Burrata Salad
Beetroot, Feta and Wild Rice Salad
Kale, Quinoa and Halloumi Salad
Cheat’s Caesar Salad Dressing
Creamy Corn Salad
Homemade Coleslaw

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Green Leafy Salad

Green Leafy Salad with Balsamic Dressing

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This simple Green Leafy Salad with Balsamic Dressing can be whipped up in 5 minutes and is the ideal side as it goes with almost anything!

  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 4


  •     170 g (6 oz) mixed leaves of your choice
  •     3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  •     1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  •     1 tsp sea salt flakes
  •     ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper


  1.     Place the mixed leaves in a large bowl, drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt flakes and black pepper. 
  2.     Toss with tongs and serve immediately. 


Make ahead

This Green Leafy Salad with Balsamic Dressing is best made and served immediately.


Leftovers at a push can be refrigerated for a maximum of 24 hours, but you can expect softened leaves, even within a few hours. If you know you’re going to have leftovers, use more robust salad leaves such as rocket (arugula), baby spinach, curly endive (frisee) or even finely shredded kale.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Category: Appetisers , mains , starters , entrees , side dishes , soups , stews , salads , sandwiches , burgers , pasta , rice , seafood , vegetarian , desserts , baking , drinks , snacks , breakfast , gluten-free , dairy-free , low-carb , grilling , barbequing , holiday favourites , batch cooking , meal planning , budget-friendly , quick and easy , one pan , freezer friendly , chicken , beef , pork , lamb
  • Method: Barbequing-grilling , roasting , baking , frying , sauteing , boiling , simmering , steaming , slow cooking , grilling-broiling , braising , pan
  • Cuisine: Mexican , Italian , American , French , Asian , Greek , Thai , German , Indian , Middle Eastern , Mediterranean