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The Ultimate Garden Salad Recipe Guide

Eating a healthy meal is essential for our overall well-being. One way to do that is by indulging in a delicious and filling garden salad. This harvest time garden salad recipe is full of Bright, crisp kale and other fall greens and vegetables.

This garden salad is packed with fresh vegetables, leafy greens, and proteins, making it a wholesome meal replacement. Bed them down with our suggested delicious healthy add ins to make this salad a healthy meal replacer.

This salad is quick and easy to make, so it’s perfect for busy days when you need a nutritious meal but don’t have much time. This salad has been a go-to for me for years. It’s a delicious and filling meal that keeps me energized throughout the day.

Fall Garden Salad Recipe
Fall kale Salad has lots of texture and flavors

We love these healthy fiber rich salads. We eat Garden kale salads for dinner in Fall and early spring when kale is fresh and young.

How To Make a Garden Salad:

This post is a How to or idea post to help inspire you to learn how to make kale salads and salads with fall greens. With the correct add ins kale salad makes a healthy and delicious meal all on it’s own.

To make a very easy garden salad recipe nowadays, just buy a good mix of greens precut in a bag. That can be a good way to save yourself some time and work. Use our ideas below for what to add into your garden salad recipe to make it fantastic.

Since gardeners are actually going to do the harvest, prepare the greens they use and build up the salad from scratch, they have some work to do. But they get the very freshest, most nutritious salads too. 🙂

Making garden salads from scratch can involve some time, creativity and work. When we serve it, We want satisfied well fed people and en empty salad bowl. Here are a few thing to keep in mind when building salads.

A great Fall garden salad recipe should have a variety of crisp, chewy, crunchy textures. A good garden salad will balance it’s flavors with interesting sweet, sour, salty, and bitter flavors.

Now bring in something creamy that balances out the textures and flavors. Including ingredients like avocado, cheese, or a creamy dressing are common methods of adding creaminess.

The best salads offer a wealth of nutritious, fiber filled foods including a variety of colorful elements along with the vegetables, and greens. And it should look as good as it tastes.

By including a variety of colorful ingredients in your salads and arranging them in an attractive way, you can create a garden salad recipe that is not only healthy and delicious, but also visually appealing and satisfying to eat.

It’s a nice cleansing fiber filled salad, rich with nutrients and ingredients you choose yourself. At the end of the growing season leafy greens are mature and can be tough and have strong flavors. But if they are not overly ripe and gone to seed, you can use them to make a good garden salad recipe.

Fall Garden Salad Bite With Creamy Balsamic Dressing
Fall Garden Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing

Use what you have.  Don’t be afraid to experiment. Fall Green salads can use up odds and ends from the garden and the fridge. The strong flavors and texture of kale work well with lots of other ingredients.

What’s in your fridge or pantry that would taste great in a salad full of strong flavored Fall greens?

  1. Prepare homemade salad dressings ahead and let them chill in the fridge. This helps the flavors blend.
  2. Prepare and Assemble your salad greens and other garden veggies. Be sure to cut and slice pieces of your salad that easily fit on a fork.
  3. Now for the add ins. Choose ingredients what compliment the salad components with zesty flavors and textures.
  4. Finally, add the cooked (and cooled) bacon, any chilled quinoa grain blend and cheeses to keep the distinct texture and flavors each ingredient has to offer.

Garden Salad Recipe:

Salads made with kale hold well and are still enticing and delicious for days! Be sure you leave off the salad dressing until serving time to keep your salad crisp.

Three Advantages of Kale Greens in salad:

  1. All the kales have a thicker and stronger leaf and flavor and texture than lettuces so they provide a good base for your garden salad recipe. all the add ins we like work well with kale.
  2. All the varieties of Kale (there are several) have more nutrients than lettuce and hold their freshness longer in the fridge.
  3. Thick hearty greens also have a ton more flavor and give good chew value which makes this salad very filling and sustaining.
Kale In The Garden
Various kales in our garden. Kale is a highly nutritious Green that makes a wonderful base leafy green for a garden salad recipe..

Working with Kale:

  • Kale leaves should be stripped or cut from the fibrous ribs. The ribs are sometimes too stringy to enjoy.
  • Kale is a very tough leaf. Unlike lettuce you can cut it with a knife and the leaves will not turn brown or wilt.
  • Messaged Kales leaves are tenderized by gently rubbing them in your fingers with a bit of oil and salt. We usually eat kale leaves the way we find them in the garden. We like the texture and fiber.

Have fun playing in your vegetables and creating fantastic fresh fall Kale salads. Kale makes a great base for hearty salads. 

What You should Avoid in Preparing Green Salad:

When preparing a green salad recipe, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that it is safe and healthy to eat. Here are some things to avoid:

  1. Contaminated produce: Always make sure to wash all produce thoroughly before using it in your salad. This helps to remove any dirt, bacteria, or pesticides that may be present.
  2. Cross-contamination: Avoid using the same cutting board or knife for meat and vegetables. This can cause bacteria from the meat to contaminate the vegetables and increase the risk of foodborne illness.
  3. Unwashed hands: Always wash your hands thoroughly before preparing a salad, and avoid touching the salad with your hands unless they are clean.
  4. Spoiled ingredients: Always check the ingredients before using them, and discard any that are past their expiration date or show signs of spoilage, such as wilting or discoloration.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can prepare a green salad that is safe, healthy, and delicious to eat.

Fall Garden Salad In A White Bowl
Kale makes a great base for a hearty meal replacement salad.

What is a garden salad made of?

A garden salad is typically made of a variety of fresh vegetables and leafy greens that are mixed together and served cold. A garden salad might include lettuce, spinach, kale, or other leafy greens, as well as a mix of vegetables with potentially many other ingredients.

Be creative and try different combinations of ingredients until you find the perfect mix for your taste buds.

The base green for this salad is kale. Kale is a nutrient-dense leafy green with lots of chew value for a hearty and satisfying salad. Here are some good things you can add to your kale salad to make it even more delicious and nutritious:

What Garden Vegetables for Salad?

There are many different garden vegetables that are commonly used in salads. Here are some of the more popular options for a tossed garden salad recipe:

  1. Leafy greens: These include lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, and other leafy greens that are often used as the base of the salad.
  2. Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are a classic salad ingredient that adds a burst of flavor and color.
  3. Cucumbers: Cucumbers are refreshing and crunchy, and can add a lot of texture to your salad.
  4. Carrots: Shredded or sliced carrots are a great way to add a pop of color to your salad, as well as a healthy dose of vitamin A.
  5. Peppers: Bell peppers, jalapenos, and other types of peppers can add some spice and crunch to your salad.
  6. Onions: Raw onions can add a sharp and savory flavor to your salad.
  7. Radishes: These crunchy and spicy vegetables are great for adding texture and flavor to your salad.
  8. Broccoli and Cauliflower: These vegetables can add a lot of texture and flavor to your salad, as well as valuable nutrients like vitamin C.
  9. Zucchini and Squash: Sliced or shredded zucchini and squash can add a fresh and summery flavor to your salad.
  10. Sliced ripe avocados are also delicious in salads.

Use fresh, colorful, and nutrient-dense vegetables that complement each other in terms of flavor and texture.

Marinated vegetables Add Flavor to Salads:

also add new and interesting flavors to this filling Fall garden salad recipe and will balance the strong flavors of kale and some other ingredients. Try marinated artichoke hearts, olives and small bits of dilly beans.

Pick some Proteins:

Adding protein can help to make your salad much more filling and satisfying. You can add grilled chicken, sliced turkey, boiled eggs, tofu, chickpeas, or any other protein source that you like. Bacon is NOT good for you but the flavor and satisfaction it offers make it well worth using.

Add Nuts and Seeds:

Nuts and seeds are a great way to add healthy fats, crunch, and texture to your salad. You can add some sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts  and pecans. They all offer a nutty flavor and more satisfying chewy texture to your garden salad recipe.

Choose some Fruits:

Dried fruits can add sweetness and tanginess to your salad. Dried cranberries, raisins, apricots and sweetened cherries provide a zippy sweet tart counterpoint to the greens.

Try whole fresh berries: Try adding some sliced apples, chopped strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. They are all extremely good for you and delicious in salads.

Pomegranate seeds are a fun splash of color and texture in a late Fall salad.

Cheeses Are Great For Garden Green Salad recipes:

Adding a small amount of cheese can add flavor and creaminess to your salad and some fats and proteins. You can add crumbled feta, grated Parmesan, shredded (or cubed)cheddar cheese, Pepper Jack, Colby, Havarti, Smoked Gouda, Goat cheese and Feta for more texture, flavors.

More Popular Salad Add Ins:

Every single one of us has ideas about how to make the best garden salad recipe. This post is all about helping you get there. Not everyone enjoys mushrooms, seeds and grains. I happen to love all of them in a garden salad and so Im listing them below. You do you!

Mushrooms are always a good addition. White button mushrooms are readily available. Just slice em and throw them into the mix.

Seeds like sunflower and pumpkin have crunch, satisfying saltiness if you choose the dry roasted varieties, tons of protein and healthy fats to sustain you.

Add Quinoa to make this salad even more hearty with healthy sustaining high protein and fiber rich quinoa. Brown Rice/Quinoa Blend or plain cooked and chilled quinoa.

You can turn a boring salad into a masterpiece by getting creative. Stores sell many different salad topper mixes and nut blends just for salads. And don’t forget the croutons.

Kale Salad Full Of Hearty Add In To Make It Very Filling And Sustaining
Garden Salad recipe is full of hearty add ins like cheese, nuts and bacon to make it very filling and sustaining

Dressing for this Simple Garden Salad Recipe:

A good dressing can take your salad to the next level. You can make a simple vinaigrette with olive oil and vinegar, or use your favorite store-bought dressing.

Just remember to use the dressing in moderation to keep your salad healthy. We love using our Creamy Balsamic dressing for this salad. You will be amazed at how that creamy tangy dressing enhances this salad.

TIP: To keep your greens crisp. Dress your salad Only at serving time. The acids in the dressing will degrade the salad ingredients if allowed to sit for long hours. 

Pouring Creamy Balsamic Dressing Onto A Salad.
Creamy Balsamic Salad dressing is a great dressing for this salad.
  • Our Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressing is one of the best dressings for kale salad. It has a strong creamy tangy flavor that balances the kale and enhances the other ingredients beautifully.
  • Another great choice is the sweet Honey dressing we use in our Kale Apple Salad.
  • Try our Dressing we use in our spinach salad. AMAZING!
  • Ranch Dressing is also a good dressing for these stronger flavored greens.

Keep in mind when dressing salad don’t use too much dressing. A good dressing can add flavor and moisture to your salad, too much can drown the greens and overwhelm the salad flavors.

Most salad dressings (like ranch dressings) are unhealthy and high in calories. Use dressing in moderation to complement the salad ingredients and add moisture and creaminess.

Vinaigrettes or other light dressings are often a healthier choice than creamy dressings. That is not true of our creamy balsamic dressing, however. It is both creamy and healthy, as well as delicious.

Your Printable Recipe Card:

Fall Kale Salad
Yield: 8 servings

Fall Garden Salad

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Fall garden salad is a Bright, crisp kale salad with peppers and tomatoes bedded down with pumpkin seeds, cubed Pepper Jack cheese, crunchy crumbled bacon and black olives. Top it all off with a delicious Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing for a piquant sweetness.


  • 4 Cups kale leaves, we used several varieties
  • 1 small head Broccoli- cut up very small
  • 1 rib celery-sliced fine
  • 1 clove garlic- minced and smashed
  • 2 shallots- minced
  • 6 slices natural bacon-cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup cubed pepper jack cheese
  • 1 medium heat or sweet pepper-finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can black pitted olives- drained, pitted whole or sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds


  1. Make your Quinoa Rice grain blend ahead if using and cool in fridge before adding to the finished salad. Brown Rice Quinoa Blend
  2. Make the creamy balsamic salad dressing. Set in fridge until serving
  3. Cook your bacon on medium heat until thoroughly cooked but not burned. Bacon For Broccoli Salad
  4. Wash all greens thoroughly and pat dry.
  5. Remove kale leaves from stem and chop up the leaves small.
  6. Prepare and assemble all of the other ingredients.
  7. Check on your bacon and turn it over.
  8. Mix all the other ingredients into your salad bowl.
  9. Remove bacon from heat and dry it on paper towels five minutes.
  10. With a large knife, cut the bacon fine until crumbled and mix it into the salad.Kale Salad Full Of Hearty Add In To Make It Very Filling And Sustaining
  11. Serve with the balsamic salad dressing and other toppings of your choice.


Fall Garden Salad is a healthy meal replacer if you add in all the extras. This will increase the calories and carbs. But also the protein as well. This recipe is more of a suggestion than built in stone. Use what you like and enjoy!

Click the links to the creamy balsamic salad dressing  and the Brown Rice/Quinoa Blend For more nutritional information on these healthy add ins.

The time this salad takes to make changes according to how much you do beforehand if making the salad dressing and grain blend too.


1 Cup grain blend, cooked ahead and cooled
1 recipe Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing. Make it ahead, cover and store in fridge

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 170Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 15mgSodium 225mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 4gSugar 4gProtein 9g

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More Hearty Garden Salad Recipes:

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Recent Posts:

Broccoli Kale Salad-Pin Image
This broccoli kale salad is packed full of hearty add ons to create a sustaining salad. Bacon, nuts, cheese, tomatoes and more!

Follow Us:

We enjoy meeting you on our social networks. Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram . Tag us with your pictures of our recipes and comment on how it went for you. We would love to see what you do with them.

We often like, comment and share your posts of our recipes on our daily Instagram stories.

Ask questions and rate the recipe in the comments section below. Please share what you did with this recipe. We are always looking for more and better ways to make homemade food. Other cooks love your ideas!

Recent Posts:

Follow Us:

We enjoy meeting you on our social networks. Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram . Tag us with your pictures of our recipes and comment on how it went for you. We would love to see what you do with them.

We often like, comment and share your posts of our recipes on our daily Instagram stories.

Ask questions and rate the recipe in the comments section below. Please share what you did with this recipe. We are always looking for more and better ways to make homemade food. Other cooks love your ideas!

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[…] butter and garlic for a nice, light meal. I didn’t make a salad (lazy me!), but a lovely kale salad would be perfect with this as […]


Wednesday 25th of November 2015

I love this recipe and your explanation of how to properly prepare. This time of year is my favorite, especially when it comes to eating :)


Wednesday 25th of November 2015

Thank you Melanie! We love fall food too! Nothing better than harvest time :)

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[…] and cranberries laced throughout. A lovely companion to this Beef noodle skillet dinner or the Fall Garden Salad is also […]

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[…] It just makes sense to make these into easy crock pot dinners, green juice, and salads like our fall garden salad. We eat so cheaply this time of year, and so […]

April @ Girl Gone Gourmet

Friday 18th of September 2015

So jealous of your garden! There's nothing better than making something that you grew yourself - so much more rewarding :)


Friday 18th of September 2015

Yes, we agree April. Nothing better than veggies fresh from the garden. Amazing flavor!

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