Everything Spring Green Salad | Ambitious Kitchen


Hi, spring. So nice of you to finally arrive and warm my bones.

When you’re from the Midwest, you know that there’s a huge discrepancy from when the calendar says it’s officially spring to when it actually gets warm out. Some years it just goes from winter to summer in the span of a week. This spring has been absolutely beautiful. Yes, the chilly days are lingering, but we’re already seeing plenty of sunshine which makes me so excited for summer.

I don’t know about you, but the one thing I really love about spring is all the fresh, seasonal produce. In an effort to help you eat seasonally, I thought I’d share my favorite veggie-packed, nutritious spring green salad with you. It’s inspired by various trips to the local salad bar where I always spend wayyy too much money. Anyone else? Skip the bar at Whole Foods and load up a platter with the best green salad in the world.

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spring green salad on a platter

Ingredients in this spring green salad

We’re loading up this farmer’s market salad with all of the colorful produce you can find. It’s crunchy, hearty, and everything you need in a satisfying lunch. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Spinach: the base of the salad is made with baby spinach, which pairs perfectly with the rest of the veggies.
  • Vegetables: this gorgeous bowl is loaded with red cabbage, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumber, radishes, bell pepper, raw or pickled red onion, peas (my fav), and creamy avocado.
  • Mix-ins: add extra flavor and texture with microgreens alfalfa sprouts, Castelvetrano olives, crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese, roasted pistachios, and sunflower seeds. SO GOOD.
  • For the dressing: we’re tossing everything together with my famous basil lemon vinaigrette, which is made with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dijon mustard, a little honey or sugar, basil leaves, salt & pepper.

mixing dressing for a vegetarian spring green salad

Make this spring salad your own

The best part about this salad is how easy it is to customize with produce and mix-ins you have on hand! Here’s what I can recommend:

  • Pick your base: if spinach isn’t your thing, feel free to swap it for arugula, kale, or a spring mix. If you’re using kale, I recommend massaging it with the vinaigrette first to help break it down.
  • Customize your veggies: you can truly throw in any vegetables you have lurking in your fridge. I think shredded brussels sprouts, finely chopped broccoli, snap peas, and shredded kale would all be great swaps.
  • Have fun with add-ins: feel free to get creative here! You can easily add or omit any of the suggested mix-ins. Goat cheese or bleu cheese would be great swaps for the feta, and toasted almonds, walnuts, or pistachios would add delicious crunch in place of the sunflower seeds (if you prefer nuts to seeds). To keep the salad nut free, you could also use pumpkin seeds.

easy spring green salad with avocado on a platter

More easy dressing options

I love the light, tangy flavor that the lemon basil vinaigrette adds to the salad, but here are some more homemade salad dressings that would pair well with this spring green salad:

pouring dressing onto a platter with a spring green salad

Looking to add a boost of protein?

It couldn’t be easier! Try adding:

You can even make extra lemon basil vinaigrette and use it to marinate your chicken before cooking it! Get our tips and tricks for baking chicken here, and grilling it here.

healthy spring green salad on a platter

Storing & meal prep tips

This salad makes a wonderful meal prep lunch or a beautiful platter for serving at a BBQ or potluck. I recommend prepping the salad but leaving the dressing off of it until you’re ready to serve it so that the spinach doesn’t get soggy. You can store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator without the dressing for up to 4-5 days, and store the dressing as well for up to one week in a separate container.

spring green salad on a platter

More salad recipes to try

Get all of my salad recipes here!

If you make this vegetarian spring green salad, be sure to leave a comment below to let me know how you liked it. If you’re on Instagram, be sure to snap a pic and tag #ambitiouskitchen so I can check out your creations! xo.

Ambitious Kitchen

125 Ridiculously Good For You, Sometimes Indulgent, and Absolutely Never Boring Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

Everything Spring Green Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

spring green salad on a platter

Prep Time 20 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

Serves6 servings

Beautiful spring green salad filled with fresh seasonal produce, seeds & creamy avocado, and tossed in the BEST lemon basil vinaigrette. Enjoy this gorgeous, flavorful spring salad as a main meal, easy side dish, or recipe for a potluck!


  • 6 cups organic spinach
  • ½ head red or green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup microgreens (or alfalfa sprouts)
  • ¾ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 persian cucumbers, sliced or roughly chopped
  • 3 radishes, trimmed and chopped or sliced
  • ¼ cup pickled red onions OR very thinly sliced raw red onion
  • ½ cup pitted Castelvetrano green olives, halved
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, sliced or chopped
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta or crumbled goat cheese
  • ¼ cup roasted and salted pistachios
  • ¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the lemon basil vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
  • 4 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste


  • To make the basil lemon vinaigrette: Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl until well combined and emulsified. You can also blend everything together in a high-speed blender. Taste, add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings as necessary.

  • Add spinach to a large bowl and drizzle on half of the dressing, toss gently to coat. Add salad to a platter (or leave in the large bowl), then arrange and layer the other ingredients on top of the greens. Garish with salt and pepper. Serve with the remaining basil lemon vinaigrette on the side for guests to drizzle on if they desire.

Recipe Notes

To store: I recommend storing this salad without the dressing for up to 4-5 days. Dress the salad as soon as you’re ready to eat it so that the spinach doesn’t get soggy.
See the full post for easy ways to customize this salad!


Serving: 1servingCalories: 226calCarbohydrates: 16.7gProtein: 6.4gFat: 16.5gFiber: 7.3gSugar: 7.5g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on April 26th, 2016, republished on April 10th, 2019, and republished on April 15th, 2024.


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