House Salad

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House Salad is a great appetizer or starter loaded with fresh vegetables and cheese. We made it just like your favorite restaurant makes it!
Goes great with your choice of dressing: try it with our Simple Salad Dressing or CopyCat Olive Garden Salad Dressing.

House salad in white bowl.


Salads are a delicious way to start a lunch or dinner off whether you’re at home or eating out at a restaurant. Each time we head out for a sit down meal at places like Applebees, I aways order a house salad. I have shared quite a few salad recipes here on the site like Wedge Salad and Pasta Salad.

So, I figured it was time to share a classic House Salad recipe. Green garden salads are refreshing and flavorful addition to any meal, made with fresh greens and topped with tomatoes, red onions, croutons, and your choice of dressing. It’s healthy enough to be enjoyed as part of any meal while also providing a satisfying crunch. We love making this restaurant style salad for an easy appetizer, starter, or even as a side to pair with our favorite proteins.

Closeup of green salad with tomatoes, onions, croutons, cucumbers and cheese.

Best of all, making homemade salads is going to be way better than any house salad restaurants are serving you. You get to pick the freshest salad greens and veggies and load up on all your favorite salad ingredients. Give this Green House Salad a try and we’re sure it’ll become a must-have appetizer or side dish to have at the dinner table.

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Why you’ll love this Classic House Salad Recipe

  • House Salads are a quick and easy way to add some tasty greens to any meal. Butter lettuce, freshly shredded cheese, plus some onions and tomatoes are packed with vitamins and flavor- and the croutons and salad dressing are delicious too!
  • Salads make for great appetizers or even a light lunch because they’re pretty filling for how light they are.
  • Best of all, making any homemade salad is easy once you’ve grabbed all your ingredients. Pick out a good salad mix, chop your ingredients up, and you’re good to go!

House Salad Ingredients

What’s probably the best thing about House Salad recipes like you find at Outback Steakhouse or even Texas Roadhouse is that they’re super simple and loaded with classic salad ingredients. In case you need to run to the store, you’ll need to know whats in a House Salad:

House Salad ingredients.
  • Sweet Butter Lettuce Mix – This is just a blend of green butter lettuce and some red leaf lettuce. You can also use any other lettuce blends or even just one kind of lettuce if you really want.
  • Red Onion
  • Cucumber – The best cucumber for salad recipes is probably English cucumbers. They have a nice, thin skin and are pretty much seedless.
  • Tomatoes – These grape tomatoes are great. You can just split them in half and toss them in!
  • Cheddar Cheese – We prefer using freshly shredded cheddar cheese for salad recipes. Preshredded cheeses usually have that weird starch coating on them.
  • Croutons – We love adding croutons to salad! For this recipe, we used these garlic & butter croutons but you can reach for your favorite croutons if you want.

See recipe card for quantities.

How to make a Restaurant Style House Salad

House Salad ingredients in a bowl.

Making salads at home is so easy! If you want to know how to make a salad from scratch, here’s all you have to do:

  • Before you start assembling your salad, you’ll need to prep your salad ingredients. Take your red onion and cucumber and slice them thin. Half your grape tomatoes. Finally, grate cheddar cheese to your preferred size.
  • Start your salad by adding lettuce mix to a medium bowl. Top with sliced onion and cucumber before adding halved tomatoes, shredded cheese, and croutons.
  • Add your favorite salad dressing over top your salad. A simple dressing is best but go ahead with a Ranch, Blue Cheese or even French dressing. Briefly toss your salad to combine it before serving and enjoying.


There’s plenty of different ingredients you can substitute or swap around in your own House Salad recipe. In case you need to make some substitutions, here’s a few you can consider:

  • Lettuce – The best Salad recipes usually have lettuce as their main leafy green. Still, if you don’t like lettuce and want something else, you can make this house salad recipe without lettuce. Use something like spinach, kale, or arugula if you’re looking for other healthy leafy greens.
  • Red Onion – Adding red onion to your salad brings a nice, sharp bite that’s hard to replicate. The closest you can get is using another type of onion. White onions will also taste pretty sharp but something like a Vidalia onion or yellow onion will bring a touch of sweetness to your salad.
  • Cucumber – If you don’t have any cucumber on hand, you can try using zucchini instead of cucumber for your salad. Zucchini is pretty similar to cucumbers, it might just end up being a little less crisp. Another interesting option you can try is adding bell peppers instead of cucumbers.


Looking for ways to add a personal touch to your own House Salad Recipe? Here’s a few ideas to add some extra flavor to your next salad:

  • House Salad with Chicken – A popular protein topping you can add to your salad is some chicken. Make up some of our Air Fryer Chicken Breasts or Baked Chicken Breast, slice them up, and add them in your salad. You can even use other proteins if you’d like: make up a House Salad with Shrimp or sear up some chuck steaks for some sort of House Steak Salad.
  • Best Cheese for Salad – Adding cheddar cheese to salads is a pretty safe choice since it’s a pretty popular and easy cheese to enjoy. Still, if you’re looking for ways to add extra flavor to a salad, swapping cheeses is one of the quickest ways. Consider dropping the cheddar and using a sharper, crumbly cheese like feta or blue cheese or a spicy shredded cheese like pepperjack instead.
  • Other House Salad Ingredients – All the salad ingredients we listed above are far from all the ingredients you can put in your own salad recipes. Some folks like adding avocado or even crumbled bacon to salad, roasting chickpeas to use as chickpea croutons, or even adding shredded carrots. Another easy add-in is seasoning: add some salt & pepper and some herbs like oregano, basil, or dill.
House Salad in a white bowl.

Storage / Freezing

Storage: If you happen to have some leftover House Salad, you can try keeping it in the fridge. Avoid adding any sort of liquids or salad dressings and transfer the salad to an airtight container. If you keep your salad nice and dry, it’ll last 2-3 days before it gets wilted or mushy.

Freezing: You really don’t want to try freezing salad. All those leafy greens have really high water contents, so when they get frozen and thawed they get really mushy and unpleasant. Just stick to keeping your leftover salad in the fridge.

Recipe Tip

Use freshly grated cheese for the best flavorful profile.

Best Dinners to Serve with House Salad

Looking for a dinner idea to serve with your homemade house salad? Try these:

Other Salad Recipes

Text on image House Salad Just like your favorite restaurant.

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5 from 3 votes

House Salad

By: Jen CIncyshopper
House Salad is a great appetizer or starter loaded with fresh vegetables and cheese. We made it just like your favorite restaurant makes it!
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 4 cup Leaf Lettuce, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 ½ c Cucumber, thin sliced
  • 1 cup Croutons
  • 3/4 cup Red Onion, thin sliced and cut in half
  • 2/3 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese


  • In a large serving bowl, add all ingredients and toss to mix.
  • Now just add your favorite salad dressing and toss to coat.


Use freshly grated cheese for the best flavorful profile.


Calories: 171kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 247mg, Potassium: 727mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 18208IU, Vitamin C: 54mg, Calcium: 243mg, Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!
Long Pin text on image House Salad just like your favorite restaurants.

About Jen Cincyshopper

A lover of food and frugal living. A wife to a wonderful hubby, momma to 5 fun kiddos. Welcome to my blog. You will find REAL TASTY RECIPES. Be sure to subscribe to my email list and follow me on social media, to never miss a recipe.

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