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!


More Gorgonzola Apple cherry Bacon Pecan Salad

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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.

What is the healthiest salad? ›

10 Nutrient-Dense Salad Recipes
  • Low-Carb Asian Chopped Salad.
  • Spicy Shrimp, Avocado, and Arugula Salad.
  • Tofu and Kale Salad.
  • Pear, Grape, and Feta Salad.
  • Mediterranean Chicken Salad.
  • Blood Orange and Quinoa Kale Salad.
  • Golden Beet and Pomegranate Salad.
  • Roasted Chickpea and Kale Salad.
Jul 20, 2021

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 do restaurants make salads so crisp? ›

The Keys to Crisp Lettuce

Lettuce actually needs a good amount of airflow, in addition to a bit of moisture (but not too much!), in order to stay crisp. That's why restaurants store their lettuce in special perforated bins that allow for air circulation while it's held in the fridge.

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 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 in the United States? ›

Caesar Salad: Although believed to have originated in Mexico, the Caesar salad has become a staple in American cuisine. It typically includes romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and a Caesar dressing made with anchovies, garlic, eggs, and olive oil.

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 number one healthiest salad dressing? ›

Generally speaking, the healthiest salad dressing will be a vinaigrette like balsamic or oil and vinegar, while Caesar, ranch or anything with the word “creamy” will be the unhealthiest. The exception? We like products made with healthy swaps—think Greek yogurt in place of mayo or heavy cream.

What is the least healthy vegetable? ›

Veggie: Celery

In fact, this vegetable doesn't contribute much to your body at all. The long, green stalks lacks many of the nutrients often found in other green vegetables, like vitamins C and A. Your body relies on vitamin C to help grow and repair cells, and vitamin A to promote eye, skin and bone health.

What is the most unhealthy salad? ›

Worst: Iceberg Wedge Salad

Thanks to the blue cheese or ranch dressing and bacon crumbles, it can pack in four times the fat of a T-bone steak. It also falls short in the nutrition department. That's because iceberg lettuce contains fewer vitamins and minerals than most dark leafy greens.

How do you make salad not taste bad? ›

- Squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice over the salad to add brightness. - A splash of balsamic or apple cider vinegar can also enhance flavors. - Add a touch of sweetness with honey, maple syrup, or a handful of dried fruits like raisins or cranberries. - Toasted nuts or seeds can provide crunch and depth to the salad.

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

Why does my salad taste bland? ›

Season the greens & vegetables

Your dressing or vinaigrette may be perfectly seasoned but when added to unseasoned or raw vegetables, the overall taste of the salad may turn out bland.

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