Make-Ahead Tossed Salad

>> Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's time to think about Thanksgiving dinner - and until the big day, I'll be writing food posts that you can make for your family! If you're the one tapped to bring a salad, this is an easy bet because you can make it ahead of time.

This classic refrigerator salad recipe has been around forever. It used to be one of my favorites when I was young, and my girls used to request it all the time when they were kids. What I love about it is that you can make the salad days ahead of time and stick it in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve it. The dressing layer holds in the freshness and taste, and the vegetables stay crisp and tasty until it's time to eat. If you don't like any of these vegetables, add what you like.

This old-fashioned tossed salad is perfect for a holiday meal, since you can throw it together ahead of time and save your holiday day for something more fun, like stuffing a turkey or playing Outburst with rowdy family members or chasing toddlers around the house.


3 cups chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce
1 cup grated carrots
2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup sliced onions
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup sliced mushrooms


1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp dill


1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese
2 green onions, sliced


Assemble the salad ingredients in a serving bowl, in the order listed. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Spread the dressing over the top of the mushrooms, making sure the dressing completely covers the mushrooms and seals the salad right up to the edge of the bowl. Sprinkle the topping ingredients over the top.

Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Just before serving, stir the salad until the ingredients are coated with dressing.

Serves 6-8 as side salads.


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