Best Spring Salad

This spring salad is a light, bright, celebration of the season and a showstopping addition to any meal, potluck or holiday! It boasts an intoxicating, vibrant lemon basil vinaigrette dousing crisp-tender asparagus (that doesn’t need ANY blanching), snap peas, creamy avocados, zingy radishes, salty bacon, and tangy goat cheese. This salad recipe is quick, easy, fresh, make ahead friendly (instructions included) and endlessly adaptable (lots of variations included)!

Watch How to Make Spring Salad


The Perfect Spring Salad Recipe

  • NO BLANCHED ASPARAGUS. By using thin asparagus, it’s perfectly crisp-tender and saves you the hassle of blanching.
  • NUTRITIOUS POWERHOUSE.  This spring salad is pumped with nutrient-dense vegetables, cheese, and nuts.  Everything you need to make your taste buds sing and to fuel you throughout the day.
  • ENDLESSLY CUSTOMIZABLE. The ingredients are just guidelines and completely flexible depending on your likes and what you have on hand. You can also add protein to make it a main dish. See variations section for lots of ideas!
  • LEMON BASIL VINAIGRETTE.   The vinaigrette is simple, quick and easy to make in the blender, breathing life into the salad with its vibrant, tangy, zippy, herbaceous kiss. 
  • EFFORTLESS ENTERTAINING.  Full instructions for how to prep ahead for a stress free win.
spring mix salad recipe in a large serving bowl showing all the ingredients
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Spring Mix Salad Recipe ingredients

Here’s everything you’ll need to make the spring mix salad recipe  (measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Spring Salad Mix:  This forms the base of the salad and is my go-to for salads because of its texture and flavor variety.
  • Butter Lettuce: This lettuce has delicate and tender leaves with a subtle sweetness that pairs beautifully with the spring salad mix and lemony vinaigrette. I use one head but you may substitute it with additional spring salad mix, spinach or bibb lettuce, if desired.
  • Asparagus: Select thin asparagus because they are more tender and sweet and don’t require blanching.
  • Sugar Snap Peas: Make sure to select snap peas and not snow peas. Sugar snap peas add a satisfying crunch and subtle sweetness to the salad – no need to cook!
  • Frozen peas: You’ll need ½ cup frozen petite peas. Do NOT use canned peas or mature peas – they are mushy!
  • Radishes: These add a refreshing and peppery crunch to the salad. Slice thinly or chop small.
  • Avocados:  Use ripe avocados but not overly ripe or they will turn to mush.  To tell if an avocado is ripe, squeeze it gently. A ripe avocado should yield slightly to pressure but not feel overly soft. 
  • Green onions: Also known as scallions, add a mild, slightly pungent onion flavor to enliven the salad.
  • Bacon: The more, the better! Please use thick cut bacon so the bacon doesn’t get lost and retains its meaty texture when enveloped in the creamy dressing. Cook the bacon on the stovetop chopped or in slices or I love oven bacon because it’s hand’s off, easy and doesn’t make a mess!
  • Cheese: Use your favorite crumbled cheese such as feta, goat cheese or Gorgonzola for its creamy, sharp, salty bite.  I recommend purchasing fresh cheese in a log/block and crumbling it yourself.  It tends to be creamier than purchasing crumbles.
  • Sunflower Seeds: Take care they are roasted and salted to really bring the flavor. I purchase my seeds in the bulk bins at Sprouts. 
  • Almonds: I love adding nuts and seeds to salads. Sliced almonds provide a crunchy texture and nutty flavor, offering a delightful contrast to leafy greens and other vegetables.
top view of spring salad mix ingredients: spring salad mix, asparagus, peas, radishes, goat cheese, sunflower seeds, almonds and avocados

Spring Salad Mix variations

These variations offer different flavor profiles and textures while still celebrating the vibrant and seasonal ingredients of spring. Feel free to get creative and customize the salad to your taste preferences!

  • Use Your Favorite Greens: Mix and match your salad greens such as spinach, Romaine, iceberg, arugula, Bibb lettuce, etc. to change the flavor and texture.
  • Add Veggies: Add any veggies you such as bell peppers, mushrooms, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower etc.
  • Protein-Packed Spring Salad: Make it a meal by adding grilled chicken shrimp, salmon, steak or pork to the salad.
  • Add hardboiled eggs: Add eggs for a Cobb-salad flair. 
  • Add chickpeas:  They add a nutty, earthy, creaminess and are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  • Add Citrus: Add segments of orange or grapefruit to the salad for a burst of citrus flavor.
  • Add Berries: Add fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries for a fruity and flavorful addition.
  • Add grains: Add cooked brown rice, farro, quinoa, couscous etc. for an additional layer of delectable texture.
  • Omit cheese: Keep this recipe dairy-free by omitting the cheese altogether.
  • Swap nuts: I used almonds, but cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, pistachios or pine nuts would all be tasty – just make sure they are roasted and salted.
  • Mediterranean Twist: Incorporate Kalamata olives and diced cucumber into the mix, and use feta instead of goat cheese.
  • Use turkey bacon:   Turkey bacon has about ⅓ less fat than regular bacon, including less “bad’ fats.”  It also has a lower glycemic index. Alternatively, use vegan bacon.
  • Use vegan bacon: Vegan bacon or vegan bacon bits might sound odd, but when done right can be crispy, smoky and work great as a bacon alternative to make a healthier spring salad. There are several vegan bacon options out there made from either tofu (soy), tempeh, eggplant, coconut, or mushrooms. If you’re looking to make your own vegan bacon, check out this post by Love and Lemons.
  • Use a different dressing: Any of your favorite salad dressings or vinaigrettes will work in this recipe. Italian Dressing Avocado Ranch and Homemade Ranch are go-to favorites of mine.
up close of avocados in spring green salad

How to make Spring Salad

Let’s take a closer look at how to make spring mix salad recipe with step-by-step photos (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Step 1: Make Dressing. Combine the ingredients for the basil vinaigrette in a high powered blender and blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
showing how to make spring salad by adding dressing ingredients to a blender and blending until smooth
  • Step 2: Mix greens. Combine the spring salad mix and butter lettuce leaves in a large bowl; toss to combine.
  • Step 3: Assemble the Salad. Add the asparagus, snap peas, petite peas, avocado, radishes, bacon, goat cheese, sunflower seeds and almonds.
showing how to make spring salad by adding spring salad mix, asparagus, snap peas, radishes, avocado, goat cheese, almonds and sunflower seeds
  • Step 4: Add Dressing. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing, and toss together.
showing how to make spring salad by tossing with dressing
showing how to make spring salad by adding dressing

TIPS for making Spring Salad Recipe

  • Customize Ingredients.  The salad ingredients and measurements are simply suggestions.  You can add/swap any ingredients for your favorite veggies, seeds and cheese. 
  • Make Dressing First: The dressing needs time to chill for the flavors to meld and develop – no one likes warm salad dressing! If you are making the salad and serving immediately, place the dressing in the freezer for 30 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator so it is sufficiently chilled.
  • Use PETITE frozen peas: Mature peas have tougher skins and mealier interiors and canned peas are mushy. Petite peas are sweeter, more delicate with a pleasing crunch.
  • To thaw peas: The best way to thaw frozen peas is to add them to a colander and run COLD tap water over top. Let them drain then pat completely dry before mixing into the salad. 
  • Cook the bacon until crisp: Crispy bacon is best for this recipe because the moisture of the ingredients can soften it a bit. Add just before serving or keep separate if expecting leftovers.
  • Customize dressing: Some people like tangier dressing, some people prefer sweeter dressing, so I recommend starting the dressing as written, then adding additional lemon juice for tangier or honey for sweeter. Always adjust the dressing AFTER it has chilled. 
  • Prep ahead: Get excited because you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time – full instructions to follow.
  • Scale the recipe up or down: This salad is easy to double for a crowd or cut it in half for lunches or a small group. Use the the arrows next to the servings in the printable recipe card to scale the recipe up or down.

 How to serve this Spring Green Salad

This spring salad a simple side dish perfect for any gathering! Here are some delicious pairings: 

Best Spring Salad FAQs

Are spring mix greens healthy?

Spring mix greens offer a plethora of health benefits due to their nutrient-rich composition. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate, spring mix greens support immune function, promote healthy skin, and contribute to overall well-being. Additionally, they are low in calories and high in fiber, aiding in digestion, promoting satiety, and supporting weight management. The diverse array of leafy greens in spring mix also provides an abundance of phytonutrients, which have anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting properties. Incorporating spring mix greens into your diet can help boost energy levels, support cardiovascular health, and promote longevity, making them a valuable addition to any balanced diet.

Why does my spring mix go bad so fast?

Spring mix greens can go bad quickly due to their delicate nature and high moisture content. Once the greens are harvested and packaged, they begin to lose moisture and freshness rapidly, especially if they are not stored properly. Exposure to air and moisture can accelerate spoilage, causing the leaves to wilt, become slimy, or develop off-putting odors. To extend the shelf life of spring mix greens, store them in the refrigerator in a breathable container or perforated plastic bag, and use them within a few days of purchase. Avoid washing the greens until just before use, as excess moisture can accelerate spoilage.

top view of serving spring salad recipe on a plate




©Carlsbad Cravings by

top view of spring salad recipe in a bowl with lemon basil vinaigrette

Spring Greens Salad

This spring salad is a light, bright, celebration of the season and a showstopping addition to any meal, potluck or holiday! It boasts vibrant lemon basil vinaigrette dousing crisp-tender asparagus (that doesn't need ANY blanching), snap peas, creamy avocados, zingy radishes, salty bacon, and tangy goat cheese. This salad recipe is quick, easy, fresh, make ahead friendly and endlessly adaptable (see variations in post)!
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: 30 minutes

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Spring SALAD:

  • 5 ounces spring green mix
  • 1 head butter lettuce, roughly torn (may sup spring salad, spinach, etc.)
  • 1 pound thin asparagus, ends trimmed, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 oz. sugar snap peas, trimmed, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen PETITE peas, thawed
  • 4 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced or cubed
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled*
  • 1/4 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, torn into smaller pieces (may sub feta)

lemon basil vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 green onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey or sugar
  • 1/4 tsp EACH dried oregano, salt, pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  • Make Dressing: Combine the dressing ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth (expect some basil pieces), scraping down the sides as needed. Chill until ready to serve (if serving immediately, place dressing in the freezer for up to 30 minutes). After dressing has chilled, adjust to taste with lemon/honey/salt/pepper as desired.
  • Mix greens: Combine the spring salad mix and butter lettuce leaves in a large bowl; toss to combine.


  • If you don’t expect or want leftovers: Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl and drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss to combine.
  • If you expect leftovers: Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl except the avocado slices and bacon. Let individuals dress their own salads with avocado, bacon and vinaigrette.
  • Create a salad bar: Line the salad ingredients in separate bowls and let guests assemble their own salads.



*Cook the bacon on the stovetop chopped or in slices, or I love oven bacon because it’s hand’s off, easy and doesn’t make a mess! Click for the recipe.

Prep Ahead

The ingredients for this spring mix salad recipe can be prepped ahead of time and kept separate until ready to toss for optimal texture:
  • Keep ingredients in bags: Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl. Seal the rest of the ingredients in separate bags (add a paper towel to vegetables) and place them on top of the lettuce. Cover the whole bowl with foil and refrigerate.
  • Timing: The vegetables can be prepared up to 48 hours ahead of time. The cheese can be crumbled up to 72 hours in advance. The dressing can be made 5 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The bacon can be cooked and chopped up to 72 hours in advance. Store bacon in the fridge, noting it will become less crispy the longer it’s stored.

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  1. Marlene says

    Looks delicious!!
    Dreaming on making it! Yum .
    Thank you for sharing your awesome recipes.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Marlene! I’d love to hear how you like it when you give it a try!

  2. Summer says

    This was delicious! Our asparagus wasn’t very thin, so I was worried about leaving it raw, so I blanched it and some green beans, which I subbed for the sugar snap peas because I forgot to get them. LOVED the dressing and I got so many compliments at the gathering where I served it. This was a little something different than a regular green salad, but not too crazy that the kids wouldn’t eat it. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      I’m happy to hear that it landed right in that sweet spot!