Spring is in the air! To celebrate the arrival of the season, I’m sharing this beautiful and stunning Fresh Spring Salad today.
You’ll love the variety of fresh seasonal produce and the vibrant lemon honey vinaigrette that ties everything together. It’s such a bright and fresh salad!
It takes just 15 minutes to make, and it’s even faster if you prep the ingredients in advance.
I love salads that use fresh seasonal ingredients, such as this Strawberry Chicken Salad or Grilled Peach Salad! Whenever I’m craving a super simple salad, this Lemon Arugula Salad always hits the spot.
Today, I’m excited to share this fresh spring salad recipe with you! It’s a simple yet gorgeous salad inspired by the freshest produce of the season. And it takes just 15 minutes to make!
We love serving this spring salad for Easter celebrations. It’s just perfect!
I love the ingredients here, fresh spring mix, butter lettuce, asparagus, and radishes…just to name a few. It can be served as a side salad or turned into a beautiful meal if you add protein.
Why we love this fresh spring salad:
- Great way to use seasonal produce: Spring has blessed us with great vegetables, such as asparagus and radishes, which I love to incorporate here.
- Highly customizable: Swap the ingredients or add extra ones to your liking. It’s all about inspiration here.
- Versatile: Serve it as a simple side salad, or make it a meal by pairing it with amazing main dishes, such as these Greek Chicken Kabobs!
- Quick and easy: 15 minutes is all you need to make this spring salad.
Use Seasonal Produce
What I love the most about spring is the variety of fresh produce. Among my favorites are asparagus, radishes (especially watermelon radishes), arugula, and artichokes.
Making a delicious spring-inspired salad is about using the vegetables you love. So feel free to swap the mix-ins as you please. Here are some of my favorites:
- Brussels sprouts (shaved)
- Various radish varieties. If you can find watermelon radish, it will really make your salad pop with gorgeous green and pink colors!
- Carrots. If you can find rainbow carrots, those will add great color!
- Roasted beets
- Snap peas
- Watercress or microgreens
- Fresh mint
Below are a few helpful ingredient notes from my kitchen. You can always add extra fresh produce or swap things out. It’s super versatile!
- Fresh asparagus: Trimmed. What’s a spring salad without asparagus anyway? For this recipe, we lightly cook the asparagus in a skillet, about 1 to 2 minutes per side, so it’s crisp tender.
- Olive oil: For the asparagus.
- Butter lettuce: Boston, bibb, or little gem lettuce work too.
- Spring green mix: These come in boxes or bags at the grocery store. Pick ones that are bright green and crisp. Stay away from those that look wilted and pale.
- Radishes: I use regular radishes, but feel free to use other varieties, such as watermelon radish (they have gorgeous colors!).
- Canned artichoke hearts: I’m a huge artichoke lover. No need to cook fresh artichokes here, canned is just as good.
- Green peas: Preferably fresh, but frozen are fine too.
- Goat cheese: I use herbed goat cheese for extra flavor. Feta cheese is also a great option.
- For the lemon vinaigrette: freshly squeezed lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, dijon mustard, minced garlic, honey, salt, and pepper.
You can make this spring salad in just 15 minutes, and even faster if you prep the ingredients in advance. It’s a low-effort salad that always turns out gorgeous. Your guests will never know how little time it took!
Step 1 | Make the lemon dressing
In a mason jar, combine the freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, minced garlic, honey, salt, and pepper. Seal the jar and shake vigorously until evenly combined.
Step 2 | Lightly cook the asparagus
In a skillet, add a few drizzles of olive oil over high heat. Cook the asparagus, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. This step with tenderize the asparagus just enough while also keeping it bright green and crisp.
Step 3 | Assemble Salad
On a large serving plate or salad bowl (I use an oval platter), arrange the butter lettuce. Then, top with a bed of green spring mix. Arrange the remaining ingredients on top.
I’d highly recommend first arranging the butter lettuce leaves, especially around the edges of the plate. Then arrange the spring green mix on top. Arrange the remaining ingredients on top evenly. These layers make it extra pretty.
Step 4 | Drizzle the dressing
Drizzle the prepared lemon dressing over the salad and toss to combine. And that’s it…an easy and beautiful fresh spring salad in no time!
There are plenty of ways to customize salads, and this spring salad is no exception.
Here are some variation ideas:
- Use your favorite seasonal produce: Swap the ingredients or add extra ones. The possibilities are endless.
- Add a protein: Try my grilled lemon marinated chicken, pan-seared chicken, or grilled shrimp. You can also keep it simple and add prosciutto, yum!
- Other add-ins: To make it heartier, try adding in chickpeas, orzo, or grains like farro, bulgur, or quinoa.
- Add nuts: Walnuts, almonds, crushed pistachios, or pine nuts are a few of my faves.
- Cheese: If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, try feta cheese or shaved parmesan.
- Serve this spring salad on the side. My favorite main dish pairings for this recipe are Greek Chicken Kabobs or Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts.
Dressings You Can Use
I love pairing this spring salad with bright dressings, such as the lemon dressing included in the recipe, but you can use any dressing you’d like!
If you’re running short on time, certainly use your favorite store-bought dressing. I’d recommend going for something like a vinaigrette rather than a heavy dressing.
Other homemade salad dressing ideas:
- Creamy Balsamic Dressing
- Homemade Greek Dressing
- Honey Mustard Dressing by Love and Lemons
- Light Green Goddess Dressing also by Love and Lemons
Yes, you can prep ahead this easy spring salad! This is great if you are hosting Easter or spring celebrations.
Here are some quick prep-ahead tips:
- Pre-wash the lettuce and veggies. Use a salad spinner to remove excess moisture – this will keep your greens crisp.
- Pre-dice or slice the other ingredients and refrigerate.
- Lightly cook the asparagus and refrigerate. If you’re worried the asparagus may wilt overnight, cook it right before serving. It should only take 3 to 4 minutes.
- Make the dressing up to 3 days ahead and refrigerate. It may solidify in the fridge. If this happens, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it up before serving.
More Spring Recipes
Looking for more spring-inspired side dishes to serve? Give these a try! They go really well with this gorgeous Brown Sugar Glazed Ham.
Yes! You can pre-wash and pre-dice all the ingredients. Use a salad spinner. The dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead as well (it will solidify in the fridge, pop it in the microwave oven for a few seconds to loosen it up).
I’d recommend a bright and vibrate dressing, such as the lemon honey dressing included in the recipe card down below. Another option is this creamy balsamic dressing.
Of course! Try feta cheese or shaved parmesan cheese (I shave it off the block with my Y-peeler). For something stronger, blue or gorgonzola cheese are great.
This recipe was published in 2021 and updated in March 2023 to include new photos and information, plus a few recipe modifications.
Tips for Success
- When picking the lettuce or greens, make sure they are vibrant green and crisp. Stay away from wilted or pale greens. Use a salad spinner to rinse and dry the greens.
- To add some tenderness to the asparagus, grill or pan-sear it for 1-2 minutes over high heat. Although asparagus can be eaten raw, it’s always better when it’s cooked and tender.
- The lemon dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated. If it solidifies, let it sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes prior to using, or microwave it for just a few seconds to loosen it up.
- If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, try feta cheese or even shaved parmesan cheese. I use a Y-peeler to shave it off the block.
Fresh Spring Salad
- ½ pound fresh asparagus - bottoms trimmed
- Olive oil - for the asparagus
- 8 leaves butter lettuce - or Boston or Bibb lettuce
- 5 ounces spring green mix - about 6 cups
- 3 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 12 ounces canned artichoke hearts, halved
- ⅓ cup fresh or frozen peas - thaw if frozen
- 4 ounces goat cheese, torn into smaller pieces - I use herbed goat cheese
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice - plus more to taste
- ⅔ cups extra virgin olive oil - plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 clove fresh garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon honey - plus more to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Make the lemon vinaigrette: Combine all the lemon vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar. Cover with the lid tightly and shake vigorously until fully combined. Adjust the dressing ingredients to taste, if needed. Set aside.
- Lightly cook the asparagus: On a skillet or grill pan, add a small amount of olive oil over high heat. Cook the asparagus for about 1-2 minutes per side, until slightly tender but still crisp. This will make the asparagus slightly tender and easier to eat. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Assemble the salad: On a large platter, arrange the butter lettuce. Then add a bed of spring green mix. Gently tuck the asparagus into the greens, and arrange the remaining salad ingredients on top.
- Drizzle with the prepared lemon vinaigrette. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Pick vibrant green and crisp greens. Farmer’s Markets are great places to find the freshest produce available.
- Use a salad spinner to rinse and dry your greens. It does a great job getting rid of the extra water droplets. This way, your greens will stay crisp.
- Feel free to swap or add any ingredients to this salad. Use your favorite ingredients.
- For the lemon dressing, I’d recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice and good quality olive oil.
- Prep ahead: The lettuce and greens can be pre-washed and dried (use a salad spinner), and the rest of the vegetables can be pre-diced or sliced. The dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance. If it solidifies, let it sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes prior to using, or microwave it for just a few seconds to loosen it up.
- Use your favorite spring vegetables.
- Other dressings: Creamy Balsamic Dressing or any vibrant dressings you like. Store-bought is fine too.