Grape and Walnut Side Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

This quick and easy mixed green salad with grapes, walnuts, and blue cheese dressing is a flavor explosion without any fuss. Mix and match colors and textures for a salad that looks as good as it tastes!

Easy Side Salads - - colorful salad in a bowl with blue cheese dressing
Sally Vargas

This easy side salad is a study in contrasts of tastes and textures: crisp greens, sweet and juicy grapes, and toasty, crunchy walnuts, all topped off with a salty, chunky blue cheese dressing. I could eat this every single day!

The Best Greens for This Salad

I like to use at least two different greens for this recipe, but three or four are even better. I often bring home an assortment of lettuces from the market to use all week. I like the contrast of colors and textures.

I may have a small head of kale and radicchio as my starting point. Then, I add to that according to what I have in the fridge.

Mixed Green Salad -- colorful salad in a bowl with blue cheese dressing
Sally Vargas

What’s the Best Way to Wash Lettuce?

A salad spinner is the best way to wash lettuce, especially if it is slightly gritty. Follow this step-by-step method below.

  • Remove the basket from the salad spinner.
  • Set the bowl of the salad spinner in the sink and fill with cool water.
  • Add the torn leaves to the bowl of water, and swish them around for a few seconds. Let them sit for another 30 seconds or so, just long enough to allow the dirt to settle on the bottom.
  • Lift the greens out with your hands, trying not to disturb the dirt on the bottom, and transfer them to the basket.
  • Dump the water out of the bowl.
  • Return the basket with the leaves to the bowl, and spin until dry.

This method ensures that unwanted grit sinks to the bottom, instead of getting caught in the holes of the basket.

If you don’t have a salad spinner, add the torn leaves to a large bowl of cool water, and swish them around so the grit sinks to the bottom. Lift them out and place them in a colander. Shake the colander to release excess water.

Transfer the leaves to a large, clean tea towel or paper towel, and roll the towel gently, then lightly pat the leaves as dry as you can.

Simple Side Salad - - colorful salad in a bowl with blue cheese dressing
Sally Vargas

How to Store Pre-Washed Greens

You can prep most greens at least one day in advance. Soft greens wilt fairly quickly in the fridge and may only last a day, but sturdy greens, like those in this recipe, will keep for two to three days.

To store them after spinning them dry, line a bowl or container with a layer of paper towels, place the greens in the container, and top with another paper towel. Top with a lid.

I love making a salad mix that lasts a few days, so all I have to do is add the trimmings. I am definitely inclined to eat more salad if I have a bowl of greens ready and waiting! Just make sure you don’t add the dressing until you are ready to serve.

Try All the Salads!

Grape and Walnut Side Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 4 servings


  • 1/4 cup walnut halves and pieces

  • 10 cups mixed greens such as endive, radicchio, baby kale, romaine, or lettuces of your choice

  • 1 cup red grapes, halved

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup blue cheese dressing, or to taste


  1. Toast the walnuts:

    Preheat the oven to 350oF. On a baking sheet, spread the walnuts. Toast for 8 to 10 minutes, or until fragrant and toasty. Remove and let cool while you assemble the salad.

  2. Assemble and toss the salad:

    Tear the greens into bite-size pieces. Wash and spin them dry (if not already washed), and place them in a salad bowl with the grapes. Drizzle with dressing and toss. Sprinkle the walnuts on top and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
234 Calories
20g Fat
13g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 224mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 14mg 71%
Calcium 53mg 4%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 329mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.