Raw Veggie Salad

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This easy raw veggie salad is made from garden fresh vegetables tossed in a spicy vinaigrette dressing with savory croutons on top. Serve it as a side dish for a weeknight dinner or a lighter main dish when topped with feta cheese.

A bowl of raw vegetables with croutons.

Everyone loves a great no-cook side dish to serve when the weather warms up. This fresh and crispy raw veggie salad is just the solution for a busy weeknight dinner or for a potluck dish to pass that won't spoil in the heat.

Farm fresh in-season vegetables are tossed in a slightly spicy vinaigrette dressing and served cold with savory croutons. You can use your favorite store brand, but I took a few minutes to make my own with a fresh baguette I picked up at the store.

I've been enjoying this as my easy summer lunch topped with crumbled feta cheese and I've loved every bite!

Why This is the Best Recipe

I'm always looking for new ways to feed my kids extra veggies. I think this is the best raw veggie salad recipe because:

  1. Easy Prep: Since you don't even have to cook the vegetables, you can have this chopped and ready in just minutes.
  2. Cold and Crunchy: For the hot weather months, this is an extremely refreshing vegetable side dish to serve.
  3. Tons of Flavor: From the homemade croutons and the spicy vinaigrette dressing to the super-flavorful fresh vegetables, there is so much deliciousness going on in this dish.

Ingredients

The vegetables and oil are on the counter.

All you need to make this easy recipe is:

  • Raw Green Beans: I bought the kind that were already pre-washed to make it even easier!
  • Baby Cucumbers: I love the tiny size of these seedless cucumbers once sliced, but you could chop up a regular sized cucumber if you prefer.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: You could use grape tomatoes or any small tomato you want.
  • Minced Onion: I had 1/4 of a yellow onion on hand. You could use red onion, green onions, or even a vidalia onion if you have it.
  • Fresh Basil
  • Minced Garlic
  • Peppered Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Baguette: This was an easy option for making the homemade croutons. But any croutons you love will work or you can use another kind of bread like Italian bread or French bread to make your croutons.

Prep the Peppered Vinegar

One of the more delicious parts about this recipe is the gentle heat that a splash of this easy peppered vinegar adds to the dressing.

Even if you don't usually enjoy spicy food, I recommend giving this a try. It adds so much flavor to the final dish! No one in my family even mentioned the spice, but it wouldn't be as delicious without it.

The peppered vinegar should marinate in your fridge for several days before you use it in this raw veggie salad. Take just 5 minutes to whip it together and let it hang in the fridge until you're ready.

Prep the Croutons

Making homemade croutons only takes 15 minutes and they are so much more delicious than anything you could buy at the grocery store.

If you're serving this raw veggie salad for a special event, it is especially worth the extra effort.

A pan of chopped baguette is on a baking sheet next to a jar of spice.

You can get my full blown homemade croutons recipe here, but I also included simple tips in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

For this salad, I seasoned my baguette chunks with olive oil and this Bloody Mary Mate seasoning which has salt, celery, onion, sugar, garlic, and a hint of shallots. A simple Italian herb blend would also be an excellent choice.

Be sure to bake the croutons early enough so they have a chance to cool completely before adding them to the salad.

Prep the Veggies

Peel the mini cucumbers and slice them into 1/4-inch thick slices. Add them to a mixing bowl.

The cucumbers have been peeled and are being sliced on a cutting board with a small knife.

Chop the green beans into 1-inch thick pieces, add them to the mixing bowl.

The raw green beans are on a cutting board being cut into 1-inch pieces.

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Rinse the tomatoes and add them to the bowl.

Top with the minced onion and minced garlic. Then rip the fresh basil by hand so it doesn't bruise.

The basil has been ripped by hand and scattered over the veggies in the mixing bowl.

Drizzle the olive oil over the veggies and gently toss to coat.

The garlic and olive oil have been stirred into the vegetables in a mixing bowl.

Chill Time

Cover the mixing bowl and let the vegetables marinate in the fridge for 2 hours before serving.

Assemble & Serve

When you're ready to serve the side dish, drizzle the peppered vinegar over the veggies and add the croutons.

Gently stir to coat and serve.

Variations

This raw veggie salad method would work with a long list of easy variations. Try mixing and matching your favorite raw veggies:

  • Chopped Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli Spears
  • Chopped Zucchini
  • Chopped Carrots
  • Sugar Snap Peas or Pea Pods
  • Chopped Asparagus

Serving Suggestions

The final salad is in a white serving bowl with a spoon.

This crispy, crunchy raw veggie salad makes a delicious no-cook side dish for the warm weather months, but honestly I could see eating it all year long.

I paired it with some blackened mahi mahi sandwiches as an easy veggie side for a weeknight dinner.

I could see bringing it as a potluck side dish to a backyard party, too since nothing would spoil in the heat.

I scooped out a large bowl for my weekday lunch and just topped it with some feta cheese crumbles for a little boost of protein. It would pair well with grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon, too.

More Easy Salad Recipes

📖 Recipe

A bowl of raw vegetables with croutons.

Raw Veggie Salad

5 from 1 vote
A cold and crispy raw veggie salad tossed in a spicy pepper vinaigrette with savory croutons on top makes an excellent summer side dish for grilled chicken, fish, or pork. This travel-friendly recipe is perfect for bringing to a potluck party since nothing will spoil in the heat.
TOTAL TIME 2 hours 10 minutes
PREP TIME 10 minutes
CHILL TIME 2 hours
YIELD 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 mini seedless cucumbers peeled and sliced, or 1/2 large seedless cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil torn
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp peppered vinegar see notes
  • 2 cups croutons homemade or store bought
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Add all the fresh veggies, minced onion, minced garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil to a large bowl and toss together. Chill for 2 hours before serving.
  • Just before serving, top the veggies with the croutons and drizzle everything with the vinegar. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the top and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Peppered Vinegar

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 jalapeño, stem and seeds removed
Add everything to a mason jar and shake. Refrigerate for 1 week before using.

Homemade Croutons

  • 1 baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the bread chunks and olive oil together on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle them with the seasoning. Bake for 5 minutes. Toss with a spatula. Bake for another 5 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
COURSESalads
CUISINEAmerican

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A bowl of raw vegetables with croutons.

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