Ensalada verde is a classic Spanish side salad made in just 10 minutes with fresh greens, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and a simple vinaigrette. It’s easily customizable and can be found on tables across the Caribbean.

a green salad in a bowl

If you love Puerto Rican recipes, ensalada verde is the perfect addition to your table.

This simple green salad pairs well with many classic Puerto Rican dishes like arroz con gandules, arroz con pollo, pinchos de pollo, and more!

ingredients to make ensalada verde

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make ensalada verde:

For the Salad

  • a head of butter lettuce or romaine, rinsed 
  • cucumber, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • tomatoes, sliced 
  • small red onion,  sliced thinly 

For the Dressing

  • salt
  • pepper
  • vinegar (white, red wine, or balsamic)
  • olive oil 

See recipe card for quantities.

Instructions

a bowl of butter lettuce

Make the salad. Add the lettuce to a large bowl and top with sliced cucumber, tomato, and onion. 

Tip: you can make the salad and dressing in advance, keep separate and dress when ready to serve.

dressing in a bottle

Make the dressing. A small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing.

a green salad in a bowl

Pour over the salad and serve. 

The Best Greens for Ensalada Verde

It’s traditional to use butter lettuce or romaine for ensalada verde. That said, you can feel free to use any greens that are accessible to you.

Here are some tasty alternative leafy greens to try:

  • arugula
  • kale
  • cabbage
  • fresh herbs like cilantro, oregano, & parsley
  • dandelion greens
  • microgreens & sprouts
  • spinach
a plate of sliced tomatoes and cucumber

Additions

Because this salad is so simple, it’s extremely customizable.

Here are some of my favorite additions:

  • Olives & pickled thingsblack or green olives can add a really tasty bite when paired with the tomatoes and vinaigrette
  • Cheese – adding crumbled feta or cotija cheese adds a fatty creamy note
  • Fruit – toss in some blueberries, sliced strawberries, or whatever fresh fruit you enjoy in salads for a sweet kick

You can also skip the onions depending on your preference.

a plate of sliced onion

Variations

Part of what makes this salad so fun is how it comes out a little different every time depending on what’s in your fridge/pantry.

Here are some variations I enjoy:

  • Greens – swap out your greens for some crunchy kale and peppery arugula, or add fresh herbs and sprouts to your butter lettuce for variety in your leafy greens
  • Dressing – try using your favorite dressing instead of the vinaigrette for a different flavor profile
  • Veggies – switch out the veggies with roasted beets, avocado (really adds tto the green color palette), or bell peppers!
a green salad in a bowl

What to Eat it With

As mentioned above, ensalada verde is a staple salad recipe in Puerto Rico. You will find it accompanying savory dishes all across the island.

Here are some of the most common dishes to enjoy it with:

a green salad in a bowl

Storage

If you want to make this salad ahead of time, make the salad and dressing in advance, keep separate and dress when ready to serve.

These ingredients don’t stand up well to freezing.

Buen provecho,

Salima written in cursive
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
a green salad in a bowl

10 Minute Ensalada Verde

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad, Side Dish, Appetizer
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, Latin, Spanish
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Ensalada verde is a classic Spanish side salad made in just 10 minutes with fresh greens, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and a simple vinaigrette. It’s easily customizable and can be found on tables across the Caribbean. 


Ingredients

Scale

For the Salad:

  • 1 head butter lettuce or romaine, rinsed
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly

For the Dressing: 

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (white, red wine, or balsamic)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Make the salad. Add the lettuce to a large bowl and top with sliced cucumber, tomato, and onion. 
  2. Make the dressing. A small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Pour over the salad and serve. 

Notes

Hint: you can make the salad and dressing in advance, keep separate and dress when ready to serve.