Rainbow Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

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Rainbow Salad combines the vibrant colors of the rainbow in a big salad bowl. Not only is it beautiful, it's bursting with healthy vegetables you'll be proud to serve!

Add a delicious lemon vinaigrette and enjoy a light vegetarian meal that's loaded with flavor!

rainbow salad recipe in bright colors.
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What is a Rainbow Salad?

To make a rainbow salad, all you need is a little inspiration. Think of the colors of a rainbow and substitute a variety of fruits and vegetables in its place.

Start with mixed greens and layer different veggies on top in a design that resembles a rainbow shape. It's perfect for a bridal brunch served with raspberry mimosas!

If you love beets, try this colorful and delicious Greek Beet Salad made with creamy feta and crunchy walnuts.

Why You'll Love It

  • Healthy: packed full of vitamins and nutrients!
  • Easy to Make: simply chop the veggies and serve with a lemon vinaigrette for a healthy lunch or side dish for dinner.
  • Perfect for Meal Prep: can be made several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until time to serve. 
  • Versatile: mix it up by adding more fresh flavors from other salad ingredients and fresh herbs.
  • Beautiful: bright colors make this rainbow salad recipe fun to serve at parties and events!

Who wouldn't want to dive into this colorful dish? Hiding beneath the rainbow is a real pot of gold in the shape of leafy salad greens. When you toss it all together, this light meal makes a big impression!

Making a fresh rainbow salad is a simple way to add healthy veggies to your diet which we all need on a daily basis. It's the perfect side to main dishes such as Lemon Chicken Spaghetti, Dutch Oven Ribs or Corned Beef and Cabbage

You'll love the fact that this easy recipe can be part of your meal plan for the work week. Prep it in advance and store in an airtight container so you can just grab it and go! 

salad in the shape of a rainbow in a large bowl.

Salad Ingredients

  • carrots - slice into circles or ribbons
  • cauliflower - chop into small bite size pieces
  • cherry tomatoes - choose tiny tomatoes and leave them whole
  • cucumber - cut each slice into fourths
  • red and orange bell peppers - dice into tiny pieces
  • mixed greens - can substitute any type of greens if desired

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

  • fresh lemon juice - provides acid and tartness
  • dijon mustard - gives the dressing its substance
  • black pepper - adds a nice kick
  • garlic salt - for a dash of flavor
  • honey - adds a touch of sweetness (optional)
  • olive oil - use extra virgin olive oil for best results
colorful rainbow salad in a large bowl.

How To Make Rainbow Salad

  • Dice vegetables in small bite size pieces.
  • Add spring mix to a large bowl.
  • On top of the spring mix, layer diced veggies in rows horizontally, keeping similar colors separated.
  • Start with carrots, then cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.
carrots being cut on a cutting board.

How to Make Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until completely blended. Alternatively, you can blend the ingredients in a blender.
  • Drizzle dressing over salad just before serving.

Helpful Tips

  • Chop veggies the same size: make all the veggies as close to the same size as possible and keep them small enough to bite easily.
  • Put dressing on at the last minute: once the dressing is added, the lettuce can become soggy so wait until it's time to serve and start with a small amount.
  • Separate colors: keep colors separated, for example, add a row of cauliflower between red tomatoes and red peppers.

Recipe FAQs

What are the benefits of Rainbow Salad?

If you want to strengthen your immune system, fight heart disease and reduce the risk of inflammation in your body, consume a rainbow of colors in the food you eat.

What is the healthiest color to eat?

Blue and purple foods are some of the most healthy you can eat because they are known to prevent diseases like strokes, heart conditions and cancer.

Why is eating the rainbow important?

Studies indicate that eating the rainbow (which includes colorful fruits and veggies) provides vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that have vital health benefits.

​Variations

Want to change things up a little? Try these variations to customize the recipe...

  • Make it Asian: add purple cabbage, red cabbage, mandarin oranges, carrot ribbons and sesame seeds. Serve with a peanut Thai dressing.
  • Add Quinoa: turn it into a quinoa salad for a high protein and gluten free meal.
  • Go Greek: add red onion, feta cheese and kalamata olives with a Greek vinaigrette. 
  • Create a Fiesta!: top with taco meat, black beans, corn, avocado and salsa. Sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds and creamy ranch dressing.
  • Substitute Fruit: instead of veggies, use colorful fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple and cantaloupe. Serve with a lime vinaigrette made with lime juice and honey. 

Storage and Freezing

It's best to store leftovers in an airtight container or mason jars with a sealed lid. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Unfortunately, lettuce does not freeze, but veggies do! If you'd like to freeze the veggies for later it's a good idea to blanch them quickly in boiling water, then flash freeze in ice water. Transfer to gallon size bags or air tight containers and freeze up to 3 months.

rows of vegetables lined up to make a rainbow salad.

What to Serve with Rainbow Salad

Smoked meats or grilled fish tastes amazing with a rainbow salad. Try smoked chicken thighs, pellet grill smoked meatloaf, or salmon caprese at a backyard cookout. Or serve it alongside chicken tenders and redskin potato salad at your next family picnic.

Campfire chili or creamy chicken noodle soup is also a perfect pairing. Be sure to add a side of cheesy garlic bread or Irish soda bread for a complete meal.

Additional salads such as old fashioned ham salad, egg salad with pickles and southern tuna salad also go well with this recipe.

If you really want to go all out, add these rainbow sandwiches to your rainbow salad and watch the smiles appear!

More Salad Recipes

Enjoy these other delicious recipes that are sure to please!

Recipe Card

rainbow salad with carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers in rows.

Rainbow Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Rainbow Salad combines the vibrant colors of the rainbow in a big salad bowl. Not only is it beautiful, it's bursting with healthy vegetables you'll be proud to serve!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salads and Sides
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings12
Calories: 32kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Ingredients

Rainbow Salad

  • 8 oz. spring mix lettuce
  • 2 cups baby carrots diced
  • 2 cups cauliflower diced
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups cucumbers diced
  • 2 cups mixed sweet peppers diced

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions

Rainbow Salad

  • Dice all vegetables into bite size pieces.
  • Add spring mix to a large serving bowl.
    8 oz. spring mix lettuce
  • On top of the spring mix, layer diced veggies by lining them up in rows, keeping similar colors separated.
    2 cups baby carrots, 2 cups cauliflower, 3 cups cherry tomatoes, 2 cups cucumbers, 2 cups mixed sweet peppers
  • Start with carrots at the top, followed by cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

  • Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until completely blended. Alternatively, you can blend the ingredients in a blender.
    ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon garlic salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon honey
  • Drizzle dressing over salad just before serving.

Notes

  • Feel free to use other veggies that you like, but five seems to be the magic number.
  • It's best to store leftovers in an airtight container or mason jar with a sealed lid. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Unfortunately, lettuce does not freeze, but veggies do! If you'd like to freeze the veggies for later it's a good idea to blanch them quickly in boiling water, then flash freeze in ice water. Transfer to gallon size bags or air tight containers and freeze up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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