Best Salad Ever (My Most Requested Salad Recipe) (2024)

by Mary Neumann ·

Today I am sharing one of my most requested recipes, The BEST SALAD EVER!! If you like the ingredients, you will LOVE this! Gorgonzola, apple, cherries (or cranberries), pecans and bacon, with a sweet balsamic dressing. Trust me, you will be going back for seconds…maybe thirds – it’s that good!

Read the rave reviews from people who tried this recipe on Pinterest!

Read more reviews from my original post for this salad.

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The Best Salad for Dinner Parties, Holidays, Special Occasions!

I created this over twenty-six years ago when I was pregnant with my first child, trying to cure my salty, sweet, tart craving. Since then, it has been my go-to and one of my most requested recipes. I make it for dinner parties, holidays, special occasions, and it’s what my first child requests every single birthday – fitting.

I highly recommend using my saladdressingrecipe below – no substituting. All the flavorstogether is what makes this salad so delicious.

Best Salad Ever (My Most Requested Salad Recipe) (2)

Mary’s Best Salad Ever (My Most Requested Salad Recipe):

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  • 1 bag spring salad mix
  • 1 bag romaine
  • 3 oz bag of Oscar Mayer real bacon (It’s best to make your own bacon – but I almost always cheat – applewood smoked bacon is awesome with this salad)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 1 large granny smith apple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans or almonds
  • 5 oz Gorgonzolaor blue cheese crumbled

Clean lettuce, place in large bowl and top with ingredients – toss.

Mary’s Sweet Balsamic Dressing


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or canola
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8teaspoondry mustard (or a little squeeze of yellow or Grey Poupon mustard)
  • Few twists of fresh cracked pepper Or use 1/8 tsp of reg ground pepper

Whisk all the ingredients together, until sugar and oil are blended. It takes a few minutes for the oil and sugar to blend. Keep whisking….it will blend.


You can substitute dried cherries with dried cranberries and sub Gorgonzola/blue cheese with goat or feta cheese.

The dressing is easy to adapt by adjusting the amount of sugar. If you like less sweet, add a little sugar at a time until you reach the desired sweetness.

Some people have made the dressing with olive oil and enjoyed the results. I have not used olive oil, so I am unable to tell you if it changes the taste of the salad. If you want to use olive oil, make a small batch to taste test.

Chop the apple right before serving to prevent it from browning.

Top with chicken (grilled is wonderful) for a meal.

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If you make the salad, please let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Reader Interactions


  1. Megan

    How many does this serve?

    • Mary Neumann

      Serves 6-8 people Megan.

  2. Kristy

    A friend of mine made this salad for our Christmas party last year, and I immediately had to ask her for the recipe. It’s so good! It’s been my go-to salad ever since.

  3. Debi

    Made this for Thanksgiving dinner and everyone loved it. Will definitely make over and over. I don’t like gorgonzola so substituted with crumbled goat cheese. Delicious!!

  4. JJeanie Schuler

    I apologize if I missed this information – how many servings are there in this recipe? It sounds like the perfect salad for our neighborhood ladies’ progressive lunch next week. Thank you!

    • Mary Neumann

      When I make this, it serves up to 8 people.

  5. Julie

    I made this salad and brought it to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. It was so delicious and I was asked to share the recipe. This is a keeper! Thank you for posting it!

  6. Debbie

    Hi Mary….I am an avid and very adventurous cook and so when I came across your balsamic dressing, I had to chuckle bc I’ve throwing those ingredients together with a few others and everyone goes wild. I also will throw some tortilla shells on the grill and brush some of the dressing onto it and flip and do the other side until it’s as soft or crisp as you like. I use honey and brown sugar in place of regular sugar. I also throw in some garlic, onion powder, and some herbs, and I mix in some apple cider vinegar as well. Try it and let me know your thoughts!!! Thanks for sharing!!! I love it!! 🙂

  7. Martha Merrill

    What is the size of each bag of salad? I need to know so I am making the correct amount of salad.

  8. Dede

    Best. Salad. Ever.
    I never comment or write reviews but this is worth it.
    I followed recipe exactly. Unbelievable combination of tastes.
    Thank you so much for the recipe!

  9. Debby

    I am highly allergic to blue cheeses -what can I sub?

    • Mary Neumann

      You can sub with feta or goat cheese, Debby.

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