Looking for the best romaine salad recipe? Easy and delicious, this amazingly flavorful salad is made with a creamy Havarti cheese and crisp bacon and tossed in a rich vinaigrette dressing. It’s got the perfect blend of sweet, savory, and crunchy goodness. You’ll love every bite of it!
The Perfect Romaine Salad Recipe!
This salad is a huge crowd pleaser. I have a lot of really popular salads, like my Greek Kale and Quinoa Salad and this Autumn Chopped Salad, but this is the salad everyone always requests me to make the most. It’s crunchy, creamy, and so flavorful and has all the perfect blends of textures.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Romaine Lettuce
- Creamy Havarti Cheese
- Sunflower Seeds
- Dried Cranberries
Homemade Salad Dressing
- Canola Oil
- White Wine Vinegar
- Garlic Cloves
Making Homemade Salad Dressing
I’m a huge fan of making my own salad dressings. The flavor of this dressing, thanks to the white wine vinegar, compliments all of the others flavors in this salad – like the bacon, Havarti cheese, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries. To make this tangy and bright vinaigrette, add all ingredients to a medium size bowl and whisk. Store the dressing in a container with a lid, or this salad dressing shaker, and store in the refrigerator.
How to Make Romaine Lettuce Salad
- Start by cutting the romaine lettuce. Rinse the chopped lettuce well and drain. I like to use this salad spinner to ensure all the liquid is gone. Set the chopped romaine lettuce in a large bowl.
- Next, fry up the bacon in the skillet. You want the bacon to be crispy in texture. Once the bacon is done cooking, chop with a knife on a cutting board into bite-size pieces.
- From there, crumble the creamy Havarti cheese into bite-size pieces.
- Grab the big bowl containing the chopped romaine lettuce and add in the crumbled Havarti cheese and crispy bacon, as well as the sweet dried cranberries and crunchy sunflower seed kernels. Slowly drizzle on the zesty vinaigrette dressing.
- Toss with salad tongs to ensure all ingredients are well mixed. Serve immediately.
How to Cut Romaine Lettuce for a Salad
Yes, this is a “thing”. Apparently there is a method to cutting a head of romaine lettuce.
- First, cut the head of romaine lettuce in half.
- For both halves, cut out the bottom core in a triangle shape.
- Then, cut each halves longways 2 times and then chop it from top to bottom.
Need a visual? Watch this video on How to Cut Romaine Lettuce.
Can I Add Chicken?
This salad is my go to “pair with any meal” salad but sometimes I just want to eat it as a meal. To add some protein, I’ll add either shredded rotisserie or diced chicken to this romaine salad.
Can I Make it in Advance?
You can, yes. Just don’t add the salad dressing on until you are ready to serve. The last thing you want is to bite into a soggy salad.
Turkey or Pork Bacon
The answer is either. This romaine salad is delish with pork bacon and it’s delish with turkey bacon. Have you ever cooked your bacon in the oven? If not, give it a try! It saves setting off the smoke detector and oil splatter burns. Check out this youtube video here: How to Bake Bacon in the Oven
More Salad Recipes You’ll Love
- Roasted Broccoli Salad with Pine Nuts and Feta
- Apple and Berry Chopped Kale Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette
- Pear and Goat Cheese Bistro Salad
If you made this recipe, leave me a comment and give this recipe a star review! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #recipesworthrepeating and tagging me @recipesworthrepeating.
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Romaine Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
- 2 heads Romaine lettuce
- 1/2 wedge Havarti cheese, crumbled
- 1 package bacon, pork or turkey
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
Homemade Salad Dressing
- Combine all ingredients for the salad dressing and put in a container that has a tight lid. Shake dressing well and chill in the refrigerator.
- Chop the romaine lettuce and place in a large boil.
- Cook the bacon per package directions until crispy.
- Combine all remaining salad ingredients in the large bowl with the lettuce.
- When the salad dressing has chilled, toss the salad with dressing immediately before serving.
- Store any leftover salad dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in April 2013, but was re-published with updated step-by-step instructions, pictures, and tips in July 2019.