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This Crunchy Romaine Lettuce Salad is packed with chopped raw vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and radishes. Toasted almonds and sunflower seeds add an extra crunch, while fresh mint, parsley, and a za’atar dressing add that punch of Mediterranean flavour. It’s simple, healthy, and delicious!

Overhead photo of a plate with chopped romaine and vegetable salad topped with a sliced hard boiled egg.

Salads can get a bad rap for being empty and bland, but I promise you that there are no boring green salad recipes around here!

As a dietitian, I don’t believe in eating a salad just because it’s “healthy” or because you’re trying to force some vegetables in; I want a salad to be a delicious and satisfying part of your meals.

Often what that means is that a salad packs in a lot of different flavours, textures, and balanced nutrition.

This crunchy romaine salad provides a ton of texture from the raw veggies, toasted almonds, and sunflower seeds, and it also packs in tons of Mediterranean flavours from the freshly chopped mint, parsley, and za’atar spice dressing.

You can enjoy this salad as a side to your main meal, or add a source of protein to make it a full meal on it’s own. If you need some inspiration, I share some ideas for what to pair this salad with below.

The base salad recipe is completely gluten-free and plant-based!

Overhead photo of large white bowl with chopped romaine and mixed vegetable salad inside.

Ingredients Needed

All you need to make this easy romaine salad recipe are the following simple, healthy ingredients:

What Is Za’atar Spice?

If you’ve never heard of this spice blend, you are in for a treat!

While the exact blend can vary depending on the brand you purchase (and the particular region from where it originates), za’atar will typically be a mixture of some or all of the following: thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, sumac, and salt.

Za’atar is originally from the Middle East and is very popular in countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel.

hand holding glass jar with za'atar salad dressing

How To Make This Salad Recipe

To make this crunchy romaine salad, you want to start by preheating your oven to 350F.

Spread the raw almonds onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until fragrant (be careful not to burn).

Meanwhile, chop the rest of the salad ingredients.

Remove the end of a head of romaine lettuce, and chop the lettuce all the way up to the tip, spacing your cuts out about 1-inch from the last. The head of romaine will fall apart into nicely chopped pieces. Give the pieces of lettuce a good wash and spin dry.

Continue to chop the cherry tomatoes in half, the bell pepper into one-inch chunks, and the Persian cucumbers into small pieces as well. Thinly slice a few radishes with a mandolin, and finely chop the fresh parsley and fresh mint.

The almonds should be toasted now, so remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Roughly chop them into smaller pieces as well. Transfer all ingredients to a large salad bowl.

Then, make the za’atar salad dressing by combining extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic powder, za’atar spice, salt, and pepper into a small jar. Shake well and pour over salad ingredients. Toss well to combine and serve immediately.

Overhead photo of large white bowl of chopped vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Recipe Modifications & Ingredient Swaps

While I love this recipe as is, feel free to experiment with this recipe based on what you have available. For instance:

  1. The sunflower seeds can be swapped with other seeds like pumpkin or hemp. You can even leave them out entirely, and just use more almonds (or vice versa).
  2. You can swap or add other crunchy veggies, like carrots, snap peas, or celery. Steamed beets would taste good too!
  3. If you aren’t able to find a za’atar blend, you can play around with this dressing by combining some or all of the following spices: thyme, oregano, toasted sesame seeds, sumac, and salt. Note that thyme is the most prominent flavour! Alternatively, here’s a recipe for making the blend at home.

What To Serve Romaine Salad With

Enjoy this salad as a side dish to your main meal, or add a source of protein to make it a full meal on it’s own.

If you want to throw a protein source on this salad, why not try:

  • hard-boiled eggs (as pictured)
  • canned chickpeas, for a vegan version
  • shredded chicken, if you’d prefer to have it with meat
  • canned tuna or salmon, if you prefer seafood

Below are some main dish recipes that I think would taste amazing with the Mediterranean flavours of this salad:

Storage Notes

This salad is best enjoyed immediately. However, if you’re planning to have leftovers or are making it in advance, be sure to wait to add the dressing until right before serving to prevent the ingredients from getting too soggy!

Leftovers (chopped veggies without dressing) will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Closeup photo of white bowl with chopped romaine salad inside.

Romaine Lettuce Nutrition Benefits

Did you know that romaine lettuce is incredibly nutritious?

This leafy green is packed with essential micronutrients, including:

  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K
  • vitamin A (from beta carotene)
  • folate
  • calcium
  • phosphorus
  • magnesium
  • potassium

These micronutrients work together to ensure our body’s systems are functioning properly, playing roles in our bone health, blood health, nerve, and muscle function.

Vitamins C and beta carotene also act as powerful antioxidants.

Romaine lettuce is mostly made up of water, which also makes it incredibly hydrating!

Closeup photo of a plate with chopped romaine salad and a hard boiled egg on top.

More Easy Salad Recipes

Did you give this Crunchy Romaine Salad With Za’atar Dressing Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: Healthy Romaine Salad With Za’atar Dressing

This Crunchy Romaine Lettuce Salad is packed with chopped raw vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and radishes. Toasted almonds and sunflower seeds add an extra crunch, while fresh mint, parsley, and a za’atar dressing add that punch of Mediterranean flavour. It’s simple, healthy, and delicious!
plate with crunchy chopped romaine salad and hard boiled egg
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Ingredients

  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (can use English cucumbers instead)
  • 2 persian cucumbers
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 3 radishes
  • 1 cup fresh mint
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Za'atar Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp za'atar spice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 1-2 garlic cloves, minced)
  • Salt + pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Spread the raw almonds onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until fragrant (be careful not to burn). Let nuts cool, and then roughly chop into smaller pieces.
  • Meanwhile, remove the end of a head of romaine lettuce, and chop the lettuce all the way up to the tip, spacing your cuts out about 1-inch from the last. The head of romaine will fall apart into nicely chopped pieces. Give the pieces of lettuce a good wash and spin dry.
  • Continue to chop the cherry tomatoes in half, the bell pepper into one-inch chunks, and the Persian cucumbers into small pieces as well. Thinly slice a few radishes with a mandolin.
  • Next, finely chop the fresh parsley and fresh mint. Transfer chopped romaine, all veggies, toasted almonds, and sunflower seeds to a large salad bowl.
  • Then, make the za'atar salad dressing by combining dressing ingredients into a small jar. Shake well and pour over salad. Toss well to combine and serve immediately.

Notes

*This recipe serves about 4 people as a side, and about 2 as a main. Feel free to add a protein source, like canned chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs, or shredded chicken to make it a complete meal.
*This salad is best enjoyed immediately. However, if you’re planning to have leftovers or are making it in advance, be sure to wait to add the dressing until right before serving to prevent the ingredients from getting too soggy! Leftovers (chopped veggies without dressing) will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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Pinterest graphic for a crunchy romaine lettuce salad recipe.
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