Dinner,  Healthy,  Lunch,  Side Dish

Green Salad with Pickled Onions and Balsamic Dressing

Well hello hello. Memorial Day weekend is upon us! That means we will see lots of friends and families getting together, BBQing, making meals, and just spending time with one another. I am grateful for all the men and women who have devoted their lives to serving our country, I am excited to honor them, and I hope that they feel loved and appreciated.

On a lighter note, my favorite part of a holiday is the food and the people. I am an extrovert, so hanging out with humans and connecting with them, makes me come alive.

One of the main reasons I love creating recipe and cooking food, is because it brings us together. It’s the main reason that we all gather in the kitchen area, when there’s a perfectly good couch in the other room. I especially enjoy holidays, because it means special extravagant meals, snacks, desserts, and side dishes for the ones I care about.

Wait, speaking of side dishes, that brings us to my recipe today! Green salad with Pickled Onions and Balsamic Dressing. This salad is topped with feta cheese, crunchy toasted almonds, and OH MY LANTA (Full House reference anyone?), it is to die for. All the flavors: sweet, salty, sour, blend together and create a party in your mouth. The homemade balsamic dressing is sweet but also tangy. The pickled onions are soft and bring some tartness. The toasted almonds gives it a crunch, and the feta cheese brings the saltiness!


Every part of this recipe is homemade, but doesn’t take much time, and if you bring this as a side dish to your Memorial Day party, folks are going to be super impressed. Win-win-win.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!


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green salad with pickled onions and balsamic

Green Salad with Pickled Onions and Balsamic Dressing

  • Author: Allison Olivia
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 large salad 1x


A fresh green salad with feta, pickled red onion, toasted almonds, all tossed in a homemade sweet and tangy balsamic dressing.




  • Arugula, spinach, and whatever greens you like
  • Feta Cheese
  • Toasted sliced almonds (see notes)
  • Pickled red onion (recipe below)
  • Balsamic dressing (recipe below)

Pickled Red Onion:

  • 1 small or medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/4 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard (dijon would work too)
  • 3/4 cup avocado oil (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper



  1. Assemble all ingredients into a large bowl, and either toss the dressing in, or have it on the side. It is a thick and rich dressing, so a little goes a long way.

Pickled Onions:

  1. Put apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, water, salt, and honey, in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until honey and salt are dissolved. Take the pan off the burner, and let it cool for about 5 minutes.
  2. Put sliced red onion into a 32 oz mason jar, and slowly pour the vinegar mixture into the mason jar over the onion. Let cool for 10 minutes. Then close the lid on the mason jar and let sit for an hour to marinate in the fridge, or overnight. The longer you wait, the more the onions will soften and flavors will marinate. Store in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 weeks.

Balsamic Dressing:

  1. Place the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, bring it to a small boil, and stir for about 5 minutes until mixture has slightly thickened.
  2. Take the mixture off of the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, pour in the avocado oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and balsamic/honey mixture, and whisk vigorously until dressing has emulsified.
    It takes a minute or two, but it will fully incorporate (should not be separated). Dressing will be thick.


To toast your sliced almonds, simply put your almonds in a non stick pan, and on medium to low heat, toast them for about 5 minutes, keeping an eye on it and constantly flipping it to make sure both sides get toasted. They are ready when they smell nutty and are lightly golden brown on both sides.

Olive oil would work great for the dressing as well.

I love this balsamic dressing, but it does take a few minutes, so if you are crunched for time, or just don’t want to make it, a store bought balsamic dressing would work too.

You can use red, white, or yellow onions for the pickled onion.

I used arugula and spinach for my salad, because I like the peppery spice that the arugula brings and I love  spinach; however you can use whatever mixed greens you prefer.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour 10 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Green salad, pickled onions, homemade balsamic dressing, side salad, side salad recipe, Memorial Day recipes, arugula salad, spinach salad

Balsamic dressing recipe inspired by Barefeet in the Kitchen: https://bit.ly/3vwwFkp

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