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Wedge Salad

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The crunchy, crisp taste of this loaded Wedge Salad is unbelievable. And what can be better than a salad loaded with cherry tomatoes sautéed in bacon drippings, red onion slices, homemade buttery croutons, crumbled bacon, and drizzled with delicious ranch dressing?

There’s no doubt this easy steakhouse restaurant-style Wedge Salad needs just a few fresh ingredients for you to prepare the perfect salad at home.

And serve this alongside grilled chicken or steak, warm buttery breadsticks, or soup for the ultimate meal combo.

A quartered slice of iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing drizzled over. Then topped with bacon crumbles, cherry tomatoes cut in half, croutons, red onion slices, and small bits of green onions on a blue salad plate. A jar of cherry tomatoes is in the background.

I grew up enjoying this classic American salad at steakhouse restaurants long before eating gluten and dairy free. It was always the perfect way for me to kick off a meal.

Nowadays it’s impossible to enjoy this salad safely at local restaurants. So we make our own at home with ingredients we already have on hand in the refrigerator.

Bonus idea– consider offering a Wedge Salad Bar at your next party or luncheon with various toppings and dressings. And you could even offer cute and amazing little mini wedges served on a gorgeous cake plate.

Everyone will love this fun and healthy meal idea that is not only gluten and dairy free, but also very allergen friendly.

A quartered slice of iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing drizzled over. Then topped with bacon crumbles, cherry tomatoes cut in half, croutons, red onion slices, and small bits of green onions on a blue salad plate.

wedge salad ingredients and serving tips

  • homemade gluten free croutons— make a double or even a triple batch to keep on hand for eating salads in restaurants or to enjoy with more homemade dishes. We use Udi’s bread, Earth Balance Butter Sticks, dried thyme, sage, parsley, and garlic powder. Always check your spices are gluten and dairy free.
  • iceberg lettuce— wash and remove the outer 3-4 leaves. Quarter the wedge into 4 sections.
  • dairy free dressing— we use dairy free ranch dressing for this salad. Our favorite brands are the Hidden Valley Plant Powdered Ranch Dressing and other options here. Scroll down for more suggestions too.
  • diced red onion
  • fresh cherry tomatoes— cut in half and leave as is or sauté in leftover bacon grease for out of this world flavor
  • gluten free bacon crumbles— always double check your bacon is gluten free. We prefer to bake our bacon following this guide from Well Plated.
  • ground black pepper
  • sliced avocado— optional
  • toasted walnuts–optional
  • garnish– thin green onion slices or chives
  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper or baking mat
  • pastry brush
  • cutting board
  • chef knife— we absolutely love these Zelite brand knives. They are a premium quality knife with an amazing grip.
  • 4 salad plates
A quartered slice of iceberg lettuce with someone drizzling ranch dressing drizzled on top of the salad. Then topped with bacon crumbles, cherry tomatoes cut in half, croutons, red onion slices, and small bits of green onions on a blue salad plate.

should I wash iceberg lettuce before cutting it

Yes. To clean your iceberg lettuce, first give the head a good rinse under cold running water and pat dry.

Then place on a cutting board and remove the outer few leaves that tend to be wilted.

how do I cut iceberg lettuce for a wedge salad

First slice the head of the lettuce in half. Then half again. Cut off the core from each wedge.

Place each quarter on a plate with the cut side up as shown.

For mini wedges make an additional cut to each wedge.

what are the benefits to eating iceberg lettuce

While iceberg lettuce gets a bad rap for not being the most nutritiously dense of the “greens”, it does offer generous nutrition. Oftentimes it is also more kid-approved than other salad mixes, making it a win-win in our parent handbook.

We like to consider it a great bridge food for people who aren’t big into eating healthy greens or veggies.

It offers a mild, sweet flavor and a pleasant crunch that’s packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and folate.

how do I make my own gluten free croutons

Surprisingly making your own gluten free croutons for salads is really easy!

And they’re so good to munch on that we find it’s wise to make a double or triple batch.

That way you have plenty to munch on while prepping this salad and extras to sprinkle on your salad at local restaurants. Yes– I have no shame in carrying my own dressing and croutons into restaurants with me.

We also love eating these croutons by the handful.

This crouton recipe is also the base for our delicious and easy Thanksgiving Crock-Pot Stuffing recipe. Pin that now for Thanksgiving.

what gluten and dairy free dressing should I use

Typically a traditional wedge salad is topped with blue cheese dressing and crumbles.

However– we haven’t tasted a gluten and dairy free blue cheese dressing resembling the blue cheese taste.

Instead we love drizzling this salad with delicious dairy free ranch dressing. There are so many great brands on the market nowadays, such as Hidden Valley’s Ranch Plant Powered dressing and Follow Your Heart Vegan Ranch.

And I know so many of you love the taste of Primal Kitchen’s Ranch too.

Bonus– Follow Your Heart released a Bleu Cheese dressing we haven’t tried yet. Have you? If you have, let us know in the comments what you think.

more recipes you’ll love

  • burrito bowl— customize this yummy bowl to your favorite burrito toppings and enjoy this bowl all summer long
  • oriental chicken salad— enjoy this Applebee’s copycat salad filled with crunchy greens, shredded carrots, sliced almonds, chicken, and the best oriental salad dressing
  • crock-pot taco soup— our go-to easy soup with minimal food prep, but full of delicious hearty flavor
  • easy skillet lasagna— here’s another one of our one-pan meals! This lasagna has delicious flavor without all the fuss of multiple pots and pans.
A quartered slice of iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing drizzled over. Then topped with bacon crumbles, cherry tomatoes cut in half, croutons, red onion slices, and small bits of green onions on a blue salad plate.

bonus dessert recipes you need

  • chocolate peanut butter layer brownies— this chocolate peanut buttery recipe has all the comfort and yummy dessert feels
  • banana bread with chocolate chips— what’s better than homemade banana bread with semi-sweet chocolate chips? Make the recipe this week to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or as a midday snack.
  • chocolate cream pie— from the buttery oreo crust to the thick chocolate pudding topped with creamy cocowhip and chocolate swirls, this pie is amazing

lastly

Go ahead and add this salad recipe to your menu. You’ll find this classic Wedge Salad is just as delicious as the fancy steakhouse restaurants– and it’s safer and a whole lot cheaper.

Top your homemade delicious iceberg lettuce with bacon crumbles, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and the best DIY croutons. Then drizzle with a satisfying dairy free ranch dressing.

Did you know you’ll find plenty more salad recipes on our website? And so many weeknight and weekend recipes as well.

Be sure to snoop around and pin recipes for the upcoming week.

Follow along on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram too.

Like and comment often so you keep seeing our posts. We don’t want you to miss another recipe, product alert, giveaway, or “free from” lifestyle hack.

Eat well and feel well,

Jill

Wedge Salad

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Salad
Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, soy free
Servings: 4 large salads
Author: Eating Gluten and Dairy Free

Ingredients

Homemade Croutons

  • 3 slices gluten free bread suggestion in post
  • 3 tbsp dairy free butter, melted suggestion in post
  • ¼ tsp powdered garlic
  • dash dried thyme
  • dash dried sage
  • dash dried parsley

Wedge Salad Ingredients

  • 1 medium iceberg lettuce head wash and pat dry
  • 1 c dairy free ranch dressing suggestions in post
  • ½ diced red onion
  • 2 c fresh cherry tomatoes cut in half and sautéed in bacon grease for extra flavor
  • 8 strips gluten free bacon crumbles see link for baking bacon in post
  • c gluten & dairy free croutons
  • dash ground black pepper
  • optional– roasted walnuts, sliced avocado
  • garnish with green onions or chives

Instructions

Homemade Croutons

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
  • Place sliced bread on the baking sheet.
  • Melt butter in a small bowl and add ground spices.
  • Dip a pastry brush into the melted butter mixture and stir. Then brush the pastry brush over both sides of each bread slice.
  • Then cut each slice of bread into 16 small cubes.
  • Transfer to the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving on salads.
  • Place in an airtight container on the countertop up to a week.

Wedge Salad Assembly

  • To clean your iceberg lettuce, first give the head a good rinse under cold running water and pat dry.
  • Then place on a cutting board and remove the outer few leaves that are usually wilted.
  • First slice the head of the lettuce in half. Then half again. Cut off the core from each wedge. Place each quarter on a plate with the cut side up as shown. For mini wedges make an additional cut to each wedge.
  • Place each wedge on a salad plate, then drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with the salad toppings as desired.
  • Serve immediately.

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