Marinated Vegetable Salad Recipe – Jess Keys

Kitchen fridge marinated vegetable salad

A nice summery “no recipe recipe” that is fitting for this…snowy Monday morning. 😜

We got a taste of summer over the weekend and it reminded me that I needed to share the marinated veggie salad I made back in Florida!

Why marinated veggie salad? Well, I had already made a batch of pasta salad that we worked our way through the week prior, so I wanted something different–I decided to just chop up a bunch of veggies and pour some Italian dressing over them and see what happened.

Turned out–it’s DELICIOUS. And it’s even easier than pasta salad because you don’t have to cook anything!

Kitchen fridge marinated vegetable salad

What I love about marinated vegetable salad:

It’s crunchy, tangy, a great way to use up any vegetables you have in the fridge, and it’s a healthy side or a snack you can pull out of the fridge anytime! It’s also a great alternative to pasta salad if you don’t eat gluten. And happens to be a delicious no-cook side to bring to a party. You can even shortcut cutting a lot of the veggies by buying pre-chopped!

How do you make it?

It’s easy. Veggies of your choice (most of them raw, you don’t even have to cook them!) + store bought vinaigrette of your choice. Let it marinated in the fridge and boom. You’re done!

What veggies can you can use for marinated vegetable salad?

The best thing about this is that you can use whatever you have on hand. If it’s in the fridge–it’s fair game!

In my opinion, the best veggies are carrots, celery, cauliflower, bell pepper and zucchini, because they hold up the best in the fridge, even after multiple days. I also like to add some very thinly sliced onions for extra zip.

You can also play around with different flavor profiles–for example, add in some kalamata olives and feta if you want to do a greek spin. Add in tomatoes and mozzarella (and even some salami!) if you want to go with an Italian spin. There are lots of ways you can riff it.

Some thought starters on veggies to use:
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Broccoli florets
  • Diced bell pepper
  • Green beans*
  • Asparagus*
  • Cucumber (you’ll want to scoop the seeds out first so it doesn’t get too watery)
  • Zucchini
  • Onions (I like red or sweet white)
  • Corn (diced baby corn or cut off the cob both work!)
  • Olives
  • Diced cherry or grape tomatoes (I find regular diced are too watery) I don’t love the way tomatoes taste after sitting in the fridge for a day or two, so I might add these separately to serve, but that’s a personal preference.
  • * You’ll want to blanche these first so they’re tender but still crisp. Everything else can be raw!
Optional add-ins:
  • Diced string cheese or mozzarella cheese
  • Crumbled feta or queso fresco
  • Herbs of your choosing based on the flavor profile you’re going for
  • A dollop of pesto
  • Sliced salami
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to add some spice

What dressings can you use to make marinated vegetable salad?

Italian vinaigrette: we love Club Lucky Italian dressing for those local to Chicago. Ken’s Italian dressing is also great, but you don’t need anything fancy! I used a bottle of generic wishbone Italian dressing from Publix in Florida and it was still delicious.

Balsamic vinaigrette: Would also be delicious! Ken’s and Briana’s make a good balsamic.

Greek vinaigrette: If you’re going for a greek flavor profile!

Directions: How to make marinated veggie salad

  1. Chop veggies of your choosing, put into a big mixing bowl and season with salt, pepper, and/or any favorite seasonings. (I love Mrs. Dash seasoning which compliments almost any flavor profile and Cavenders seasoning if you’re going Mediterranean!)
  2. Pour in vinaigrette of your choice depending on how many veggies you have. If you’re making a big batch you’ll probably use the whole bottle. You want the veggies liberally coated but you don’t want them fully swimming/submerged in dressing. Just eyeball it.
  3. Cover, chill in the fridge at least a couple of hours, up to overnight. Drain any excess dressing from the bottom of the bowl after 24 hours to keep veggies crisp. Will keep in the fridge for several days! (If it lasts that long. 😉)

That’s it! I hope you love this easy salad as much as we do!