Ensalada Mixta (Spanish Mixed Green Salad)

This Ensalada Mixta Recipe Is Sure To Please!

Ensalada Mixta – or Spanish Mixed Green Salad – is a simple and delicious salad that comes in a few different ways.

While there are many variations, the main and most common ingredients include crisp romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion, and canned tuna fish.

It’s very satisfying with a combination of simple but delicious flavors and refreshing with a very nice crunch!

spanish salad with cut up egg and lettuce on plate with checkered cloth in front and table behind.
Look at this delicious salad.

Some variations of ensalada mixta add some or all of the following ingredients: hard-boiled egg, pitted olives (green stuffed with anchovies are the most common), canned white asparagus, canned artichoke hearts, grated or thinly sliced carrot, and sweet corn.

It’s usually dressed with a very simple dressing made of olive oil, wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper. 

In Spain, this flavorful salad is often served as a first course before the main meals in restaurants that offer a “menú del día”. This is a daily changing menu for lunchtime, with a few options for a fixed price (usually quite economical).

It is also eaten at home, but when we do that we simply call them “Ensalada” and add other ingredients and dressings. This very simple recipe is mainly known to be a restaurant “menú del día” recipe. 

Ingredients

fresh vegetables on counter with labels for spanish salad recipe.
The ingredients for this Ensalada Mixta recipe.

To make this recipe, here are the ensalada mixta ingredients that you’ll need:

Salad

  • Romaine lettuce – One medium-sized romaine lettuce, approximately 3-4 cups when sliced. If you need an alternative, you could use iceberg lettuce.
  • Tomatoes – Make sure to use ripe tomatoes.
  • Spring onion – The white and pale green part of one spring onion. Spring onions are not quite the same as green onions/scallions. You’ll find that spring onions have a larger “onion bulb”. If you can’t find spring onions, you can also use 2-3 green onions/scallions instead. Can also use Vadalia onions or red onion as an alternative.
  • Cucumber – Either one big cucumber or two small cucumbers. You can use garden cucumbers, but English cucumbers also work.
  • Carrot – Either one big or two small carrots.
  • Canned tuna – Good quality canned tuna.
  • Sweet corn – Kernels, not on the cob.
  • Eggs – You’ll hard boil them.
  • Pitted green olives – Preferably stuffed with anchovies, but simple pitted green or black olives work as well. Don’t cut them up, add them whole!

Dressing

  • Olive oil – Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil if possible since it adds more flavor.
  • Wine vinegar (optional) – Sherry vinegar works really well. Avoid using balsamic vinegar because it’s not traditional. A fresh squeeze of lemon can also be used in place of wine vinegar.
  • Salt – To add flavor; more or less to taste.
  • Black pepper – To add flavor; more or less to taste.

Recipe Tips and Substitutions

Before you go ahead and make this Spanish mixed green salad, read through the recipe tips so that you know just what to expect!

  • Any ingredients that you wash should also be thoroughly dried or else the excess water will affect the flavor of the salad and dressing.
  • Hard-boiled eggs or canned tuna fish are not mandatory but very common and very nice in combination with the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Instead of spring onion, you could also use 2-3 green onions/scallions, Vadalia onions or red onions as an alternative. If you’re using a red onion, slice it thinly and let it chill in cold water for 10 minutes before adding it to the salad to remove a bit of the pungency. 
  • You could also add or substitute canned white asparagus or canned artichoke hearts.
  • It can be a bit difficult to find green olives stuffed with anchovies outside of Spain, however, if you can find some, I highly recommend adding them to the recipe.
  • Make sure to use high-quality extra virgin olive oil for the dressing if possible.
  • Sherry wine vinegar works really well for the dressing of this mixed salad. Avoid using balsamic vinegar because it’s not traditional. If you don’t want to use wine vinegar, you can just use a splash of lemon juice.
  • Of course, this salad can be made in an even simpler way by just tossing all the ingredients in a bowl with the dressing. However, the salad is traditionally presented in elaborate ways on a big flat plate or salad dish (as in the photos).
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How to Make Ensalada Mixta – Step-by-Step Instructions

Here are the instructions for how to make this Spanish salad with recipe process photos so you can follow along with the steps. This way you can check how you are preparing it and compare it to this recipe.

Of course, the detailed recipe card with all the ingredient amounts is located at the bottom of this post!

fresh ingredients for spanish salad like tomatoes and carrots on white counter top.
Slice the carrot.

Start off by washing all the vegetables for the salad well under running water, then dry them. Separate the romaine lettuce leaves to make sure any dust or debris is removed.

If you decide to add eggs, boil them for 10 minutes. Once done let them cool while you prepare the salad.

Peel the carrot with a potato peeler, then thinly slice it with a julienne peeler. If the slices are very long, cut them in half. Alternatively, you can also grate the carrot using a box grater. Set aside.

chopped tomatoes on white cutting board with knife beside and other ingredients.
Cut the tomatoes.

Remove the stem of the tomatoes and slice them into wedges. Set aside.

cut up romaine and other vegetables on white cutting board with other vegetables around.
Cut the romaine into small pieces.

Remove the hard bottom of the romaine leaves and cut them into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

cucumber sliced on white cutting board with tomatoes and carrot.
Cut the cucumber into slices.

Remove the top and bottom of the cucumber and slice it. You don’t need to peel the cucumber first. Set aside.

sliced green onion on white cutting board with silver knife around.
Slice the spring onion.

Remove the bottom of the spring onion and also the outer layer, slice thinly, and set aside.

Only use the white and pale green parts of the spring onion. You can save the dark green part for other recipes.

sliced hard boiled egg and pieces of canned tuna on white cutting board with other salad ingredients beside.
Quarter the eggs.

Drain the canned tuna, the olives and the sweet corn (if required). Also, peel the hard-boiled eggs and cut them into quarters lengthwise.

small bowls with ingredients for salad dressing like oil and vinegar on white counter top.
Prepare the dressing.

Prep the dressing by mixing the olive oil, wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork or a spoon until well mixed.

fancy ensalada mixta on plate with wooden spoon beside and spices on counter around.
Assemble the salad.

Assemble the salad by adding a base of romaine lettuce and all the prepped ingredients on top in the order you prefer.

Pour the dressing over the salad right before serving, then toss, and enjoy!

Prep and Storage Tips

You can prep and assemble the salad in advance. Wrap everything to cover it up – cling film works – and store it in the fridge.

Take it out of the fridge 10 minutes before eating so it’s not super cold and dress it right before eating it. 

This salad is definitely best enjoyed fresh the day you make it but you can store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge overnight.

It might be a little soggy the next day but will still be good. Don’t let it sit any longer than the next day.

FAQ

Here are some answers to questions asked about making Ensalada Mixta!

What is ensalada mixta?

Ensalada mixta is a Spanish salad made from a number of fresh ingredients (common ones being romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion, and canned tuna fish) and a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing. There are many variations that include different ingredients.

What ingredients do you find in an ensalada mixta?

Ensalada mixta has all the classic ingredients like lettuce, tomato, and cucumber with the addition of hard-boiled egg, canned tuna, olives, corn, and much more.

What is the difference between ensalada mixta and ensalada verde?

The difference is in the ingredients. Ensalada mixta has more elaborate ingredients like olives, egg, and tuna while ensalada verde is, as the name suggests, a basic green salad with ingredients like lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and onion. The dressing for both is usually a simple vinaigrette.

Related Recipes

If you liked this recipe for Ensalada Mixta, here are some other Spanish recipes that might catch your eye – or taste buds!

spanish mixed green salad on plate seen from above with cloth and table around.

Ensalada Mixta

Ensalada Mixta – or Spanish Mixed Green Salad – is a flavorful salad option. Made with loads of fresh ingredients and a few additions like olives, tuna, and egg, this salad serves wonderfully before the main dish!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 -4

Equipment

  • cutting board
  • knife
  • measuring spoons
  • large salad dish or plate
  • Julienne peeler
  • potato peeler

Ingredients

The Salad

  • 1 medium-sized romaine lettuce, around 3-4 cups when sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, ripe
  • 1 spring onion, see notes
  • 1 large cucumber, or two smaller ones
  • 1 large carrot, or two smaller ones
  • 1/2 cup canned tuna
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted (preferably stuffed with anchovies, but simple ones work too)

The Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil, extra virgin if possible
  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar, e.g. sherry vinegar; or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  • Wash all the vegetables for the salad well under running water and dry them. Separate the romaine lettuce leaves to make sure any dust or debris is removed.
  • Boil the eggs for 10 minutes. Once done let them cool while you prep the salad.
    2 eggs
  • Peel the carrot with a potato peeler, then thinly slice it with a julienne peeler. If the slices are very long, cut them in half. Alternatively, you can also grate the carrot using a box grater. Set aside.
    1 large carrot
  • Remove the stem of the tomatoes and slice them into wedges. Set aside.
    2 tomatoes
  • Remove the bottom of the romaine leaves and cut them into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
    1 medium-sized romaine lettuce
  • Remove the top and bottom of the cucumber and slice it. You don’t need to peel the cucumber first. Set aside.
    1 large cucumber
  • Remove the bottom of the spring onion and also the outer layer, slice thinly and set aside. Only use the white and pale green parts of the spring onion, save the dark green part for other recipes.
    1 spring onion
  • Drain the canned tuna, the olives and the sweet corn (if required). Also peel the hard-boiled eggs and cut them into quarters.
    1/2 cup canned tuna, 1/2 cup green olives, 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • Prep the dressing by mixing the olive oil, wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork or a spoon until well-mixed.
    1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Assemble the salad by adding a base of romaine lettuce and all the prepped ingredients on top in the order you prefer.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad right before serving, toss and enjoy!

Notes

  • Any ingredients that you wash should also be dried thoroughly or else the excess water will affect the flavor of the salad and dressing.
  • Hard-boiled eggs or canned tuna fish are not mandatory but very common and very nice in combination with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Spring onions are not quite the same as green onions/scallions. You’ll find that spring onions have a larger “onion bulb”. If you can’t find spring onions, you can also use 2-3 green onions/scallions instead. You can also use Vadalia onions or red onions as alternative. When using a red onion, slice it thin and soak it in water for 10 minutes to remove some of the pungency.
  • You could also add or substitute canned white asparagus or canned artichoke hearts.
  • If you can find them, use green olives stuffed with anchovies. Otherwise, use pitted green or black olives. Add them whole, don’t cut them. 
  • Sherry vinegar works really well. Avoid using balsamic vinegar because it’s not traditional. A fresh squeeze of lemon can also be used in place of wine vinegar.
  • This salad can be made in an even simpler way by just tossing all the ingredients in a bowl with the dressing, but traditionally it is presented in elaborate ways on a big flat plate or salad dish.
  • You can prep and assemble the salad in advance, wrap it to cover and store it in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge 10 minutes before eating so it’s not super cold and dress it right before eating it.

Nutrition

Calories: 561kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 32g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 178mg | Sodium: 1299mg | Potassium: 908mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 8881IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 3mg

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.

Course Salads
Cuisine Spanish
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This recipe was contributed by
Alba Luna Meyer
Born and raised in the Southeast of Spain, Alba is a photographer and a foodie. Always hungry for new flavors and recipes, but with a big passion for traditional recipes that speak about roots and family. You can always find her talking about food, photographing it, or cooking! Obviously, she is team “tortilla de patatas con cebolla”.

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