Fresco salad is Mexican-style with spring mix, Queso fresco(Mexican cheese), and homemade mustard vinaigrette. The spring mix and the hot mustard vinaigrette complement each other, which makes the salad delicious.
This Fresco Salad is so addictive that you cannot keep your salad bowl down once you have tasted it. Hence, I thought this salad would be best to share this season.
This salad is a little treat for yourself after a tiring day. Every scoop of this salad energizes the body and satisfies your taste buds.
It is effortless to make this summer salad; the vinaigrette is the only thing needed to be prepared. Furthermore, this vinaigrette can be made well in advance. So, you don't need to stress much for the preparation.
Fresco salad is a colorful and power-packed dish that all could love. And it's a perfect dish to pair grilled meat or barbecues. Also, it is easy to make for potlucks or lazy weeknight dinners.
With little effort, you can impress the whole family with fresco salad with tasty mustard vinaigrette.
Fall is nearing, and we are slowly shutting down the outdoor cooking. Till now, we are getting a good quality of crispy spring mixes. So, trying all the favorite recipes before the season ends is wiser.
I assume you will also love this recipe and make it before the season ends.
I have my list of favorite salads from my favorite restaurants. I try to repeat eating the same if it fulfills all my criteria.
In my view, a good salad should have a few basic properties. Firstly, it has to be simple and not loaded with calories. Secondly, it has to be healthy and nutrient-rich. Finally, the ingredients should retain their unique flavors.
Fresco salad from Chili's restaurant is one of my favorites. Whenever I have this salad there, for a long time, I always plan to make my own by customizing it.
But when I tried it at home for the first time, I regretted that I should have made it earlier. Because it is so much easier and a lot quicker to make. Most importantly, it was liked by my entire home.
So, I will do this often, as it is also healthy.
Importantly, I want to disclose this Fresco salad is not a Chili's restaurant's copycat recipe but a similar one with bold flavors.
The salad I made today to pair my grilled salmon. So, I chose Dijon mustard vinaigrette, which would be great to pair with the seafood.
This is one of my tasty trials when following my low-carb diet.
The vinaigrette is so easy to make that you can make it well in advance and store it for two days. Store in its airtight container for best results.
How long can Fresco salad last?
This salad is best to serve immediately as soon as it is made. Since the main ingredient, spring mix can become soggy after a while.
The spring mix greens are tender and soft. So it cannot hold the vinaigrette for a longer time. Hence, serve immediately as soon as you make it.
And this salad is not advisable to store the leftovers. So, decide the quantity before you make it. I will not say this as a disadvantage as this recipe is so simple, that you can even make it over the dinner table.
What is Queso fresco?
This is a Mexican-style fresh cheese. It is a creamy, mild cheese made with milk and a lemon mixture. This making process is similar to the cottage cheese of India(Paneer), where both have all the goodness of milk nutrients.
What is Fresco salad?
The garden-fresh spring mix salad is usually made with Qesco fresco cheese. It is a great side dish that is low calorie and low carb. It is made with spring mix and fresh veggies like chopped cucumbers, carrots, or other vegetables.
The key ingredients of Fresco salad
Spring mix: I usually go with Costco's big bag of spring mixes, which are crispy and great in taste. The spring mixes look great with the multiple colors and layers. This is the most important and main Ingredient, so make sure it is fresh and crisp.
Queso Fresco cheese: This is another vital ingredient. It is available in most of the groceries like Walmart. But you can make your own if it is not available near you.
To make the Queso Fresco, bring milk to a boil and add two tablespoons of lemon juice. Now, the milk starts cuddling. Then strain it and this cuddled milk crumble is the cheese you need to make the salad.
Mustard vinaigrette: Most of the ingredients for this vinaigrette are readily available in most of our pantry. To make this fiery vinaigrette, you need minced garlic, minced cilantro leaves, Dijon mustard sauce, lime juice, and salt.
The combination of these three ingredients is lovely and could make a wonderful winning dish, that is great for any Grilled seafood.
This Fresco salad can also be made with fresh cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes. The choice of vegetables is up to you to decide. But today, I'm just making something similar to what I had in the Chili's restaurant.
Why Dijon lemon vinaigrette for this salad?
Dijon mustard vinaigrette perfectly pairs with the grilled food. The intense flavors of Dijon mustard sauce will turn amazingly when olive oil and lemon juice are added.
This combination of flavors would be a great companion for any grilled dishes. You may add honey to make this fresco salad mildly sweet.
Variations for Fresco salad:
- You may add garden-fresh vegetables like diced carrots, tomatoes, and onions.
- Add garlic powder instead of minced garlic.
- I would suggest adding fresh garlic to give you a wholesome, bold flavor of the garlic. But it can be substituted with garlic powder. This is a great option to make the preparation easier or if you're running out of time.
- Add a tablespoon of ranch or mayo to make a creamy mustard vinaigrette.
Other garden fresh salads like,
Printable recipe card
For the mustard vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon jalapeno minced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoon lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt or as required
For the salad
- 3 cups spring mix greens
- 2 tablespoon queso fresco
For the mustard vinaigrette
- In a small mixing bowl add minced garlic, minced jalapeno, minced cilantro, cumin powder, salt, dijon mustard, olive oil, lime juice, and salt.
- Whisk until it turns into a smooth consistency. Keep aside.
For the salad
- In a mixing bowl, add spring mix greens, the mustard vinaigrette.
- Toss gently until the vinaigrette coats evenly.
- Sprinkle queso fresco and serve immediately.