Rainbow Salad Bowl with Maple Dijon Dressing

This rainbow salad bowl with maple Dijon dressing makes a colorful and light main course salad. And, even more important for those busy weeknights, composing this rainbow salad can be as quick and simple or as involved as you want.

You could also serve this rainbow salad as a side salad to accompany a simple main course like these cast iron chicken breasts or a roast. Or bring a large rainbow salad to a potluck and brighten everyone’s day.

The key, as with my rainbow fruit tart, is to use produce that is fresh and in season locally. If there are ingredients in my rainbow salad that you can’t find or are being shipped from the other hemisphere, please substitute a similarly-colored ingredient from the list below.

a rainbow salad bowl filled with a rainbow of foods.

Tips and tricks

Prepping the rainbow salad ingredients

Chop and slice the vegetables into your desired sizes and shapes. For salads, try to cut things into single bite-sized pieces.

If you want to create some sort of design on your plate or bowl, even one as simple as stripes or concentric circles, it is helpful to lay out your pattern beforehand. That way you can see how the colors work together and do any necessary rearranging before you start.

a rainbow of cut vegetables on a baking sheet.

Composing the rainbow salad

The base of most grain and salad bowls should be a layer of greens. Pick a handful or two of your favorites, wash the leaves with several rinses of cold water, and spin them dry. Drying the lettuce helps the maple Dijon salad dressing cling better to the leaves.

I personally like romaine and butter lettuce, spinach, and kale. But I would recommend almost anything over iceberg lettuce, which has little nutritional value.

butter lettuce and spinach in a salad bowl.

Next, add your vegetables in rainbow order. That’s red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Add some slow-roasted pumpkin spice chickpeas, a can of beans, or some chopped leftover chicken for protein and turn this into a main course salad.

a salad bowl of vegetables arranged in rainbow order.

Make the maple Dijon dressing

Homemade salad dressing is one of the easiest things you can make. This maple Dijon dressing is just a simple vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, a bit of Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.

Tip from the wise quacker: this recipe does work best with balsamic vinegar, because the sweetness of the balsamic complements the maple syrup. You don’t have to use the most expensive balsamic you can find. But it’s true that the better your olive oil and balsamic vinegar, the better your vinaigrette.

While the classic ratio for vinaigrette is three parts oil to one part vinegar, this recipe is written as two to one. Feel free to increase the amount of oil to three-quarters of a cup if this recipe is too tangy for your taste.

Dijon mustard is just a style of mustard that originated in Dijon, France centuries ago. You should feel free to experiment with other types of mustard.

a bottle of maple dijon dressing with wood salad bowls.

What to serve with this rainbow salad bowl

This rainbow salad bowl will complement most any meal, but here are some suggestions using my favorite recipes.

Variations and substitutions

Here are some color-based ideas for other ingredients you could include in your rainbow salad:

  • Red – beets, carrots
  • Orange – carrots, roasted pumpkin or orange sweet potato
  • Yellow – carrots, squash, yellow tomatoes,
  • Green – green beans, green onions, green pepper, peas or snap peas, zucchini
  • Blue – a challenge! Maybe you can find some blue corn?
  • Purple – purple onions, purple kale, purple beans or snap peas


How should I store the maple Dijon dressing?

The dressing can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for a week or so. Clean jam jars are great for storing salad dressings because they can be securely closed if you need to re-emulsify the dressing.

Related recipes

Check out other recipes for salads and other side dishes like this orzo pesto salad, peach and burrata caprese salad, or this spinach caprese salad.

Or, if you’re looking for rainbows, make this rainbow poke bowl, a rainbow fruit tart, or rainbow milk bread.

Rainbow Salad Bowl with Maple Dijon Dressing

5 from 1 vote
Category: Salad
Cuisine: Unspecified
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 main course salads or 4 side salads
Calories: 123kcal
This rainbow salad bowl with maple Dijon dressing makes a colorful main course salad. Or serve it on the side with a simple main course.
Print Recipe


Rainbow Salad

  • 4 cups lettuce, spinach or other leafy greens washed and dried
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli florets lightly steamed, if desired
  • ½ cucumber, washed and sliced
  • ½ cup blueberries, washed and dried
  • ½ cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 2 radishes, washed and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup roasted chick peas, can of beans, or cubed chicken optional
  • ½ cup roasted red or orange beet, peeled and cubed optional

Maple Dijon Dressing

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon black pepper


Rainbow Salad

  • Prepare all of the salad ingredients and arrange them on a plate or baking sheet if you are planning to arrange them in a pattern in your bowls.
    4 cups lettuce, spinach or other leafy greens, 1 carrot, peeled and sliced, 10 cherry tomatoes, halved, 1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, chopped, 1 cup broccoli florets, ½ cucumber, washed and sliced, ½ cup blueberries, washed and dried, ½ cup red cabbage, chopped, 2 radishes, washed and thinly sliced, ½ cup roasted chick peas, can of beans, or cubed chicken, ½ cup roasted red or orange beet, peeled and cubed
  • Place half of the greens in your bowls or on your plates. Arrange the remaining bowl ingredients in a stripe or circular pattern over the greens.

Maple Dijon Dressing

  • Add all of the maple dijon dressing ingredients in a jar and shake or whisk vigorously to mix the dressing together.
    ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Taste and adjust as needed, adding more oil or vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Shake or whisk again immediately prior to serving.


Serve this salad with the optional proteins for a main course salad. The nutritional information for this recipe does not include these added proteins.


Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 372mg | Potassium: 895mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 7146IU | Vitamin C: 209mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg
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What’s next

If you make this rainbow salad bowl or the maple dijon dressing, please leave a comment and a 5 heart rating!

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