Cheese salad on a plate next to grated cheese and mayo

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If there was such thing as a ‘comfort salad’ this would be it. No-nonsense, unpretentious ingredients and not one, but two, flavours of cheese. All bound together in creamy mayonnaise. If you are looking for a satisfying and simple meal, then look no further than this classic cheese salad.

What type of cheese is best in a salad?

There truly is a cheese for every mood, and a cheese for every salad. What type works best is really based on your taste preferences and the kind of salad you are going for.

This salad is classic and humble. It uses a mix of two types of cheddars to balance creamy and mild with sharp and mature, but you can just use one type if you prefer. Other cheeses which are great for grating into a salad include:

  • Red Leicestershire
  • Emmental / Swiss
  • Gruyere

If you are looking for something a little more flavoursome which you can crumble into your dish try:

For a mild addition that adds unique texture try:

For a tonne of strong flavour which works great in a fancy salad or in a salad that contains a little fruit try:

  • Stilton
  • Gorgonzola

Is it healthy?

I’m sure you’ll be aware that cheese isn’t typically featured in the A-Z of healthy food choices since it is dense in calories and fat. However, enjoyed in moderation and reasonable portions it can certainly form part of a healthy diet. There are also a few other benefits of adding cheese to your next salad.

Firstly, by making your salad more appetising you are more likely to want to eat the other highly nutritious (albeit sometimes bland) salad ingredients. Plain old lettuce? Not so fun. Lettuce with some creamy cheese? yes, please! This salad contains other great ingredients including carrot, sweetcorn and lettuce.

Secondly, cheese is loaded with protein and calcium. 30g of cheddar (the amount used in this recipe) gives around a quarter of your recommended daily allowance of calcium. And the protein in the cheese will help you feel fuller for longer which may help stop you from snacking on other things between meals!

Finally, this salad is dressed with creamy mayo for simplicity. If you want to make this a little healthier you can use a low-fat mayo or salad cream. Or make a light yogurt dressing with natural yogurt, a little lemon juice and some cracked black pepper.

How can I serve this salad?

This cheese salad can certainly be served on its own as a light meal. Or you can use it as a side dish for a variety of things. Why not try it:

Cheese salad in a bowl with lettuce and cheese behind

Can I make it in advance?

This salad is great for making in advance. It’s perfect for taking to a get-together, adding to a lunchbox or planning ahead for those days you know you won’t have much time to cook.

If making in advance, then don’t dress the salad until you are ready to serve it. While mayo might not wilt the ingredients as much as a vinaigrette dressing, it will certainly make the salad softer if it is sat in the dressing for long. I also recommend slicing the lettuce close to the time of serving, and not more than 24 hours in advance, as it may start to brown, even when kept sealed in the fridge. Everything else can be prepared and mixed 1-2 days in advance.

Ingredients

For a full list of ingredients with weights and measurements jump to the printable recipe card.

Cheese Salad Ingredients
  • Fusilli pasta you can use any kind of pasta you like, but bear in mind that types with ‘holes’ may catch the dressing, making an uneven bite, and longer varieties such as spaghetti will make the salad trickier to eat
  • Mature cheddar
  • Red cheddar you can substitute the cheese for a different variety of your choice – see some ideas above!
  • Carrot, sliced julienne (into very thin strips) – you can achieve this with a peeler with a julienne slicer such as this one, or you can alternatively peel it thinly and then slice lengthways
  • Cooked sweetcorn frozen (and thawed), tinned or freshly cooked all are fine
  • Iceberg lettucecan be substituted for any kind of lettuce you prefer

How to make it

For more detailed steps with recipe tips jump to the printable recipe card.

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and cool.
  2. Place the pasta in a large bowl along with the cheddar, carrot, sweetcorn and lettuce.
  3. Add the mayo to the bowl along with a little salt and cracked black pepper. Stir everything together until well combined and evenly coated with the mayo.
Cheese salad layered in a jar

Looking for more great cheesy recipes? Try:

Products that work well for this recipe:

2-Way Grate & Measure

Grate cheese, vegetables, chocolate & much more. Featuring a removable, no-mess measuring container.

Joseph Joseph Fold Flat Grater

This handy food grater comes with four different styles of blade for all types of grating in one and a unique design that folds flat for space-saving storage.

GoEat Salad Box

Joseph Joseph salad box with dressing container
Print
Cheese salad on a plate next to grated cheese and mayo

Cheese Salad


  • Author: caroline
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

If there was such thing as a ‘comfort salad’ this would be it. No-nonsense, unpretentious ingredients and not one, but two, flavours of cheese.

The default recipe serves one.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 40g / 1.5oz fusilli pasta (see note 1)
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 15g / 1/2oz mature cheddar (see note 2)
  • 15g / 1/2oz red cheddar
  • 1/4 carrot, sliced julienne (into very thin strips) (see note 3)
  • 50g / 1.7oz cooked sweetcorn
  • 3 large iceberg lettuce leaves, chopped

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and let cool. 
  2. Add the pasta to a bowl along with the cheddar, carrot, sweetcorn and lettuce. 
  3. Add the mayo along with some salt and cracked black pepper. Stir everything together until the mayonnaise is evenly distributed.

Notes

  1. Any kind of pasta will go, however a variety with holes may trap the dressing making an uneven bite, and a long variety such as spaghetti will be more tricky to eat. (see note 1)
  2. You can get creative and use any type of cheese you prefer for this salad. A few alternatives which grate well and are mild enough in flavour to suit all palates are Red Leicestershire, Emmental / Swiss and Gruyere.
  3. To slice julienne you can use a peeler with a julienne slicer such as this one, or alternatively peel it thinly and then slice lengthways. 
  4. If you want to make this salad in advance then prepare everything and store in the fridge. Don’t dress with the mayo until you are ready to serve and don’t slice the lettuce more than 24 hours in advance. 
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: British

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 430
  • Fat: 22g
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Protein: 15g

Keywords: salad, comforting, cheese, cheddar, indulgent, easy, quick

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