Kid-Friendly Chef Salad

READY IN: 45mins




  • Begin by making the toppings for this chef’s salad.
  • For hard-boiled eggs, place two to four eggs in a heavy saucepan and cover with cold water.
  • Boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat.
  • Cover and let sit for 15 minutes in the hot water.
  • Next, drain the hot water and run cold water over the eggs.
  • Roll each egg gently to crack the shells, then peel.
  • Rinse well, then slice into 4 wedges.
  • TIP: For easy peeling, work under a running tap or in a bowl of water.
  • For garlic croutons, cut 2 slices of whole wheat bread into 16 squares each.
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter on high (about 40 seconds).
  • Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the garlic powder and toss in the bread cubes.
  • Arrange the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet or toaster oven tray.
  • Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, checking frequently to prevent burning.
  • Turn and brown the other side.
  • Transfer to a paper towel to drain and cool.
  • TIP: For fun, cut the bread into shapes using miniature cookie cutters.
  • For ranch-style dressing, whisk the sour cream, milk, and vinegar in a small mixing bowl.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder along with the parsley, dill, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Chill for at least 30 minutes while preparing the remaining salad ingredients.
  • TIP: Ask your child to taste the dressing to see if it needs more salt or pepper.
  • Explain that salt helps make the flavor sharper and pepper gives it a bite.
  • Whenever a recipe says"salt and pepper to taste," the chef should use her judgement about how much to add.
  • To prepare the lettuce, cut 1 and 1/2 inches off the end of the romaine head and discard.
  • Break the leaves off and wash in cold water.
  • Place in a salad spinner and spin until dry (or pat dry with paper towels).
  • Break the leaves into bite-size pieces and place in a large salad bowl.
  • TIP: Explain to your kids where the first salad came from.
  • Nearly 4,000 years ago, Romans put salt on lettuce and called the new dish herba salata, or salted greens.
  • Now the chef is ready to prepare the vegetables.
  • Older kids can peel and grate the carrot; wash, peel, and slice the cucumber; and wash and cut the pepper into strips with a knife or into shapes with a mini cookie cutter.
  • Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems.
  • Place the ham or chicken, cheese, croutons, and hard-boiled eggs in bowls and serve along with a pitcher of the dressing.
  • TIP: For a fun summer dinner, set up all the ingredients salad-bar style on a picnic table.
  • Next, hand everyone a plate and let them assemble their own salad.
  • Parents might make a classic chef salad, and kids could try a face with tomato eyes and grated carrot hair.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad or serve on the side for dipping.