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This delightful Bibb Lettuce Salad recipe combines freshness and flavor in every bite. With crisp lettuce, crunchy walnuts, tangy blue cheese, savory bacon, and zesty pickled onions, and french fried onion straws – this salad is not just a salad, it’s an experience.

This Macaroni Grill copycat tastes just like the real thing!

Bib & Blue Salad with blue cheese, walnuts, pickled red onions and bacon. (Macaroni Grill copycat)
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About the Recipe

I created this homage to Macaroni Grill’s Bibb and Blue Salad years ago. They have since closed locations near us so I have taken to making it at home quite often.

It’s great because it can easily be customized based on personal preference and you can make the ranch dressing yourself or use your favorite brand. Or try with blue cheese or Caesar dressing, or even and Oil and Vinegar Dressing.

Pickled red onions in a jar with liquid and a fork.

I’ll admit I was skeptical at first but it’s the pickled red onions that really take this salad from great to spectacular. They are tangy and slightly sweet and really pair well with the other salty and savory ingredients.

You can make this salad as a meal by add pan seared shrimp, grilled chicken or steak. Or serve it as a light and refreshing main dish for lunch or as an appetizer for a fancy dinner.

It definitely is not your typical Steakhouse Chopped Salad or sweet Raspberry Salad. This salad has hearty walnuts and tangy cheese and creamy dressing. And it’s the best salad you’ll ever have.

Ingredients

  • Bibb lettuce – Also known as butterhead lettuce. It has tender and mild-flavored leaves that provide a crisp and delicate base for any salad.
  • Romaine lettuce – A heartier and dense lettuce that provides needed crunch.
  • Pickled Red Onions
  • Walnuts – For the best flavor, toast them for several minutes in a hot skillet or in the oven at 375℉.
  • Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • French Fried Onions – The kind you put on top of a Green Bean Casserole.
  • Bacon – Cook crispy and crumbled. You could also use bacon bits.
  • Ranch dressing

How to Make a Bibb Lettuce Salad

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

  • Toss Bibb lettuce and Romaine lettuce in a large bowl. Toss with some Ranch dressing – Start with a little, you can always add more.
  • Divide into deep salad plates and add the toppings – toasted walnuts, bacon, blue cheese and pickled onions. No croutons needed!
  • Or, let each person create their own perfect salad by choosing the toppings that resonate with them.

Pickled Onion Shotcut

If you’re short on time here’s a little tip – use actual pickle juice, straight from a big jar of pickles! Place the onions covered with pickle juice in a sealed jar and leave it on the counter for an hour – works like a charm!

Bib & Blue Salad with blue cheese, walnuts, pickled red onions and bacon. (Macaroni Grill copycat)

FAQs

Are there health benefits of Bibb Lettuce?

It is low in calories and high in nutrients, including vitamins A and K. Vitamin A promotes healthy vision and supports the immune system, while vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting and bone health. Bibb lettuce also contains fiber, which aids in digestion, and antioxidants that help protect against cell damage.

Can I customize my this salad?

Absolutely! One of the wonderful aspects of Bibb Lettuce Salad is its versatility. You can customize it according to your preferences and dietary needs. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients, such as adding your favorite vegetables, fruits, proteins, or even swapping out certain ingredients to suit your taste.

How should I store lettuce to maintain its freshness?

To maintain the freshness of all types of lettuce, store it properly. Start by removing any damaged leaves and washing the lettuce under cold water. After washing, gently pat the leaves dry or use a salad spinner to remove excess moisture. Then, wrap the lettuce loosely in paper towels and place it in a perforated plastic bag or an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer, and it should stay fresh for up to a week.

Can I prepare the salad in advance?

It’s best to prepare just before serving to maintain it’s crispness, but the components of the salad can all be prepped ahead of time. Just refrain from dressing the salad or adding any soggy ingredients until ready to serve.

Storage

Store an undressed salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

A fork with lettuce, ranch dressing, onions and bacon.

Helpful Tips

  • Experiment with different dressings, such as balsamic vinaigrette, creamy ranch, or tangy citrus-based dressings.
  • Season your salad with herbs, spices, or flavored salts to add depth of flavor.
  • Incorporate ingredients with contrasting tastes, like adding a hint of sweetness with dried cranberries or a tangy kick with pickled onions.
  • Marinate proteins before adding them to the salad to infuse them with flavor.

More Salad Recipes

Recipe
A bowl of salad

Bibb & Blue Salad with Pickled Red Onions (Macaroni Grill Copycat)

4.60 from 5 votes
This Bibb Lettuce Salad combines freshness and flavor in every bite, with crisp lettuce, walnuts, blue cheese, bacon and pickled onions.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • 1 head Bibb lettuce washed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce washed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • ¼ cup pickled red onions recipe below
  • ½ cup Walnuts
  • ½ cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • ¼ cup Crispy thin onion straws (French fried onions
  • 2 slices Bacon cooked crisp and crumbled (or bacon bits)
  • Ranch dressing

Pickled Red Onions

  • 1 red onion sliced into thin strips
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
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Instructions
 

To make the pickled red onions:

  • Place ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and steep onions in the hot liquid for about 20 minutes.
  • Cool completely before serving, and store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

To make the salad:

  • Combine lettuces in a large bowl and toss with desired amount of ranch dressing.
  • Divide onto salad plates and divide toppings (walnuts, bacon, blue cheese and pickled red onions) evenly among the plates using desired amounts of each.

Notes

For the pickled red onions you can use this recipe (it’s super easy and delicious), but if you’re short on time here’s a little tip – use actual pickle juice, straight from a big jar of pickles! Place the onions covered with pickle juice in a sealed jar and leave it on the counter for an hour – works like a charm!
Keyword macaroni grill copycat, pickled red onions

Nutrition

Calories: 209kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 8gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 295mgPotassium: 297mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 3530IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 128mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Andrea says:

    Made this last night. It was perfect and exactly like the Bib and Blu at Macaroni Grill. I used Kens buttermilk ranch dressing. The pickled onions were perfect

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome, thanks for the feedback Andrea!