Asado Salad Recipe from Argentina with Onions, Carrots, Basil, and Cheese

Asado Salad

Asado Salad Recipe from Argentina with Onions, Carrots, Basil, and Cheese
Region / culture: Argentina | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4


Asado Salad
Asado Salad

The Asado Salad is a vibrant and flavorful dish that brings a refreshing twist to traditional salads. It combines the smoky essence of grilled onions with the crispness of fresh carrots, basil, and a tangy dressing of olive oil and lemon juice, topped with grated cheese for a rich finish. This salad is perfect for those who appreciate a dish that's both simple to prepare and bursting with layers of flavor. It's an excellent side dish for barbecues, picnics, or any meal where you desire a touch of freshness and a hint of smoky flavor.


The Asado Salad finds its roots in the culinary traditions of South America, particularly in countries where asado, a term used for barbecue, is a cultural staple. The method of slowly grilling onions next to the asado imparts a unique smokiness to the salad, a technique that has been passed down through generations. Over time, this salad has evolved, incorporating various local ingredients, but its essence remains a celebration of simple, fresh produce enhanced by the smoky flavor of the grill.


How to prepare

  1. Place 1-2 unpeeled onions next to the asado and cook them slowly. Turn them frequently until they are evenly browned.
  2. Grate the carrots.
  3. Once the onions are browned and tender, remove them from the heat, peel them under water, and dice them into small pieces.
  4. Combine the diced onions and grated carrots. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Tear a few basil leaves by hand and add them to the mixture.
  6. Drizzle olive oil and a little lemon juice over the salad.
  7. Add the grated cheese for added flavor.
  8. Mix the salad well.


  • For a vegan version, omit the cheese or use a vegan cheese alternative.
  • Add grilled zucchini or eggplant for a more substantial salad.
  • Incorporate nuts like pine nuts or walnuts for added texture and healthy fats.
  • For a spicy kick, add a dash of chili flakes or a few slices of fresh jalapeño.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To achieve the perfect Asado Salad, consider these tips:

- Use a mix of white and red onions for a balance of sweetness and sharpness.

- For an extra crunch, add thinly sliced raw bell peppers.

- The quality of olive oil matters. Use extra virgin olive oil for its superior taste.

- If available, use a grill basket for the onions to ensure even cooking without losing them through the grill grates.

- Let the grilled onions cool slightly before peeling and dicing to retain their shape and texture.

Serving Suggestions

The Asado Salad can be served as a standalone light lunch or as a side dish. It pairs beautifully with grilled meats, especially if you're already firing up the grill for asado. It's also a great complement to pasta dishes or a hearty soup.

Cooking Techniques

Grilling the onions is key to this salad's unique flavor. If you don't have access to an outdoor grill, you can achieve similar results by roasting the onions in the oven or using a grill pan on the stove. The goal is to get them nicely charred and tender.

Ingredient Substitutions

If basil is not available, fresh parsley or cilantro can be used as a substitute.

- Lemon juice can be replaced with vinegar for a different acidic note.

- Any hard cheese like Parmesan, Pecorino, or aged Cheddar can be used in place of the suggested grated cheese.

Make Ahead Tips

The grilled onions can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. The salad can be assembled just before serving to maintain the freshness and crunch of the carrots and basil.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the salad in a large, shallow bowl to showcase its vibrant colors. Garnish with extra basil leaves and a few shavings of cheese on top for an elegant finish.

Pairing Recommendations

This salad pairs wonderfully with robust red wines that can stand up to the smoky flavors, such as Malbec or Shiraz. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling water with lemon complements the salad's freshness.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

The Asado Salad is best enjoyed fresh. However, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It's not recommended to reheat the salad, as it's meant to be enjoyed cold or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Asado Salad contains approximately 150-200 calories, making it an excellent choice for a light and nutritious side dish. The exact calorie count can vary based on the amount of olive oil and cheese used.


This salad is relatively low in carbohydrates, making it an excellent choice for those monitoring their intake. The primary sources of carbs are the onions and carrots, which also provide dietary fiber. A serving of this salad contains approximately 10-15 grams of carbohydrates.


The olive oil and grated cheese are the main sources of fats in this salad. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are known to be heart-healthy. The type of cheese used can vary the fat content, but using a moderate amount of a hard cheese like Parmesan keeps the fat content in check. Overall, the salad contains a healthy balance of fats, contributing to its satisfying yet light profile.


While not high in protein, this salad offers a modest amount from the cheese. To increase the protein content, consider adding grilled chicken, fish, or a plant-based protein like chickpeas or quinoa, making it a more substantial meal.

Vitamins and minerals

The Asado Salad is a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, essential for good vision and immune function. Onions offer vitamin C and chromium. Basil provides vitamin K, essential for blood clotting. The olive oil contributes vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage.


This salad is naturally free from most common allergens, including gluten, nuts, and seafood. However, those with dairy sensitivities should be cautious about the cheese. For a dairy-free version, omit the cheese or use a dairy-free cheese alternative.


Overall, the Asado Salad is a nutritious dish that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with a variety of vitamins and minerals. It's low in calories, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a light yet satisfying meal or side dish.


The Asado Salad is a celebration of simple ingredients transformed into a dish that's bursting with flavor and nutrition. It's a testament to the power of grilling to elevate vegetables to new heights. Whether you're looking for a light side dish or a healthy meal, this salad is sure to impress with its delightful combination of textures, flavors, and colors.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl eager to learn the art of cooking from my grandmother. She was a wonderful cook, always whipping up delicious meals for our family to enjoy. One day, as I was flipping through her old recipe book, I came across a recipe for Asado Salad that caught my eye.

I had never heard of Asado Salad before, but the ingredients sounded intriguing. Tender slices of grilled beef, sweet bell peppers, juicy tomatoes, and crisp lettuce all tossed together in a tangy dressing. It sounded like a refreshing and flavorful dish that I just had to try. I asked my grandmother about it, and she smiled and told me that it was a recipe she had learned from a friend many years ago.

My grandmother passed down the recipe to me, along with the wisdom and love that she poured into all of her cooking. She showed me how to marinate the beef in a blend of soy sauce, garlic, and spices, and then grill it to perfection. She taught me how to slice the vegetables just right, so that each bite would be a burst of flavor and texture. And she shared her secret dressing recipe with me, a zesty combination of vinegar, olive oil, and herbs that tied everything together.

As I made the Asado Salad for the first time, I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. The dish turned out beautifully, with the beef tender and flavorful, the vegetables crisp and vibrant, and the dressing adding just the right amount of zing. I served it to my family, and they all raved about how delicious it was. From that moment on, Asado Salad became a staple in our household, a dish that never failed to bring smiles to our faces.

Over the years, I have made the Asado Salad countless times, each time tweaking the recipe slightly to suit my own tastes. Sometimes I add a sprinkle of fresh herbs, or a dash of hot sauce for an extra kick. Other times, I experiment with different cuts of beef, or mix in some grilled shrimp or chicken for a twist. But no matter how I change it up, the essence of the dish remains the same – a celebration of fresh, vibrant flavors that come together in perfect harmony.

I have shared the recipe for Asado Salad with friends and neighbors, passing on the tradition of delicious and comforting food that my grandmother instilled in me. It has become a favorite at potlucks and gatherings, a dish that always disappears quickly and leaves everyone asking for the recipe. And each time I make it, I am reminded of the love and warmth that my grandmother poured into her cooking, and the joy that it brought to all who tasted it.

As I sit here now, flipping through my own recipe book filled with cherished memories and beloved dishes, I can't help but feel grateful for the gift of cooking that my grandmother gave me. The Asado Salad recipe may have come from a friend many years ago, but the love and passion that I put into making it come from my heart, a tribute to the woman who taught me the importance of good food and good company. And as I take a bite of the salad, savoring the flavors and savoring the memories, I know that my grandmother is smiling down on me, proud of the cook that I have become.


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