The greens in a green salad can include iceberg, romaine, spinach, arugula, red leaf and any other green lettuce. Vegetables such as tomato, carrot and cucumber may also be tossed in. Calories will vary based on ingredients, serving size and the dressing you choose.
A recipe that contains mixed salad greens, green pepper, onion, deli chicken and a dab of balsamic dressing contains 47 calories in 2 cups, according to AllRecipes.com. A plain green salad of mixed baby greens or romaine, without any toppings or dressing contains 15 calories in 2 cups; spinach has 10; and arugula has 20 calories.
The main item that adds calories to a green salad is the dressing, which always has some form of oil as its base. It can add anywhere from 60 to 200 calories per 2 tbsp. Other items that add calories are meat, eggs, nuts and cheese, but these items also can add valuable protein.
A green salad can be low in calories and also supply the five servings of vegetables per day that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.