The use of legumes as green manure can potentially increase crop productivity in saline environments and thus contribute to the sustainability of agricultural systems. Here, we present results from a field experiment conducted in the Netherlands that addressed the efficiency of nitrogen (N) fixation by a legume at varying salinities. We grew Melilotus officinalis in an agricultural field using drip irrigation with water salinity varying in electrical conductivity between 1.7 and 20 dS m-1. In the experiment, nearly 100 % of total plant N in M. officinalis was derived from symbiotic fixation at all but the highest salinity level (20 dS m-1). Our results indicated that this species derived substantial amounts of N via symbiotic fixation, the N becoming available in the soil (and thus available to crops) when cultivated legumes senesce and decompose. Based on the growth performance of M. officinalis and its ability to fix N at moderate soil salinity in our field experiments, we identified this species as a promising source for green manure in saline agriculture in temperate regions.