These easy and healthy salad recipes make the best of fresh seasonal produce. They’re filled with bright flavors and a variety of delicious textures. Whether you’re looking for a snappy lunch salad or a large dinner party salad, this list has something for everyone.
How To Build Exciting, Unboring Salads
The term salad doesn’t just mean some lettuce drizzled with a dressing or vinaigrette. Instead, think of it as a meal that has multiple layers of flavor (sweet, spicy, and savory), texture (crisp, crunchy, and creamy), and color (green, red, yellow, purple, you name it!). Honestly, a salad is the most wonderful blank canvas to let your creativity run wild. So have fun with it. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
- Build layers of flavor. Start with a vegetable base, mix in seasonal ingredients, add filling protein, toss in some healthy fats, and drizzle a tasty dressing or sauce.
- Get creative with textures. Aim for a variety of textures with every bite… it makes the salad more interesting! For example, start with a soft spinach base, then toss it with crisp bell pepper, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy nuts and seeds.
- Make your salad colorful. While green may form the base of your salad, remember that nutrient variety comes from color variety. So try to make your salad as vibrant as can be.The more color the better!
Everyone’s Favorite Salad Recipes
Let’s start with some of my top salad recipes that everyone always comes back to. They’re crazy good, perfect for any occasion (from parties to a healthy dinner), and are so darn easy to make.
- Broccoli Salad: No joke, this is everyone’s go-to salad, no matter what time of year it is. It’s perfect as a Thanksgiving side dish or summer barbecue salad. Plus, it holds up well in the fridge as the perfect meal prep salad.
- Salmon Avocado Salad: Topping a salad with warm, pan seared salmon really takes it up a notch. And you can’t beat those creamy avocado slices.
- Chicken Salad: When the warm weather hits, this chicken salad is a must. It’s deliciously creamy, crunchy, fresh, and will convince you to never buy store-bought chicken salad again.
- Caprese Salad: I’ll gladly eat layers of fresh tomato, mozzarella, and basil on repeat. Just drizzle a little balsamic glaze for a summer classic that never fails to please.
- Tuna Salad: If you love my chicken salad, this tuna version is a no brainer. And all you really need is canned tuna, mayo, dijon mustard, and some fresh greens and herbs.
Fresh Spring And Summer Salad Recipes
This time of year is all about bright, farmer’s market fresh flavors. From cherry tomatoes to light leafy greens, there’s tons of in-season produce to work with. And the best part is that you don’t really need to prep a lot of meat for these salads. The veggies and dressings speak for itself.
- Greek Salad: When it comes to simple, healthy salads, it doesn’t get better than this classic salad tossed with my all-star greek salad dressing.
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad: Turn that last can of chickpeas sitting in your pantry into this super fresh and flavorful salad! Bonus – it’s loaded with protein and fiber.
- Shrimp, Asparagus, and Avocado Salad: Come asparagus season, toss fresh stalks with shrimp, avocado, spinach, and a lemon vinaigrette for ultimate spring vibes.
- Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh: This veggie packed salad loaded with herbs makes for the perfect side on a Mediterranean spread.
- Taco Salad: This salad honestly works for any season. But once tacos are in full swing for outdoor parties, use some of those leftover ingredients for this hearty taco salad!
The Best Salad Recipes With Chicken
From baked to grilled and even shredded, there’s so many ways to add chicken to your salad. The key here is to nail down how you cook the chicken and how it’s presented in each bowl. Here’s a few favorites:
- Mandarin Chicken Salad: Shredded chicken marinated in a lemon vinaigrette is piled high with sweet mandarins, avocado, and crunchy toppings. The perfect throw-together salad.
- Southwest Chicken Salad: If earthy, bold flavors are your jam, this salad will have you salivating. Cilantro lime chicken is topped on a bed of greens, tomatoes, corn, beans, onions, and drizzled with a creamy avocado dressing.
- Greek Chicken Salad: Think Greek side salad turned into a hearty main dish. It’s all the flavors you love, plus savory chicken.
- Cobb Salad: This classic American salad makes the most of simple ingredients like poached chicken, eggs, avocado, and of course, bacon.
Arugula Salad Recipes
Don’t get me wrong, I love bowls of spinach or chopped lettuce. But arugula adds the most delicious peppery punch to salads. Which makes it great for pairing with extra sweet and savory flavors.
- Smoked Salmon, Avocado, and Arugula Salad: Salty smoked salmon, creamy avocado, and arugula come together for one absolutely gorgeous looking salad.
- Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad: Grilled fruit is the best for sweet, charred flavors. And when you pair grilled peaches with creamy burrata, arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze – it’s the true definition of summer on a plate.
- Wild Rice and Arugula Salad: Arugula is tossed with cucumber, spring onions, mint, cranberries, almond slivers, and a lemon vinaigrette for a simple side salad packed with textures and flavors.
- Pulled Pork, Cabbage, and Arugula Salad: Turn my slow cooker pulled pork into this healthy, nutrient dense salad with shredded cabbage arugula, carrots, cilantro, and a cilantro lime vinaigrette.
Sweet And Refreshing Fruit Salads
Honestly, who doesn’t love a good fruit salad? It can do triple duty as salad, breakfast (with a dollop of yogurt), or dessert (with a dollop of ice cream). Just make sure to choose fruit that’s in-season, whether that’s fresh berries, diced citrus fruits, or grilled peaches, and pineapple.
- Easy Fruit Salad: This fruit salad is a non-negotiable for all your summer festivities! It’s loaded with peak season fruits and tossed in a bright honey lime dressing.
- Berry Spinach Salad: Put your summer berries to work in this super easy, fruit forward salad. The raspberry vinaigrette and crumbled goat cheese are the cherries on top.
- Citrus Shrimp Ceviche: I’m adding a California flair to one of my favorite Mexican recipes – shrimp ceviche! It’s loaded with oranges, grapefruit, red onion, cucumber, jalapeno, and of course, a sprinkle of cilantro and lime juice.
- Melon Mozzarella Salad With Basil: There’s just something about creamy cheeses and fresh fruit that tastes so darn good. Especially when it’s melon paired with mozzarella, drizzled with a honey balsamic dressing.
- Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad: Another fruit and cheese staple is none other than this watermelon, cucumber and feta salad. It’s the ultimate summer combo!
- Orange, Fennel, and Avocado Salad: This super simple salad is the perfect balance of bright and tangy. Plus, it’s loaded with Vitamin C!
- Stone Fruit Salad With Vanilla Honey Syrup: If you love stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, plums, and grapes – this deliciously sweet salad is a must for your summer menu.
Cozy Fall And Winter Salads
Just because Fall and Winter revolve around comfort foods, that doesn’t mean salads are out of the picture. Nope. It just means that it’s time to incorporate some of your favorite fall flavors into your salads. Think savory roasted veggies, winter fruits, and tender, flavorful meat!
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries and Apple: You can’t do a winter salad without Brussels sprouts! This one is a favorite, tossed with apples, red onions, cranberries, almonds, and a lemon vinaigrette.
- Kale Salad with Apples and Chicken: For a simple salad that’s bursting with autumn flavors, this kale salad is always a winner. It’s got shredded chicken, apple, cherries, onions, and walnuts tossed with my homemade apple cider vinaigrette.
- Turkey Cobb Salad: This seasonal spin on a classic makes the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers! From roasted butternut squash to leftover turkey, toss it all in for a hearty, dinner-worthy salad.
- Roasted Butternut Squash, Romaine, and Goat Cheese Salad: Speaking of roasted butternut squash, you can also throw it together with some chopped lettuce, goat cheese, and walnuts for a quick and easy salad!
- Persimmon Caprese Salad: Persimmon is often an overlooked winter fruit, but it’s so dang sweet and tasty! Which makes it the perfect addition to pair with mozzarella and balsamic glaze for a winter caprese variation.
Spiralized Salad Recipes
If you’re not in the mood for leafy greens but still want vegetables, hop on the spiralized veggie train. They’re great for meal prepping and can be used for just about any season. Choose zucchini noodles during the summer, sweet potatoes during the fall, and take a peek at my spiralized vegetable post for more delicious inspiration.
Easy Side Salad Recipes
These quick and easy side salads will complement just about any meal. And bonus, most of them only require 10 minutes to make – can’t beat that!
- Easy Cucumber Salad: This light, cooling salad is as easy as slicing up some cucumbers and red onions, and tossing them with fresh dill, and a lightly sweetened vinaigrette.
- Massaged Kale Salad: Wonder how to get your kale super soft in a salad? Just massage it with olive oil! Then pair it with some lemon juice, salt, and fresh parmesan for the perfect winter side salad.
- Israeli Salad: Inspired by my travels to Israel, this vibrant, fresh salad is always my go-to for a summer side. It’s a mound of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and loads of fresh herbs. Just how I like it.
- Lentil Salad with Cucumber: This throw-together salad is a combo of fresh veggies and lentils, with hints of sweet dates. A sweet and savory combo!
Creamy Salad Recipes That Are Extra Versatile
Creamy salads are my go-to when it comes to making something easy, delicious, and extremely versatile. You can eat them straight out of the bowl, toss them in a wrap, layer into a sandwich, and more! But the best part is that they can be stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Now that’s what I call a meal prep savior!
- Broccoli Tuna Salad: A simple way to sneak more greens into a classic tuna salad is by simply mixing it with broccoli rice. And the broccoli is so minuscule, most won’t even know it’s there.
- Egg Salad: This classic creamy salad is a no brainer when you’ve got some hard boiled eggs on hand. Just chop them up and mix with mayo, dijon mustard, red onion and fresh herbs for a healthy lunch.
- Avocado Egg Salad: And if you’re an avocado lover like me, mash it into your egg salad for a delicious variation loaded with healthy fats.
- Potato Salad: You can never go wrong with a giant bowl of potato salad for parties, potlucks, or family functions. It’s deliciously creamy, crunchy, and nostalgic.
- Curried Egg Salad: A sprinkle of curry spice adds an exciting twist to egg salad. Plus the addition of green onions and grated carrots make it extra healthy and delicious.
If you make any of these salad recipes, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.
40+ Easy and Healthy Salad Recipes
Easy and healthy salad recipes that make the best of fresh, seasonal produce. They’re filled with bright flavors, appetizing textures, and always hit the spot, like my favorite salmon, avocado, and arugula salad listed below!
Calories: 300.7kcal, Carbohydrates: 15.3g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 23.6g, Saturated Fat: 3.4g, Cholesterol: 9.8mg, Sodium: 402.4mg, Fiber: 5.8g, Sugar: 6.5g
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.