45 Best Salad Recipes
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
The best Salad Recipes for any occasion! These healthy salad ideas include green salads, chicken salads, summer salads, pasta salads, fruit salads and more. From main dish salad recipes for lunch and dinner to those that are perfect side dishes, these salads are fresh, flavorful and easy to make!
If you’re looking for some salad inspiration to freshen up your dinner plate, we’ve got you covered with these delicious salad recipes! Salads are an easy way to add more fruits and veggies to your meals. And they are so versatile! There really aren’t any rules, but a basic formula for making a salad is to start with some fresh greens or cooked grains (we love quinoa, farro and barley), add in a few vegetables for crunch, maybe some fruit for a bit of sweetness, and finish it all off with a few flavor-boosting ingredients. Our go-to’s are nuts, goat cheese, feta and fresh herbs. Drizzle with salad dressing (each recipe below includes its own dressing), grab a fork and dig in!
Here you’ll find over 45 delightful salads, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. Now on to the recipes!
The Best Salad Recipes
Salad Recipes for Dinner
If it’s a main dish salad you’re looking for, I’ve got you covered with these flavorful and satisfying salad recipes. Whether you want a salad with chicken, salmon, or beef, or you’re looking for a vegetarian salad recipe, these dinner salads are some of our very favorites.
When you’re craving a satisfying meal-sized salad, it doesn’t get any better than a classic Cobb Salad. This flavor-packed salad has chicken, hard boiled eggs, bacon, avocado, tomatoes and blue cheese, all served on a bed of crisp romaine lettuce. The tangy balsamic dressing is the perfect finishing touch for this tasty salad!
This easy Taco Salad comes together in just 20 minutes! A family favorite, everyone can choose which of the salad components to add to their plate. Seasoned ground beef, black beans, corn, avocado, tomato and cheese bring your favorite taco flavors to this main dish salad. Spoon on some salsa or fresh pico de gallo for the perfect easy salad dressing.
During grilling season, this BBQ Chicken Salad is one of our go-to’s for dinner. You’ll love the zippy cilantro lime-dressing! Seasoned grilled chicken, black beans, corn and avocado make up this delicious salad. A drizzle of BBQ sauce, plus shredded cheese and tortilla strips are the perfect finishing touches.
Here’s a salad that’s perfect for a light and healthy meal: Farro Salad. It features crisp apple, sweet cranberries, crunchy almonds, peppery arugula and tangy feta cheese for an extra pop of flavor. A zingy lemon dressing is the perfect complement to the other flavors in this easy salad. It’s a meal that will fill you up without weighing you down!
When you’re craving something fresh and healthy for dinner, this Salmon Salad is just the thing! Succulent salmon, spinach, avocado and goat cheese are especially delicious drizzled with a homemade honey mustard dressing.
Pasta Salad Recipes
If pasta salads are your thing, then you are going to love these savory pasta salad recipes! From a classic Italian pasta salad to macaroni salad and pesto pasta salad, here you’ll find a satisfying side dish for your next cookout.
This Italian Pasta Salad is the classic pasta salad you’re craving. It’s loaded with fresh veggies, olives and cheese and dressed in a zesty Italian dressing. Rotini pasta is the perfect shape for soaking up the herby dressing.
This Orzo Salad is the pasta salad you’ll want to make all summer long. Serve it for lunch or as a dinner side dish and hear the compliments roll in! Crisp cucumber, juicy tomatoes, briny olives and salty feta cheese layer this Greek-inspired salad with fresh flavors.
Everyone always raves about this homemade Macaroni Salad, and it’s easy to see why. This simple salad comes together in just 30 minutes, and tastes even better on the second day. It’s made with egg, sweet pickles and a creamy dressing, plus a bit of celery and red onion for crunch.
What better way to add flavor to a pasta salad than with pesto sauce? This Pesto Pasta Salad features colorful veggies and al dente pasta tossed in a homemade basil pesto. If you’re in a hurry, you can save time with store-bought pesto sauce.
This delicious Greek Pasta Salad is made with feta cheese, Kalamata olives, veggies and pasta, all tossed in a simple Greek salad dressing. It’s perfect for potlucks and makes a delicious side dish for turkey burgers or chicken kabobs.
I know I’m not alone in my love of southwestern flavors, and they make an awesome Southwestern Pasta Salad. All of your favorite southwestern ingredients are here, from black beans and corn to green onions and bell peppers. The salad is tossed in a deliciously spicy chili-lime dressing. We loved this pasta salad with bowtie pasta, but I’m sure it would be just as delicious with your favorite pasta shape.
Nutrient-packed spinach is an ideal base for a salad. Toss it with fruit, nuts and cheese or add in savory bacon and hard boiled eggs. Whichever spinach salad you choose, you’re sure to have a side dish worth celebrating!
If it’s a classic Spinach Salad you’re craving, this easy spinach salad with bacon and eggs always hits the spot. Salty bacon and creamy hard boiled eggs ensure that this spinach salad is anything but boring. The dressing is a tangy vinaigrette made with Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and honey.
Sweet fresh berries are an ideal complement for baby spinach in this Triple Berry Spinach Salad. A scrumptious side dish for your summer meals, this salad features a creamy poppy seed dressing.
You’re in for a real treat with this Spinach Salad with Quinoa! Crisp apple, dried cranberries, pecans and creamy, tangy goat cheese are a delightful combination in this healthy salad recipe. Enjoy it as a side dish or a light meal.
Kale Salad Recipes
Hearty kale has become more popular in recent years, and this good-for-you leafy green can be dressed up in all sorts of ways. If you’re new to kale salads, massaging the kale softens it up and makes it more palatable. Follow these tips for how to store kale for maximum freshness.
Looking for a go-to kale salad? You’re going to want to add this Kale Salad with cranberries and feta to your regular rotation! Chunks of apple and crunchy pepitas round out this stellar kale salad.
Lovers of simplicity will appreciate this Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad. The ingredient list is short, yet this side salad is big on flavor. You’ll love the combination of toasty pine nuts, lemon and Parmesan.
This Kale Avocado Salad is a delicious side salad that you can serve with almost any meal. Kale, crunchy almonds, creamy avocado and sweet raspberries are tossed in a bright and tangy citrus dressing. Add grilled chicken or air fryer shrimp to make it a meal.
This gorgeous Broccoli Kale Salad is loaded with nutritious ingredients. This healthy spin on a broccoli salad includes tender baby kale and creamy chickpeas. Sweet pomegranate seeds add a pop of color and feta adds a tangy, salty bite. This one is a favorite festive salad for a holiday meal!
If make ahead lunches are your jam, you’re going to love these Mason Jar Broccoli Salads. Kale, apple and chickpeas bulk up these satisfying salads in a jar. The creamy poppy seed dressing is layered at the bottom so nothing gets soggy, even after a few days in the fridge.
This Kale Quinoa Salad packs a nutritional punch! Quinoa, blueberries, and avocado bring lots of flavor and texture to this healthy salad.
More Green Salad Recipes
Many of the salads on this list can be classified as green salads, whether they’re made with romaine or another type of lettuce, kale, spinach or arugula. The ones here are some of our very favorites, and we make them often.
When pasta is on the menu, a big Italian Salad is an essential part of the meal. This one has crisp romaine, pepperoncini peppers, olives and veggies, all tossed in a zesty homemade Italian dressing. Sprinkle on some shredded Parmesan to bring all of the flavors together.
Do you have a basic go-to Green Salad recipe? This is ours! We keep it simple with greens, red onion, avocado, tomato and cucumber. Adding nuts or cheese (try goat cheese, feta, Parmesan or cheddar) is an easy way to make this basic salad more satisfying.
Kids and adults alike will love these fruit salad recipes! Bursting with fresh fruits and berries, these sweet salads always deserve a place on the table.
Three kinds of berries, plus pineapple, kiwi and grapes make up a beautiful rainbow in this easy Fruit Salad Recipe. A light honey lime dressing makes this fantastic fruit salad something to celebrate.
This refreshing Watermelon Salad with feta and arugula is a must-make for summer! You’ll adore the combination of sweet and savory flavors. Serve it at your next BBQ or cookout.
Perfect for side dish or a healthy dessert, this Berry Fruit Salad features strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries. A refreshing honey lime dressing keeps everyone going back for more. For a real treat, spoon this gorgeous salad over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Summer Salad Recipes
Your summer BBQ isn’t complete without at least one of these delish summer salads! Guaranteed to be the hit of the meal, most of these easy salad recipes can be made ahead so you can enjoy the party.
This classic Coleslaw Recipe has a satisfying crunch and the best creamy coleslaw dressing. It takes just 15 minutes to prep and can be made with fresh cabbage or store-bought coleslaw mix. Serve it as a side dish or add it to pulled pork or BBQ chicken sandwiches.
Summer salads don’t get any better than this refreshing Cucumber Tomato Salad. So simple to make, you’ll adore the combination of juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumber and spicy red onion. This healthy salad is an ideal side dish for grilled meats and burgers.
Broccoli salad is a favorite summer side dish for good reason, and this Broccoli Salad Recipe is something special. It’s an irresistible combination of sweet and savory, with crisp broccoli and crunchy sunflower seeds in a creamy no-mayo dressing. Apple, blueberries and dried cranberries add color and bursts of sweetness throughout the salad.
Classic Potato Salad is a favorite side dish for BBQ’s. This recipe is easy to make with potatoes, egg, pickle relish, onion, celery and a creamy homemade dressing.
With this Instant Pot Potato Salad recipe, you can cook potatoes and hard boil eggs at the same time in the Instant Pot! Then mix up the simple dressing and toss everything together. This is the easiest way to make homemade potato salad!
It’s hard to beat a classic Caprese Salad. Layers of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil cheese are a trio worth celebrating. Keep it simple with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, or add some balsamic glaze for another dimension of flavor.
This Broccoli Slaw is a crunchy summer slaw recipe made with broccoli, carrot, apple and sunflower seeds in a creamy dressing. This recipe is packed with color, flavor and texture!
Grilled corn stars in this summer Corn Salad. This delish salad also includes black beans, avocado, tomatoes and cotija cheese. A zesty chili-lime dressing ties it all together!
Red potatoes make classic potato salad something special. This Red Potato Salad is a healthy potato salad, with a Greek yogurt-based dressing, onion, celery and eggs. You’re going to want to go back for seconds!
A light and healthy summer dish, this Barley Salad is packed with flavor! Feta cheese, shallots, and sliced almonds complement the fruits and vegetables in this grain salad recipe.
Fall Salad Recipes
When the weather turns cool, we start craving autumn produce such as squash, pears and Brussels sprouts. These hearty fall salads are perfect served alongside a cozy bowl of soup.
You won’t be able to stop at just one bite of this Butternut Squash Salad! With roasted butternut squash, candied walnuts, pomegranate seeds and goat cheese, this salad is fresh, healthy and full of flavor. Enjoy it as a festive holiday side dish, a satisfying lunch, or serve it alongside a cozy bowl of soup.
Get ready to be wowed by this Arugula Salad! This side salad has juicy pears, crunchy almonds and salty Parmesan. Tomatoes add little bursts of sweetness and a tangy lemon vinaigrette marries it all together. Even though fall flavors star here, you’ll want to enjoy this arugula salad all year long.
Nutty wild rice and creamy roasted butternut squash are a satisfying combination in this Wild Rice Salad with Butternut Squash. Dried cranberries and pecans make this cold rice salad a festive favorite for the holidays, but we also love it for a healthy lunch.
More Easy Salad Recipes
You definitely don’t want to skip this section! These easy salad recipes deserve a spot on your plate (or in your sandwich!) You’ll find chicken salads, tuna salad, quinoa salad and more favorites below.
Quinoa is a healthy, high protein base for salads and this Southwest Quinoa Salad is one of our favorite quinoa salad recipes. A zesty chili-lime vinaigrette ties together the southwest flavors. Make it ahead for meal prep lunches or serve as a side dish.
When it comes to chicken salad recipes, this Chicken Salad with grapes is the best of the best! Crunchy pecans and celery add texture and creamy Greek yogurt is a healthy swap for the usual mayo.
Crisp and cool Cucumber Salad is the fresh and healthy side dish your summer BBQ needs! This simple salad has a short ingredient list and takes just 15 minutes to make.
Everyone needs a good Egg Salad recipe in their collection and this is ours. Just 10 minutes prep time is all you need to make this healthy egg salad. Serve it in a sandwich or wrap in lettuce leaves for a low carb lunch.
Tuna Salad is a classic lunchtime favorite and this recipe does not disappoint! Simple to make, high protein and extra delicious, you’ll love this easy tuna salad recipe.
This quinoa Tabouli Salad is made with fresh parsley, tomatoes, cucumber and a bright lemon dressing. This light and healthy salad is wonderful served with hummus and pita bread, falafel, kabobs and more.
This Greek Chickpea Salad with couscous is great for meal prepping ahead for lunch! Portion it out into individual lunch bowls, or serve it as a side dish.
These Chicken Salad Mason Jar Salads have everything you love about chicken salad, but portioned out into individual servings in mason jars. Putting the dressing in the bottom of the jar keeps the rest of the salad from getting soggy. A great option for grab and go lunches!
Easy Salad Dressings
A delicious dressing is a must for any great salad! Every salad recipe above includes its own dressing, but if you like to have options here are our favorite salad dressing recipes:
Best Salad Recipes: Spinach Salad + More!
For the Salad:
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- ½ cup pecans
- 6 cups fresh spinach
- 1 large apple (chopped or thinly sliced*)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 4 ounces goat cheese
For the Dressing:
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Cook the quinoa: Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse well under cold running water. Drain. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir quinoa into the boiling water. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Transfer quinoa to a bowl to cool.
- Meanwhile, toast the pecans by placing them in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until fragrant, stirring often. Watch pecans carefully as they can go from toasted to burned quickly. Set aside.
- While the quinoa and pecans cool, make the dressing. Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside.
- To assemble the salad, place the spinach in a large bowl. Add the cooled quinoa, apple, cranberries, and toasted pecans. Crumble on the goat cheese. When ready to serve the salad, toss with dressing and serve.
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