The 50 Best Salad Recipes (Plus Homemade Salad Dressing Ideas)

By on

Find all the most delicious salad recipes from easy green salads to the best pasta salads, grain salad, main dish salads, and more. Plus 10 delicious homemade salad dressing recipes you'll love!

Find something new to make for lunch! These are the best salad recipes that will keep you eating healthy without getting bored.

Salads are the easiest way to eat a healthy lunch. But I get it - they can get pretty monotonous. How many different ways can you combine raw veggies and lettuce? Turns out, there are a ton of ways - and none of them taste the same.

Browse this list of salad recipes and find a few new ones to try. They are split up by salad type. You'll find simple salads, low-carb recipes, and even salads with protein! Then, I'll also share some of my favorite homemade salad dressing recipes too.

When you find a recipe you love, make sure to save it for later! 

Every Day Green Salad Recipes

One of my favorite things about salads is how easy they are to make. Some of the recipes in this list are so filling that you can enjoy them for dinner - without all the hassle of making a huge plate of meat and veggies.

These recipes are as easy as just mixing the ingredients with some dressing. Save them for those busy weeks when you really don't have time to do meal prep.

Spring mix salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, spring mix, and croutons with balsamic vinaigrette.

Easy Spring Mix Salad

I used Greek yogurt in the homemade dressing for this veggie-packed spring mix salad. This is a pretty basic salad that you can customize in hundreds of different ways. Add any of your favorite raw veggies to the mix, and it's ready to eat!

Easy Cucumber Salad

I also call this easy cucumber salad my garden salad because you can grow (almost) all the ingredients in your backyard. I used cucumbers, avocado, tomatoes, onions, and garlic in this crunchy salad. For the dressing, you just need some olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.

If you don't like cucumber seeds, use Persian cucumbers - they have fewer seeds and have a better crunch.

Easy Arugula Salad

It's really easy to make this arugula salad keto-friendly. Just use half a pear instead of a whole one and use a honey substitute. Walnuts are a fantastically low-carb type of nut, so enjoy topping your salad with them. The arugula leaves have an unmistakable spice, so the dressing helps cut that bite down a bit.

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad 

If you don't think you are a fan of Brussels sprouts, try them in this simple meatless salad. You will love how the soft goat cheese tastes with the crunchy almond slices and tangy apples. It's all topped with a homemade dijon honey vinaigrette dressing that accentuates the naturally sweet flavors of the apples.

Save yourself time and just buy pre-shredded Brussels sprouts from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. If you can't find them like that at the store, use a food processor.

Spinach salad with creamy balsamic vinaigrette, fresh spinach, cucumbers, pears, and red onions.

Spinach Salad With Creamy Balsamic

The secret to this spinach salad is the zesty balsamic dressing. The deep notes from the balsamic vinegar bring out the understated sweetness in the baby spinach leaves. Mix in some crunch walnuts for some plant-based protein without having to cook anything.

This is the perfect grab-and-mix salad that comes together in minutes!

Tomato and Cucumber Salad With Corn

This colorful tomato and cucumber salad adds fiber and nutrients to your dinner plate. This is almost a low-carb salad, but the corn takes it out of that category. All of the ingredients can be purchased at your local farmer's market. I like to use the freshest ingredients for the best taste. Don't forget to use fresh basil - it has such a bold aroma with light and sweet notes.

Healthy Caesar Salad

Make a restaurant favorite in your kitchen. Healthy Caesar salad is made with homemade sourdough croutons and thinly-sliced parmesan cheese. This is the perfect salad to serve before an Italian dinner or to share with guests.

You will love the homemade Caesar salad dressing too! Add some shredded chicken for a bit of protein.

Greek Salad

The tangy kalamata olives and soft feta cheese are what make this an authentic Greek salad. It's a refreshing break from the norm since it doesn't have any lettuce leaves. Plus, the creamy oregano dressing really brings out the flavors in all the veggies.

Fresh Broccoli Salad

Learn to love broccoli again! This recipe couldn't be more delicious and is packed with fresh broccoli and turkey bacon in a creamy yogurt dressing. I love this salad because it's a delicious way to eat broccoli. 

Filling Grain and Bean Salad Recipes

Salads are really popular on plant-based diets because they are so easy to put together. In the following list, I curated all of my favorite vegetarian salad recipes that will fill you up.

Chickpea salad with canned chickpeas, feta cheese, olives, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions.

Mediterranean Salad

This meatless Mediterranean salad is high in protein, thanks to chickpeas and feta cheese. You can use any of your favorite veggies. I used cucumbers, green bell peppers, and red onions. It's all topped with an irresistible red wine and oil dressing.

Easy Bean Salad

A simple marinated bean salad is just a few minutes away. It's made with just two types of beans - chickpeas and cannellini beans. Then all you have to do is add your favorite herbs and make the dijon mustard dressing. This is a really quick way to eat some protein.

Simple Lentil Salad

Looking for a way to eat more fiber? Look no further! This easy lentil salad has zesty Mediterranean flavors that will wake up your tastebuds. The small lentils are mixed with tiny cherry tomatoes, bold olives, and soft feta cheese. This is so filling you can even enjoy it as the main course.

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a wonderful source of plant-based protein, and this southwest quinoa salad is bursting with flavor. The grilled corn makes it naturally sweet, while the avocado adds a bit of creaminess. Even if you don't think you like quinoa, you have to try this salad. It will make you a believer.

Mexican Chopped Salad With Honey Lime Dressing

This sweet Mexican chopped salad tastes like something you ordered it from a restaurant. There are so many surprising ingredients in it - all of them are nutritious and good for you. From the vitamin-packed mangos and high-fiber jicama to the high-protein black beans, there is so much to love about this recipe.

Main Course Salad Recipes With Protein

The best way to turn a salad from a side dish to the main course is to add some protein. These recipes use chicken, turkey, beef, and seafood to turn them from a side salad to the main course.

These salads are also great for lunch time meal prep. Just pack the dressing and any vegetables that wilt or soften quickly separately. Another trick is to pack the salads in a jar, starting the dressing and layering in the heartiest ingredients (meats, beans, onions) first and finishing with the lighter ingredients (lettuce, herbs, etc).

Salmon, kale, and sweet potato salad with tomatoes, apples, and a homemade vinaigrette.

Salmon Kale Salad With Sweet Potatoes

For a dose of vitamins and nutrients, make a big bowl of salmon, kale, and sweet potato salad. Salmon is known for being high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain development. Kale is a superfood high in disease-fighting antioxidants, and sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A. Put them all together, and you have a seriously healthy salad.

Cheeseburger Salad

All the flavor of the classic cheeseburger in salad form! This delicious and filling burger salad is made with ground beef, crunchy Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, dill pickles, and cheddar cheese. Serve it with Thousand Island, Ranch, or Honey Mustard.

Blackened Steak Salad

This hearty blackened steak salad is so filling you can eat it for dinner. The steak really takes center stage in this recipe, so you just have to add your favorite lettuce and vegetables. It's a really simple salad that tastes gourmet.

Chicken Cobb Salad

This easy chicken cobb salad will feed a crowd. It is full of your favorite cobb salad ingredients - chicken, eggs, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, and turkey bacon. Every bite has a new flavor - it's so much fun to eat. I like to eat this for lunch as often as I can.

Turkey Taco Salad

Lighten up Taco Tuesday with a turkey taco salad. The healthy turkey taco meat is exploding with flavor! Add some zesty black beans, crunchy tortilla strips, and creamy avocado slices, and you have a winning salad combination. Splash some hot sauce on it for a bit of extra heat!

Chopped Shrimp Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette

I love how the shrimp tastes with the fresh avocado in this chopped shrimp salad. In fact, I love to pre-cook shrimp and then use them on top of different types of salads for the week! If you don't like shrimp, use shredded chicken, salmon, steak, or even tofu instead.

Chinese Chicken Salad

There are so many delicious restaurant versions of Chinese Chicken Salad, but it is just as easy to make at home. This salad is packed with crunchy lettuce, lots of vegetables, tasty chicken, and mandarin oranges. Make up a big batch and enjoy it all week.

Sweet Chili Chicken Salad

This is a homemade version of the popular Panera salad complete with the best homemade sweet chili vinaigrette. Use pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken and this salad comes together in no time. 

The Best Pasta Salads

There is something everyone loves about a delicious pasta salad. All of these recipes can be made with any type of pasta you like, including whole wheat, chickpea, lentil, and even low-carb options. Use the vegetables suggested in the recipes to make your pasta salad or swap in any fresh, crunchy veggies you have on hand.

Vegetable pasta salad with whole wheat pasta, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs in a homemade salad dressing.

Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

This classic vegetable pasta salad pairs whole wheat pasta with lots of crunchy vegetables including carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and red onion. Everything is tossed in a homemade balsamic dressing for a pasta salad that is great for a picnic, meal prep, or even a main dish.

Greek Pasta Salad

This easy pasta salad combines all the elements of a class Greek salad and adds feta. The combination of feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lots of oregano is the perfect thing to pair with cooked pasta.

Sesame Soba Noodles with Vegetables

This Asian-inspired pasta salad combines hearty soba noodles with carrots, edamame, sugar snap peas, and cilantro all tossed in a delicious honey soy dressing. It's easy to make and works for great for meal prep since the edamame adds plant-based protein. 

Asian Noodle Salad

This easy Asian noodle salad is made with an almond butter dressing that tastes amazing on everything. Use any combination of vegetables and noodles you like and double up the dressing if love lots of dressing.

Ranch BLT Pasta Salad

This tasty BLT pasta salad combines all the amazing elements of a BLT sandwich with pasta and ranch dressing. It is one of the tastiest salads around and always popular at picnics and gatherings.

Crunchy Slaws

There is something so satisfying about a deliciously crunchy slaw. These tasty slaw recipes can be piled on sandwiches, served as a side dish, or even used as a base for the main course with some grilled chicken or fish. 

Whether you are looking for a mayo-based slaw or a vinegar-based slaw, we have the perfect recipe for you.

Creamy Mexican coleslaw with cabbage, avocado, cilantro, and a creamy lime yogurt dressing.

Crunchy Mexican Coleslaw

Do you know that delicious, lime slaw that comes on every delicious fish taco? Well, this is it! This creamy Mexican coleslaw is packed with lots of cabbage and cilantro in a delicious lime and yogurt dressing. This tastes good with so many dishes from tacos to grilled meats to tofu.

Spicy Cabbage and Corn Slaw

This twist on a classic cabbage slaw with a spicy dressing and corn is one of our favorite toppings for tacos. It is also delicious with pulled pork, grilled chicken, or used as a bigger topping. Trust me.

Pineapple Coconut Coleslaw

If you are looking for a coleslaw recipe without mayonnaise, this pineapple coconut coleslaw is it! With tropical flavors, this coleslaw uses coconut milk as the base for a creamy and sweet dressing instead of mayo.

Asian Kale Apple Slaw

Looking for something different? This Asian Kale Slaw combines the best aspects of coleslaw and kale salad. The apples add sweetness and a tasty Asian dressing brings the whole salad together.

Unique Salads to Try

Planning for a special occasion or just want to mix things up! These unique salad recipes are for you! Find salads made with unique ingredients like grilled fruit, special salad dressings, and more. 

Grilled watermelon salad with cilantro, mint, red onion, and feta cheese in a white bowl.

Grilled Watermelon Salad

When you pair grilled watermelon and feta cheese together, you get an unforgettable summer salad recipe. Mix in some red onions and fresh herbs, and you have a salad that you will crave all year long! I used a combination of mint, cilantro, and basil - but you can leave out the cilantro if you don't like it.

Grilled Plum Salad with Goat Cheese

If you haven't tried grilling your fruit before adding it to a salad, you are missing out. This Grilled Plum Salad with fresh arugula, herbs, red onion, and goat cheese in a quick lemon will quickly become one of the best salads you've ever tried.

Watermelon and Avocado Salad

Too many times when we make salads, we think the only fruit we can add is apples and pears. Instead, start thinking about adding watermelon like in this Watermelon and Avocado Salad. Paired with cilantro and a homemade lime dressing, this is the perfect summer salad.

Wild Rice Salad with Acorn Squash

When it comes to adding grains to salad, most of us don't think about using wild rice. However, this Wild Rice Salad is one of the best fall side dishes. In fact, we almost always serve it at the holiday table as an alternative to traditional stuffing.

Arugula and Apple Salad

Looking to mix up a classic arugula salad? Try adding apples and goat cheese. This 10-minute arugula salad is a classic dinner party dish and tastes good with almost any main course.

Favorite Make-Ahead Lunch Salads

Classic lunch salads like tuna and chicken salad are a staple for a reason. Serve them in sandwiches, wraps, or over a big bed of greens. Whether you are looking for a classic egg salad, an exciting new way to make chicken salad, or even a plant-based chickpea salad - we have all the options you need. Plus you can make them in advance and they only taste better the next day.

Herby egg salad with hard boiled eggs, yogurt, and fresh herbs served on whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomatoes.

Healthy Egg Salad With Fresh Herbs

There are only 1g net carbs in 2/3 cup of this delicious egg salad. I love to eat this salad on top of a large piece of romaine lettuce and make a low-carb lettuce wrap out of it. You can also just skip the lettuce wrap and eat it with a fork if you are feeling rushed. This salad will last about three days in the refrigerator, so it is perfect for your meal prep.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Light up your tastebuds with a spicy buffalo chicken salad. To keep it low-carb, serve this salad on top of your favorite large piece of lettuce as a lettuce wrap - or dig in with a fork. This is also delicious as a dip for sliced cucumbers.

Cranberry Tuna Salad

To add some sweetness to tuna, try this Cranberry Tuna Salad made with canned tuna, Greek yogurt, celery, and dried cranberries. Easy to make and delicious in a sandwich, wrap, or green salad.

Avocado Chicken Salad

If you want to make a mayo-free version of chicken salad, this Avocado Chicken Salad is it. Instead of mayo, mashed avocado and lemon juice bring the salad together. Cilantro adds a fresh flavor as well.

Chicken Salad with Grapes

Mix up the classic deli staple by making this Chicken Salad with Grapes. The grapes add a nice touch of sweetness and make this one of my favorite deli salads to serve on a big bed of greens.

Curried Tuna Salad

If you are looking for a way to make tuna salad more exciting, this Curried Tuna Salad is it! Canned tuna mixed with Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, curry powder, carrots, and either red grapes or raisins. This tuna salad is seriously flavorful and great for a make-ahead meal.

Healthy Chicken Salad

Classic chicken salad lightened up with dressing made from a combination of Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. This easy lunchtime favorite is delicious with greens, in a sandwich, or served in lettuce wraps.

Healthy Tuna Salad

If you love a classic tuna salad, this is the recipe for you. You won't notice that it is lightened up with Greek yogurt. Use any canned tuna you like and add all your favorite mix-ins. Over here we love crunchy celery and a splash of hot sauce.

Favorite Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes

Now that you have a bunch of different salad recipes to try, here are my favorite homemade dressings to add on top! I love to make them in a mason jar so that I can seal them tightly and shake them before use.

Making homemade salad dressing lets you control how much sugar, oils, and salt you use. It's way better than store-bought.

Creamy avocado dressing in a glass jar with avocado and lime on the side.

Southwest Salad Dressing

Fans of hot and spicy foods will really enjoy this easy Southwest salad dressing. The secret to this dressing is taco seasoning, lime juice, and salsa. If you like cilantro, add some fresh cilantro too. Not everyone likes it, so it is completely optional. This dressing is perfect for taco salads.

Healthy Honey Mustard

There are lots of different ways to use this healthy honey mustard recipe. Drizzle it on top of your favorite chopped salad or use it as a dipping sauce for chicken or pork. It's also a delicious dip for homemade sweet potato fries - yum!

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Avocado makes this homemade dressing extra creamy without adding too many extra calories. Avocado is a healthy, natural way to thicken salad dressings. It has a really understated flavor that you can easily mask with lots of herbs and spices.

Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

Do you like things spicy? Make a jar of homemade jalapeno ranch dressing. The more jalapenos you use, the spicier it will taste. If you really like spicy foods, add some poblano peppers to them too! I like to use this on top of burgers, as a dressing for taco salad, or on top of tacos.

Yogurt Bleu Cheese Dressing

This lightened bleu cheese dressing is made with yogurt but still has the trademark zesty flavor. I used blue cheese crumbles in the dressing to bring out the tangy taste that it's known for. Add some fresh chives and garlic powder to make it lip-smackingly delicious.

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand island dressing usually uses mayo, but in my lighter dressing recipe, I used Greek yogurt. These are the same flavors that taste amazing with Reuben sandwiches. Dip your veggies in this salad or use it on top of a chopped salad with a variety of colorful veggies.

Homemade Green Goddess Dressing

When you use fresh herbs in this Green goddess dressing, you will taste the difference. This tastes just like your favorite restaurant dressing. Out of all the homemade salad dressings on this list, this one is my all-time favorite. It's worth the time to make it at home.

Cucumber and tomato salad with red onion in a white bowl with a wooden spoon.

Tips For Making A Delicious Salad

There you have it! Those are my favorite salad recipes of all time! I have a lot more salad recipes - browse all of them and find something new to make for lunch or dinner.

As easy as salads are to make, I have some more tips I wanted to share with you. These tips will help you enjoy salads more often.

  • Change the protein. It's really easy to change how a salad tastes just by using a different protein. For example, instead of a tuna salad, make a creamy chicken salad. Or, add some shredded chicken to your taco salad. The options are endless.
  • Make a homemade dressing. The best way to eat healthier is to make your food at home - this includes the dressing. Even "low-calorie" salad dressings at the store might have unhealthy or unnecessary ingredients in them.
  • Use leftover vegetables. Salads are a really easy way to use up leftover vegetables. If you roasted cauliflower the night before, add some on top of your Mediterranean salad.

Frequently Asked Questions About Salads

Here are some questions people often ask about making healthy salad recipes. If you don't see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.

What is the best kind of lettuce to use in a salad?

I could write an entire guide just about lettuce. The short answer is that any type of lettuce will taste delicious in any type of salad. Romaine and Green-Leaf lettuce have a really mild flavor. If you use arugula or kale, I suggest adding a bold dressing and lots of fruits or veggies on top since they tend to be overpowering.

You can also try something new and add watercress or endives to your salad recipes. It is a lot of fun to try new and different greens - and they are all so good for you too.

Can I make a salad without lettuce?

Yes, you can definitely make a salad without lettuce. In fact, I shared quite a few ideas in this guide that don't include any lettuce at all. The best way to make a salad without lettuce is to use another type of base - like quinoa, meat protein, or lots of raw vegetables.

What are the best things to put in a salad?

There are three main parts to a salad - the base, protein, and dressing. Mix up these three things to create your own unique salads! For the base, use quinoa, lettuce, or your favorite fruits or vegetables. Add some protein - beans, quinoa, tofu, or meat - and then top with your favorite dressing.

Finally, add any type of garnish that you like! I love to sprinkle fresh herbs and some chopped nuts on top.

0 Comments
On The 50 Best Salad Recipes (Plus Homemade Salad Dressing Ideas)
user image