These best salad recipes make eating colorful, fresh foods easy and delicious. The days of boring salad ideas are over!
It’s salad time! The days of the boring salad are over. Salads can be some of the best ways to eat colorful, nutrient-dense foods. But it can be hard to find the right salad recipes that are easy and delicious enough to justify the effort. Here are 50 of our very best salad recipes, guaranteed to be full of flavor and favorites for years to come. You’ll see salad ideas for a variety of seasons, but most of the salad recipes will work regardless of the season. Ready to get started?
Why is this salad the best? This chopped salad will amaze everyone around the table! We served this salad at a dinner party and, "Wow! What’s in this salad?" was murmured around the table. That’s when you know a salad recipe is a keeper!
There’s our homemade Italian dressing, tangy, savory, herby and balanced. Add to that shallots, tomatoes, cucumber, and a zing from pepperoncini. And then Parmesan. Yes, this chopped salad wants to be part of your life!
This spinach apple salad is one of our best salad recipes because it's classic and simple! It pairs tangy apple and thin sliced pear with spinach and a zingy balsamic dressing. Add to that shiny glazed walnuts or pecans, which add a signature crunch. Dress it up with a fancy cheese like Manchego if you like, or keep it simple and plant-based.
Next up in our best salad recipes: are you ready for the BEST way to eat kale? Get ready to be amazed! Now, you might be wary of eating raw kale, which can sometimes have a bitter taste. But with this flavor popping Italian-style dressing of lemon, Parmesan cheese, and garlic, the bitter taste of the kale is mellowed and melds beautifully with the other flavors.
Like frosty vanilla bean ice cream or hot crispy French fries, this classic salad is basic but truly irresistible. Meet the perfect Caesar salad! Make all the components at home and it’s a knock out stunner. The savory, creamy dressing will instantly become a household favorite. And the crunchy garlicky croutons…well, you’ll be eating them off the baking sheet. Also try: Grilled Caesar Salad
Introducing: the simplest arugula salad. It’s quite possibly the easiest salad recipe you’ll make! You don’t even have to make a salad dressing. In under 10 minutes, you’ve got an elegant salad that goes with literally everything. Dress baby arugula simply with olive oil and lemon juice, then add Parmesan shavings and thinly sliced shallots. Done! Simple, understated, and oh so good. It pairs especially well with soups, pasta and pizza!
Here’s a great salad that’s simply perfection, in our books. This Italian salad is full of all the right flavors and textures: crisp lettuce, crunchy garlic croutons, and zingy pepperoncini. It’s covered in punchy, herby Italian vinaigrette that makes the flavors sing! It can play sidekick to just about anything.
This strawberry salad is one of our most popular salad recipes, pairing sweet strawberries with an insanely good strawberry vinaigrette salad dressing! Paired with crunchy red onions, toasted almonds, feta cheese crumbles, and those delicious sweet berries, this green salad is the perfect way to enjoy seasonal berries. You could substitute blackberries or raspberries for an equally delicious take. Or if you prefer, try our equally delicious Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Classic is classic for a reason, and the classic wedge salad does not disappoint. Every time we serve it, people ooo and ahh. Because it really is perfection: the crunch of iceberg lettuce against the creamy, savory blue cheese dressing just makes sense. Not to mention it looks stunning! There’s a reason this salad has been impressing us all for 100 years.
Here’s a salad idea that’s on our new favorite back pocket concept: the Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula and Apples! It’s simple and comes together quickly, but my does it deliver on flavor! The crunch of the apples, creamy goat cheese, and fluffy arugula are the ideal pair for the tangy sweet dressing
Serve this carrot salad recipe to your friends and family, and they’ll be singing your praises! We know because after we made this at our house, it disappeared within minutes. It’s simple and refreshing, featuring strings of carrots doused in a a tangy Mediterranean-style vinaigrette.
This Mexican salad is full of delicious Latin-style flavors: colorful veggies, cilantro lime salad dressing, and crispy tortilla strips. It all combines into a super-flavorful dish that's absolutely perfect with tacos! Even better, it's quick and easy to make. This one is a big winner!
There’s something about that classic American broccoli recipe: you know, the one with raisins and a mayo-based dressing? It’s a retro salad, where the florets are marinaded until they’re soft and savory sweet. It’s oddly satisfying and gives us all those nostalgic vibes. Here’s a new and improved version of to make it fresh and healthy: but it keeps all the character and deliciousness of the original. In fact: we think it’s even better.
Here’s a dreamy salad if there ever was one: this brilliant Pear Salad! It’s a study in contrasts: fresh, juicy pear against funky gorgonzola cheese; bright pomegranate against savory shallot. Throw in some toasted pecans and cover it in tangy poppy seed dressing, and well: it’s absolutely irresistible.
Here’s a fresh spin on that classic Bean Salad! This American classic has been gracing tables for generations, and everyone has their own take on it. Here’s our spin on that bean salad of our youth, with a little less sugar and more freshness. But don’t worry: it’s still an easy three bean salad that’s as easy as dump and stir.
Here’s a salad recipe that’s full of big Italian flavors: antipasto salad! This combo between a pasta salad and Italian antipasti is loaded with zingy flavor: briny olives, tangy artichokes, and roasted peppers, contrasted with crunchy veggies and chewy pasta. Load it with fresh basil and there’s so much going on, you might not be able to stop eating it!
Here’s a workhorse salad that’s fresh, delicious and ultra versatile: this deli-style Quinoa Salad! There are loads of ways to make a salad with this fluffy grain and after experimenting for years, we’ve found the one. This recipe is delightfully refreshing, a jumble of crunchy, colorful veggies, fluffy quinoa grains, and a zingy Dijon mustard vinaigrette.
Crunchy pomegranate seeds make a beautiful confetti over the top of leafy greens. Add tart green apple slices, toasted pecans, and goat cheese or feta crumbles, and it’s a true symphony of flavor! Pick from a few different dressing choices: our favorites are apple cider vinegar dressing or pomegranate vinaigrette.
Looking for a delicious salad recipe with everyone’s favorite root vegetable? Try this Sweet Potato Salad! The contrast of garlic roasted sweet potato cubes, feathery baby arugula, cranberries and creamy goat cheese hit it out of the park. Top it with tangy honey mustard dressing and well, you’ll want to park yourself in front of the bowl.
There’s no better way to showcase ripe tomatoes than this: Caprese salad! This salad represents Italian cuisine at its finest: beautiful ingredients combined in a way that’s both elegant and simple. When the tomatoes are peak, you won't be able to avoid making copious amounts of the stuff. Here’s how to make the perfect Caprese salad! Also try:Peach & Burrata Caprese Salad
Here’s a surprisingly delicious salad idea that deserves a spot on your plate: celery salad! The name doesn’t have quite the ring of say, potato salad. But this unique salad is so refreshing, you’ll become a convert from the first bite. Crunchy celery pairs perfectly with sweet apple, Parmesan shavings and a tangy vinaigrette. It’s bright, it’s crunchy, it’s hydrating: it works for summer, and it’s perfect in the winter too.
Here's a simple way to make an impressive salad recipe: this Butter Lettuce Salad! These delicate lettuce leaves are irresistible coated in creamy, savory Parmesan Peppercorn dressing and topped with a few simple veggies and Parmesan shavings. A sprinkle of crunchy breadcrumbs seals the deal: you won't want to put down your fork!
Try this refreshing Romaine Salad! The electric green of the romaine leaves, pale green dressing and delicate pink radishes have a fresh monochrome effect tastes as good as it looks. The Green Goddess takes it over the top, slathering it all in herby, savory creaminess. To take it over the top, sprinkle with crunchy breadcrumbs, an ingenious alternative to croutons.
Need a killer side salad or a fun lunch salad? Here’s a recipe that works as both: this Hearty Farro Salad! This one is our ultimate, pairing the whole grain with juicy tomatoes, earthy mushrooms, feathery arugula, savory pops of cheese, and a zingy vinaigrette.
This corn salad recipe is all about fresh flavor: sweet bursts of corn, juicy tomatoes, and herbaceous basil pair with a tangy, light vinaigrette. Top with feta cheese crumbles if you like, or keep it as a plant based salad: it’s just as good either way. Here’s all about how to make it…including a tip on how to cut corn off the cob: without the mess! Also try:Grilled Corn Salad.
This salad recipe is everything a classy spinach salad should be, full of texture and flavor contrasts. You’ll barely notice you’re eating this healthy leafy green when it’s covered tangy balsamic vinaigrette. There’s crunchy smoky pecans, almost bacon-like glazed with maple syrup and soy sauce. Add hard boiled eggs or a crisp-tart apple, and you’ve got a stunning side salad that will make everyone ooo and ahhh.
Though it looks a little like rice, orzo is actually a small pasta in the shape of rice! It’s often used in Mediterranean-style recipes like Italian and Greek cuisine. Here, we’ve harnessed all the flavors of Greece for this orzo salad: salty feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and of course, powerhouse herbs like mint and dill! It’s one of our crowd favorite salad ideas perfect for summer.
Need a fast and easy salad recipe? Try this Spring Mix Salad! Grab a box or bag of spring mix at the store, and you barely need to think to make this salad recipe. Add a quick homemade salad dressing, like a light and tangy vinaigrette which compliments the delicate leaves perfectly.
This fennel orange salad features vibrant juicy oranges and a famous pairing: sliced raw fennel, which adds a subtle licorice essence. Throw it over greens with pistachios and shallots, and top with a zingy homemade citrus vinaigrette. Wow! There’s so much going on flavor and texture-wise, it's a salad everyone will be talking about.
Here’s a top-notch lentil salad recipe to add to your arsenal, and man is it tasty. This fresh and healthy lentil salad is Mediterranean-style, mixed with fresh veggies, feta cheese and pistachios. It’s a delicious way to add protein to a vegetarian meal as a side dish, or bring to work as a lunch throughout the week. You won't be able to stop eating it! Or try: French Lentil Salad
This classic French main dish salad should be part of every list of best salad recipes. The word salad doesn’t even really come close to describing the taste treat that is Nicoise salad.
Eggs, green beans, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, tuna, and tangy potatoes sit on crunchy lettuce with a zesty lemon vinaigrette that makes you want to keep eating it for days. It’s filling enough to be a main dish, and it’s got the best summery vibe (just add frose).
Want to add sophistication to your meal? Try a crunchy and refreshing frisee salad! Frisée is a leafy green with a frilly texture and subtly bitter flavor, ideal for adding flair and elegance to salads. This one pairs it with the burst of juicy orange, aged Manchego cheese, and crunchy almonds, covering it all in a zingy white wine vinaigrette.
Try this Endive Salad: equal parts refreshing, tangy, bitter, crunchy, and tangy! Bitter endive pairs perfectly with juicy orange and a sweet tart red wine vinaigrette. Top it off with savory Parmesan shavings and crunchy almonds, and the contrasts are divine. Each bite is crunchy, sweet, savory and citrusy.
Here’s a salad recipe you can mix up in minutes: White Bean Salad! It’s bursting with Mediterranean flavor from simple ingredients: bell pepper brings a crunch, parsley an herbaceous bite, and red wine vinegar brings a zing of acidity. Top with a sprinkle of feta, and it’s irresistibly tasty with minimal effort.
Here’s a trick for infusing veggies into our day to day: this Chopped Vegetable Salad! It’s a mix of sturdy veggies makes the best colorful mix, tossed with a red wine vinegar dressing and a sprinkle of feta cheese. This burst of flavor tastes great right away: and even better after a few hours or days of marinating.
This delightful fennel salad is one anyone can enjoy despite any preconceptions, pairing the shaved raw vegetable with sweet apple, zingy lemon and savory Parmesan cheese. Delicate fennel fronds make a feathery garnish, and each bite is irresistibly crunchy with a pop of acidity.
Here’s a standout fall or winter salad starring everyone’s favorite ingredient: Butternut Squash Salad! This one is a symphony in a bowl: hearty sweet squash pairs with crisp apple, chewy cranberries and a citrusy orange vinaigrette.
Ready for the best potato salad you’ve had? And we’re not just saying that. This classic American style potato salad is the result of years of research into what makes a perfect classic potato salad. You know, that potato salad your Grandma makes, or you get at the veggie deli counter? Except this one is made of plant based whole foods, and tastes even better than the mayo-laden glop that sometimes graces summer pitch-ins.
Want to change up your coleslaw routine? Try this Easy Cabbage Salad recipe! For many slaws or cabbage salads, you’ll be endlessly chopping and prepping the long ingredient list. Not so with this one! This effortless salad calls for only 6 ingredients, and the only fresh ingredients are green cabbage and mint. It comes out fresh and tangy, with a lemon mint flavor that keeps eaters coming back for more. We served it as part of a lineup of summer salads, and everyone kept asking: “What’s in this?”
Next up in our best salad recipes: black bean salad! It’s tangy and delicious, perfectly seasoned with cumin, garlic, and vinegar, and mixed with colored bell peppers, green onions and rice. It’s kid friendly and a great healthy lunch idea or dinner time side. And, it’s perfect as an easy potluck recipe to take to a gathering. It’s totally plant based, vegan and gluten free, so it works for a variety of diets!
Another feature of this black bean salad: it can sit in the refrigerator for up to 3 days without losing flavor, so it’s great for making ahead and eating off of all week.
Want a salad recipe that’s as tasty as it is versatile? Enter: asparagus salad! It’s got savory sauteed asparagus, cooked up in a hot pan for a few minutes then spritzed with lemon. Serve on a bed of greens and sprinkle with peppery radishes and feta crumbles. A zingy Dijon mustard dressing tops it off! Even better: you can serve as a side dish, or add cooked quinoa and make it a main dish salad.
Here’s a refreshingly simple salad recipe that’s just begging to jump on your table: citrus salad! It stars all the beautiful, vibrant citrus: tangy grapefruit, navel oranges, and sweet blood oranges. They’re drizzled with a zingy dressing, then topped crushed pistachios and fresh mint.
Here’s a salad recipe that will blow you away with its fresh, zingy flavor: this Simple Avocado Salad! Simple, high quality ingredients paired together make magic, and this one is all about those contrasts. Rich avocado pairs with bursts of sweet cherry tomatoes, savory onion, and a zesty citrus vinaigrette.
Here's an easy, healthy salad you can make in 5 minutes! It's plant based and starts with a can of chickpeas. Throw these chickpeas together with cucumber and red pepper, stir with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and you've got an incredible Mediterranean-style salad that tastes like it took all day.
This beet salad has all the right elements: roasted beets, baby greens, creamy goat cheese and a tangy balsamic beet dressing. Basically, salad perfection! The sweet, earthy flavor of beets pairs perfectly with the tang of a balsamic dressing. Here, we’ve used our favorite Best Balsamic Dressing: which takes just 5 minutes and 5 ingredients. Amp it up a notch: by stirring in roasted beets, which turns the dressing a vibrant shade of pink and adds a sweet flavor undertone!
This watermelon salad recipe is truly easy: it’s just matter of chopping a few ingredients and throwing them together on a platter! Juicy watermelon, salty feta, and cool cucumber come together along with basil and lemon zest into something that’s out-of-this-world good! It’s a fantastic accessory for summer cookouts and potlucks. (PS it’s easy to grow your own basil at home.)
Here’s a genius trick that makes a fast dinner, side salad or healthy lunch with no cooking required. That’s right, no need to grab your pan and spatula. Try this Smoked Salmon Salad! It’s healthy, fresh, and 100% cook free. Imagine: savory smoked salmon, fresh greens, fluffy goat cheese dollops and a tangy shallot vinaigrette.
Here's a hack to make a kickin’ fresh black bean and corn salad…in just 5 minutes, no chopping required. Sure, it’s a bit of a shortcut. But if this shortcut gets you to eat more vegetables and plant-forward meals: how could it be bad? We’ll admit: we’re wary of recipes that claim to be the easiest, best thing you’ve ever tried.
Here’s a pasta salad recipe that’s ultra versatile for picnics, barbecues, and an easy lunch idea: this Tortellini Salad! The tang of the artichoke, chewy pillowy pasta, zippy tomatoes, and peppery basil come together into a symphony of flavor! Even better, it stores up to 4 days in the fridge, making it a perfect easy lunch.
This balsamic tomato salad might sound simple, but it's utterly divine. It’s all about simplicity: just tomatoes and herbs, marinaded in balsamic and olive oil for 30 minutes. And once you taste it: it’s truly one of the best fresh tomato recipes you’ll find. It almost brought tears to our eyes. And that’s just the kind of fresh tomato recipe you need.
Alex and I used to think it was easy to just “throw together” a good salad. But the more experienced we’ve gotten in the kitchen, the more I’ve realized that a good salad is not just a throw together type of thing! A good salad has got to have contrasts in texture, flavor, and colors. It’s got to make sense with the season and the occasion.
Squash salad is a perfect fall or winter side dish! This salad recipe features roasted delicata squash, a variety of squash that's quick to cook and extraordinarily sweet. You can use other squash varieties if you like, like roasted butternut squash or acorn squash. Serve it over greens with pomegranate seeds and a tangy vinaigrette.
Another favorite in our side salad recipes, this radish chopped salad is full of flavor! The creamy blue cheese dressing perfectly complements the crunchy radishes, and the flavors all meld together perfectly. The body of the salad is both green cabbage and romaine lettuce, which makes for contrasting flavors and textures, and it’s topped with blue cheese crumbles. This one is a fabulous compliment to any type main dish.
This cucumber salad with vinegar is everything summer! It’s perfect for potlucks to patio barbecues to picnics. The thinly sliced cucumbers and onions are salty, tangy, and lightly sweet all at once, and totally addicting. This cucumber salad is vegan, plant-based, and gluten-free, so it works for lots of diets too. Also try: Creamy Cucumber Salad
This French potato salad is incredibly tasty: the sum of its parts equal something much greater than the whole! The red potatoes are salty, tangy, and moist, mixed with just the right amount of salty capers and savory minced shallot. It’s one of those salad recipes where you can’t help but sneak bites while you’re making it: it’s just that good! This one is an adaptation of Julia Child’s classic French potato salad recipe.
Classic Greek salad is a big pile of tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and Kalamata olives (no lettuce) with a big block of feta on top. Sometimes you’ll find green pepper in the mix. It’s typically then drizzled with olive oil and just a little red wine vinegar, then sprinkled with some dried oregano! This one is our classic take after visiting Santorini, Greece a few years ago. It’s one of those salad recipes that tastes just like summer! Ripe, in season tomatoes work best here.
This apple manchego salad is made simply of apples and manchego cheese cut into matchsticks, with a bit of olive oil and some sliced chives. Nothing pretentious — just pure ingredients combined in a simple way to make each shine. The way the apples and cheese are cut makes it hard to distinguish between the two – making it all the more fun to guess what will be part of each bite!
Salad recipes like this shaved Brussels sprout salad are what healthy eating and adventurous cooking should be about. It’s a study in texture contrasts: the feathery shaved Brussels, the pop of the cherries, and the bright crunch of the apple. It’s vibrant and colorful, covered in a lightly sweet vinaigrette. And the flavor: it’s like eating a bowl of confetti, but the healthy kind!
Looking for salad dressings?
Salad dressing is always better homemade. In addition to these incredible salad recipes, here are some of our favorite homemade salad dressings:
Chop romaine and lettuce. Thinly slice the shallot. Peel and chop cucumber. Slice tomatoes and olives in half.
Mix together all the ingredients for the salad, including the dressing, and toss to combine. If making in advance, refrigerate the components separately; bring the dressing to room temperature before serving.