These tasty and easy green salad recipes are so versatile! They pair with just about any main dish, from pasta to pizza to salmon to chili.
It’s deceptively difficult to find good side salad recipes. Right? Alex and I often want to accessorize our meal with a side salad. But what green salad recipes are the right fit? Browsing for recipes online can take too long; it feels like you’re in a bargain store trying to comb through sweaters to find the just right thing to wear.
So, we’ve decided to take the guess work out for you! We’ve put together a list of our top green salad recipes that make the perfect side salad for just about anything. Most of them are extremely versatile and vibe with many types of main dishes, whether you’re pairing salmon or pizza.
The best go-to in our green salad recipes: this favorite chopped salad! Without fail, people always ask, "Wow! What is in this?" It's got an Italian flair, filled with crisp romaine, sliced shallots, and Parmesan cheese. The kicker? Sliced pepperoncini, which add tang and a little heat. Top it off with our classic Homemade Italian Dressing and it's the perfect pair to just about anything.
Introducing: the simplest arugula salad. It’s quite possibly the easiest salad you’ll make. You don’t even have to make a salad dressing! In 5 to 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 and so tasty. It pairs especially well with soups, pasta and pizza!
Here's another simple green salad recipe, this one starring leafy green kale! Raw kale 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. Plus, the sturdy texture of the kale holds up well in a salad, and provides an extra crunch when eating.
If we could eat one green salad for the rest of time, this one is it. Crisp tart apple slices pair with pops of pomegranate seeds, creamy goat cheese, and crunchy, cinnamon spiced pecans. Toss them all over fresh greens with a zingy maple and apple cider vinegar dressing, and it’s truly salad perfection.
Here's a classic green salad recipe that's 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.
Try this refreshing Romaine Salad! The electric green of the romaine leaves, pastel dressing and delicate pink radishes have a fresh monochrome effect tastes as good as it looks. The Green Goddess Dressing smothers it all in herbaceous creaminess. Take it over the top with a sprinkle of crunchy breadcrumbs, an ingenious alternative to croutons.
Here’s a simple way to make it into an impressive side dish: 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 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. We’ve customized it to be simple with items you might already have on hand! Add a quick homemade salad dressing, like a light and tangy vinaigrette which compliments the delicate leaves perfectly.
Here’s a great green 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 a whole range of dishes, from pizza to pasta to poultry and fish.
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.
Here’s a great way to make a healthy green salad: try Watercress Salad with Apple!Pair this bitter leafy green with lemon, apple and savory Parmesan shavings and you won’t be able to resist another bite! The sweet apple, zingy citrus and flaky salt balance out the watercress beautifully, making for a fresh and vibrant side dish.
Here’s a green salad to impress. It’s 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 and you’ve got a stunning side salad that will make everyone ooo and ahhh.
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.
Here’s one that’s on our new favorite green salad: Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula and Apples! The crunch of the apples, creamy goat cheese, and fluffy arugula are the ideal pair for the tangy sweet dressing. It’s simple and comes together quickly, but my does it deliver on flavor.
What we love about this salad is that it's like a good pair of heels or boots. It literally goes with anything! A good salad has got to have contrasts in texture, flavor, and colors, and this one is all about that. There's lots of crunchy veggies. There are pumpkin seeds, and our tasty Homemade Croutons.
This fennel orange salad features beautiful juicy oranges and a famous pairing: sliced raw fennel, which adds a subtle licorice essence. Throw it over greens with a few garnishes, top with a zingy homemade citrus vinaigrette, and wow! There’s so much going on flavor and texture-wise, it’s one of the most unexpectedly delicious salads we’ve ever made.
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.
This refreshing Grapefruit Salad pairs the juicy citrus fruit with nutty toasted almonds, salty feta cheese and a zingy poppy seed dressing. Give it a taste and the delicate, zingy, nut and creamy textures and flavors complement each other perfectly!
This blackberry salad is classic and chic: baby greens, soft goat cheese and smoked almonds bring a nuance of flavor that’s extraordinary for the amount of prep time required. And top it off with our famous creamy Best Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing. Alex and I dreamed up this salad, and upon first bite, both declared “Wow.” See also: Beet Salad and Blueberry Salad.
Last but not least in our green salad recipes is this apple walnut salad! The mix of crisp apples, crunchy walnuts, chewy cranberries and a sweet-tart dressing makes a symphony of textures and flavors. It’s perfect as a side dish, but add protein and it also works as a main meal! You can swap out the dressing and mix-ins to make dozens of variations on the theme, making it endlessly versatile for any time and occasion.
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.