Quick And Easy Salad Recipes
Perfect for dinner, gatherings, or that daily salad you bring to work, here are 20 quick and easy delicious salad recipes for you to try!
Growing up, salads were a standard addition to our dinner table. My mom would make a salad every night to eat with our meal, and thats something Ive continued to do with my family. Salads are amazingly versatile, and it doesnt always mean the same 4 ingredients every time. Still think salads are boring? Well Ive compiled 20 quick and easy salad recipes that you can include in your dinner rotations, and learn how fun salads can be.
Classic Green Salad Recipes
Simple Butter Lettuce Salad . Composed of tender butter lettuce leaves, briny green olives and salty slivers of aged manchego, our butter lettuce salad is a feast for the eyes and the palate.
Mediterranean Wedge Salad. Iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and pickled onions make this Mediterranean-inspired riff on a classic wedge salad recipe fresh and delicious.
Butter Lettuce Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette. In this simple butter lettuce salad, vibrant lettuce leaves live their best lives, dressed in a tangy homemade vinaigrette and accompanied by creamy avocado and crisp radishes.
Simple Italian Salad. If youre just discovering this classic Italian salad recipe for the first time, congratulations! Meet the perfect side salad to accompany all your Italian pasta, chicken or fish dinners!
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Layered Blue Cheese Bacon And Iceberg Salad
What’s better than a classic wedge? One that’s stacked with all the usual suspects, plus some new friends. Carrots add just the right amount of color and root-veggie crunchiness. You can toss the salad with ranch or French dressing if you don’t have blue cheese on hand.
Get the Recipe: Layered Blue Cheese, Bacon and Iceberg Salad
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Ways To Serve This Marinated Vegetable Salad
This vegetable salad is pretty straightforward and basic, but its unlike any salad we make on the regular! So for us, its a treat to have found a fun new way to eat colorful veggies. Here are a few ways we like to serve it:
- As a side dish for weeknight meals: store it refrigerated
- For lunches throughout the week as a way to add veggies
- For picnics as a marinated vegetable salad
- For potlucks: consider making a double recipe!
Ingredients Needed To Make This Sandwich
- Chicken: Looking for an easy way to cook chicken? Try air fryer chicken breasts, poached chicken, or grilled chicken breasts. Rotisserie chicken is good, too. Make sure the chicken is cold before adding it to the salad.
- Grapes: For ease, use seedless grapes, any color . They are best for this recipe when they are still cold, straight from the fridge. If you use grapes with seeds, just remove the seeds as you slice them.
- Celery: For crunch and added texture.
- Green onions: For a pop of color and fresh flavor.
- Fresh parsley: Just a sprinkle of chopped parsley is colorful and adds a nice herby flavor.
- Greek yogurt: Along with the mayonnaise, plain greek yogurt acts as the base in this recipe. And adds delicious tanginess and some extra protein!
- Mayonnaise: Were adding mayo along with Greek yogurt to give the chicken salad that classic creaminess.
- Dijon mustard: A touch of mustard pairs perfectly with eggs! Feel free to use another mustard you have on hand if needed.
- Garlic: One minced garlic clove will add a balance of savory flavor.
- Kosher salt & pepper: Season your salad to taste. Dont skimp on the salt or your salad will taste bland.
- Bread: Ideally, pick a healthy whole-wheat, seeded bread that has plenty of fiber. We love our Homemade Chia Seed Whole Wheat Bread for this chicken salad sandwich recipe.
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Quick Black Bean And Corn Salad
Here’s a hack to make a kickin fresh black bean and corn saladin just 5 minutes, no chopping required. Sure, its a bit of a shortcut. But if this shortcut gets you to eat more vegetables and plant-forward meals: how could it be bad? Well admit: were wary of recipes that claim to be the easiest, best thing youve ever tried.
More Best Salad Recipes
This Mexican salad is one of our best salad recipes for all different cuisines and occasions! Here are a few that top the list:
- The BEST Kale Salad The BEST way to eat kale! A dressing of lemon, garlic and Parmesan cheese transforms kale into tangy goodness.
- Arugula Salad This easy arugula salad is fool-proof: you dont even need to make dressing. It comes together in minutes!
- Best Tossed Salad A customizable salad with lots of dressing options and crunchy homemade croutons!
- Favorite Chopped Salad This chopped salad is always a hit it will amaze everyone around the table!
- Fennel Orange Salad This refreshing salad pairs juicy orange and the subtle licorice essence of fennel with a citrus vinaigrette.
- Simple Citrus Salad This refreshingly simple citrus salad features grapefruit and oranges topped with a tangy vinaigrette and fresh mint.
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How To Make Grandmas Pasta Salad
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and these step-by-step instructions first. Then youll the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Cook the pasta
First, cook the pasta until al dente in salted water according to package directions. Meanwhile, dice the onions, bell peppers, gherkins and vegan bologna and defrost the peas.
Tip: Dont overcook the pasta or it will get mushy and fall apart.
Step 2: Combine all ingredients
Once the pasta is done, drain the cooking water and rinse with cold water. Then combine with all the other ingredients for the pasta salad in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, cut the corn from the cob into the bowl and stir again.
Tip: If the pasta salad is not creamy enough, you can add more cucumber water.
Step 3: Refine and serve
Finish your homemade pasta salad with fresh herbs as desired and serve immediately, or for more flavor, let it sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving. Enjoy!
Whats To Love About This Vegetarian Pasta Salad:
QUICK & EASY: Whip up this lemony orzo salad in less than 30 minutes! Its ideal for a last-minute dinner recipe. Or make a batch for you next family picnic.FLAVOR! Fresh herbs, bright dressing, tangy feta cheese and seasonal veggies. Both kids and adults adore the taste of this salad.MAKE-AHEAD: This salad lasts for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Great for meal prepping!
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Orzo Salad Recipe Tips
- Cook the pasta a little past al dente. Whenever I make a pasta salad, I cook the pasta just past al dente, so that it stays tender after it cools.
- And let it cool before you add the veggies. If you toss the hot orzo with the tomatoes, cucumber, and onion, theyll begin to wilt. Instead, drain the cooked orzo, dress it with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking, and spread it in an even layer on a large baking sheet to cool. When it reaches room temperature, proceed with the recipe.
- Make it ahead. You can make this orzo salad recipe up to a day in advance, but save the herbs to add at the last minute. If they sit in the dressing for too long, theyll wilt, so its best to toss them in right before you eat. The salad may also dry out a bit in the fridge. If you think it needs more moisture, loosen it with a drizzle of olive oil before serving.
Everyday Side Salad Ingredients:
As I mentioned above, the base ingredients in this salad are all incredibly flexible. So feel free to use whatever you love best or have on hand! You will just need some type of
- Fresh greens: I tend to go with spring greens, baby arugula, or some sort of mixed greens for this salad. But any greens that you love best will work.
- English cucumber: We always keep a few English cucs in the refrigerator because they are easy to work with , they last for quite awhile in the crisper drawer , and they always taste so delicious with this salad! That said, feel free to use any type of cucumber that you prefer for this salad, or see other fresh veggie ideas below too.
- Red onion: If youve followed this blog for any amount of time, you know that I can never resist adding some thinly-sliced fresh red onions to my salads. But if you dont love them as much as I do, feel free to leave them out . Or to take the edge off of the red onion flavor, you can also briefly rinse the sliced onions in water before adding them to the salad.
- Nuts/seeds: Feel free to add in whatever nuts or seeds that you love best to give this tossed salad some extra crunch and protein! Were partial to salty pepitas, toasted pine nuts, or sunflower seeds in our house. But toasted almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or any other favorite nuts/seeds would be delicious options too.
- Everyday dressing: See below!
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How Can I Add More Protein To Salad
Power up your healthy salad recipes and make them a meal by adding protein! Adding protein, whether meat, plant based, or a combination of both can help you stay satiated and full longer. Protein builds muscle and can help you stay energized throughout the day! Here are some easy ways to add more protein to your any type of salad:
- Cooked poultry: This is a great way to use up leftovers of ground turkey or Instant Pot chicken, too!
- Add beans or legumes: Cooked chickpeas are a favorite plus have great texture.
- Nuts and seeds: Sesame seeds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, toasted pecans, walnuts, pistachios are all favorites.
- Bacon: Not just for breakfast potatoes, a small amount of chopped bacon can add that savory touch to salad.
- Quinoa: A great plant based option and its a protein powerhouse!
- Cooked eggs: Make Instant Pot hard boiled eggs and have them at the ready to toss into a dinner salad.
- Fish and seafood: A great source of lean protein, try adding grilled salmon, air fryer shrimp, or keep it super easy with a can of crab meat or tuna!
Romaine Salad With Breadcrumbs And Simple Dressing
Fans call Mollys 20-minute salad simple and super yummy, and we feel the need to add smart to that description: She toasts panko breadcrumbs with butter in a skillet for amazing crunch and flavor! Romaine, a lemony homemade dressing and shaved Parmesan complete the meal.
Get the Recipe: Romaine Salad with Breadcrumbs and Simple Dressing
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Easy, fresh, and healthy salad recipes that can be on your dinner table in no time!
With a birthday that just passed and my slowing metabolism, Im finding that I cant burn off a cheeseburger as quickly as I did 10 years ago. But thankfully enough, these hearty salads come in super handy at times like these. Best of all, theyre all so quick and easy to whip up!
1. BBQ Chicken Salad This healthy, flavorful salad comes together so quickly, and it is guaranteed to be a hit with your entire family.
2. Harvest Cobb Salad The perfect fall salad with the creamiest poppyseed salad dressing. So good, youll want to make this all year long.
3. Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad Loaded with fresh avocado and applewood smoked bacon tossed in a lemon-thyme dressing.
4. Whole Foods California Quinoa Salad A healthy, nutritious copycat recipe that tastes 1000x better than the store-bought version.
5. Asian-Style Cobb Salad This salad serves as the perfect light meal, full of protein and veggies with a simple sesame vinaigrette.
6. Greek Salad This healthy Greek salad is absolutely amazing when tossed in a light and refreshing lemon vinaigrette.
7. Quinoa Fruit Salad This protein-packed quinoa salad is balanced with a tart vinaigrette and refreshing mint.
8. Taco Salad All the flavors of a taco in a healthy salad with a refreshing, tangy lime vinaigrette.
Lentil Salad With Feta
Heres 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. Its 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
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Watermelon Salad With Feta & Cucumber
This watermelon salad recipe is truly easy: its 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 thats out-of-this-world good! Its a fantastic accessory for summer cookouts and potlucks.
Goat Cheese Salad With Arugula & Apple
Heres a salad idea thats on our new favorite back pocket concept: the Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula and Apples! Its 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
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Serve As A Main Dish Mexican Salad
The other way to serve this Mexican salad is as a main dish salad! You could easily serve this one as a main dish salad by adding a protein to keep it heartier and more filling.
- Shrimp. Adding Garlic Shrimp or Cilantro Lime Shrimp brings lots of protein and keeps the calories low.
- Black beans and avocado. For a vegan and plant-based main dish salad, add black beans and avocado.
- Sweet potatoes. These roasted sweet potatoes add fiber and help to make it satiating.
- Feta or cotija cheese. Cheese crumbles add protein and make it more filling.
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Fennel Salad With Parmesan
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.
Heres a standout fall or winter salad starring everyones 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.
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Add The Smoky Sunflower Seed Topping
Remember we told you we removed the bacon from the classic broccoli salad? You dont need anything in place of it. But if you really want to take this salad over the top: make this smoky sunflower seed topping! It mimics the flavor of bacon using sunflower seeds that are flavored with soy sauce, maple syrup and smoked paprika. They bring just the right smoky and savory flavor to the salad.
Whats smoked paprika? Its a smoky Spanish version of sweet paprika. You should be able to find it at most grocery stores: its sometimes labeled pimentón. Smoked paprika is our secret weapon in plant-based cooking and we use it in so many recipes! Go to Best Smoked Paprika Recipes to use up a jar.
Everyones Favorite Salad Recipes
Lets start with some of my top salad recipes that everyone always comes back to. Theyre crazy good, perfect for any occasion , and are so darn easy to make.
- Broccoli Salad: No joke, this is everyones go-to salad, no matter what time of year it is. Its 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 cant beat those creamy avocado slices.
- Chicken Salad: When the warm weather hits, this chicken salad is a must. Its deliciously creamy, crunchy, fresh, and will convince you to never buy store-bought chicken salad again.
- Caprese Salad: Ill 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.
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Did You Make Any Of These Salad Recipes
Please leave a comment and rating below, and let me know what you thought of this round up of easy salad recipes at home. Be sure to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.
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- Total Time:5 minutes
Best Tips For Building A Pasta Salad Recipe
- Rinse pasta after cooking: This helps stop the cooking process immediately.
- Cook to al dente: I talk about this alot in healthy pasta with pesto recipe, and its super important when making a cold pasta salad, too! If your pasta is overcooked, as the dressing soaks into the salad, you will end up with soggy noodles.
- Use the right pasta shape: Short pasta shapes are best, as the dressing will soak into all the nooks and crannies, plus they are small and easy to eat.
- Add salt to pasta water: Just like in 10 minute spaghetti, salting your pasta water adds flavor to your pasta!
- Dress while warm: Add some dressing while your pasta is still warm, then the remainder before serving. Warm pasta absorbs the dressing better making for a more flavorful pasta salad recipe!
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