If you're looking for easy salad recipes, these 45 salad ideas will help inspire you.
Salads are perfect as a side dish or an appetizer and can easily be upgraded to a healthy lunch if you add protein.
Browse through this list and take your pick: from vegetarian and healthy salads to pasta salads and easy salads.
Best of all, they're made with wholesome and easy-to-find ingredients, making them perfect for families and serving as healthy side dishes.
Our most popular salads
These salads are perfect for weeknight dinners as side salads or appetizers.
You'll find vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian options with suggestions for upgrading your salads to a meal with healthy protein.
Cucumber tomato salad is refreshing and colorful! Enjoy this crunchy and easy recipe as a summer side dish, add some protein, and upgrade it to a quick and healthy main.
Our tender-crisp green bean salad is served with cherry tomatoes and a creamy mustard dressing.
The beans are coated to perfection, making this salad indulgent and healthy at the same time.
Avocado salad is creamy, crunchy, and refreshing.
This 10-minute salad is all you need for a quick lunch (add chickpeas) or light dinner during the hot summer.
Moroccan carrot salad is a delicious and aromatic recipe with tender boiled carrots, fragrant ground cumin, minced garlic, fresh parsley, and other simple ingredients.
Our side salad is a simple recipe for most main meals.
It's easy, crunchy, fresh, and colorful and goes well with any main.
We combine the tomatoes with thinly sliced onion and basil, then season them with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
This tomato salad is tasty, refreshing, nourishing, and the perfect side dish for most meals.
Oven-roasted or air-fried sweet potato salad with ripe avocado, arugula, and creamy mustard dressing.
Adding a bit of feta cheese is a delicious, colorful, and nutritious meal.
This 15-minute chickpea salad is an easy and nutritious dish.
Make it in 15 minutes with simple, fresh ingredients and a refreshing lemon vinaigrette.
Fresh, bright green, and crunchy, this zucchini salad is the ultimate summer salad.
It's perfect for picnics and potlucks and as a side dish for BBQs and summer dinners.
Fennel and orange salad is a crunchy, fresh, and light salad to be served as a side dish or a starter.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and fennel fronds for a restaurant-worthy side dish.
This watermelon salad with feta is a delightful summer salad sprinkled with pistachio nuts and lime.
It's a cooling and tasty appetizer or side salad for hot summer nights, putlocks, or BBQs.
Salads with grains and pasta are perfect for lunchbox meals, to bring to the office, or for the entire family to enjoy.
This rice salad is the perfect summer dish, easy to prepare in advance, and great for meal planning.
Once the rice is cooked, it will take you 10 minutes to mix this wholesome and vegetarian grain bowl.
Pasta salad is the ideal lunchtime meal because it's quick to prepare and delicious.
It's also great to make in advance to have as a ready-to-go salad to eat at any time.
16. Quinoa salad
Chickpeas and quinoa are combined to create a simple and healthy chickpea quinoa salad with fresh, seasonal veggies and a simple lemon vinaigrette.
This red cabbage slaw is easy, crunchy, and perfectly tangy.
This is a healthier and less caloric summer salad option like a regular coleslaw but without mayonnaise.
This couscous salad is easy, fresh, crunchy, and nutritious.
Follow our step-by-step recipe for a meal-prep-friendly dish ready in 20 minutes.
This is a lighter macaroni salad with a creamy yogurt-mayonnaise dressing.
Add carrots, bell pepper, and green peas for perfect crunch and added protein.
You don't have to worry about hunger after eating these protein-packed salads! We use wholesome plant-based protein to make nutritious and satiating salads that you can serve with bread and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
Try this vegan egg salad if you want a great, quick, fulfilling vegan lunch or snack idea.
It's great on a sandwich and made with tofu, vegan mayo, and herbs.
This tofu salad recipe is a crunchy, healthy bowl perfect for lunch or dinner.
Low in calories, high in flavor, and satiating with a velvety creamy tahini dressing.
Eggplant salad is an easy and delicious recipe made with roasted or air-fried eggplant, chickpeas, and other crunchy seasonal vegetables.
It's perfect as a make-ahead meal for potlucks and picnics.
Vegan tuna is a quick and easy recipe made with mashed chickpeas.
It's the perfect replacement for tuna in a sandwich, to fill a baked sweet potato, or as an appetizer.
This chickpea pasta salad is a quick and healthy recipe made with fresh and wholesome ingredients ready in less than 20 minutes.
This black bean salad with roasted sweet potatoes, corn, green or red bell pepper, creamy avocado, and a cilantro lime dressing is a winner.
We love this protein-rich salad for lunch and as a post-workout dinner.
Zaalouk is a delicious cooked eggplant salad with tomatoes, garlic, cumin, and olive oil.
Learn how to make it in one pot in about 30 minutes.
Couscous with vegetables is a delicious way of enjoying couscous.
You can make This easy recipe in less than 30 minutes with seasonal veggies and herbs.
Carrot raisin salad is a classic side dish.
We make a creamy old-fashioned one, grandma's style, with shredded carrots, raisins, and mayo, and a modern one with orange juice, raisins, and without mayo.
Caponata is an Italian eggplant salad with a delicious sweet and sour flavor.
We make it with roasted eggplant (instead of deep-fried) in less than 40 minutes.
Our Italian salad is fresh, crunchy, tasty, and easy to make.
This salad is the perfect make-ahead meal.
You can enjoy it as a quick and fulfilling lunch at the office or a wholesome dinner and quickly bring it to potlucks.
This Mediterranean farro salad is unbelievably tasty and fulfilling and great as a healthy lunch idea.
We make it with chewy Farro, roasted veggies, crumbled feta, and an irresistible cumin dressing.
Shirazi salad is a refreshing Iranian dish made with chopped cucumber, tomatoes, and onion and seasoned with dried mint.
Greek salad is a simple, tasty, refreshing dish made with ripe tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, tangy red onions, crisp bell peppers, and savory and creamy feta cheese.
Simple and incredibly easy, our cauliflower salad has no bacon, mayonnaise, or dairy.
We roast the cauliflower florets with olive oil and toss them in a creamy dreamy tahini and lemon dressing.
Serve tabouli as a starter on a platter with other Middle Eastern foods, as a side dish, or make it ahead and bring it to picnics and potlucks.
Protein-rich, with earthy lentils, roasted cauliflower, and a cumin dressing, this putlock-friendly cauliflower salad is great for autumn and winter.
This lentil tabbouleh recipe is easy to make, and you can serve it as a starter or a side dish.
It's a perfect side salad with Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern dishes such as hummus and eggplant dip.
A perfect holiday salad side dish and a healthy lunch idea.
This crunchy red cabbage salad with juicy orange wedges, mixed green leaves, and nutty pinto beans make a colorful and vibrant salad.
This pear salad is fruity, fresh, crunchy, and delicious; excellent as an appetizer or side salad for a special dinner or holiday dish.
Leafy greens, roasted pumpkin, and a creamy mustard dressing meet in a wholesome grain bowl.
Make this kale quinoa salad a healthy lunch, or add tofu to upgrade it to dinner status.
This Arugula side salad and appetizer idea is a 5-minute quick and delicious green side dish.
Try it with walnuts and slices of red apple for a fruit, nourishing, and crispy salad serving.
This apple and butternut squash salad is packed with leafy greens, pecan nuts, and dried cranberries, perfect for autumn and winter.
Velvety creamy tahini sauce, crunchy chickpeas, and fresh veggies come together in this Middle-Eastern-inspired salad bowl.
Easy salad dressings
Italian salad dressing
Homemade Italian dressing is a simple vinaigrette recipe to add flavor, freshness, and aroma to many salads, such as Italian pasta salads, big Italian salads, or simple side salads.
Rich, creamy, nutty, and incredibly nutritious, tahini sauce is a favorite drizzle-on-everything sauce. It adds umami, creaminess, and a silky mouthfeel to any dish.
Chipotle sauce is a spicy, smoky, savory condiment made from chipotles in adobo (smoked jalapeño peppers). Learn how to make homemade vegan, dairy-free chipotle sauce. A great way to spice up tacos, burritos, salads, and much more.
Chimichurri is a quick, delicious, bright sauce you can use as a topping for many dishes. The main ingredients are olive oil, parsley, garlic, vinegar, and red pepper flakes.
Carrot ginger dressing for Asian-inspired salads
Carrot Ginger Dressing is a simple recipe for a vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and egg-free salad dressing made with fresh ingredients in only a few minutes.
Cilantro lime dressing for Mexican-inspired salads and bowls
You can make this cilantro lime dressing in 5 minutes with seven ingredients in a blender.
This recipe is healthy, dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and perfect for brightening your favorite meal.
Green goddess dressing
Green goddess dressing is a creamy salad with plenty of fresh herbs. Learn how to make this delicious dressing at home easily.
Our quick chili oil recipe is inspired by the Italian "olio al pepperoncino". This is a classic condiment around the Mediterranean and is often added to pizza and grilled dishes.
Healthy salad toppings
Homemade croutons are a simple way to add flavor and crunch to salads, soups, stews, and casseroles.
Make them in 15 minutes in the oven or on the stove top from fresh or stale bread.
Air fryer croutons
It takes less than 10 minutes to make these air fryer croutons and a few simple ingredients, such as olive oil and your favorite dry herbs. They are perfect for soups, salads, and stews.
Grilled vegetables, such as eggplant, zucchini, or asparagus
Learn how to make a mouthwatering homemade hummus with a few simple ingredients, from both canned and dry chickpeas.
Homemade guacamole is probably the best dip in the world. Tasty, healthy, and a crowd-pleaser, especially when served with some crunchy tortilla chips or on top of a salad.
Air fryer tofu cubes
Air fryer tofu is a convenient, easy recipe you can make in less than 15 minutes with very simple ingredients. Learn how to turn a block of firm tofu into tasty, crispy, and chewy bites of plant-based protein to level up your salads.
Marinated tofu is one of the easiest foods to cook. Our recipe is quick and tasty, and you can make it in less than 30 minutes with simple ingredients.
What is the secret to making a good salad?
Here are 7 flavor elements that, in combination, level up a mediocre salad to a best-in-class salad:
- Bitter: such as lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, radishes, and arugula.
- Umami: such as avocado, tomatoes, broccoli, peas, mushrooms, and beets.
- Sweet: such as dried fruits, roasted sweet potato, roasted root vegetables, corn, carrots, onions, and roasted butternut squash.
- Salt: is easily added to your favorite proteins by cooking them. Some examples are fried tofu, roasted chickpeas, and tempeh bacon.
- Sour: for example citrus, cranberries, vinegar.
- Fat: nuts, seeds, avocado, good quality dressings, such as olive oil and balsamico dressing, green goddess dressing, and tahini sauce.
- Spicy: for example a spicy dressing (chili oil, chipotle sauce, chimichurri), or herbs used for the protein, for example, marinated tofu and air fryer chickpeas.
These 7 flavor affinities are a good guideline for making delicious salads, but also work as a checklist for putting together a delicious and satiating meal.
For many more salad ideas, check out our salads category page.
45 Best Salads
- Pick your favorite salad recipe
- Read the recipe for ingredients required
- Make the recipe by following the instructions
- How to store: Most of these salads keep for 1 day in the refrigerator, best if stored in an airtight container.
If you liked this list of best salad recipes, check out these veggie-packed compilations: