If you're looking for easy salad recipes, these 45 best 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 for serving as weeknight side dishes.
Our most popular salads
These salads are perfect for weeknight dinners, as side salads or appetizers. You'll find vegan and vegetarian options, and we always include suggestions for upgrading the salads to a meal with healthy protein.
1. Tomato cucumber onion salad
Cucumber tomato salad is refreshing and colorful! Enjoy this crunchy and easy recipe as a summer side dish or add some protein to it and upgrade it to a quick and healthy main.
2. Green bean salad with creamy dressing
Our tender-crisp green bean salad with a creamy mustard dressing that coats the beans to perfection is the easiest and tastiest salad of its kind.
3. Easy avocado salad
Avocado salad is creamy, crunchy, and refreshing, and it's all you need for a quick lunch or light dinner during the hot summer months.
4. Moroccan carrot salad
Moroccan carrot salad is a delicious and aromatic recipe with tender boiled carrots, fragrant ground cumin, minced garlic, fresh parsley, and a few other simple ingredients.
5. Quick side salad
Our side salad is a simple recipe you can serve with most main meals. It's easy, crunchy, fresh, and colorful and goes well with anything.
6. Tomato salad
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.
7. Carrot salad
Carrot salad is a refreshing, crunchy, and sweet French-inspired recipe you can serve as a side dish for the holidays or bring to picnics and potlucks.
8. Shaved brussel sprout salad
Our shaved Brussels sprout salad is easy to make with just 3 ingredients for the salad, and 4 for a delicious lemon-mustard dressing.
9. Sweet potato salad
Oven-roasted or air-fried sweet potato salad with ripe avocado, arugula, creamy mustard dressing, and a tiny bit of feta cheese is a delicious, colorful, and nutritious meal.
10. Chickpea salad in 20 minutes
This vegan chickpea salad is an easy and nutritious dish. Make it in just 15 minutes with simple, fresh ingredients and a refreshing lemon vinaigrette.
11. Zucchini salad with parmesan cheese
Fresh, bright, and crunchy, this zucchini salad is the ultimate summer salad. It's perfect for picnics, potlucks, and as a side dish for family dinners.
12. Fennel orange salad with pomegranate
Fennel and orange salad is a crunchy, fresh, and light salad to be served as a side dish or as a starter.
13. Watermelon salad with feta
This watermelon salad with feta is a delightful summer salad sprinkled with pistachio nuts and lime. A perfect appetizer and side salad for hot summer nights or BBQs.
Salads with grains and pasta are perfect for lunchbox meals, to bring to the office, or for the entire family to enjoy.
14. Rice salad Italian style
This rice salad is adapted from the Italian rice salad and it's the perfect summer dish, easy to prepare in advance, and bring with you for a picnic outdoors.
15. Pasta salad
Pasta salad is the ideal lunchtime meal because it's quick to prepare and delicious to eat. It's also great to make in advance to have as a ready-to-go meal 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.
17. Red cabbage salad
This red cabbage slaw is easy, crunchy, and comforting just like a regular slaw, but with the added apples and candied walnuts, you get an irresistible sweet, sour, and nutty crunch.
18. Barley salad
This barley salad with roasted vegetables is the perfect grain salad for a picnic, potluck, or a healthy lunch.
19. Couscous salad
This couscous salad is easy, fresh, crunchy, and nutritious. Follow our recommendations or make it with your favorite veggies.
You don't have to worry about feeling hungry 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.
20. Vegan egg salad
If you are looking for a great, quick, and fulfilling vegan lunch or snack idea, you need to try this vegan egg salad. Made with tofu, vegan mayo, and herbs, it’s great on a sandwich or on its own.
21. Tofu salad
This tofu salad recipe is a crunchy and healthy bowl perfect for lunch or dinner. Low in calories, high in flavor and filling. Make this today and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
22. Eggplant salad
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.
23. Vegan tuna salad
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, as an appetizer, or just as is as a vegan tuna salad.
24. Chickpea pasta salad
This chickpea pasta salad is a quick and healthy recipe made with fresh and nutritious ingredients in less than 20 minutes.
25. Black bean salad
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.
26. Moroccan eggplant salad
Zaalouk is a delicious cooked eggplant salad made with tomatoes, garlic, cumin, and olive oil. Learn how to make it in one pot in about 30 minutes.
27. Couscous with vegetables
Couscous with vegetables is a delicious way of enjoying couscous. This is an easy recipe that you can make in less than 30 minutes, with seasonal veggies and herbs.
Panzanella is an Italian bread salad with simple summer vegetables and leftover stale bread soaked in water. A perfect appetizer for summer, and a delightful side dish for an easy dinner.
29. Carrot raisin salad
Carrot raisin salad is a classic. 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.
30. Caponata (Sicilian eggplant salad)
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 45 minutes.
31. Italian salad
32. Lentil sweet potato salad
This salad is the perfect make-ahead meal, and you can enjoy it as a quick and fulfilling lunch at the office or wholesome dinner, and easily bring it to potlucks.
33. Mediterranean farro salad
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 and paprika dressing.
34. Shirazi salad
Shirazi salad is a refreshing Iranian dish made with chopped cucumber, tomatoes, and onion and seasoned with dried mint.
35. Greek salad
Greek salad is a simple, tasty, and refreshing dish made with ripe tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, tangy red onions, crisp bell peppers, and savory and creamy feta cheese.
36. Creamy cauliflower salad
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.
38. Mediterranean cauliflower salad
Protein-rich, with earthy lentils, roasted cauliflower, and a cumin dressing, this putlock-friendly cauliflower salad is great for autumn and winter.
39. Lentil tabbouleh
This lentil tabbouleh recipe is easy to make, and you can serve it as a starter or as a side dish. It's a perfect side salad with Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern dishes such as hummus and eggplant dip.
40. Red cabbage salad
A perfect holiday side dish and lunch idea! This crunchy red cabbage salad with juicy orange wedges, mixed green leaves, and nutty pinto beans make a colorful and vibrant salad.
41. Pear salad with orange
This pear salad is fruity, fresh, crunchy, and delicious; excellent as an appetizer or side salad for a special dinner or holiday dish.
42. Kale quinoa salad
Leafy greens, roasted pumpkin, and a creamy mustard dressing meet in a wholesome grain bowl. Make this kale quinoa salad as a healthy lunch, or add tofu to upgrade it to dinner status.
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 7 ingredients in a blender. This recipe is healthy, dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and perfect to brighten up your favorite meal.
Green goddess dressing
Green goddess dressing is a creamy salad dressing made with plenty of fresh herbs. Learn how to easily make this scrumptious dressing at home.
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: