Well hello, 45 Healthy Salad Recipes! Let’s agree that there is always room for a delicious salad whether it be for lunch or dinner. Leafy green salads filled with fresh veggies, protein packed grain salads, summer pasta salads and colorful bean salads – good healthy salad recipes can be enjoyed year round! When tossed with a healthy salad dressing recipe, a good salad just gets better.
Table of contents
- Why These Healthy Salad Recipes?
- Top Tips for the Healthiest Salad
- Serving Recommendations for Healthy Salad Recipes
- Salad FAQs
- Green Salad Recipes
- Healthy Salad Grain Bowls
- Mixed Salads with Eggs, Poultry or Seafood
- Pasta Salad Recipes
- Bean Salad Recipes
- Vegetable Salads
- Cabbage Slaw Recipes
- Looking for Healthy Salad Dressings?
- More Healthy Recipes
Why These Healthy Salad Recipes?
I’m fully aware that you can find many other healthy salad recipes on the web with a touch of a finger. But mine are the best! Pinky promise! In this list you will find healthy spinach salad recipes, kale salads, bean salads and more.
- Easy recipes – In many of these salads, even a healthy salad dressing recipe is dumped into the same bowl. I do not love extra steps. We never did in Ukraine and look, I turned out just fine. 🙂
- Simple ingredients – We are talking about superstore grocery basic avocado, greens, tomato, pasta and quinoa ingredients. However, I encourage you to buy local, seasonal and pesticide free whenever possible.
- Meal worthy and nourishing – Most salad ideas are good as a healthy meal or will make you a potluck super star. Full of vitamins and nutrients rather than loaded with saturated fat, sugar and sodium, these salads are perfect for lunch and dinner.
- Tasty – I have compiled a collection of salads I would truly enjoy eating like a strawberry cheesecake. What is the prettiest salad worth if it tastes like kale?!
Enjoy these interesting healthy salads recipes for dinner or lunch!
Top Tips for the Healthiest Salad
Building a great salad isn’t rocket science, but there are some key qualities that make a healthy salad amazing – just check out our perfect formula! Here are the cliff notes version – so with any different salad ingredient combination you will know how to make a healthy salad recipe:
- Flavor of ingredients: must blend well together – i.e. roasted red peppers, pepperoncini, olives and feta are perfect for an Italian or Greek salad
- Freshness of ingredients: crisp veggies, sweet fruit, fresh herbs/greens – the fresher your ingredients the more tasty the salad!
- Appealing to the eye: ‘we eat with our eyes first’ – I am not sure who said that but it’s true – the more colors the better.
- Different textures: creamy cheese with crunchy nuts, soft berries with crisp veggies, flaky salmon with buttery salad greens – you get the picture, textures creates taste explosion!
- Homemade salad dressing: trust me it just makes your salad greens taste better, the ingredients are fresh and there are not any preservatives, enough said!
Serving Recommendations for Healthy Salad Recipes
While some salads are main dish dinner worthy, other salads are perfect as a side salad. Even when a salad is a meal you may want an appetizer to tide hungry appetites over until everything is ready.
- Starters/Appetizers: Garlic olive oil bread dip, parmesan mushrooms appetizers or garlic hummus are perfect when serving healthy salad recipes for dinner.
- Proteins: Oven baked chicken, baked salmon, grilled shrimp, grilled lemon rosemary chicken or even black bean burger are excellent protein choices when planning a complete meal.
- Soup and Salad: A lunch combination that is restaurant popular for good reason, try minestrone soup, healthy white chicken chili or lentil spinach depending on what salad you are serving.
- Brunch: To make your spread worthy of breakfast and lunch, try pairing your favorite salad with crustless broccoli quiche, spinach quiche or even sweet potato and eggs.
- Casseroles: A salad really adds a spot of fresh green to the table when served with cabbage roll casserole, ground turkey quinoa casserole and zucchini casserole.
- Meatless Meals: Enjoy a hearty veggie filled meal when you pair salad with zucchini potato bake, spaghetti, or chili mac.
A salad really can be enjoyed at every meal. Have a salad for lunch, followed by a healthy snack in the afternoon. Browse additional cleaning eating dinner ideas, top healthy sides or lunch recipes to come up with your own healthy meal combination!
A healthy salad recipe focuses on fresh ingredients with a combination of healthy fats, vegetables, protein and fiber to not only fill you with good nutrients but also to fill you up and avoid a hunger crash a few hours later.
Other considerations include the type of lettuce you choose, the items you are putting in / on your salad and what salad dressing you are using to dress your greens. For the healthiest salad, focus on lightly dressing your salads with a homemade dressing – this ensures you know exactly what is going on your salad and you can avoid added sugar, additives, preservatives and more.
It really is dependent on your eating style and protein preference – but any lean cut of chicken (shredded, cubed, baked or grilled), salmon or even shrimp are all great choices. A lean cut of red meat, like carne asada, would also be a great choice. Quinoa grain bowls and beans salads are great choices for vegetarians, vegan or plant based – quinoa is a complete protein and legumes are an excellent plant protein choice.
Yes, and I encourage you to do so!
Salad dressing fall into two main categories – creamy or vinaigrette. A creamy salad dressing usually uses yogurt, mayo or sour cream whereas a vinaigrette dressing is an oil/vinegar dressing with sometimes additional herbs. I love to make both – healthy creamy and vinaigrette dressings and even have a dressing with creamy tahini!
Put that iceberg lettuce down, it’s time to get acquainted with darker, leafy greens that are packed with nutrients! Kale and spinach contain immune boosting vitamins A and C and can be used interchangeable in about any healthy salad recipe. If you are not a fan of those, try mixed baby greens, Boston, bibb or green leaf/red leaf lettuce which all have a nice mild flavor. Looking for a zesty, peppery lettuce? Try arugula. Slaw is best made with crisp cabbage and if you can’t just walk away from iceberg, try it mixed with romaine lettuce.
Green Salad Recipes
I serve this spinach salad year round for guests. Asian inspired salad dressing, eggs, cukes and tomatoes combined with pre-washed baby spinach makes hosting easy! Highly recommended accompaniment to turkey breast roast.
This is the best lettuce salad with any lettuce. 5 star reviews and that toasted sesame oil is just magical! It is quick to make and light to enjoy with INstant Pot beef stew or Instant Pot chicken and rice. All these recipes are Ukrainian.
Beet salad with zesty arugula, simple candied pecans, crumbled feta and easy balsamic dressing. Even if you are not a fan of beets, the creaminess of cheese combined with roasted nuts will win you over.
This kale salad is a healthy version of Caesar salad. Lots of garlic, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and toasted nuts. It is one of my favorite leafy green salads. Try it with Ukrainian borscht or these ground beef bowls recipe.
Strawberry spinach salad with unique but simple balsamic dressing. This spring salad is the most surprising among the readers – no one expects so much flavor in this simple salad.
I love peppery arugula! Are you with me? This arugula salad comes together in 10 minutes. I make it for dinner, guests and blogger retreats, and everyone is surprised by the abundance of taste. For a complete Italian inspired dinner, make this Instant Pot lasagna and your mind will be blown.
This massaged kale salad is perfect for fall and winter when seasonal produce is scarce. Pomegranate, orange and toasted almonds coated in delicious orange ginger dressing.
Mexican kale salad is one of the first kale salads I ever created and a reader favorite. Beans, corn and pepper are mixed with tender baby kale in creamy avocado dressing. Even your grandpa who never tried kale will love it!
Italian Chopped Salad
Italian chopped salad with fresh greens, chickpeas, creamy mozzarella balls, fresh vegetables and salami. Drizzled with a fresh herb dressing, this cold salad is the perfect starter, lunch salad or dinner side salad with grilled salmon.
Healthy Salad Grain Bowls
Mediterranean quinoa salad with olives, feta and veggies is a marriage of quinoa and Greek salad. Lasts in the fridge for a few days making it perfect for work lunches. Serve with Greek chicken for a complete dinner.
Quinoa tabbouleh is traditional Middle Eastern salad minus bulgur. Lots of chopped parsley, mint and veggies combined with more widely available quinoa. Perfect cold salad with lemon chicken!
Broccoli quinoa salad is a cold quinoa salad with toasted almonds, herbs, olive oil and lemon. Broccoli is chopped in a food processor to make salad quick.
Blueberry quinoa salad with avocado, toasted pecans and homemade lime basil dressing. Unexpected combination of ingredients will make you think of this salad for days.
Southwest quinoa salad is one of few recipes where tri-colour quinoa shows off its hearty texture. Plus lots of corn, bell pepper, black beans, cilantro and spices. YUM! Add cooked and chopped Instant Pot chicken breast that will soak up Southwest flavors.
Superfood quinoa black bean salad for lunches all summer. It is full of protein, tasty and easy! Meal prep it on Sunday, make ahead for a party or simply clean out the fridge.
Kale and Quinoa Salad is a cozy fall salad with toasted walnuts, sweet crispy apples, nutty quinoa and superfood kale – all the ingredients really come together and shine in this healthy salad recipe.
Mixed Salads with Eggs, Poultry or Seafood
Healthy taco salad with very well seasoned ground turkey and lighter yogurt dressing. Black beans, tomato, avocado and corn truly make this taco salad healthy.
This tuna salad took over Pinterest. It is extremely easy, creamy and doesn’t lack flavor like yogurt based ones or isn’t drowned in cups of mayo.
This healthy chicken salad is not missing mayo or flavour. On the contrary, it is creamy, tasty and contains simple ingredients. And healthy! Spread some on a whole grain or sourdough toast, pour a bowl of best vegetable soup and enjoy heaven in your mouth!
I like my healthy egg salad chunky. What about you? If we disagree on texture, I am sure we can agree that it should be creamy and flavorful. We make egg salad for easy lunches and picnic food in our own backyard.
Avocado egg salad can be tasty. It took me a few years to warm up to it but now I am sold. A perfect ratio of healthy fats and protein dressed with simple seasonings. It is good!
Healthy cobb salad is a perfect fridge clean out salad. Grilled chicken and zucchini from the night before, anything in produce drawers, eggs, blue cheese and seeds are mixed with healthy ranch dressing.
Tired of chicken salad? Try this glorified version with crunchy cabbage and bell pepper, roasted peanuts and cilantro. Thai chicken salad, basically.
Bring to a potluck or enjoy for lunch, this shrimp avocado salad is easy to make either way as it requires no cooking. Perfect summer dish.
Canned salmon salad is not your regular tuna salad. It is chock full of veggies, avocado and healthy yogurt dressing.
Healthy shrimp salad is for shrimp salad lovers. It reminds me of books about Nantucket where everyone seems to be packing lobster rolls for lunch and dinner. Is it even true?!
This smoked salmon salad will blow your mind. Think of opening a package with smoked salmon and mixing it with avocado and arugula. 5 minute healthy lunch idea without cooking.
Pasta Salad Recipes
I would say this Italian pasta salad is one of my favorite cold summer salads! Pasta, salami, veggies, olives, cheese in super easy zesty Italian dressing. And it keeps and travels so well. What not to like?!
As soon as summer arrives, I bookmark my healthy pasta salad recipe. Chock full of vegetables, healthy herbed oil dressing and whole grain pasta, kids love to munch on it all day long. Pair this with flavorful chicken that has been marinated!
Tomato pasta salad is a marriage of pasta and tomato salads inspired by my Ukrainian roots. Lots of herbs, garlic, olive oil and feta cheese to “seal the deal”.
Bean Salad Recipes
Chickpea salad with tomatoes, cucumber and avocado is literally the easiest salad you can throw together in 15 minutes. And just to make sure you heard me – use what you have on hand. Easy! To add protein, serve alongside easy baked chicken breast.
All you need to make white bean salad is olive oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs, red onion and any fresh crunchy veggies. I even used black eyed peas because they are white beans. 🙂
Mango black bean salad is perfect spring-summer for potlucks, easy lunches and easy dinners. I make it a lot when ataulfo mangoes hit grocery stores and a box costs $10.
Mexican bean salad combines a selection of tasty beans with corn, tomato, bell pepper, and a simple salad dressing for a dish that seems too simple to be as delicious as it is. A must have for any potluck or picnic!
Corn avocado salad is one of the most popular salad recipes on iFOODreal. Fresh summer produce with a hint of lime. Perfect for summer although you can use frozen corn. Great accompaniment to a grilled chicken breast or chicken tostadas.
Cauliflower potato salad is faux potato salad with cauliflower instead of potatoes. Low carb, keto and I promise 100% everyone will barely notice. Equally outstanding with lamb roast or this popular turkey burger recipe.
Broccoli salad without mayo or bacon is not a broccoli salad. And these sacrifices are not necessary. We combine fresh broccoli, cranberries, red onion and sunflower seeds with healthy amount of crumbled baked bacon and creamy dressing.
This cucumber and tomato salad is the one I grew up eating in Ukraine. We add optional toasted sesame oil that mimics authentic unrefined sunflower oil taste. And my mom usually served it with her easy baked chicken thighs.
I have really perfected my healthy potato salad. I consider potato salad not a real thing if it doesn’t have a touch of mayo. And it’s all it needs. The rest are pickles, eggs, condiments and yogurt. It is simply delicious!
Greek salad is our universal salad that goes with everything. My version takes 15 minutes to prep and contains no lettuce. It is a copycat version of Canadian Greek fast food chain OPA. Serve with turkey meatballs or ground turkey meatloaf.
Creamy cucumber salad is light, fresh and affordable year round. This is my grandma’s recipe I grew up with in Ukraine. I am using yogurt in place of sour cream to make salad lighter. It would go so well with ground turkey and broccoli pasta or turkey pasta bake.
Asparagus salad is a perfect spring salad when asparagus shows up in stores. Mixed with eggs, veggies, toasted nuts and Dijon vinaigrette, it is kind of a cobb salad.
Mexican corn salad is a healthy version of elotes. Warm grilled corn combined with salty and garlicky feta dressing. Need I say more?! Try with my popular healthy fish tacos.
Avocado salad with 3 ingredients will become your new favorite after guacamole. Green onion replaces cilantro and it is the best!
Cabbage Slaw Recipes
I make Asian salad when I am tired of other salads as it is quite different. Red or green cabbage with edamame and cilantro, and super easy Asian salad dressing. For a complete Asian fair, serve with honey garlic chicken or honey garlic salmon.
Mango slaw with addition of juicy mango, vinegar and cilantro eliminates any need for oil or mayo based dressing. So easy and good!
Just 4 simple ingredients are in this authentic Ukrainian vinegar coleslaw. Fresh, vibrant and crunchy this will be your go to coleslaw recipe. It is the perfect side dish for any summer healthy grill recipe.
The combination of peanuts, bean sprouts, cilantro, and green onions along with the peanut sauce make for an asian inspired Peanut slaw that is both delicious and addicting! Try this with Thai broiled salmon for a themed dinner.
I hope you enjoy this amazing collection of healthy salad recipe ideas!
Looking for Healthy Salad Dressings?
- Healthy ranch dressing
- Healthy poppy seed dressing
- Asian salad dressing
- Berry salad dressing
- Honey mustard dressing
More Healthy Recipes
- 45 Healthy Breakfast Ideas
- 35 Healthy Soup Recipes
- 40 Healthy Chicken Recipes
- 30 Healthy Zucchini Recipes
- 30 Quinoa Recipes
- 10 Healthy Freezer Meals
45 Healthy Salad Recipes – Corn Avocado Salad
- 3 ears of corn 2 cups corn kernels
- 1 lb mini cucumbers or 1 large English cucumber sliced
- 1 lb grape/cherry tomatoes cut in halves or regular size, chopped
- 3 medium-large avocados cubed
- 3 green onion sprigs finely chopped
- 1 lime zest and juice of
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- To grill corn, remove it from the husk and grill on medium heat for approximately 20 minutes. Turn every 5 minutes.
- To cook corn in Instant Pot, add 1 cup water, trivet and as many corn as you can fit. Pressure cook on High Pressure for 2 minutes and then release pressure right away.
- If using frozen corn, run it in a colander under warm water for 1 minute and drain.
- Cut off cooked kernels from the cob by slicing them with a chef’s knife. You will end up with strips of cooked corn.
- Add cooked corn, cucumber, tomato, avocado, green onion, lime zest and juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to a large salad bowl.
- Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 1 day.
Make Ahead: Add all ingredients, except avocado, to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Add diced avocado and stir right before serving.
Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes anywhere including social media, print and all world wide web. Nutritional info is provided for informational purposes only and to the best knowledge.