Salads are the meal you go to when you’re trying to eat right or lose weight. Sometimes boring, salads generally consist of a few bland vegetables and aren’t really satisfying after the few minutes when you’re crunching down in front of your computer at work. But there’s a world of possibilities beyond the sad desk salad. We’re here to show you that salads can be tasty, filling, and not boring at all.
The Cobb salad was invented in Hollywood, at the Brown Derby restaurant, and quickly became an iconic American dish. At the Derby, it was always presented with its colorful mix of ingredients neatly arranged in rows, then tossed at the table.
This composed salad is normally made with lettuce, tomatoes, haricot verts, anchovies, olives, hard-boiled eggs, and either fresh or canned tuna, topped with a simple vinaigrette.
The traditional starter to Greek meals, chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and feta cheese are topped with a simple vinaigrette seasoned with dried oregano.
The original Caesar salad is thought to have been invented in Tijuana by an Italian immigrant. Although the classic Caesar salad dressing contains coddled egg yolks, this version lasts a little longer in the fridge because it’s made with mayonnaise instead.
Created at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City (later the Waldorf-Astoria), probably by the dining room's famed maître d'hôtel, Oscar Tschirky, the Waldorf salad is a chopped salad of apples, celery, and walnuts dressed with mayonnaise.
Utilize pantry staples like olives, artichoke hearts, and cannellini beans to bulk up this Mason-jar-ready Mediterranean salad.
Use up the best ingredients that summer has to offer, like fresh corn, tomatoes, and blueberries, in this simple Bibb lettuce salad.
When thinly sliced, baby turnips (in season throughout the summer) are tender enough to eat raw. Slightly bitter dandelion greens offset the sweet fresh pears, and a bit of lemon juice with good olive oil is all you need to complete this salad.
Blend dried figs into a classic balsamic vinegar to make the slightly sweet dressing for this easy arugula salad.
Apples, beets, and carrots sit on a bed of baby spinach, all topped with pomegranate-honey balsamic dressing and crunchy pomegranate seeds.
Instead of the usual lettuce base, this salad is made up of crunchy sliced Savoy cabbage, carrots, and jicama. Spicy wasabi-sesame topping offsets the sweet maple-tamari dressing.
Raw kale, normally tough and chewy, becomes more edible when thinly shredded into a chiffonade. Date purée adds a level of sweetness to this very savory salad.
Slightly sweet and earthy raw beets are paired with Champagne vinegar and sharp manchego cheese for a simple, yet non-traditional salad.
Swap out bulgur for cauliflower “rice” in this grain-free take on the traditional Mediterranean tabouleh salad.
Caprese salad is the perfect meal on a summer day; use the freshest tomatoes you can find to pair with high-quality mozzarella and balsamic vinegar.
A classic colorful pasta salad that couldn’t be any easier to make. Mix cooked tricolor pasta, microwaved frozen vegetables, and canned olives with store-bought Italian dressing.
Add soy sauce-raspberry vinaigrette to cooked pasta, spinach, onions, and avocado for an East-meets-West Coast pasta salad.
The perfect addition to any summer picnic or barbecue, this summer pasta salad is topped with a slightly spicy ginger-soy dressing.
Although it looks like a grain, couscous is actually a type of pea-sized pasta made from semolina flour and water. Mix it with zucchini, bell peppers, and feta in this lemon- and dill-flavored pasta salad.
Potato salad is a must at summer cookouts. This version adds celery and celery seed for crunch and extra bright celery flavor.
A step up from the tuna salad you brought with you to school; cucumber, cranberries, and pecans add crunch and sweet-tart flavors to the mix.
This egg salad is everything you want from deviled eggs without the annoyance of filling individual hard-boiled egg halves.
This lightened up version of chicken salad uses a combination of nonfat Greek yogurt and nonfat mayo, and adds in lots of flavors and textures with curry powder, carrots, grapes, celery, raisins, and almonds.
A healthy addition to every holiday table, this fall salad showcases in-season pears.
Super-tart cranberries are in season throughout the winter and make a wonderful addition to this lentil-kale salad.
Baby carrots, radishes, and fava beans are best throughout the spring; use jarred roasted red peppers mixed with honey for a sweet salad dressing.
Although asparagus is often cooked before serving, it has a lovely crunch when thinly sliced and served with a lemon-mint dressing.
Top grilled eggplant and quinoa with tahini dressing for a simple salad. Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds and has a consistency similar to nut butters; the paste hardens slightly when you add acid like lemon juice, but becomes smooth again with the addition of some water, making it a perfectly portable dressing.
Whole toasted mustard seeds add a pop of heat to the plum vinaigrette in this nutty tricolor quinoa salad.
Double up on plant protein with quinoa and chickpeas in this vegetable-packed salad perfect for Meatless Monday.
Nutty walnuts, sweet pears, tart pomegranate seeds, and peppery watercress combine for a flavorful salad that works as a meal on its own or as a side dish.
Ginger, soy sauce, honey, lime juice, and sesame oil make a flavorful dressing for this vegetable quinoa salad. Although it calls for snap peas, mushrooms, and bell peppers, you can sub in any other vegetables that you have on hand.
Whether you serve it hot or cold, this corn and farro salad will be a hit at your next summer party.
Sweet and tart dried cranberries and slightly bitter Brussels sprouts are the base for this quick and easy seasonal salad. Bulgur is par-cooked cracked wheat that cooks in just about 10 minutes, which makes this dish perfect for a light lunch or as a hearty side dish.
This crunchy salad mixes brown rice, lentils, sweet pepper, zucchini, and feta with a simple thyme-red wine vinaigrette. Brown rice is nuttier and chewier (and more nutritious) than white rice because it still has the bran and germ, which are removed to make white rice.
Wheat berries are a variety of whole wheat that have a nutty taste and pop in your mouth when you eat them. Because they take a long time to cook (usually about 50 minutes), make a batch at the beginning of the week and try it out with different vegetables and salad dressings.
Pearl barley is slightly chewy and nutty. Pecans enhance the nutty flavors and grapes add a burst of sweetness to this simple side salad.
Bitter greens like frisée and endives pair well with rich lobster and fruity citrus in a fresh take on lobster salad.
Choose high-quality ahi tuna to use for this salad — it’s quickly seared on the outside but completely raw on the inside.
If chilled salmon isn’t for you, serve your poached salmon warm with the arugula salad and honey-yogurt dressing.
Pop quick-marinated salmon under the broiler for a few minutes while you mix together the vegetable salad. Dinner will be on the table in less than an hour.
This hearty steak salad hits all of the flavor notes with chopped mangoes, roasted peanuts, blue cheese, and a ginger-peanut soy vinaigrette.
Quick-pickled onions balance out the super sweet flavor of summer-fresh watermelon in this kale salad.
Roasting an orange enhances its sweet flavors, which pair perfectly with earthy-sweet beets in this roasted kale salad.
Dried plums add a level of sweetness to this fresh take on the Greek salad.
This orange-fennel salad is a Sicilian classic and can change depending on what you have in the house: sub salty olives for the walnuts, or throw in some pomegranate seeds if they’re in season.
Classic fruit salad is enhanced with an easy herbed simple syrup. Although the recipe calls for mint or rosemary, you can make the syrup with fresh basil and pour it over fresh summer berries.