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It’s time to stop treating salads like those things you begrudgingly eat to fill your weekly veggie quota. There are plenty of ways you can make them shine that involve much more than lettuce drizzled with oil and vinegar. These 50 recipes are proof that salads can be a worthy meal all on their own.
On nights when you’re craving Italian but don’t feel like hovering over the stove waiting for your water to boil and pasta to cook, throw together this salad instead. Its simple ingredients — like tomato, onions, olives and beans — are ones you likely have in your kitchen already.
Cobb salad is an iconic American dish, one that makes appearances in restaurants across the country. This recipe keeps the timeless lunch meal light by using a dijon vinaigrette.
Finishing a bag of spinach isn’t easy, but this recipe will do the trick and fill your day with tons of flavor. Tangerine slices and dried cranberries brighten the dish with their citrusy sweetness while the vinaigrette adds a punch of acidity.
If you have leftover chicken, try adding it to this salad. The filling meal is made with radicchio, arugula, raisins and pine nuts, resulting in a play on sweet and bitter tastes.
Garlic is packed with dynamic flavor and can ward off vampires. What’s not to love? This recipe celebrates this treasured ingredient by formulating an entire salad around it.
If you’re not a fan of lettuce-based salads, let this broccoli, cheese and bacon salad be your newest obsession. The broccoli florets add a nice crunch while the bacon, cheese and mayonnaise-based salad dressing add a little fattiness and flavor.
Although this salad’s inspiration comes from the ritual components of the Seder plate and table, it’s a hearty salad with lamb, romaine, celery, herbs, apples, nuts and eggs that you can serve year-round for lunch or dinner.
Looking for a way to bring some of spring’s bounty to your dinner table? This recipe uses strawberries — a beloved warm-weather fruit — to liven up this chicken and spinach-based salad. Add gorgonzola cheese to elevate the dish and to add saltiness and earthiness.
If you want to make dinner at home feel more like a restaurant experience, start with a good salad. Use curly endives, or frisée, to fancy up the starter dish. Its mildly bitter taste goes well with sun-dried tomatoes and almonds.
Speaking of bringing the restaurant to you: steakhouse wedge salad. You know, the app that comes out before the filet mignon? Well, you can make it at home in just 15 minutes and it won’t cost you a pretty penny. Serve it with steak and mashed potatoes.
Add a summertime flair to your cobb salads — which traditionally include bacon and chicken — by using fresh lobster as the protein.
Incorporating grains into your diet is a great way to keep your gut health on point. This salad uses quinoa as a base and incorporates basil, tomatoes and lemon dressing for a summery flair.
Need lunch on the go? Try this layered farro and chickpea salad. Just add the ingredients to a mason jar and bring it with you to the park, office, school or wherever you go.
Spring and summer are loaded with delicious and nutrient-packed foods, but adding kale to the dinner table is a sure-fire way to chow down on an immune-boosting food. This kale salad is mixed with a homemade maple mustard dressing that gives it a sweet and subtly spicy flare.
Get a side dish on the table fast with this arugula, orange and pomegranate salad. Just add the ingredients to a large bowl, toss until well combined and viola! You’ve got a yummy, light salad.
Steak and potatoes is a timeless dinner combination. But if you want to enjoy the two foods and still get in your leafy greens, try this salad recipe. The fresh herb vinaigrette adds some brightness yet still pairs well with steak and starch.
Not only is this flavor-packed salad super refreshing, it’s also loaded with color from the vibrant pink watermelon and light green cucumbers. The best part? It takes less than an hour to make.
Don’t let the title “breakfast salad” fool you — this dish can be served at any time of day. The mixed greens, raspberries and nuts are delicious on their own, but the true star of the salad is the cheddar cheese crisps that are easily made by cooking a few spoonfuls of shredded cheese in the oven.
Asparagus — a springtime treasure — can make appearances in many dishes, although it’s often served as a side to steak and other hearty proteins. In this salad, it adds a level of freshness that complements the peas, avocado and feta cheese.
If you have any leftover pita bread lying around your house, try making this fattoush salad. The pita is broiled for about two minutes, adding a nice crunchy texture to the salad, which is made with sliced green onions, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, olives and mint.
As the name implies, this salad is heavenly. The components of the dish on their own are enough to turn heads (walnuts, lettuce, prosciutto, eggs), but the addition of the buttery-soft garlic cloves and garlic oil really tie it all together.
If you’re looking for weeknight dinner ideas that are as nutritious as they are flavorful, look no further. The nutty flavor of the cauliflower complements the delicate and sweet flavor of the shrimp, resulting in a harmonious blend of both light and filling ingredients.
If you’re a pescatarian, chances are you’re always looking for new and yummy ways to get in your protein. This roasted pepper and fish salad is packed with it. For the fish, use a mild option, such as black bass, cod, haddock or tilapia, that doesn’t overpower the other flavors in the salad.
If you find it hard to incorporate veggies into your diet, try making this salad. Watercress leaves (a member of the cabbage family) and hearts of palm (the inner core of specific palm trees) are tossed with a homemade tahini dressing.
A beloved Indonesian dish, Gado Gado is made by slightly cooking green beans, cauliflower, cabbage and spinach and marinating them in peanut sauce. Serve the salad with crackers or rice.
Sure, this is a little different than the elements of a traditional salad, but it’s the perfect option when you want something light and refreshing that goes beyond lettuce. Serve the shrimp cocktail over a bed of mixed salad greens and garnish with avocado slices and a lime wedge.
This colorful salad is guaranteed to brighten up your dinner table. Shaved Brussels sprouts, chopped pear, pomegranate seeds and crumbled blue cheese are tossed together for this boldly flavorful salad.
Steak is good anytime and anywhere, but it especially shines when it’s cooked on the grill. For this recipe, add about one pound of top sirloin steaks to the grill with veggies and potatoes. Serve the ingredients over a bed of lettuce when they’re done.
If you’re a tomato lover, then this salad is guaranteed to be a summer staple. The simple dish takes just five minutes to prepare and requires few ingredients. Its bright colors and flavor will serve as a great side dish to hearty entrees like burgers and steak.
If you're trying to reduce food waste, skip making your own bread crumbs and just put day old bread cubes into your salad as is. That’s the key to making panzanella, a chopped salad that originated in Italy, which is typically made with tomatoes, cucumber and oil and vinegar. It’s the perfect way to finish off a loaf of bread.
Salads are great, but sometimes it’s hard to find a recipe for one that doesn’t require a bunch of ingredients. This arugula salad recipe keeps things simple but has the perfect blend of salty, citrusy and sharp flavors.
If you’ve ever made a kale salad and the lettuce tasted stiff and flavorless, that’s because you’re missing a crucial step: massaging the kale. Mixing the kale with lemon, olive oil and a little salt will make the leaves softer and more flavorful. It’ll taste just like it does at Sweetgreen!
Love beef but looking to lower your calorie count? Try bison. Not only do bison steaks have fewer calories than their beef counterparts, but they’re also rich in selenium, which can combat inflammation. Here, bison is served over a bed of arugula, tomatoes, red onion and bleu cheese.
Not only is this tomato and cucumber salad delicious, you can use its dressing all summer long on any salad. The blend of pepper, garlic powder, olive oil, honey and lime juice is the perfect mix of sweet, tangy and salty flavors.
This cobb salad recipe is one of many vegan recipes that will make you want to go plant-based. Forego the hard-boiled eggs and use garbanzo beans as your source of protein.
It only takes five ingredients to make a delicious vinaigrette that will complement all of your Mediterranean-inspired dishes. The secret ingredient is Greek oregano, which you can find at most supermarkets and specialty grocery stores.
Miso paste can be used as an ingredient in dressings, sauces, soups and more. It lends a mild sweetness when mixed with other acidic or bitter flavors. For this vinaigrette, white miso paste is mixed with soy sauce and sesame chili oil. Use it in a salad or to add a pop of flavor to fish.
One reason it’s hard to replicate your favorite restaurant salads at home is that nailing the dressing isn’t easy. This honey lime vinaigrette takes inspiration from Houston’s, a beloved restaurant chain. You’ll never wonder how to make a 5-star dressing ever again.
A bold ingredient like dijon mustard will bring a mild-tasting salad to life. Mix it with curry powder to add an earthy element to the dressing.
Add this Asian vinaigrette to salads that are loaded with veggies, grains and a light protein like chicken or tofu. If you like things with a little heat, try hot sesame oil instead of regular.
This dressing works well on just about any salad. After all, can you ever really go wrong with garlic and cream cheese? If you have any dressing leftover, spread it on a chicken sandwich instead of using plain old mayo.
You can find green goddess dressing at just about any supermarket, but the flavors come to life when you make it from scratch with fresh ingredients. Tarragon, parsley and chives give the dressing an fresh, vibrant taste, while the lemon juice, vinegar and anchovies add a tangy kick.
Spicy ranch dressing shouldn’t be relegated to just salads. It will add a creamy kick to sandwiches as well, or you can use it as a dipping sauce for french fries, veggies and more.
If you want to add a layer of sweetness to a dish, dill is the perfect ingredient. This vinaigrette will brighten up your summer salads. Drizzle it over a bed of lettuce with tomatoes, cucumber, asparagus and other seasonal delights.
Pesto has been all the rage lately and rightfully so. It’s delicious, versatile and oh-so easy to make. This recipe uses garlic scapes (the stalk that grows from hardneck garlic plants), parmesan cheese, lemon juice and crushed red pepper flakes. While not a salad dressing per se, it works well on salads, in pasta and is one of many unexpected ingredients that go great with eggs.
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