Whether you are looking for a plant-based meal or a protein-packed healthy dish, we have compiled a list of healthy, water-filled salad recipes that complement a wide variety of palates. Jazz up your diet with these colorful, nutrient-packed combinations perfect for detox and accelerate the goal of losing 10 pounds – just in time for spring!
By turning the bread into crunchy croutons and lettuce into the bottom of a salad, you minimize the refined carbohydrates and maximize the healthiest part of the equation. Toss in a handful of evening deli turkey to boost the protein, and suddenly you have a salad of substance and style to sip on.
Get our recipe for Turkey BLT Salad.
This recipe transforms the high-calorie compound into a lighter vinaigrette and adds substance, flavor and nutrition in the form of sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Think of this as the Caesar Salad, reintroduced.
Get our recipe for grilled Caesar salad.
This salad has all the catches of the much-admired appetizer – crunch from peanuts, tomatoes, a little spice – but so much more. We will not promise that you will never return to the fried piece after this, but it is a clear possibility.
Get our recipe for spicy grilled calamari salad.
The warm goat cheese crouton and sweet crispy pear make a salad believer out of anyone. It’s basically goat cheese salad recipe to finish off all other salads.
Get our recipe for warm goat cheese salad.
This recipe is rich in protein and is guaranteed to cut the number of calories you have on a salad you order at a restaurant in half.
Get our recipe for grilled chicken and avocado salad.
In this recipe, we pick a leaner slice of the meat and pair it with a host of tasty and complex flavors. It is one of our favorite healthy salad recipes we love to make over and over again.
Get our recipe for grilled Mexican beef salad.
Make a big pile of the salad as part of your weekly meal planning, and work it into other sandwiches, stuffed into pitas or topping a bowl of mixed greens.
Get our recipe for chicken salad sandwich with raisins and curry powder.
This Chinese Chicken Salad is exactly what you want in one of your healthy salad recipes – sweet, tasty and slightly crunchy, all in one bite.
Get our recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad.
The word “spinach” creates a health glory for both chefs and diners. People think that because the base of a salad is made with a superfood, the rest of the salad can be filled with whatever is troubled. Here’s how we end up with dozens of 1,000-calorie spinach salads at chain restaurants. This rendition of shrimp and spinach with hot bacon smashes the halo to give you a seriously healthy salad.
Get our recipe for Shrimp and Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon.
The classic tomato salad from Capri, Italy, is a study in simplicity: sweet, sour tomatoes in contrast to creamy mozzarella plates and the light herb bite of fresh basil, yet with a complex flavor you want.
Get our recipe for Caprese tomato tower salad.
This Greek salad recipe is both hearty and healthy without the addition of high calorie heavy ingredients. It is great for meal planning as it will store well in the fridge for a week. Just double the recipe, and hand yourself a few spoonfuls for your lunch each day, and you’re all set.
Get our recipe for Chicken Greek Salad.
Get it out of your head now that salads are limited to bowls of lettuce. Robust vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, zucchini and asparagus can all play the role of a salad foundation just as brilliant as romaine or icebergs.
Get our recipe for asparagus salad with a fried egg and prosciutto.
A good salad should be many things: sweet and salty, crunchy and tender. In short: a full exploration of taste and texture, but not at the expense of a whole meal’s calories. With the addition of caramelized apples, toasted pecans and creamy goat cheese, this retro spinach salad finally achieves perfect harmony in the 21st century.
Get our recipe for spinach salad topped with goat cheese, apples and a hot bacon dressing.
We pair strips of salty, intense prosciutto with juicy, ripe figs. Add seaweed fresh goat cheese and the subtle, earthy crunch of roasted pine nuts, and it provides an inspired salad.
Get our recipe for simple and healthy fig, prosciutto and goat cheese.
Adding an avocado half is the perfect vessel for this salad, where its rich, creamy texture increases the sweetness of the crab. Who said you had to go out to dinner to eat a delicious and imaginative meal? This avocado crab salad does the trick.
Get our recipe for Avocado-Crab Salad.
This recipe lies in the small but happy space between side dish, spice and healthy meal. It’s good enough to eat alone, but it’s also the kind of punchy, self-asserting salad that can be served over a slice of grilled salmon, chicken, (or even steak), and you can even store it in your favorite, a pack or sandwich.
Get our recipe for quick pickled cucumber salad.
This version is about as classic as potato salad can get, except for the fact that we resist the urge to drown the vegetables in a viscous sea of mayo. Instead, the mayo is enhanced with Dijon and a tangy shot of vinegar. The result: a healthier potato salad that cuts almost half the fat from the equation and still tastes like the picnic classic we all love.
Get our recipe for potato salad.
In this hot salad recipe from Brussels, we sprout eggs and pickled red onions for a truly filling veggie-based dish. It is a tasty site you would like to do again and again and it is guaranteed to convert someone into loving Brussels sprouts.
Get our recipe for warm salad with Brussels sprouts with eggs and pickled red onion.
Who says you can’t eat salad for breakfast? With this red and green breakfast salad recipe, you can enjoy a crunchy bowl of vegetables at any time of the day.
Get our recipe for red and green breakfast salad.
With 15 grams of protein, this recipe is a great option if you’re looking for a rich, healthy lunch idea. And no cooker or oven is required – all you have to do is mix the ingredients together.
Get our recipe for Curried Egg Salad.
If you’re bored of eating healthy salad recipes from a bowl, why not switch it up and serve it on a skewer? These chefs salad eggs on a stick have all the fun of grilled kabobs, without actually having to fire the grill. There is actually no heat required for this light recipe – just build the skewers and you’re good to go.
Get our recipe for the Chef’s Salad Supplement on a stick.
Thanks to eggs and walnuts, along with plenty of vegetables, this meat-free, vegetarian-friendly salad recipe packs a healthy 14 grams of protein and five grams of fiber. If you’re trying to eat less meat, even if you’re not a vegetarian, this recipe is a tasty way to get some protein and nutrients without sacrificing flavor. (Plus, the different colors make it completely Instagram-friendly, which is just an added bonus.)
Get our recipe for Spicy toasted salad with barley.
With garbanzo beans, salmon and grapefruit along with a kale base, this pink and green salad is a nutritional powerhouse.
Get our recipe for Bean, Salmon and Greek Salad.
If you are looking for light, healthy recipes but are tired of salad based salads, this butternut squash pasta salad recipe will be a game changer. Like other Mason jar salads, this recipe can be prepared in advance and it is packed full of nutritious vegetables
Get our recipe for Butternut Squash Pasta Salad.
This sweet potato salad puts a new twist on the term, adding cinnamon fried sweet potato pieces with shredded chicken, carrots and lots of spices. Combined with a portion of wild rice, this is a full meal in a jar. You want to keep this on your list of healthy salad recipes for the future – trust us.
Get our recipe for cinnamon sweet potato salad with wild rice.
If you want to add more color to your salad game, this recipe is perfect for you. Thanks to Cara Cara oranges and a burst of pomegranate seeds, this turkey and spinach salad recipe is anything but basic.
Get our recipe for spinach pomegranate salad with toasted turkey.
Not sure how to integrate quinoa into your daily meals? This recipe is a great place to start. With salsa, black beans, corn, onions and avocado along with fresh herbs, this Mexican quinoa is a super-flavorful take on superfood.
Get our recipe for Mexican quinoa and chicken salad.
Of course, you can make your own salad and fill it with a classic dressing, such as Italian or ranch. But why not kick things up and get your own pumpkin vinaigrette dressing?
Get our recipe for mixed vegetable salad with pumpkin vinaigrette.
Salad on a flatbread? Why not! It’s perfect for cutting down on some thin, pizza-like flatbread and topping with burst cherry tomatoes and arugula for a really excellent cold-weather snack.
Get our recipe for Pumpkin Marinara Flatbread with Arugula Salad.
This arugula and grapefruit salad recipe is meant to be a side dish, but you can easily make it a complete meal by adding protein and fat. As pictured, we added avocado and bacon to make this salad even more delicious.
Get our recipe for Arugula and grapefruit salad with Dill Ranch dressing.
This keto recipe gives us great pasta-for-breakfast vibes (which is something you can definitely do). The cream from the poached egg, the pepper from the radish slits and the bacony from, yes, the bacon, it’s a symphony of flavors similar to those in spaghetti carbonara.
Get our recipe for Keto Zucchini noodles with bacon vinaigrette.
The real secret to making this toasted veggie salad a zinger is the garlicky lemon tahini dressing that is best sprinkled on top instead of tossed.
Get our recipe for Roasted Veggie Salad with Tahini Dressing.
This delicious bandage is as creamy as mayonnaise, but lighter and more complex-tasting with a surprising need. It is one of our favorite healthy salad recipes that you can prepare for the week.
Get our recipe for chicken salad with creamy dressing.
This breakfast salad has a crispy texture thanks to crunchy pies, radishes and cucumbers, and adding walnuts is a great way to add healthy fats to your breakfast and curb cravings later in the day.
Get our recipe for crunchy breakfast salad with eggs.
The easiest way to make sure you eat a healthy dinner is to plan ahead. You can make your meal even easier by buying a rotisserie chicken and using it in a variety of ways to create a nutritious plate, just like with one of the lightest healthy salad recipes ever!
Get our recipe for Rotisserie chicken, kale and white bean salad.
A gluten-free, vegan salad doesn’t sound too appealing or like it keeps you full for very long, but we challenge you to make this your main lunch course and become a convert. Kale gets slathered with a delicious tahini-based sauce, and crispy, spicy chickpeas offer a nice departure from the usual MO, using them soft, straight out of the can. You get superfood vitamins and antioxidants, protein and healthy fats. Vegans look better and better, right?
Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.
This simple salad may seem modest for a moment, but it is as much a backbone of Israeli cuisine as hummus. No joke – some version of this crisp, fresh salad is eaten at every meal in the Mediterranean. It makes sense as their climate allows for incredibly flavorful summer bounty of cucumbers and tomatoes. But this easily replicable version requires the presence of vegetables in any supermarket and it only takes a few minutes to chop. Try it for breakfast with your eggs, for lunch with hummus and hot pita bread, or for dinner with a chicken schnitzel or a lasagna.
Get the recipe from Give some oven.
If you’ve never tried to shred your Brussels sprouts, you haven’t done them justice. You can use a food processor, a mandolin or just a sharp knife to turn these little cabbage-looking heads into a slaw. This recipe combines them with kale and a zesty vinaigrette for a salad that is equal parts a side dish and equally sharing a detox program. And once you’ve tried the Brussels sprouts like this, you’ll never return to roasting them whole.
Get the recipe from Well coated.
This absolutely beautiful salad is so much larger than the sum of its parts. You can think of it as a lighter version of American potato salad, except the flavors come from a dressing that relies on the acidity of vinegar rather than the fatness of mayo. Don’t skip the herbs, they are important for lifting the most mundane profile of this masterpiece.
Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.
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