MyPlate-Inspired Salads

Enjoy our favorite MyPlate-inspired salad recipes, which incorporate a variety of protein, vegetables, and fruits for well-rounded meal and side-dish options.

Shrimp, Avocado, and Grapefruit Salad Recipe

Photo: Johnny Autry

Nutritious Salad Recipes

Cooking Light is working with the Partnership for a Healthier America and USDA’s MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to thousands of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov. Find recipes at http://pinterest.com/MyPlateRecipes/.

A key component of this initiative involves making half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Salads are a great option to implement this nutritious habit into a long-term healthy lifestyle.

First up: Creamy avocado and juicy grapefruit are tossed with shrimp for a quick salad that works well as a weeknight meal, or for entertaining guests.

View Recipe: Shrimp, Avocado, and Grapefruit Salad

Southwestern Cobb Salad

Photo: John Autry

Southwestern Cobb Salad

Covered in a sweet and spicy homemade vinaigrette dressing, our take on a traditional Cobb salad is overflowing with protein and delicious veggies like avocado, green onions, and tomato for a well-rounded dinner salad.

View Recipe: Southwestern Cobb Salad

Pork Tenderloin Salad and Grilled Nectarines

Photo: John Autry and Randy Mayor

Pork Tenderloin Salad and Grilled Nectarines

For a fast weeknight dinner, prepare a this grilled delicacy, which has heightened sweetness and flavor from grilling the fruit and meat.

View Recipe: Pork Tenderloin Salad and Grilled Nectarines

Shrimp Caesar Salad Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Shrimp Caesar Salad

Top romaine lettuce with grated Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, shrimp, croutons, and a homemade Caesar dressing for a satisfying main-dish salad.

View Recipe: Shrimp Caesar Salad

Roast Chicken Salad with Peaches, Goat Cheese, and Pecans

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Roast Chicken Salad with Peaches, Goat Cheese, and Pecans

Fresh peaches and goat cheese headline this simple no-cook salad recipe. The 8-ingredient vinaigrette, made with pantry staples, takes just minutes to make and is a delicious complement to the other salad ingredients.

View Recipe: Roast Chicken Salad with Peaches, Goat Cheese, and Pecans

Fresh Mediterranean Salad

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Fresh Mediterranean Salad

This side salad is quick and easy to make and offers a beautiful presentation. Make ahead of time and serve with a fish, chicken, or beef main course.

View Recipe: Fresh Mediterranean Salad

Pork, Pineapple, and Anaheim Chile Salad with Avocado

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Pork, Pineapple, and Anaheim Chile Salad with Avocado

In a colorful mixture of flavors and textures, this pork salad features a mixture of grilled, spiced pork tenderloin combined with pineapple, bell pepper, chile, and avocado. The mixture is served in lettuce leaves and topped with a tangy vinaigrette.

View Recipe: Pork, Pineapple, and Anaheim Chile Salad with Avocado

Spinach and Pear Salad

Photo: Lee Harrelson

Spinach and Pear Salad

Perfect for a side dish to serve to company or on special family occasions, this fresh spinach salad features pears and a red-wine vinegar based dressing for an unbeatable combination.

View Recipe: Spinach and Pear Salad

Chicken and Couscous Salad

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chicken and Couscous Salad

A great way to use leftover chicken and save time in the kitchen, this 20-minute dinner salad uses quick-to-cook couscous and lots of brightly flavored herbs for a great taste.

View Recipe: Chicken and Couscous Salad

Creole Tomato Salad

Photo: Randy Mayor

Creole Tomato Salad

Tomatoes are an important ingredient in the Creole cooking of New Orleans. This composed salad is easy to put together yet yields abundant, fresh flavor.

View Recipe: Creole Tomato Salad

Tangy Mustard Coleslaw

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Tangy Mustard Coleslaw

This crisp salad is good with burgers or fish sandwiches for a hearty meal. Add a dash of hot sauce to the mustard mixture for extra spiciness.

View Recipe: Tangy Mustard Coleslaw  

Arugula Salad with Chicken and Apricots

Photo: Randy Mayor

Arugula Salad with Chicken and Apricots

This main course salad is an ideal lunch or light supper option. Plums work as a delicious substitute for apricots, if you prefer.

View Recipe: Arugula Salad with Chicken and Apricots

Broccoli Carpaccio with Broccoli Stalk Salad

Photo: John Autry

Broccoli Carpaccio with Broccoli Stalk Salad

This side dish makes great use of broccoli stalks in a riff on carpaccio, which is traditionally a dish of thinly sliced raw meat. A standout salad, this recipe won us over at the taste-testing table, earning our highest rating. You can use a mandoline to make easy work of slicing the broccoli thinly and evenly.

View Recipe: Broccoli Carpaccio with Broccoli Stalk Salad

Spinach, Endive, and Tangelo Salad

Photo: Anna Williams

Spinach, Endive, and Tangelo Salad

Our spinach salad hits a lot of flavorful notes; sweet fruit, earth nuts, refreshing mint, and a slight bitterness from Belgian endive mix together for a delectable combination.

View Recipe: Spinach, Endive, and Tangelo Salad

Pan-Grilled Thai Tuna Salad

Photo: Randy Mayor

Pan-Grilled Thai Tuna Salad

This grilled tuna-topped salad serves two and goes perfectly with a side of crunchy rice cakes for a lighter dinner option. Prepare a refreshing dessert like coconut sorbet and diced mango to follow the spicy salad.

View Recipe: Pan-Grilled Thai Tuna Salad

Winter Salad with Roasted Beets and Citrus Reduction Dressing

Photo: Randy Mayor

Winter Salad with Roasted Beets and Citrus Reduction Dressing

This ultimate starter salad celebrates the produce of the winter season and makes a knockout-gorgeous addition to your table. Use fresh orange juice, multicolored beets, and creamy goat cheese for this exquisite appetizer.

View Recipe: Winter Salad with Roasted Beets and Citrus Reduction Dressing

Melon and Fig Salad with Prosciutto and Balsamic Drizzle

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Melon and Fig Salad with Prosciutto and Balsamic Drizzle

The best of the summer is tossed together in this fresh melon and fig salad. Ready in just 30 minutes, it’s an ideal option for a busy weeknight dinner.

View Recipe: Melon and Fig Salad with Prosciutto and Balsamic Drizzle

Penne, Crispy Tofu, and Green Bean Salad

Photo: Randy Mayor

Penne, Crispy Tofu, and Green Bean Salad

A light vinaigrette tossed with pasta, fresh summer produce, and sautéed tofu make this salad a hit for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.

View Recipe: Penne, Crispy Tofu, and Green Bean Salad

Jalapeño-Lime Slaw

Photo: Quentin Bacon

Jalapeño-Lime Slaw

This citrusy take on coleslaw is fresh and pleasantly spicy, making it an ideal side dish or burger topping. Leave the seeds in more peppers for added fire, or seed them all for a milder dish.

View Recipe: Jalapeño-Lime Slaw

Pork Salad Provençal

Photo: John Autry

Pork Salad Provençal

Serve this elegant, French-inspired salad with baguette slices toasted with feta cheese for a well-rounded and filling meal.

View Recipe: Pork Salad Provençal

Southern Fattoush

Photo: John Autry

Southern Fattoush

The ubiquitous Israeli bread salad makes a fine gathering place for black-eyed peas and sweet Georgia onions.

View Recipe: Southern Fattoush

Shrimp and Herb Salad

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Shrimp and Herb Salad

High-protein shrimp over a bed of fresh lettuce makes for a delicious main dish salad.

View Recipe: Shrimp and Herb Salad

Summer Bean Salad

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Summer Bean Salad

If you purchase whole fava bean pods, you'll need to shell them and then peel the beans: Blanch shelled beans in boiling water for a few seconds, remove to a bowl of ice water, drain, and slip off the opaque skins. You can also substitute shelled edamame.

View Recipe: Summer Bean Salad

Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Basil

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Basil

Our Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Basil is light and perfect as an outdoor summer side. Choose a variety of tomato colors to make the salad more beautiful without any additional work.

View Recipe: Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Basil

Bean Salad with Shrimp and Curry Yogurt

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Bean Salad with Shrimp and Curry Yogurt

Pair this easy salad with seasoned whole-wheat couscous or grilled bread brushed with olive oil. The flavors marry as the dish stands, so it's a particularly good choice for a picnic or party platter.

View Recipe: Bean Salad with Shrimp and Curry Yogurt

Tequila Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Tequila Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

Grab a bag of packaged coleslaw mix, and you've saved yourself the time of slicing cabbage and shredding carrots. A splash of tequila adds spirit and complexity (we urge you not to leave it out), while lime juice's zing perks up earthy cabbage. Serve on tacos, alongside barbecue chicken, with grilled flank or skirt steak, or with (or on) burgers.

View Recipe: Tequila Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

Sweet Pepper and Almond Salad

Photo: Jason Wallis

Sweet Pepper and Almond Salad

This simple yet flavorful salad comes together in a snap, perfect for a hectic weeknight.

View Recipe: Sweet Pepper and Almond Salad

Smoked Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado Dressing

Photo: Randy Mayor

Smoked Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado Dressing

Our light version handily beats the classic loaded salad—in both flavor and nutrition.

View Recipe: Smoked Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado Dressing

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Thai Basil Salad

Photo: Johnny Miller

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Thai Basil Salad

A mix of Thai basil and sweet basil makes for a satisfying aromatic salad with no lettuce "filler." Cucumber and shallots offer a bit of crunch. If you can't find Thai basil, use whichever variety you can find. Look for explosively hot Thai chiles at Asian markets, or use serranos.

View Recipe: Grilled Chicken Thighs with Thai Basil Salad

Wheat Berry, Kale, and Cranberry Salad

Photo: Grant Cornett

Wheat Berry, Kale, and Cranberry Salad

If your supermarket carries frozen or shelf-stable precooked wheat berries, you'll save 50 minutes; use 1 cup of cooked grains.

View Recipe: Wheat Berry, Kale, and Cranberry Salad

Couscous Salad with Chicken, Dates, and Walnuts

Photo: Randy Mayor

Couscous Salad with Chicken, Dates, and Walnuts

This dish is a cinch to prepare, and you can make it your own using fresh mint instead of cilantro, or almonds or hazelnuts instead of walnuts. Also try it with chicken breast or pork tenderloin in place of chicken thighs. Dates add a delicious Mediterranean touch, yielding a lovely sweet-savory flavor balance; for more tang, substitute dried apricots.

View Recipe: Couscous Salad with Chicken, Dates, and Walnuts

Blackened Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Blackened Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Use the freshest lettuce you can find to ensure top-notch flavor and crunch.

View Recipe: Blackened Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Lentil Salad with Soft-Cooked Eggs

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Lentil Salad with Soft-Cooked Eggs

Green lentils keep a firm texture even after cooking, a desirable trait for this hearty salad.

View Recipe: Lentil Salad with Soft-Cooked Eggs

Bitter Greens Salad with Spiced Mirin Dressing

Photo: Rob Culpepper

Bitter Greens Salad with Spiced Mirin Dressing

It's common to add a touch of sweetness to salad dressings for bitter greens. Instead of sugar or honey, use the richness of mirin.

View Recipe: Bitter Greens Salad with Spiced Mirin Dressing

Arugula Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Arugula Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette

Fresh parmesan makes this simple salad really shine.

View Recipe: Arugula Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette

Chickpea, Red Pepper, and Arugula Salad

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chickpea, Red Pepper, and Arugula Salad

If you want more petite leaves for your salad, choose baby arugula.

View Recipe: Chickpea, Red Pepper, and Arugula Salad

Quick Parsley-Spinach Salad

Photo: Jason Wallis

Quick Parsley-Spinach Salad

Hyperspeed this super-simple side salad by using pre-washed bagged baby spinach.

View Recipe: Quick Parsley-Spinach Salad

Fennel and Spinach Salad with Shrimp and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Photo: John Autry

Fennel and Spinach Salad with Shrimp and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Quick, fresh, light—the perfect trifecta for a weeknight meal. Thin slices of fennel with fresh spinach leaves are nice bites that contrast with bacon and bacon-sautéed shrimp. It’s fast and looks fancy.

View Recipe: Fennel and Spinach Salad with Shrimp and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Summer Pea, Watermelon, and Farro Salad

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Summer Pea, Watermelon, and Farro Salad

This unusual yet delicious combination of flavors makes a good substitute for traditional pasta salad at your next cookout.

View Recipe: Summer Pea, Watermelon and Farro Salad

Tuna and White Bean Salad

Photo: Johnny Autry

Tuna and White Bean Salad

This flavor-filled salad is a simple solution to bland office lunches.

View Recipe: Tuna and White Bean Salad

Romaine, Asparagus, and Watercress Salad with Shrimp

Photo: Johnny Autry

Romaine, Asparagus, and Watercress Salad with Shrimp

So sophisticated guests will think you spent hours in the kitchen, this succulent salad is ready in just 17 minutes and goes great with a homemade roll.

View Recipe: Romaine, Asparagus, and Watercress Salad with Shrimp

Lime Shrimp Salad with Bean Sprouts and Thai Basil

Photo: Randy Mayor

Lime Shrimp Salad with Bean Sprouts and Thai Basil

This refreshing salad gets its flavor from an oil-free, boldly seasoned dressing. Thai basil has a purple hue on its stems and a licorice flavor.

View Recipe: Lime Shrimp Salad with Bean Sprouts and Thai Basil

Spicy Basil-Beef Salad

Photo: Randy Mayor

Spicy Basil-Beef Salad

If regular Italian–or Genovese–basil is all you can find, it'll work fine. However, it's worth searching out a few varieties, such as purple, Thai, or lemon basil. Using a mix of varieties improves the salad by adding visual interest and nuanced flavors. If you can't find hanger steak, substitute flank instead.

View Recipe: Spicy Basil-Beef Salad

Greek Chicken Bread Salad

Photo: Johnny Autry & Randy Mayor

Greek Chicken Bread Salad

Low in calories and packed with fresh flavors, this Greek Chicken Bread Salad uses ingredients you may already have on hand.

View Recipe: Greek Chicken Bread Salad

Asian Chicken Salad

Photo: Randy Mayor

Asian Chicken Salad

Dinner prep for this delicious, Asian-inspired main-dish chicken salad is an absolute breeze.

View Recipe: Asian Chicken Salad

 

Prosciutto, Peach, and Sweet Lettuce Salad

Photo: Johnny Autry

Prosciutto, Peach, and Sweet Lettuce Salad

Serve this light main-course salad with a hunk of crusty baguette and a glass of chilled Riesling. Choose ripe, juicy peaches, and leave the peel on for more texture. Ricotta salata is a milky, mild, slightly salty cheese that’s easy to crumble; you can substitute feta or goat cheese.

View Recipe: Prosciutto, Peach, and Sweet Lettuce Salad

Creamy Chicken Salad

Photo: Johnny Autry

Creamy Chicken Salad

If you have longed for the perfect low-fat chicken salad recipe, look no further. Poaching the chicken keeps it moist and succulent, so you'll need less dressing to bind the salad.

View Recipe: Creamy Chicken Salad  

Shrimp, Chorizo, and Corn Salad

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Shrimp, Chorizo, and Corn Salad

Prepping the ingredients for this scrumptious salad takes less than 10 minutes, and dinner is on the table in less than 20.

View Recipe: Shrimp, Chorizo, and Corn Salad

Seared Scallop Salad with Prosciutto Crisps

Photo: Johnny Autry

Seared Scallop Salad with Prosciutto Crisps

Be sure to pat the scallops dry to ensure an even sear. Also, if serrano ham is available, it makes a tasty substitute for the prosciutto.

View Recipe: Seared Scallop Salad with Prosciutto Crisps

Thai Steak Salad

Photo: Johnny Autry

Thai Steak Salad

Lots of veggies and herbs pack this flavorful salad. It’s quick to prepare and would be delicious with grilled chicken or lamb, if you prefer.

View Recipe: Thai Steak Salad

Warm Spinach Salad

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Warm Spinach Salad

If you want smaller bites, swap in chopped spinach for whole leaves.

View Photo: Warm Spinach Salad

Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprout Salad

Photo: Johnny Miller

Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprout Salad

We love Brussels sprout salads but wanted a quicker approach than the tedium of pulling apart the leaves. The food processor slices each sprout nice and thin with lightning-fast speed.

View Photo: Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprout Salad

Fizz Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic-Bacon Dressing and Beets

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Fizz Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic-Bacon Dressing and Beets

Fizz kale boasts delicate cabbage flavor and hearty crunch. If Fizz is unavailable, the salad will still be delicious using all Lacinato.

View Photo: Fizz Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic-Bacon Dressing and Beets

Mexican Broiled Corn Salad

Photo: Tara Donne

Mexican Broiled Corn Salad

The broiler offers a fantastic way to give food the taste of fire, yet it's perhaps the most overlooked way of cooking. Here it brings alive the flavors of late-fall corn and peppers so they taste as good as at summer's peak. To help control the intense heat of a broiler, move foods closer to or farther away from the element--not just up or down the oven racks but also toward or away from the sides.

View Photo: Mexican Broiled Corn Salad

Cherry and Sunflower Seed Kale Salad

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower 

Cherry and Sunflower Seed Kale Salad

Perfect for a light lunch or side, this Cherry and Sunflower Seed salad features a homemade honey-mustard vinaigrette. The dried cherries and sunflower seeds give the kale an extra crunch with a sweet and salty finish.

View Recipe: Cherry and Sunflower Seed Kale Salad

Kale Salad with Apple and Cheddar

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower 

Kale Salad with Apple and Cheddar

The classic delight of sweet apples and extra-sharp white cheddar cheese meet in this kale salad to give the vitamin-enriched green an extra boost of flavor.

View Recipe: Kale Salad with Apple and Cheddar

Kale Salad with Mango and Coconut

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower 

Kale Salad with Mango and Coconut

Kale salad goes tropical with an abundance of flavor from avocado, ripe mango, unsweetened coconut, and fresh lime-honey vinaigrette.

View Recipe: Kale Salad with Mango and Coconut

Tahini-Lemon Kale Salad

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower 

Tahini-Lemon Kale Salad

Highlighting tahini, quinoa, kale, and lemon, this ultra-nutritious salad is a tasty and satisfying dish to rack up your essential vitamins.

View Recipe: Tahini-Lemon Kale Salad

Kale Salad with Grilled Artichokes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Kale Salad with Grilled Artichokes

Kale offers the earthy flavor and chewy texture that make for supremely satisfying salads. A pressure cooker speeds the artichoke prep time. Pine nuts add crunch; plumped raisins balance the zingy Dijon-spiked dressing.

View Recipe: Kale Salad with Grilled Artichokes  

Spicy Bean and Quinoa Salad with "Mole" Vinaigrette

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Spicy Bean and Quinoa Salad with "Mole" Vinaigrette

To make ahead, leave out the greens and keep the quinoa mixture covered in the refrigerator up to two days. Add spinach just before serving. To tame the heat, seed the chile or substitute chopped red bell pepper.

View Recipe: Spicy Bean and Quinoa Salad with "Mole" Vinaigrette

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Manchego and Almonds

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Manchego and Almonds

You don't need to cook asparagus to savor its unique, slightly grassy flavor. Here it's delivered au naturel: shaved raw into delicate, elegant curls; dressed in zesty vinaigrette and creamy egg yolk; and punched up with crunchy nuts and salty Spanish cheese.

View Recipe: Shaved Asparagus Salad with Manchego and Almonds

Salmon Salad on Arugula

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Salmon Salad on Arugula

One serving of this tasty fresh fish salad packs in a full day's worth of omega-3 fatty acids. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container up to two days.

View Recipe: Salmon Salad on Arugula

Tarragon-Tomato Salad

Photo: Randy Mayor

Tarragon-Tomato Salad

Beautiful, ripe, juicy tomatoes are a perfect summer side. We topped these sliced tomatoes off with shallot, fresh tarragon, and white wine vinegar for bright, refreshing side.

View Recipe: Tarragon-Tomato Salad

Skillet Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese

Photo: Colin Clark

Skillet Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese

Blanching the citrus rind mellows its flavor and tames bitterness.

View Recipe: Skillet Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese  

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