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 ChooseMyPlate.gov.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pork Salad Provençal
Serve this elegant, French-inspired salad with baguette slices toasted with feta cheese for a well-rounded and filling meal.
The ubiquitous Israeli bread salad makes a fine gathering place for black-eyed peas and sweet Georgia onions.
Shrimp and Herb Salad
High-protein shrimp over a bed of fresh lettuce makes for a delicious main dish salad.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sweet Pepper and Almond Salad
This simple yet flavorful salad comes together in a snap, perfect for a hectic weeknight.
Smoked Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado Dressing
Our light version handily beats the classic loaded salad—in both flavor and nutrition.
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.
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.
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.
Blackened Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Use the freshest lettuce you can find to ensure top-notch flavor and crunch.
Lentil Salad with Soft-Cooked Eggs
Green lentils keep a firm texture even after cooking, a desirable trait for this hearty salad.
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.
Arugula Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette
Fresh parmesan makes this simple salad really shine.
Chickpea, Red Pepper, and Arugula Salad
If you want more petite leaves for your salad, choose baby arugula.
Quick Parsley-Spinach Salad
Hyperspeed this super-simple side salad by using pre-washed bagged baby spinach.
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.
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.
Tuna and White Bean Salad
This flavor-filled salad is a simple solution to bland office lunches.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Asian Chicken Salad
Dinner prep for this delicious, Asian-inspired main-dish chicken salad is an absolute breeze.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Warm Spinach Salad
If you want smaller bites, swap in chopped spinach for whole leaves.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.