Hearty, Healthy Salad Recipes
Turn to ingredients such as lentils, quinoa, chickpeas, brussels sprouts and wild rice to add good-for-you flavor and texture to your salads.
Popular in Lebanon and Israel, fattoush is a crunchy, lemony salad of toasted pita, herbs and vegetables. This quick version showcases spring vegetables like snap peas and radishes. It's seasoned with sumac, which has a distinctly sour, earthy flavor. Find it in Middle Eastern markets or online.
Citrus Salmon Salad
Chef Sarah Russo of Chicago-based Salad Club uses bitter greens in this salad to balance the sweet fruit and rich fish. If you prefer, swap in more mild-mannered kale, lettuce or spinach.
Related: Favorite Salmon Recipes
This hearty salad is plenty filling without the chicken, so leave it out if you like. The chickpeas can be prepared ahead and stored in an airtight container with a paper towel at the bottom.
Oaxacan Bean Salad
Roasted plantain adds a delicious and unexpected starchy sweetness to this salad. Be sure to choose a ripe one, more black than yellow, but not totally black.
Related: Try Our Fried Plaintain Recipe
Smoky Squash Salad
This salad packs a flavor and texture punch, and it's a delicious way to explore an alternative, plant-based protein. Look for blocks of tempeh in the produce or health food section of the supermarket, near the tofu.
Arugula-Lentil Salad with Poached Eggs
When it's too hot for lentil soup, put the quick-cooking pulse to good use in this nutritious, meat-free salad.
Roasted Pear Salad with Farro and Arugula
This creamy, whole-grain salad earned raves in our test kitchen. It's hardy enough to be a meatless main, or enjoy it as a festive side dish or cold-weather potluck star.
Penne with Lentils and Feta
Hearty and wholesome, this picnic pasta salad is loaded with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, lentils, salty cheese and parsley, all cloaked in a light and bright red wine vinaigrette.
Harvest Lentil Salad
Packed with healthy nutrients, this dish is perfect for any occasion. Serve as a side with a pork tenderloin roast or turkey breast or as a meat-free dinner salad with warm, crusty wheat rolls.
Winter Tabbouleh with Fennel and Cranberries
This delicious and healthy twist on a traditional Middle Eastern parsley salad features protein-rich quinoa, cranberries, sunflower seeds and crisp fennel.
Shaved Cabbage Salad with Apples, Ham and Mustard
Ham adds just enough smoky richness to chef Abra Berens' vibrant salad to elevate a simple slaw to a lunch-worthy meal or a potluck stunner. Find other great salads in her book Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables.
Lentil and Rice Summer Salad
This is a fab potluck salad. If you make it for dinner at home, try it topped with a salmon fillet or, for a vegetarian entree, served over spinach or other salad greens. (A word of warning: Don't substitute a different rice. Arborio, the type used in risotto, definitely works best.) The recipe comes from the blog A Couple Cooks.
Winter Bean Salad with Fennel and Clementines
Turn a humble can of beans into this impressive salad. It's already a main dish, but you can make it heartier by adding seared salmon or sizzled shrimp.
Green Salad with Chicken and Marinated Peas
In her book Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables, Abra Berens called this recipe Green Salad with Marinated Peas and Yesterday's Chicken because she makes it the day after roasting a chicken. A supermarket rotisserie bird makes things even simpler.
Sesame Chard Slaw
Swiss chard is usually cooked, but we keep it raw in this lightly sweet, Asian-inspired slaw that's packed with good-for-you ingredients.
Related: Fresh Slaw Recipes
Waldorf Salad with Grapes and Wild Rice
This salad is all about balance—sweet vs. tart and crunchy vs. chewy. Take it to a potluck or serve it at the holiday table.
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Zucchini, Almonds and Feta
You could make a meal of this dish: caramelized zucchini, crunchy almonds, salty cheese and hearty quinoa, all dressed in honey-basil vinaigrette. The recipe comes from a Columbus, Ohio, restaurant.
Related: Power-Packed Quinoa Recipes
Celery and Apple Salad with Walnuts
Imagine a Waldorf salad, but lighter and more refreshing, with a tangy lemon-thyme vinaigrette. This salad would go beautifully with roast pork or turkey.
Sweet and Spicy Cabbage and Peanut Slaw
Fresh ginger and red pepper flakes add welcome zing, but the real surprise here is napa (aka Chinese) cabbage. Cara Mangini, who started Little Eater in Columbus, Ohio, likes it for slaws because it's more tender than ordinary cabbage but still holds up better than lettuce.
Roasted Kale, Tomato and Chickpea Salad with Wheat Berries
Our hearty salad tastes equally good warm from the pan, cold from the fridge or even at room temperature, so it's perfect for make-ahead meals and leftover lunches. Other grains, such as barley, faro or wild rice, also work well in this salad.
Nuts and Berries Winter Slaw
Crisp, shredded Brussels sprouts, toasted hazelnuts and tangy cranberry-orange dressing provide a burst of fresh flavor to balance a rich holiday roast. We like the hearty texture of raw Brussels sprouts, but if you prefer them a bit softer, blanch them first and then plunge them into cold water and pat dry.
Baby Spinach Salad with Cumin Couscous and Bulgur
Grain salads can sometimes be a bit heavy, but this one is surprisingly light-tasting, thanks to a tangy yogurt-mint dressing, crisp apple chunks and fresh spinach.
Dilly Chickpea and Radish Salad
Think of this as a welcome update on three-bean salad, with radishes and celery adding color and crunch to wholesome garbanzo beans. It travels beautifully and is great for potlucks and picnics.
Smoked Turkey and Citrus Wild Rice Salad
This main-dish salad is just what the doctor ordered after the holidays, bursting with color and fresh flavor. The recipe comes from The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook (University of Minnesota Press, $29.95). (Note: You'll end up with extra dressing, but that's just fine ... stash it in the fridge to wake up any salad.)
Related: Sumptuous Salads
Shaved Asparagus Salad
Uncooked asparagus might sound strange, but this is essentially an elegant take on slaw-slicing a firm vegetable like cabbage or carrot thinly to break down its cell walls and allow a tangy dressing to soak in.
Moroccan Carrot Slaw
Combining cinnamony pumpkin-pie spice with fresh mint lends North African flavor in a flash. Try this simple salad as a side dish to grilled chicken.