30 Sumptuous Salads
Try our side dish and main salads with tempting ingredients such as roasted kale, Gorgonzola cheese, wheat berries, root vegetables and persimmons.
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.)
Kale, Cranberry and Root Vegetable Salad
This festively red-and-green salad actually tastes better dressed hours ahead and served at room temperature, so it travels beautifully. Fresh cranberries and an assertive, gingery dressing balance rich meats and sides. And it's hearty enough to keep vegetarians at the table satisfied. Sold yet?
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.
Shaved Cabbage Salad with Apples, Ham and Mustard
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.
Mexican Citrus Salad with Avocado
It's not just a salad-it's a crunchy, juicy, sweet, salty, tart, buttery, nutty potluck dazzler.
Herbed Lamb Meatball Salad
The red pepper dressing is a revelation, well worth making for any lettuce salad. You can use beef instead of lamb if you like.
Roasted Pork and Beet Salad
Heart-healthy walnuts and lean pork tenderloin make this dinner salad as nutritious as it is colorful. You can pop a package of whole-grain take-and-bake rolls in the oven after you remove the pork. By the time you've assembled the salad, the rolls will be ready.
Sweet and Spicy Steak Salad
Sirloin strips marinated in raspberry-chipotle vinaigrette get caramelized edges on the grill. Pile skewers on mixed greens with goat cheese and veggies, then pass the tongs and dressing.
Spiced Pecan Apple Salad
Pecans, feta cheese, a Red Delicious apple and zesty vinaigrette combine for a memorable salad. "This recipe comes to us courtesy of the Junior League of Chicago. It is from their cookbook, Celebrate Chicago! A Taste of Our Town," says Patty Erd, co-owner of the Spice House in Chicago.
Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad
Apples, dried cranberries and grapes meet crunchy celery and wheat berries in this colorful salad tossed with apple-cinnamon dressing.
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.
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.
Italian Rice Salad
Italian Rice Salad includes fragrant, nutty-tasting brown basmati rice, bell peppers in a variety of colors, red onions and plenty of garlic. "It's kind of soft, kind of crunchy, a little sweet and a little tangy," says Ohio cooking school expert Bev Schaffer, who gave us the recipe.
Savory Cabbage Salad
A refreshing ginger vinaigrette seasons this salad with Asian-style ingredients. The uncooked noodles soften some while chilling, but still add crunch.
Apple and Couscous-Bulgur Salad
Apple cider and lemon juice add a touch of pucker that keeps this hearty grain salad from tasting too sweet. For a nutritional boost, use whole wheat couscous.
Pancetta-Feta Red Cabbage
Pancetta (an ultrathin Italian bacon) bumps up the flavor in this multicolored veggie side dish.
Nutty Cranberry Dressing
Put aside that bottled raspberry vinaigrette and try this amazing homemade alternative, flavored with maple syrup, Dijon mustard and toasted pecans. It's fantastic on a salad with apples or pears, goat cheese and leftover holiday turkey.
Harvest Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette
Walnut oil adds a nutty flavor to vinaigrette on this colorful salad from Clabber Girl Bake Shop in Terre Haute, Indiana. Add cooked chicken for a quick main dish.
Butternut Squash and Apple Salad
Sweet squash and apple pair with sharp Gorgonzola and tangy dressing in this autumn salad from Black Star Farm in Suttons Bay, Michigan. The dressing calls for verjus, a tart pressed grape juice. You can order verjust online or find it as specialty stores, but wine vinegar makes a good substitute.
Toss this light soy-ginger dressing with a bag of slaw mix and roasted peanuts for a nutritious side dish on stir-fry night. The recipe uses canola oil and sesame oil, which are both good choices as part of a balanced diet.
Cranberry Cashew Salad
Sliced apples, roasted cashews and dried fruit combine with mango chutney, spinach leaves and curry for an exotic, fresh-tasting salad. The recipe comes from the New Albany (Ohio) Cooking with Friends community cookbook.
Little Traveler's Chopped Salad
Bacon and French-fried onions punch up the flavor in this crunchy, fresh-tasting, main-dish salad from Little Traveler, a gift shop-cafe in Geneva, Illinois.
The sweet tang of this rosy dressing pairs nicely with nuts, cheese, avocado or grilled chicken breast in a mixed green salad. A full 2 cups of strawberries boost the dressing's vitamin C and fiber; the olive oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat that fights inflammation and protects against heart disease.
Winter Orange Salad
Croutons made from walnuts or pecans infuse nutty flavor into this tossed salad, with oranges and dried cranberries. Nut producers Barb and Dwight Ittner of Noel, Missouri, created the recipe.
Broccoli Grape Salad
Salty bacon flavors juicy grapes and crunchy broccoli. The side-dish saladrecipe comes from the Triangle Ranch B&B in South Dakota.
Wilted Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
This recipe, from a Dearborn, Michigan, restaurant, dresses up a classic side-dish wilted salad. "I really enjoyed the addition of fresh mushrooms and hard-boiled eggs," notes a reviewer on our website. "I could easily make a meal of this."
Dried berries give a burst of fruit flavor to this easy recipe that starts with rotisserie chicken.
Fennel Apple Salad
Tangy Granny Smith apples combine with radicchio and fennel in this refreshing side-dish salad. Mustard and citrus flavor the dressing.
Shad Kirton, award-winning chef and co-owner of Absolute Flavors Catering/Smokey D's BBQ in Des Moines, created this salad based on the classic sandwich.
Toss red and green cabbage, chopped apple and green onions with a ginger-spiced dressing for a crunchy salad. Sesame oil and rice vinegar add Asian flavor.
Persimmon, Blood Orange and Pomegranate Salad
It takes time to peel and section or slice fruit for this salad, but the result is a colorful burst of fresh flavor that's worth the effort. To save time, use 2-3 cups jarred, drained, sectioned citrus fruit in place of the four oranges.