11 Healthy Salads That You’ll Actually Want to Eat

Easy and Healthy Salad Ideas That Will Leave You Satisfied

Healthy salads don’t have to be unsatisfying.

But, they are often lacking flavor and leave you feeling unsatisfied. You deserve fulfilling healthy salads.

After a busy and stressful morning at work, you don’t need to open up your lunch container only to find a bland, unsatisfying green salad.

You should be opening up your lunch container to find a bright, flavor packed vegetable salad that you can’t wait to eat. And, you shouldn’t have to spend a ton of time making that healthy salad.

This is a list of healthy salad recipes that are easy to make and fulfilling. These recipes of salads will transform the way you eat vegetables.

No pasta or potato salads here. Just easy veg recipes loaded with health benefits and flavor.

All of these veg salads are perfect as a healthy vegetable side dish. Some of them are also great for a filling lunch or dinner.

It’s easy to make unfulfilling and tasteless salads. But, with this list of salad recipes, you will be excited to eat your healthy salads from now on!

What are Salads?

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a salad has two definitions:

  1. raw greens (such as lettuce) often combined with other vegetables and toppings and served especially with dressing

  2. small pieces of food (such as pasta, meat, fruit, or vegetables) usually mixed with a dressing (such as mayonnaise) or set in gelatin

This list focuses on #1 above.

Vegetables combined with other ingredients and then topped with a dressing.

Why Should I Eat Healthy Salads?

Salads are incredibly healthy. Adding healthy salads to your diet is an easy and delicious way to get the vitamins and minerals you need. Here are the top 3 reasons to eat salads:

Reason #1: They are loaded with healthy vegetables.

There are reasons why our parents and doctors tell us to eat vegetables.

According to Harvard University, a vegetable packed diet can help protect against heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, and high blood pressure. Vegetables are packed with nutrients including potassium, fiber, folic acid and vitamins A, E and C. Vegetables also have a positive impact on digestion and blood sugar control.

Reason #2: Low in calories

Salads composed of mostly vegetables are low in calories, but high in vitamins and minerals. Meaning you can eat a large volume without eating a large number of calories.

If you are trying to lose weight, then consider eating a green salad before your main course. According to WebMD, studies have shown that individuals who eat a salad (the bigger then better) as their first course eat a less calories over the entire meal.

Reason #3: Dressings and toppings are high in healthy fats

Eating healthy fats from olive oil or avocado with your vegetables actually helps your body absorb their beneficial nutrients.

According to WebMD, a study from Ohio State University showed that eaters that included a healthy fat like avocado with their salad absorbed eight times more alpha-carotene and 13 times more beta carotene compared to eaters who did not include a healthy fat. Both of these are phytochemicals that may help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Many dressings used for these salads contain extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is high in healthy fats, contains antioxidants, reduces inflammation, and even helps protect against strokes and heart disease. Read more about each of these benefits here on Healthline.

How to Make a Healthy Salad: Tips to Get Started

Use a Salad Spinner to Make Cleaning Your Greens Easy

Owning a salad spinner has increased my leafy green consumption big time.

I used to hate cleaning whole heads of lettuce, delicate greens, and herbs. I felt like no matter what I did, they would still be dirty and sandy.

Then I got this Zyliss Salad Spinner.

It changed the way and how often I eat salads. It’s so easy to just cut up an entire head of lettuce, let it soaked in the water filled spinner for a few minutes for the dirt to fall to the bottom, drain, and spin. I can’t recommend it enough.

Want to learn how to use a salad spinner? Check out these step-by-step instructions for how to clean your greens using a salad spinner.

Use the Right Containers

Salads should be stored, covered in the refrigerator.

I love these OXO glass containers for storing completed dishes like this salad. You can store, cover, and serve all in one container.

Know When to Dress and Season

Some salads keep well after dressing, while others do not.

More delicate greens like arugula and spring greens don’t keep great dressing. But, more hearty greens like kale or roasted greens keep well. They may even taste better after a day or two.

Seasoning with salt will remove water from leafy greens. This can make them soft and slimy.

For salads that don’t keep well, you can combine the salad ingredients and prepare the dressing separately. Then, when you’re ready to eat it, just dressing and serve!

Don’t sweat it, storage and make-ahead details are outlined in each salad recipe.

Meal Prep Your Dressings

Dressings store great in the refrigerator. Make a dressing at the beginning of the week so you can use it to spruce up salads at a moment’s notice.

Here are 10 Healthy Homemade Dressings.

These dressings will make everything, including these salads taste better. Plus, they are all incredibly simple to make. Most take 5 minutes or less. A few even last up to a month!

Prepped dressings are your best friends.

Need a Guide to Get You Started Making Dressings? Download My FREE 1 Month Dressings Meal Plan!

Download the Meal Plan

What Will You Learn From This Meal Plan Guide?

  • How to make 5 dressings that use healthy ingredients, can be stored for a week or more, and take 5 minutes or less to make.

  • How to meal prep dressings so that you can turn 4 dressings into a month’s supply.

  • How to have more time, money, health, and delicious meals by mastering homemade dressings

The Best Healthy Salad Recipes

Here is the list of my favorite vegetable based salad recipes that are healthy, easy to make, and use simple ingredients that you can easily find at the grocery store. Never eat a boring salad again!

1. Roasted Broccoli Salad with Tahini Sauce

Roasted Broccoli Salad with Tahini Sauce Recipe

Full recipe on walktoeat

Crispy roasted broccoli is incredibly delicious on its own. Top it with a creamy sauce and sweet dried dates?

Now you have a real showstopper dish.

This roasted broccoli salad is crispy, salty, creamy, and incredibly delicious. The tahini sauce adds richness to this dish, so it is filling enough to be eaten on its own as a full meal. Make this as your next healthy side dish and you won’t feel bad telling others to “eat your broccoli”.

2. Spinach Salad Panzanella Style

Spinach Salad Panzanella Style

Full recipe on walktoeat

Do you think croutons are the best part of salads? Then this spinach salad is for you.

It is inspired by the classic Tuscan panzanella, or bread salad. Fresh bread is torn into pieces and roasted to make an incredibly delicious crouton. Olives and Parmesan are added to create a flavor bomb in every bite. You won’t be able to stop eating this addictive salad.

3. Asian Smashed Cucumber Salad

Smashed Asian Cucumber Salad recipe

Full recipe on walktoeat

Forget your knife with this smashed cucumber salad. Use the back of a rolling pin or pan to gently smash a cucumber, then tear with your hands.

This cucumber salad is topped with a sesame ginger vinaigrette to create an Asian inspired dish. This salad is zingy, bright, and refreshing. Plus, it doesn’t get any easier than this.

4. Roasted Beet and Avocado Salad

 

Roasted Beet and Avocado Salad

Full recipe on walktoeat

If you are looking for a more healthy and vegetable packed version of the classic potato salad, then look no further than this roasted beet and avocado salad. It is vegan, colorful, and filling.

This salad is loaded with healthy fats from avocado and sunflower seeds. This will make you feel more full. So, you can eat this as a side dish or filling meal on its own. Add some color and veggies to your next cookout with this roasted beet and avocado salad recipe!

5. Simple Salad with Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette

 

Simple Green Salad

Full recipe on walktoeat

Sometimes, you just need a light, refreshing salad. After a long holiday weekend of indulging in food and drink, an event, or travel, this simple salad with lemon mustard vinaigrette dressing will reset your appetite.

Less is more with this simple salad. A high quality leafy green and a delicious homemade dressing is all you need. I love serving this as part of a big, hearty meal. It will complement rich foods and meats while cleansing the palate. Opt for quality over quantity with this simple salad recipe.

6. Roasted Vegetable Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

 

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

Full recipe on walktoeat

Browned and crispy is the tastiest way to eat hearty vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and radish. They taste nutty and caramelized.

This roasted vegetable salad takes advantage of delicious browned veggie. It turns the flavor up a notch by topping them with a simple shallot vinaigrette that takes only 5 minutes to make.

This may just be the perfect vegetable side dish for any meal. It’s easy to make, mostly hands-off cooking, healthy, and tastes amazing. White beans are added to make this a filling meal on its own.

7. Arugula, Mango, and Avocado Salad

 

Arugula, Mango, and Avocado Salad

Full recipe on walktoeat

Why choose between a fruit salad and a leafy green salad when you can have both? With this arugula, mango, and avocado salad, you get the best of both worlds.

This salad is great as a summertime side dish or meal. Healthy mango and avocado will leave you feeling full. Bitter arugula is perfectly complemented by zesty mango and creamy avocado. The different textures and flavors of each ingredient make every bite packed with flavor.

Make this salad the next time you want a refreshing meal!

8. Shaved Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad

 

Shaved Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad

Full recipe on walktoeat

My favorite part about this shave brussels sprout and kale salad? It is perfect for making ahead.

Think of it as part slaw and part green salad. But, all parts delicious. Hearty raw brussels sprouts and kale beautifully take on a lemon mustard vinaigrette. Chopped almonds and raisins add nuttiness and sweetness to balance out the bitter kale and sprouts.

This healthy salad can be made a few hours or even days ahead. It is a great no-fuss option for your next big meal!

9. Red Cabbage and Apple Salad

 

Red Cabbage and Apple Salad Recipe

Full recipe on walktoeat

This red cabbage and apple salad recipe combines roasted and raw cabbage to make a healthy vegan side dish. This easy salad is balanced by sweet apples, nutty seeds, and bright lemon mustard vinaigrette.

Cabbage is a workhorse in the kitchen. It can be sauteed, roasted, grilled, boiled, or eaten raw. This salad takes advantage of multiple cooking techniques to experience the different profiles of almighty cabbage. This is a super flavorful way to eat cabbage.

10. Garlic and Parmesan Oven Roasted Asparagus

 

Garlic and Parmesan Oven Roasted Asparagus

Full recipe on walktoeat

Asparagus is the ultimate spring time vegetable. It is one of the first vegetables you will start to see. So, it is a sign that spring has come!

This garlic and Parmesan roasted asparagus is a perfect quick cooking and easy side dish or appetizer. This recipe cranks up the flavor by adding Parmesan, garlic, and sunflower seeds to roasted asparagus. Toss the veggies on a sheet pan, add oil and salt, and about 20 minutes later you have beautifully browned oven roasted asparagus.

11. Charred Cabbage Salad with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

 

charred cabbage wedges with garlic yogurt sauce

Full recipe on walktoeat

Your new way to eat cabbage? Brown and charred.

This charred cabbage salad recipe will produce delicious blackened cabbage. But, you don’t need to use your grill. You can make this cabbage wedge recipe in a skillet on your stove.

Then the beautifully charred cabbage is topped with a creamy garlic yogurt sauce that takes less than 5 minutes to make. The sauce adds a blast of acid and creaminess that perfectly matches the blackened char. This cabbage dish is great next to a rich piece of meat or BBQ.

Which Healthy Salads Are You Going to Make?

There are no bad options on this list. All of these healthy salads will leave you feeling refreshed, healthy, and energized.

So, which one are you going to make?

Personally, I love the roasted broccoli salad with tahini. When it is warmer outside, the arugula, mango, and avocado salad is tough to beat.

In any case, you’re going to need some fresh produce. Online produce delivery is exploding and for good reason. It’s super convenient.

I talk all about the best produce delivery services in this post.

Let me know if you made any of these or have any questions in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you!

Why Choose Only One Healthy Salad?

2 thoughts on “11 Healthy Salads That You’ll Actually Want to Eat”

    • Thanks! Garlic and Parmesan roasted asparagus is one of my favorites too. It will make anyone like asparagus.

      Reply

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