40+ Easy & Healthy Salad Recipes


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Your new favorite healthy salad recipes start with this list! They’re filled with bright flavors and delicious textures – while challenging you to get creative with in-season produce.

A large bowl of mandarin chicken salad.

How To Build The Best Salads

The term salad doesn’t just mean some lettuce drizzled with a dressing or vinaigrette. Instead, think of it as a meal that has multiple layers of flavor (sweet, spicy, and savory), texture (crisp, crunchy, and creamy), and color (green, red, yellow, purple, you name it!). Honestly, salads are the most wonderful blank canvas to let your creativity run wild. So have fun with it. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

  • Build layers of flavor. Start with a vegetable base, mix in seasonal ingredients, add filling protein, toss in some healthy fats, and drizzle a tasty dressing or sauce.
  • Get creative with textures. Aim for a variety of textures with every bite… it makes the salad more interesting! For example, start with a soft spinach base, then toss it with crisp bell pepper, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy nuts and seeds.
  • Make your salad colorful. While green may form the base of your salad, remember that nutrient variety comes from color variety. So try to make your salad as vibrant as can be. The more color the better!
Chicken salad in a white bowl with spoon.

Everyone’s Favorite Salad Recipes

Let’s start with some of my top salad recipes that everyone always comes back to. They’re crazy good, perfect for any occasion (from large parties to an easy weeknight dinner), and are so darn easy to make.

  • Broccoli Salad: This is everyone’s go-to salad, no matter what time of year it is. It’s perfect as a Thanksgiving side dish or summer barbecue salad. Plus, it holds up well in the fridge as the perfect meal prep salad. 
  • Tuna Salad: If you love my chicken salad, this tuna version is a no brainer. And all you really need is canned tuna, mayo, dijon mustard, and some fresh greens and herbs.
  • Salmon Salad: Swap tuna for juicy baked salmon! Large flaky chunks get mixed with crisp celery, red onion, radishes, herbs and a creamy, lemon dressing.
  • Chicken Salad: When the warm weather hits, this chicken salad is a must. It’s deliciously creamy, crunchy, fresh, and will convince you to never buy store-bought chicken salad again.
  • Caprese Salad: I’ll gladly eat layers of fresh tomato, mozzarella, and basil on repeat. Just drizzle a little balsamic glaze for a summer classic that never fails to please.
Healthy salad recipes with chickpea salad and shrimp salad

Fresh Spring And Summer Salad Recipes

This time of year is all about bright, farmer’s market fresh flavors. From cherry tomatoes to light leafy greens, there’s tons of in-season produce to work with. And the best part is that you don’t really need to prep a lot of meat for these salads. The veggies and dressings speak for itself.

  • Greek Salad: When it comes to simple, healthy salads, it doesn’t get better than this classic salad tossed with my all-star greek salad dressing. 
  • Mediterranean Chickpea Salad: Turn that last can of chickpeas sitting in your pantry into this super fresh and flavorful salad (or this roasted chickpea salad!). Bonus – it’s loaded with protein and fiber.
  • Shrimp, Asparagus, and Avocado Salad: Come asparagus season, toss fresh stalks with shrimp, avocado, spinach, and a lemon vinaigrette for ultimate spring vibes.
  • Salmon Avocado Salad: Topping a salad with warm, pan seared salmon really takes it up a notch. And you can’t beat those creamy avocado slices.
  • Nicoise Salad: The perfect salad for entertaining or meal prepping for the week.
  • Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh: This veggie packed salad loaded with herbs makes for the perfect side on a Mediterranean spread. 
Two southwest chicken salads drizzled with avocado dressing.

The Best Salad Recipes With Chicken

From baked to grilled and even shredded, there are so many ways to add chicken to your salad. The key is to nail down how you cook, prep, and present the chicken in each bowl. Here are a few favorites:

  • Mandarin Chicken Salad: Shredded chicken marinated in a lemon vinaigrette is piled high with sweet mandarins, avocado, and crunchy toppings. The perfect throw-together salad. 
  • Southwest Chicken Salad: If earthy, bold flavors are your jam, this salad will have you salivating. Cilantro lime chicken is topped on a bed of greens, tomatoes, corn, beans, onions, and drizzled with a creamy avocado dressing. 
  • Greek Chicken Salad: Think Greek side salad turned into a hearty main dish. It’s all the flavors you love, plus savory chicken.
  • Cobb Salad: This classic American salad makes the most of simple ingredients like poached chicken, eggs, avocado, and of course, bacon.
Pulled pork, cabbage and arugula salad with citrus lime vinaigrette. A hearty, flavorful and healthy salad recipe.

Arugula Salad Recipes

Don’t get me wrong, I love bowls of spinach or chopped lettuce. But arugula adds the most delicious peppery punch to salads, which makes it great for pairing with extra sweet and savory flavors.

  • Smoked Salmon, Avocado, and Arugula Salad: Salty smoked salmon, creamy avocado, and arugula come together for one absolutely gorgeous looking salad.
  • Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad: Grilled fruit is the best for sweet, charred flavors. And when you pair grilled peaches with creamy burrata, arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze – it’s the true definition of summer on a plate.
  • Wild Rice and Arugula Salad: Arugula is tossed with cucumber, spring onions, mint, cranberries, almond slivers, and a lemon vinaigrette for a simple side salad packed with textures and flavors.
  • Pulled Pork, Cabbage, and Arugula Salad: Turn my slow cooker pulled pork into this healthy, nutrient dense salad with shredded cabbage arugula, carrots, cilantro, and a cilantro lime vinaigrette.
Fruit salad recipes

Sweet And Refreshing Fruit Salads

Honestly, who doesn’t love a good fruit salad? It can do triple duty as salad, breakfast (with a dollop of yogurt), or dessert (with a dollop of ice cream). Just make sure to choose fruit that’s in-season, whether that’s fresh berries, diced citrus fruits, or grilled peaches, and pineapple. 

  • Easy Fruit Salad: This fruit salad is a non-negotiable for all your summer festivities! It’s loaded with peak season fruits and tossed in a bright honey lime dressing. 
  • Berry Spinach Salad: Put your summer berries to work in this super easy, fruit forward salad. The raspberry vinaigrette and crumbled goat cheese are the cherries on top.
  • Citrus Shrimp Ceviche: I’m adding a California flair to one of my favorite Mexican recipes – shrimp ceviche! It’s loaded with oranges, grapefruit, red onion, cucumber, jalapeno, a sprinkle of cilantro, and lime juice. 
  • Melon Mozzarella Salad With Basil: There’s just something about creamy cheeses and fresh fruit that tastes so darn good. Especially when it is sweet melon paired with mozzarella, drizzled with a honey balsamic dressing.
  • Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad: Another fruit and cheese staple is none other than this watermelon, cucumber and feta salad. It’s the ultimate summer combo!
  • Orange, Fennel, and Avocado Salad: This super simple salad is the perfect balance of bright and tangy. Plus, it’s loaded with Vitamin C!
  • Stone Fruit Salad: If you love stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, plums, and grapes – this deliciously sweet salad is a must for your summer menu. 
Turkey cobb salad in a large bowl on a table next to a spoon.

Cozy Fall And Winter Salads

Just because Fall and Winter revolve around comfort foods, that doesn’t mean salads are out of the picture. Nope. It just means that it’s time to incorporate some of your favorite fall flavors into your salads. Think savory roasted veggies, winter fruits, and tender, flavorful meat!

A large bowl of roasted beet salad
  • Turkey Cobb Salad: This seasonal spin on a classic makes the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers! From roasted butternut squash to leftover turkey, toss it all in for a hearty, dinner-worthy salad. 
  • Roasted Butternut Squash, Romaine, and Goat Cheese Salad: Speaking of roasted butternut squash, you can also throw it together with some chopped lettuce, goat cheese, and walnuts for a quick and easy salad!
  • Taco Salad: This salad honestly works for any season. It’s as simple as taking your favorite taco ingredients and piling them high on a bed of greens. It’s Taco Tuesday – made healthier!
  • Persimmon Caprese Salad: Persimmon is often an overlooked winter fruit, but it’s so dang sweet and tasty! Which makes it the perfect addition to pair with mozzarella and balsamic glaze for a winter caprese variation.
  • German Potato Salad: No-mayo potato salad lovers can rejoice with this deliciously warm salad!
Zucchini noodle caprese salad recipe

Spiralized Salad Recipes

If you’re not in the mood for leafy greens but still want vegetables, hop on the spiralized veggie train. They’re great for meal prepping and can be used for just about any season. Choose zucchini noodles during the summer, sweet potatoes during the fall, and take a peek at my spiralized vegetable post for more delicious inspiration. 

Salad recipes with israeli and lentil salad

Easy Side Salad Recipes

These quick and easy side salads will complement just about any meal. And bonus, most of them only require 10 minutes to make – can’t beat that!

  • Easy Cucumber Salad: This light, cooling salad is as easy as slicing up some cucumbers and red onions, and tossing them with fresh dill, and a lightly sweetened vinaigrette. 
  • Massaged Kale Salad: Wonder how to get your kale super soft in a salad? Just massage it with olive oil! Then pair it with some lemon juice, salt, and fresh parmesan for the perfect winter side salad.
  • French Carrot Salad: Dig into a pile of grated carrots tossed with green onions, parsley, and a spiced honey Dijon dressing.
  • Israeli Salad: Inspired by my travels to Israel, this vibrant, fresh salad is always my go-to for a summer side. It’s a mound of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and loads of fresh herbs. Just how I like it. 
  • Lentil Salad with Cucumber: This throw-together salad is a combo of fresh veggies and lentils, with hints of sweet dates. A sweet and savory combo!
A big bowl of ham salad

The Best Creamy Salads

Creamy salads are my go-to when it comes to making something easy, delicious, and extremely versatile. You can eat them straight out of the bowl, toss them in a wrap, layer into a sandwich, and more! But the best part is that they can be stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Now that’s what I call a meal prep savior!

  • Broccoli Tuna Salad: A simple way to sneak more greens into a classic tuna salad is by simply mixing it with broccoli rice. And the broccoli is so minuscule, most won’t even know it’s there. 
  • Egg Salad: This classic creamy salad is a no brainer when you’ve got some hard boiled eggs on hand. Just chop them up and mix with mayo, dijon mustard, red onion and fresh herbs for a healthy lunch.
  • Ham Salad: Whether you have leftover ham or not, you’re going to want to make this delightfully creamy salad!
  • Avocado Egg Salad: And if you’re an avocado lover like me, mash it into your egg salad for a delicious variation loaded with healthy fats.
  • Potato Salad: You can never go wrong with a giant bowl of potato salad for parties, potlucks, or family functions. It’s deliciously creamy, crunchy, and nostalgic. 
  • Curried Egg Salad: A sprinkle of curry spice adds an exciting twist to egg salad. Plus the addition of green onions and grated carrots make it extra healthy and delicious. 
Curried egg salad on top of spinach and bread makes an open faced sandwich.

Want more recipe roundups? Check out my Best Vegetarian RecipesBest Mediterranean Recipes, and Best Dinner Ideas!

If you make any of these salad recipes, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Salad recipes with chicken salad and salmon salad

40+ Easy and Healthy Salad Recipes

5 from 14 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 salad
Author: Lisa Bryan


Easy and healthy salad recipes that make the best of fresh, seasonal produce. They're filled with bright flavors, appetizing textures, and always hit the spot, like my favorite salmon, avocado, and arugula salad listed below!


  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 cup microgreens
  • 6 ounces smoked salmon, torn into pieces
  • 1 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 pear, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • Champagne Vinaigrette


  • Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with the Champagne Vinaigrette.
  • Gently toss everything together and serve immediately.


Calories: 300.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.3g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 23.6g | Saturated Fat: 3.4g | Cholesterol: 9.8mg | Sodium: 402.4mg | Fiber: 5.8g | Sugar: 6.5g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Salad Recipes, Easy Salad Recipes, Healthy Salad Recipes, Salad Recipes
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. just a note of thanks for the mango curry chicken salad from your cookbook, love the book and the recipe, had to change some things due to my needs, replaced the chicken with soy curls soaked in vegan chicken bouillon, used vegan mayo and next time I make this, and I will, its that great, will use roasted salted cashews and skip the salt and pepper. You are the inspiration, your recipe is great, and I can use it as the template for myself. Tasted great, had to put it away before I ate it all. Thank you.5 stars

  2. hey i just want to say thank you for sharing us your salad recipes. i’m sure it’s gonna taste good. can’t wait to try this recipes!

  3. Thank you for sharing, I would like to know more about salad recipes. Keep sharing amazing contents5 stars

  4. Oh my goodness! Why didn’t I find this site earlier?! These are amazing recipes, thank you so much! And beautiful photography too. :)5 stars

  5. I just started following her recipes and I have to say I just love them! They are very easy to make, healthy and delicious.5 stars

  6. What a wonderful collection of salad recipes! My salads always seem a bit boring but I’ve found tons of inspiration here!5 stars

  7. I have been craving a good hearty salad lately. With the summer months coming up, these salads will be perfect for when it’s too hot to cook! Love this roundup!