May is National Salad Month and there is no better time to celebrate the fresh produce that spring brings. Salads are really the perfect dish — you can be as creative as you want, adding your favorite greens, fruit, veggies, grains, nuts, and proteins. You can play with flavors, colors, and textures, creating a masterpiece that is almost too beautiful to eat… Almost.
When we don’t want to feel weighed down or spend a lot of time in a hot kitchen, salads can be light. When we want a filling, satisfying meal, salads can be the main course. Check out 15 Salads Hearty Enough to Be the Main Course and Think Salads are Just Lettuce? Here are 10 Summer Salads That Will Make You Think Again.
Don’t even think about bottled salad dressing. See You Won’t Believe These 19 Salad Dressings are Vegan for lots of homemade, tasty recipes and ideas.
If you’re thinking you’ll get bored eating salad all month, think again! There are endless ways to make delicious, healthy salads. Here are 31 amazing recipes so you can celebrate National Salad Month by eating a different salad each day, all month long.
1. Barbecue Chickpea Ranch Salad
You are going to RSVP “yes” to every picnic and potluck this season just so you can bring this Barbecue Chickpea Ranch Salad. There is something seriously magical about the moment the sticky barbecue chickpeas meet the creamy ranch dressing and becomes one big, smoky, sweet, and tangy salad.
2. Mushroom and Kale Farro Salad
This Mushroom and Kale Farro Salad is refreshing and light, but still filling and satisfying. The farro provides the bulk of the sustenance while the vegetables sautéed in broth add a delicious flavor. The pomegranate seeds add a delightful crunchy texture. Enjoy this for lunch or dinner, or make a big batch as a side dish for your next gathering.
3. Roasted Tofu, Mushroom, and Rice Vermicelli Salad
When you’re craving a light but satisfying dish, this Roasted Tofu, Mushroom, and Rice Vermicelli Salad is the answer. Rice vermicelli is a gluten-free pasta that adds bulk to salads in an easy and tasty way. Along with roasted tofu, mushrooms, and fresh cilantro, mint, and basil, this entrée is fragrant, refreshing, and protein-rich.
4. Avocado Quinoa Salad With Blood Orange
This Avocado Quinoa Salad With Blood Orange is super simple and super tasty. It’s made with thinly sliced fennel, crunchy almonds, creamy ripe avocados, tangy green olives, and an easy-to-make garlicky dressing. It offers a tremendous amount of flavor that you wouldn’t expect from a salad. The juicy blood oranges not only make it look so pleasing to the eye but also add a sweet and citrusy bite to it.
5. Herb and Rice Salad With Beet Chips
Get ready for a taste explosion when you try this Herb and Rice Salad With Beet Chips. Vibrant greens, creamy agave-miso dressing, beet chips, pumpkin seeds for crunch, and carrot – what a lovely salad! This delicious rice-based salad is extremely satisfying, yet so refreshing and exciting. Try this recipe the next time you feel like stepping out of your salad comfort zone.
6. Roasted Radish and Brussels Sprout Salad
Roasting radishes mellows out their spiciness and brings out their sweetness. Taste it for yourself with this Roasted Radish and Brussels Sprout Salad; it’s like a completely different vegetable when it’s roasted. Paired with Brussels sprouts that are roasted until crispy and tossed with bright lemon juice and thyme, this is the perfect veggie dish for springtime.
7. Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad With Tarragon Dressing
This Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad With Tarragon Dressing is going to be a summer favorite. This salad is chock-full of fresh and in-season ingredients like radishes, celery, tomatoes, and of course, corn. A bit of habanero is added to the corn for an extra zing. Drizzle it with tarragon dressing for a truly unique combination of flavors.
8. Zucchini Ramen Noodle Salad
Forget packaged ramen noodles. This Zucchini Ramen Noodle Salad is a fresh take on the processed dish. It has juicy tomato, refreshing cucumber, and crunchy peanuts. The dressing is filled with flavor. Make a big portion as a stand-alone salad, or use it as a dinner appetizer.
9. Roasted Beet Salad With Pumpkin Seed Dukkah and Lemon Garlic Dressing
Who says salads have to be green? This Roasted Beet Salad With Pumpkin Seed Dukkah and Lemon Garlic Dressing will have you seeing red. Each component of this salad is delicious on its own and even tastier when layered together. Roasted beets lend some sweetness to the dish, the quinoa is fluffy and filling, and the creamy dressing tastes like Caesar. You’re going to want to put the dukkah seeds on everything so make extra.
10. Channa Dal Kosambi: South Indian Lentil and Vegetable Salad
Channa Dal Kosambari is a South Indian salad recipe usually served on special occasions like marriages. It is prepared by mixing vegetables and soaked pulses, then followed by tempering with lots of curry leaves and spices. Top it with toasted coconut flakes and serve it with your favorite grain. You don’t need a special occasion to make this dish, but eating it will make it feel like one.
11. Kale Coconut Salad With Orange Infused Vinaigrette
This Kale Coconut Salad With Orange Infused Vinaigrette is a powerful cleansing salad. With kale, coconuts, almonds, and cilantro, this dish is light and citrus-y, but still very filling. The orange-infused vinaigrette adds a subtle sweetness. Enjoy immediately, or let the flavors mesh together in the refrigerator before digging in.
12. Satsuma Orange Chickpea Salad
If you’re looking for a salad that is loaded with nutrients, but has a light, citrus taste, you’re going to want to try this Satsuma Orange Chickpea Salad. Spinach, avocado, and chickpeas make up the bulk of this dish, while the oranges, lemon, and chili powder add freshness and zest. Since the chickpeas are heated in a pan first, this is perfect for people who like salads that have a bit of warmth to them.
13. Kelp Noodle Sea Salad
This Kelp Noodle Sea Salad is full of fresh flavors and crunchy vegetables. Kelp noodles are great for bulking up the mix, since they’re mild in flavor and add a nice crunch. Avocado and tahini add creaminess and the wasabi adds a spicy kick. If you’re bored of your usual salads, this one should mix up your routine.
14. Rice and Roasted Cauliflower Salad With an Apple Cider Mustard Vinaigrette
This hearty Rice and Roasted Cauliflower Salad With an Apple Cider Mustard Vinaigrette is the perfect meal to keep you happy and satisfied. It’s got roasted cauliflower, greens, radishes, carrots, onions, and sprouts, in addition to the rice and the sweet and spicy dressing. If you don’t think of salad as a complete dinner, this one will change your mind.
15. Brown Rice Salad With Italian Tahini
Rice salads are perfect when you want something a bit more filling than a salad, but not quite as heavy as a sandwich. Instead of the usual greens, this Brown Rice Salad With Italian Tahini has rice, celery, onions, chickpeas, raisins, and almonds. The Italian tahini dressing ties the dish together, making it one you’ll want to make over and over again.
16. Orange Mint Jalapeño Salad
This Orange Mint Jalapeño Salad is simple to make but has a lot going on. It’s bright, colorful and full of flavor. The oranges and mint give this dish a bold, citrus-y flavor, and the jalapeño and sea salt round out the tartness with a bit of spicy kick. The ingredients not only taste great together, they make a lovely presentation.
17. Roasted Beet Sorghum Salad With Ginger-Lime Vinaigrette
This Roasted Beet Sorghum Salad With Ginger-Lime Vinaigrette is as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the taste buds. Roasted beets are combined with sorghum, an ancient grain with a unique texture, and a zesty ginger-lime vinaigrette. This salad’s vibrant flavors make it ideal for serving at cookouts and outdoor potlucks.
18. Green Protein Bowl With Garlicky Dressing
This Green Protein Bowl With Garlicky Dressing has leafy greens, broccoli, and seeds topped with a creamy, lemony dressing. This salad has all the varying flavors and textures that its green ingredients bring, plus a little bit of cheesiness. Creamy tahini dressing spiked with lemon and garlic makes it reminiscent of a simplified Caesar, and the generous sprinkling of seeds keeps your belly full. You won’t need a side to go with this protein-packed salad.
19. Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Salad With Dates
This Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Salad With Dates is a medley of flavors. First, cauliflower is roasted in a spicy dressing and roasted in the oven until tender. Then it’s combined with lentils, Medjool dates, and toasted almonds on a bed of greens. Topped with red onion and a drizzle of creamy dressing, this salad is warm, sweet, and a little bit sour.
20. Potato and Falafel Crumble Salad
This Potato and Falafel Salad is a creative idea that lets you enjoy falafel in a whole new way. Crispy, roasted chickpeas are tossed with soft potatoes, tangy red onions, and savory sun-dried tomatoes. This falafel crumble salad is full of great flavors and contrasting textures. It’s also easy to make and can be served as a main dish, a side salad, or a snack.
21. Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
If you only think of Brussels sprouts as a winter side dish, try this Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad. Shaved Brussels sprouts and massaged kale are tossed to make a bed of greens with contrasting flavors and textures. Massaging the kale gives it a bit of sweetness, while the raw Brussels sprouts, toasted nuts, and coconut bacon add crunch plus salty, smoky flavors. The champagne vinaigrette adds a tangy flavor to this filling and creative salad.
22. Roasted Cauliflower and Spiced Chickpea Salad
This Roasted Cauliflower and Spiced Chickpea Salad will leave you satisfied and happy. Tender, caramelized roasted cauliflower and crispy spiced chickpeas on a bed of spicy fresh arugula provide a balance between roasted and raw vegetables. The salad is then topped with sweet and tart pomegranate seeds, crunchy almonds, and a slightly spicy tahini dressing. This is perfect as a side, or even a dinner, depending on how you want to divide portions.
23. Chickpea Salad With Cilantro Dressing
Simple doesn’t have to mean boring; just look at this Chickpea Salad With Cilantro Dressing. In this beautiful dish, chickpeas, crunchy bell peppers, and vibrant cherry tomatoes are tossed in a homemade dressing. A multitude of spices go into the dressing, bringing bold flavor to the freshness of the salad.
24. Tofu Banh Mi Salad With Pickled Vegetables
If you like banh mi sandwiches, you’ll love this Tofu Bahn Mi Salad With Pickled Vegetables. Pickled beets, carrots, and radishes sit on a bed of shredded purple cabbage, giving this delicious meal an eye-catching vibrancy. It’s then topped with garlicky baked tofu and a creamy, spicy dressing for an amazing dish.
25. Asian Soy Curl Salad
Inspired by the popular restaurant chicken salad, this Asian Soy Curl Salad is out of this world. The red cabbage and raw veggies are crunchy, the greens are soft, the almonds are toasty, and the soy curls … well, the soy curls are just crispy, juicy and delicious. It’s definitely the salad to make if you have guests and want to impress them.
26. Nourishing Raw Cauliflower Salad With a Nut and Seed Topping
This Nourishing Raw Cauliflower Salad With a Nute and Seed Topping will be of great help to getting your daily greens in one dish. It’s made by pulsing raw cauliflower and fresh greens in a food processor until crumbly, then topping them with a creamy avocado dressing and a crunchy toasted nut and seed topping. This is a meal-worthy salad that won’t leave you feeling hungry.
27. Deconstructed Falafel Salad
This Deconstructed Falafel Salad is a special dish. It has all the flavors of falafel like chickpeas, tahini, tomatoes, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. It’s also tossed with some fresh-baked pita chips for some added crunchiness. Serve it in a bowl, eat it as a sandwich, or wrap it up in pita bread.
28. Lentil and Fingerling Potato Salad With Spicy Mustard
This Lentil and Fingerling Potato Salad is going to change the way you think about potato salads. In this zesty salad, fingerling potatoes and green lentils are cooked until soft, then mixed with crunchy red cabbage and spices. The result is a salad with contrasting textures and spicy flavors. Serve this as a side with a light lunch or as an appetizer at dinner.
29. Roasted Spiced Cauliflower and Harissa Chickpea Salad
Add some spice to your life with this Roasted Spiced Cauliflower and Harissa Chickpea Salad. You’ll love the flavor and texture combo of roasted cauliflower and chickpeas sitting atop a bed of greens. This one-bowl salad is just the thing you need when you’re craving something hearty and healthy.
30. Sweet Potato and Apple Spinach Salad With Almond Dijon Vinaigrette
The name of this Sweet Potato and Apple Spinach Salad With Almond Dijon Vinaigrette is a mouthful and you’ll want to keep your mouth full of this yummy dish. It’s a combo of tender sautéed sweet potato noodles mixed with crispy-fresh apple noodles, chewy and sweet golden raisins, with a little hint of crunch from toasty almonds. The nutty, sweet, and bright vinaigrette is where almond butter, apple juice, and Dijon mustard come together in the thickest, creamiest, and most delicious of ways.
31. Sichuan Sesame Shirataki Noodles and Cucumber Salad
If you’ve never tried shirataki noodles, start with this Sichuan Sesame Shirataki Noodles and Cucumber Salad. Chewy Shirataki noodles are made from the konjac yam and take center stage in this salad that’s served with a savory umami-filled dressing. This salad is refreshingly tasty and super easy to make.
These incredible salad recipes are so delicious, you may consider extending National Salad Month into the “Summer of Salads.” We’re having salad for dinner, the only question is which one?
Lead image source: Barbecue Chickpea Ranch Salad