Sweet or savory, green or pasta, there is a salad for any occasion. I’ve rounded up some of our favorite Easy Salad Recipes I think you’ll enjoy!
Salads are great for so many reasons. They can hold their own as a main dish, or be a great supporting dish. Choose in season produce and incorporate lots of colors, flavors and textures to your salad.
From sweet to savory, we know there are so many kinds of salads, and in my book – they’re all winners. The best kind, however, are the ones that are EASY to make too!
While some salads are more complex, all the salads in this collection are simple to make (and pretty darn delicious, too)!
Types of Easy Salads
I have 5 types of salads that I make on a regular basis. Each type has many different varieties and shares similar ingredients, the difference between the salads are what base, or most prominent, ingredient is.
- Green Salad- Green salads use a lettuce base and may include a variety of other chopped fruits and vegetables. The four main types of lettuce used for green salads include, iceberg, butterhead, romaine, and leaf. You use just one type or a combination. Some other greens that people often add include kale and spinach leaves.
- Vegetable Salads: The base of this type of salad is a vegetable other than lettuce. It may have a creamy dressing or a simple vinaigrette. It may also include other chopped vegetables, nuts and protein.
- Bound Salads: This type of salad contains a mixture of food that is bound together with a thick dressing, often mayonnaise. This would include anything from egg salad to potato salad.
- Pasta Salads: Pasta is the main ingredient for these salads. The pasta is typically smaller like penne, rotini, farfalle, or ditalini. It is often tossed with chopped vegetables and protein along with some type of dressing.
- Fruit/Dessert Salads: Fruit is the main ingredient for this salad. It can simply be a combination of 2-3 types of fruit tossed together or it may have a sweet cream coating and resemble more of a dessert.
Ingredients for Easy Salads
You can make a good salad using the most simple ingredients. Once you know what type of salad you wish to make then you can start adding different elements that work together in taste and texture.
Favorite Salad Vegetables: When adding vegetables to a salad, you often do not need to cook them. Simply wash, chop and toss. Can’t get easier than that!
- Leafy greens: Iceberg, butterhead, romaine, baby spinach, kale
- Green veggies: Broccoli florets, celery, brussel sprouts, green onion, cucumber
- Colorful veggies: Carrots, cauliflower florets, beets, bell pepper, red onion
Favorite Salad Fruits:
- Diced apples, peaches, or pears
Salad Proteins: Adding grilled chicken or beef to a salad is an easy way to make it more filling and turn it into a main side rather than a side. Some other additions include:
- Bacon bits
- Black, kidney or white beans
- Boiled eggs
- Buffalo chicken
Other salad ingredients:
- Cheese is often added to salads counting any combination of vegetables. You can use a simple cubed cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan, goat cheese, fetta and more.
- Add some crunch with croutons or nuts.
Meal prep: Among many other aspects, salads are wonderful because they can easily be prepared ahead of time. The different elements can be prepared 1-3 days ahead of time and stored separately until its time to assemble the salad.
Even then, most salads can be assembled several hours before and stored, covered, in the fridge. If you are using a creamy salad dressing or a vinaigrette, I suggest waiting to add that until right before serving. Or even serve it on the side.
- Many vegetables can be chopped and stored in separate containers a few days before you even need to assemble them.
- Fruit is a little trickier to prepare ahead. It can often turn an unappetizing brown when cut too far in advance. To help keep cut fruit fresh longer you can dip it in a mixture of water and lemon juice. You can also sprinkle Ball’s Fresh Fruit on it.
- Cooked pasta can be tossed in a bit of olive oil so it doesn’t stick together and then stored in its own air tight container for 1-2 days in the fridge before being used.
When serving as a side: When serving as a side dish plan to serve ½-1 cup (4-6 oz) pasta salad per guest. For green/vegetable salads plan to serve 1-2 c (2 ½ -5 oz) per person. Finally, plan to serve 1 cup (3.5 oz) of fruit salad per person.
If the salad is the main dish, plan to serve 1 ½ -2 cups of pasta salad or 2-2 ½ c green salad per person.
Favorite Dressing: “dressing” is the perfect word for salad dressing. They really do dress up the salad. Here are some of our favorites.
- Homemade Ranch
- Greek Dressing
- Pesto Dressing
- Caesar Salad Dressing
- Lemon Poppyseed Dressing
- Cafe Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing
THE BEST EASY SALADS
7 Layer Salad – 7 Layers of Goodness in this delicious layered Salad. This recipe isn’t only delicious, but is easy to customize and is great to make ahead of time too!
Arugula Salad – Fresh Arugula Salad Is Loaded With Healthy Greens, Juicy Tomatoes, And Parmesan Shavings With Pine Nuts And Creamy Avocado On Top!
Cobb Salad – This simple Cobb salad is so full of tasty ingredients it’s a meal all on it’s own. It is quick to make and utterly delicious.
Wedge Salad – This fresh wedge salad is a classic. It’s crisp and refreshing, smothered in creamy dressing and topped with crumbles of cheese and bacon.
Southwest Caprese Salad – Southwest Caprese salad substitutes queso fresco and a bright cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette to add some flair. It is fresh, vibrant, and full of flavor!
Greek Pasta Salad – This Delicious Greek Pasta Salad Is Filled With Rotini Pasta, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Olives, And Feta Cheese And Is Covered In A Tasty Greek Dressing! It’s Perfectly Light And Refreshing.
Ramen Noodle Salad – With toasted almonds, sesame seeds, and ramen noodles, this green salad has the perfect crunch to it. Top it all off with a simple homemade dressing, and this Ramen Noodle Salad will win everyone over!
Easy Pasta Salad – Easy And Delicious Italian Pasta Salad Recipe That Includes Rotini Pasta, Olives, Tomatoes, & Cheese In Italian Dressing! It Takes Minutes To Make And Is Perfect For Any Get Together Including BBQs And Holidays.
Chicken Pasta Salad – Creamy chicken pasta salad is quick, easy, and SO tasty. It is packed with hearty ingredients for a filling side or main dish!
Asian Pasta Salad – Easy & Delicious Asian Pasta Salad Topped With A Sweet And Tangy Dressing Is Packed With Veggies And Flavor!
Spinach and Tortellini Salad – This Cold Tortellini Salad Is The Ultimate Side Dish For Bbq And Potlucks! With Tortellini, Spinach, Tomatoes, Olives, And Parmesan Tossed In Italian Dressing, This Tortellini Spinach Salad Is Packed With All The Best Flavors!
Fresh Mozzarella Pasta Salad – Easy & Fresh Mozzarella Pasta Salad is light, delicious and flavorful. This simply dressed salad is a new favorite!!
Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad – Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad Is A Light Dish With A Bold Flavor, Making It Perfect For Potlucks, Parties, BBQ’s, And Get Togethers!
Taco Pasta Salad – This Taco Pasta Salad Was Easy To Throw Together And Is A Great Side Dish To Go With All The Mexican Dishes We Are Always Making.
Macaroni Salad – A Simple, Creamy Macaroni Salad Loaded With Pasta, Peas And Ham. It’s Perfect For Parties, Family Dinners, And Potlucks!
Potato Salad – Our All-Time Favorite Potato Salad Recipe – It’s Simple, Flavorful And Filled With Chunks Of Potatoes, Eggs And Olives! It’s The Perfect Addition To Any BBQ Or Picnic And Is So Creamy And Tasty, It Will Wow Everyone Who Tries It.
Chicken Salad – Chicken salad is the perfect food for baby/wedding showers, light lunches, or picnics at the park! Eat your creamy chicken salad on a croissant, in a salad, or by itself!
Egg Salad – Egg Salad Is Classic, Simple, And Only Requires A Handful Of Ingredients! Serve It As A Side, Or Make It Into An Egg Salad Sandwich. Either Way, It’s Perfect For Feeding A Crowd!
Easy Coleslaw – This Quick And Easy Coleslaw Makes The Perfect Side Dish For Any Picnic Or BBQ. It Takes Just Minutes To Put This Classic Coleslaw Recipe Together, And It Can Easily Be Customized With The Spices And Flavors You Love Most.
Ham Salad – Creamy ham salad with hints of dill and chunks of hard-boiled eggs is a tasty appetizer perfect for using up that leftover ham!!
Favorite Broccoli Salad – This Sunny Broccoli Salad Is A Simple, Tasty And Hearty Broccoli Salad Served With Bacon, Cranberries, Sunflower Seeds, And Mixed With A Delicious, Homemade Mayonnaise-Vinegar Based Dressing That Is Perfect For BBQs And Get Togethers.
Summer Corn Salad – This Summer Corn Salad Is A Light, Flavorful Salad Filled With Corn, Tomatoes, Feta, Basil And Cucumber. It’s So Simple And Quick—Perfect For Get Togethers And BBQs.
Broccoli Strawberry Salad – Broccoli Strawberry Salad is creamy and refreshing with pops of juicy fruit. It can easily be made ahead and enjoyed later!
Frito Corn Salad – Fresh and tasty Frito corn salad is bursting with sweet corn and covered in a perfectly spicy creamy sauce. It is perfectly refreshing.
Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad – Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad is a simple, delicious and quick salad perfect for dinner or for BBQs and get togethers. It’s so light and refreshing!
Cucumber Tomato Salad – Fresh, vibrant Cucumber Tomato Salad is a simple salad perfect for summer and your bounteous harvest. It’s a quick side for any meal!
Pea Salad – Pea salad is made with a creamy mayo dressing, bacon, cheese, and bright pops of peas. It only requires a handful of ingredients and is easy to make!
Asparagus Salad – Filled With Mozzarella Cheese, And Cherry Tomatoes, Seasoned With Basil, And Covered In A Light Balsamic Vinaigrette, This Asparagus Salad Is Bursting With Flavor! Best Of All, It Comes Together In Less Than 10 Minutes!
Fall Fruit Salad – Fall fruit salad is full of seasonal fruit and dressed in a bright honey, orange, and poppy seed dressing!
Pistachio Salad – Everyone Loves This Pistachio Salad! This Cool Side Salad Is Perfect For Summer Or Any Holiday Get Together.
Easy Fruit Salad – A fresh fruit salad that makes the perfect side dish to any meal! Colorful, healthy, delicious, and filled with all your favorite fruits!
Ambrosia Salad – This Ambrosia Salad Will Take Your Straight Back To Your Childhood. The Best Creamy Fruit Salad With Mini Marshmallows Mixed In!
Snicker Apple Salad – This Delicious Apple Snickers Salad Has Layers Of Granny Smith Apples, Snickers, And Caramel In A Creamy Topping Made From Cool Whip, Milk, And Vanilla Pudding Mix.
Cheesecake Fruit Salad – This Cheesecake Fruit Salad is the perfect combination of creamy, light, and fresh! Fresh berries tossed in a cream cheese pudding mixture—it’s the perfect side, or crepe filling!
the complete list
Here are the picture cards for ALL of the amazing Easy Salad Recipes listed above.
Whether you are looking for something savory or sweet you’re sure to find some new favorites – you’ll want to try them all!
Be sure to check out all of our Salad Recipes.