- Mixed greens, such as arugula, spinach, kale, or romaine lettuce
- Legumes, such as garbanzo, kidney, black, or Lima beans
- Protein, such as chopped chicken, tofu, or tuna
- Grain, such as cooked quinoa, farro, or buckwheat
- Vegetables, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, peppers, broccoli, or onions
- Toppings, such as dressing, croutons, sprouts, seeds, or berries
Combine the ingredients to taste.
11 Early Spring Salad Recipes
Of all the recipes to look forward to in the springtime, it’s the salads that speak to me the most. Coming out of a winter of rustic soups and comforting casseroles, light bright salads are a breath of culinary fresh air. They’re as welcome in my kitchen as spring tulips are on my dining table.
What I like most about spring salads is their ease. They demand little of the cook. Add a drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, and flash of fresh herbs to nearly any spring vegetable, whether raw or cooked, and you have a fine plate of food on your hands. Scatter on toasted nuts or crumbled cheese to elevate things further with little effort.
Below you’ll find 11 salad recipes that feature the finest that spring has to offer including asparagus, artichokes, radishes, snap peas, strawberries, watercress, arugula, favas, English peas, and leeks.
These recipes all lean on the lighter end of the spectrum and make a terrific lunch or a side dish for dinner. Add a source of protein to nearly any of these—whether grilled chicken, slow roasted salmon, or warm lentils—to make a complete meal.
Turkey BLT Salad
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald
By turning the bread into crunchy croutons and the lettuce into the base of a salad, you minimize the refined carbs and maximize the healthiest part of the equation. Toss in a handful of cubed deli turkey to boost the protein, and suddenly you have a salad with substance and style to tuck into.
Get our recipe for Turkey BLT Salad.
A few things to keep in mind…
Chef Art included some spring mix in his salad, but I just used iceberg in my version. I’m usually not a huge iceberg fan, but it just works in the recipe and gives it the crunch it needs. And though iceberg doesn’t have much flavor, you won’t need it with the crazy flavorful dressing. But feel free to add in some spring mix, if you wish.
The dressing is the real star here. For me (and for the Columbia) Lea and Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce is a must. In fact, The Columbia claims the title of being Lea and Perrin’s largest customer. This dressing gets better as it rests to allow the flavors to meld, so feel free to make it a day or so in advance.
Again, this dressing is bold, so be cautious about just pouring it all in. I add some dressing, toss, and taste to get it where I want it. It’s always easier to add more than it is to take it away.
The ham and cheese both call for them to be julienned or cut into matchstick sizes. I think it’s a great way to add some textural difference to the salad, but they will taste just the same however you decide to cut them.
This brings up another thing that I thought I’d share as a recipe developer. When an ingredient in a recipe lists the prep part before the ingredient name is means that you’ll need to prep it in that manner before measuring. For instance, the recipe calls for cup of julienned Swiss cheese,” so you’ll want to julienne it before measuring. If the recipe called for cup of Swiss cheese, julienned,” you’d measure it first, then cut it. Does that make sense? Educated cooks make better cooks, right?
Inside My Kitchen: Teddi Mellencamp Shares Her Recipe for a Quick and Healthy Chickpea Salad
Teddi Mellencamp doesn’t consider herself the “world’s best cook,” but the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star says you don’t have to be a chef to stay on track and be healthy. The wellness coach, 39, invited Us Weekly into her Beverly Hills kitchen to share a chickpea salad recipe from her new cookbook, ALL IN the Kitchen. Watch the exclusive “Inside My Kitchen” video above to see the Bravo personality get to work in the kitchen!
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As the daughter of musician John Mellencamp, Teddi says that a major priority for her is a good playlist while she cooks.
“A must have for me in the kitchen is music,” she told Us . “It makes it so much more fun to cook or prep with your family, listening to music, dancing and enjoying the time.
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The mom of three is often on the go and wanted to create a cookbook with quick, easy recipes for people who don’t have the time to make elaborate meals.
“I created this cookbook with fellow coaches, Chelsea Elder and Mary Cofan,” she explained. “We’re all hardworking moms and we like to create yummy, delicious foods that we can make with our families that we can take on the go or eat at home.”
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When it comes to getting her kids to eat healthy, Mellencamp admits she doesn’t have “every tip and trick,” but for daughter Slate, 6, she explains that “having different colors makes her excited to eat healthy.” She added that it also depends on what phase they’re currently in. “Their taste buds change throughout the years, so just keep giving them new things to try,” she added.
To find more recipes like this, check out Teddi’s new cookbook, ALL IN The Kitchen.
- 1-2 cucumbers, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tbs basil, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
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Everyday Salad Dressing Ingredients:
So many of you have made and loved my “everyday” salad dressing recipe over the past few years that I’ve since created a separate recipe post completely devoted to it if you would like to read more. ♡ But it’s basically just a great all-purpose salad dressing that comes together in minutes and goes with just about everything! To make it, you will need the following salad dressing ingredients:
- Olive oil: As always, I recommend using good-quality extra virgin olive oil when it comes to salad dressing recipes, since its flavor will really shine through.
- Lemon juice (or vinegar): We usually use freshly-squeezed lemon juice for this dressing. But if you don’t happen to have any fresh lemons on hand, you can sub in red wine vinegar instead.
- Dijon mustard: Which just adds some subtle flavor here and helps to round all of the flavors out. (Don’t worry, it won’t make it taste too mustard-y!)
- Garlic: I prefer to use minced or pressed fresh garlic in this dressing, but you can also sub in garlic powder if you prefer.
- Salt and black pepper: And finally, we will use fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to season the dressing.
*The recipe included below makes a small amount of salad dressing, which we find works great with the portions listed in the recipes. But some readers prefer to double the amount of dressing, or you can make a considerably larger batch (as shown in the photo above) if you would like to have some pre-made salad dressing ready to go in the fridge for later in the week.
45 Summer Salad Recipes Packed With the Season’s Best Ingredients
What do corn, tomatoes, peaches, berries, cucumbers, watermelon, and grilled meats all have in common? They’re all superstar ingredients in the best summer salad recipes.
Let’s get one thing straight: Salads don’t have to be boring or bland—in fact, when you load them with fresh summer fruits, veggies, and herbs, they quickly transform into crave-worthy, flavor-packed side dishes and meals. Summer salads can also be quite hearty, and they don’t need to always include greens. In fact, some of the most delicious and satisfying summer salad recipes have a completely different base, like pasta or quinoa. Some don’t have a base at all and simply feature a mash-up of fresh fruits, veggies, sometimes meats, and light, refreshing dressings. Mix ’em all together, and you’ve got yourself a flavor bomb in a bowl.
The bottom line is that there’s really no wrong way to enjoy a salad this summer. When you’ve got so much in-season produce (and perhaps a grill) at your disposal, you can make great salads all season long and never get bored of them. Need a good place to start? Try some of the great summer salad recipes below.
What You’ll Need To Make My Big Italian Salad
I suggest buying pre-washed romaine hearts so you don’t have to bother rinsing the leaves. If you buy a full head of romaine, be sure to dry the leaves completely after rinsing, otherwise the wet leaves will turn the dressing watery. I’m a big fan of salad spinners for this task, but if you don’t have one, a clean kitchen towel or paper towels both work well.
As for the veggies and cheese, I love a colorful mix of bell peppers, grape tomatoes, carrot ribbons, olives, cucumbers and a salty, tangy cheese such as ricotta salata or — if I’m in a Greek mood — feta. But feel free to improvise with whatever vegetables and cheese that you like.
The dressing goes in first. This is so important! This guarantees that your salad ingredients don't get soggy.
Then go with a grain or a protein, or anything else big and chunky. This protects your more delicate ingredients from getting wet.
Then the fixings. Little things like shaved nuts, raisins, cheeses. The ingredients that you want to stay dry until juuuust before you eat it.
And if you have any leafy greens, they go in last. That way when you turn the Mason jar over and unload it all into a bowl, the greens will make the salad bed. Genius!