18 Easy Salad Recipes

Crunchy Mango and Avocado Salad

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Nidia Cueva

Even when life gets especially busy, you can still enjoy a fresh, satisfying salad at home or a gathering. We've curated our easy salad recipes that require little effort and yield flavorful rewards for all those occasions when time and energy are of the essence. Choose from main-event meal options like sugar snap pea salad with shredded rotisserie chicken, or go for simple sides like a classic Caesar or Caprese. Check out our best low-lift salad ideas here.

01 of 18

Italian Tuna Salad

Roman-Style Tuna Salad

Frederick Hardy II / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Christina Brockman

This Italian tuna salad combines oil-packed jarred tuna, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, juicy olives, and celery tossed in a lemony honey-mustard dressing. This recipe is a perfect example of how a handful of pantry ingredients can become a meal that sings, and it all comes together in 20 minutes.

02 of 18

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

Matt Taylor-Gross

Caprese salad comes from the island of Capri in Italy and captures the feeling of enjoying a long, lazy summer lunch while you're on vacation. This incredibly simple salad is dependent upon using the best quality ingredients, including ripe, in-season tomatoes.

03 of 18

Crunchy Mango and Avocado Salad

Crunchy Mango and Avocado Salad

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Nidia Cueva

Creamy avocado and juicy mango balance the crunch of Savoy and red cabbage in this slaw-like salad. Tender scallions, mint, cilantro, and toasted cashews play off the tangy, tahini-laced creamy lemon-ginger dressing.

04 of 18

Antipasto Salad

Antipasto Salad

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Debbie Wee

Salami, provolone, tomatoes, olives, and roasted peppers make up this crunchy, savory salad. It takes only 15 minutes of active work time to make.

05 of 18

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Few things say summer like watermelon. Jacques Pépin's staple warm-weather salad combines sweet melon and cool mint with savory olives, onion, and feta cheese.

06 of 18

Pasta Salad with Feta and Herbs

Pasta Salad with Feta and Herbs Recipe
Eric Wolfinger

This colorful Southern-inspired pasta salad from Mason Hereford’s Turkey and the Wolf gets a touch of tangy heat from hot sauce and loads of crunch from nutty sunflower seeds. Use Duke’s mayonnaise for an extra-tangy bite to the dressing.

07 of 18

Caesar Salad

Classic Caesar Salad

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Ali Domrongchai

Caesar salad is beloved for the big pay-off when just a handful of ingredients come together to make a robust, well-balanced salad. This recipe stays true to the original version of Caesar salad, with crunchy romaine leaves, toasty croutons, and a savory dressing made with anchovies and garlic.

08 of 18

Soba and Zucchini Noodle Salad

Soba and Zucchini Salad with Gochujang Dressing
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Tender buckwheat noodles and crispy strands of zucchini "noodles" soak up a pleasantly piquant dressing laced with both gochugaru and gochujang for a double hit of spicy Korean peppers mellowed by a touch of brown sugar.

09 of 18

Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Sugar Snap Pea Salad Recipe
Photo by Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Christine Keely / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer

Sweet sugar snap peas give this light summer salad from Ivan Conill’s Branch Line in Boston a satisfying crunch, while whole-milk ricotta adds heft with its mild, creamy richness. Shredded rotisserie chicken may be omitted for a vegetarian version, or you can substitute with flaked hot smoked salmon.

10 of 18

Shrimp Wedge Salad with Old Bay Breadcrumbs and Hot Sauce Dressing

Shrimp Wedge Salad Recipe
Greg DuPree

Taking a cue from chef Nina Compton at Bywater American Bistro, we’re adding a Crystal hot sauce–spiked dressing to this mash-up of a wedge salad and a po’boy sandwich. Toasting the breadcrumbs in Old Bay–infused oil doubles down on the rich shrimp-boil flavor.

11 of 18

Smoky Paprika Chicken and Crispy Chickpeas Over Escarole Salad

Salad with Crispy Chickpeas Recipe
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

The contrast between cool, lemony greens, warm spice-rubbed chicken, and crispy oven-baked chickpeas makes this main-course salad especially satisfying. Any sturdy salad green would be delicious here, from crunchy romaine to torn spinach leaves and thinly sliced cabbage. The salad takes just 25 minutes of active work time.

12 of 18

Summer Tomato Salad with Jicama and Avocado

Summer Tomato Salad with Jicama and Avocado Recipe
Aubrie Pick

Chef Traci des Jardins’ take on a classic, produce-forward summer salad features juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and lightly sweet slices of jicama. The simple lime dressing gets a hit of fresh, herbal brightness from plenty of cilantro leaves.

13 of 18

Thai Cucumber Salad

Thai Cucumber Salad

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Amelia Rampe

This easy and refreshing salad boasts a punch of flavor from ginger, vinegar, and chile. Cucumber salad has long been a part of Thai cuisine; its origins can be traced back centuries to the melding of culinary traditions and ingredients from Chinese traders in the region. 

14 of 18

Shrimp Salad with Hominy, Arugula, and Lime

Shrimp Salad with Hominy, Arugula, and Lime
© Sarah Bolla

With similar ingredients as you'd find tucked into a taco, this brightly colored shrimp salad is light but very much satisfying. Enjoy with chips and beer on a hot day.

15 of 18

Green Goddess Chicken Salad

Green Goddess Chicken Salad

© Petrina Tinslay

Green Goddess dressing — a mix of mayonnaise, sour cream, herbs, anchovies, and lemon — was created at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the 1920s, as a tribute to an actor starring in a play called The Green Goddess. The creamy dressing is typically tossed with a green salad, but it's also delicious in this chicken salad, made with a rotisserie bird.

16 of 18

Chopped Kale Salad with Prosciutto and Figs

Chopped Kale Salad with Prosciutto and Figs
© Con Poulos

Television chef Giada De Laurentiis tops her colorful chopped salad of greens, figs, and prosciutto with shavings of Gorgonzola. She freezes the cheese first, so it's firm enough to shave, but you can always crumble it over the salad instead.

17 of 18

Raw and Charred Zucchini Salad

Raw and Charred Zucchini Salad
© John Kernick

When zucchini is at its freshest and most plentiful, make this salad; the feta, pine nuts, fresh herbs, and tomatoes are all fantastic with it.

18 of 18

Tomato and Peach Salad with Crisp Tofu

Tomato-and-Peach Salad with Crisp Tofu
© Con Poulos

Chef Hugh Acheson combines sweet, salty, spicy, and tangy flavors in this exceptional summer tomato salad, tossing peaches, pickled serranos, and crisp tofu together with a zippy ginger-lime dressing.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles