25 Green Salads to Serve with Any Meal

Seaweed and Greens Salad
Photo: Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox

The green salad is a timeless mealtime staple, equally at home as a decadent brunch side, the main dish for lunch, or as an appetizer course for dinner. The salads featured here are flavorful, simple, and sure to please. From Classic Caesar to Lemony Waldorf to Charred Cabbage Salad with Pecan Dukkah and Chile-Lime Butter, this is Food & Wine's collection of our favorite green salad recipes.

01 of 25

Escarole Salad with Red Quinoa and Hazelnuts

Escarole Salad with Red Quinoa and Hazelnuts
© Con Poulos

Chef Marco Canora likes quinoa because it mimics the satisfying texture and starchiness of a grain. He uses the red variety in this crunchy and fresh winter salad.

02 of 25

Charred Cabbage Salad with Pecan Dukkah and Chile-Lime Butter

charred cabbage salad
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Chef Nick Cobarruvias draws on his Mexican heritage, layering complex flavor combinations into dishes like this crisp-tender cabbage salad. He seasons the charred cabbage with chile-lime butter, made mildly spicy from árbol chiles and bright from lime zest. The pecan dukkah adds earthiness from the cumin and pops of citrus from the coriander, plus a lovely nutty flavor and texture from toasted pecans and sesame seeds.

03 of 25

Classic Caesar Salad

Classic Caesar Salad
© Marcus Nilsson

This classic Caesar salad is loaded with plenty of garlic, anchovies, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It's also fast and easy to make.

04 of 25

Little Gem Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Little Gem Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
© Sara Remington

Chef Nancy Silverton's lovely salad, adapted from her Mozza Cookbook, features Little Gem lettuce, a smaller, sweeter variety of romaine. If you can't find it, use hearts of romaine instead.

05 of 25

Lemony Waldorf Salad

Lemony Waldorf Salad
© Quentin Bacon

For this refreshingly crunchy salad, chef Mark Peel adds romaine lettuce, frisée, and sliced radishes to the classic Waldorf salad mix of apples, celery, and walnuts. In place of the traditional mayonnaise-based dressing, he makes a lemon-walnut oil vinaigrette flavored with cumin.

06 of 25

Greens, Avocado, and Blueberry Salad

Greens, Avocado and Blueberry Salad
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Food scholar and cookbook author Jessica B. Harris keeps specialty salts and vinegars on hand to bring instant interest to salad dressings. Here, a honey-ginger white balsamic is the backbone of a sweet, fragrant dressing that adds a mildly piquant kick to the fresh peppery greens and creamy avocado in this colorful side salad.

07 of 25

Grilled Asparagus Salad

Grilled Asparagus Salad
© Christina Holmes

Chef Bobby Flay makes this delightful grilled asparagus salad with sweet grape tomatoes, briny kalamata olives, and sharp white cheddar. Each bite brings out a different combination of ingredients.

08 of 25

Spinach and Smoked Salmon Salad with Lemon-Dill Dressing

Spinach and Smoked Salmon Salad with Lemon-Dill Dressing
CHRISTINA HOLMES

This refreshingly crunchy, tangy salad makes for an excellent spring lunch or super-quick dinner. It's ready in just 15 minutes.

09 of 25

Chopped Italian Salad

Chopped Italian Salad
© Karen Mordechai

Antipasto ingredients are sliced and diced to make a fun, flexible chopped salad. We've thrown in our favorites, and so should you. Add the dressing ingredients to the bowl and mix them when you toss the salad — it's the Italian way.

10 of 25

Arugula Salad with Olives, Feta, and Dill

Arugula Salad with Olives, Feta and Dill
© Maura McEvoy

To jazz up arugula salad and give it a slightly Greek twist, chef Michael Symon tosses it with chopped fresh dill, briny Greek feta cheese, and kalamata olives. He finishes the salad with extra-virgin Greek olive oil, which he says has a pure flavor and is generally more affordable than olive oil from Italy.

11 of 25

Chopped Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Chopped Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
© Quentin Bacon

This is the perfect salad for people who love blue cheese. Cheese expert Laura Werlin whisks some cheese into the vinaigrette, then sprinkles more on top of the salad before serving.

12 of 25

Boston Lettuce with Cilantro and Walnuts

Boston Lettuce with Cilantro and Walnuts
© Martin Morrell

Chef Katya Drozdova serves simple salads like this one at her Moscow restaurants. The combination of cilantro and walnuts is a distinctly Georgian touch.

13 of 25

Seaweed and Greens Salad

Seaweed and Greens Salad
Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox

This hearty salad blends sea greens and land greens. Fresh salad greens, carrots, radishes, and cucumber get a boost of salinity and texture from three different types of delicious seaweeds: kelp, dulse, and Irish moss. The trio of mineral-forward sea vegetables is nicely balanced by rice vinegar dressing.

14 of 25

Celery, Grilled Grape, and Mushroom Salad

Celery, Grilled Grape and Mushroom Salad
© Con Poulos

"Celery is a vegetable people either love or hate, and we try to get people to love all their vegetables," says chef Amanda Cohen. She sets off celery's bitterness and crunch with meaty oyster mushrooms and grapes that have been grilled until almost bursting.

15 of 25

Watercress Salad with Verjus Vinaigrette

Watercress Salad with Verjus Vinaigrette
© Anson Smart

Chef Corey Lee fries almonds and peels grapes for his compelling salad. At home, use roasted marcona almonds and unpeeled green grapes.

16 of 25

Big Italian Salad

Big Italian Salad
© Quentin Bacon

Part green salad, part antipasto salad, this recipe combines lettuce, celery, onion, peperoncini, olives, and cherry tomatoes — all tossed in a dressing made with olive oil, vinegar, and a little mayonnaise.

17 of 25

Asian Pear and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese

Asian Pear and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese
© Rinne Allen

This simple salad has a perfect mix of bitter (arugula), sweet (Asian pear), tangy (lemon dressing), and crunchy (pumpkin seeds). Try it with green apples or Bosc pears if Asian pears are hard to find.

18 of 25

Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade

Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade
© Greg DuPree

Chef Nancy Silverton's smart and delicious play on a classic antipasto plate is quick to prepare and hits all the right notes. A crunchy base of shredded iceberg lettuce is topped with creamy bocconcini (mozzarella balls), Genoa salami, spicy-tangy pepperoncini, and green olives.

19 of 25

Mixed Greens and Herb Salad with Figs and Walnuts

Mixed-Greens-and-Herb Salad with Figs and Walnuts
© John Kernick

Using whole herb leaves adds bursts of flavor to this salad. If you can find good fresh figs, use them here in place of dried ones.

20 of 25

Super-Simple Green Salad

Supersimple Green Salad
Ditte Isager

This very easy salad is a staple on Nadine Levy Redzepi's table because it's fresh, tasty, and completely versatile.

21 of 25

Bibb Lettuce Salad with Vinegar-Roasted Beets

Bibb Lettuce Salad with Vinegar-Roasted Beets
© Con Poulos

Chef Jamie Malone roasts beets in vinegar so they're sweet and tangy all the way through, as if they were dressed from within. F&W Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple takes Malone's vinegar-roasted beets and adds them to this tasty salad.

22 of 25

Spring Gem Salad with Soft Herbs and Labneh Toasts

Spring Gem Salad With Soft Herbs and Labneh Toasts
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Prop Styling by Julia Bayless / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn

Chef Nancy Silverton says the first sign of spring is when she puts this salad on the menu at Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles. She dresses the asparagus, peas, radishes, and sugar snap peas with a lemon vinaigrette, then offers toasts topped with labneh alongside, turning this ode to spring produce into a light lunch or first course for dinner.

23 of 25

Kale Salad with Miso and Pistachios

Kale Salad with Miso and Pistachios
© Madeleine Hill

Chef Andrew Zimmern breaks from the standard kale salad by adding pistachios and sesame seeds for rich nuttiness and a bright, vinegary miso dressing.

24 of 25

Oma's Green Mountain Salad

Oma’s Green Mountain Salad
Eva Kolenko

In this seasonal salad, Chicago chef Sarah Grueneberg takes inspiration from the translation of her last name and the translation of her restaurant name (both mean "green mountain," in German and Italian, respectively). She amps up a zesty buttermilk dressing with charred ramps (scallions would also be delicious), then drizzles the dressing over crisp Little Gem lettuce, celery, and baby turnips.

25 of 25

Greens Pasta Salad

Greens Pasta Salad
© Con Poulos

Food & Wine Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple dresses pasta with a tangy and creamy mix of buttermilk, vinegar, and mayo, then mixes in plenty of greens to add a fresh, bright flavor.

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