Healthy, Make-Ahead Salad Recipes

Find healthy, delicious, make-ahead lunch salad recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Flat-Belly Salad

Rating: Unrated
3
This salad is a helpful tool for weight loss because it provides a good balance of fiber, protein and healthy fats from loads of veggies and beans, all tossed in a tangy apple-cider vinaigrette. To meal-prep these for lunch throughout the week, pack the dressing and the salad separately and make sure your veggies are thoroughly dried before packing them together.

Chopped Rainbow Salad Bowls with Peanut Sauce

Rating: Unrated
1
Make good use of crunchy and colorful seasonal produce in these meal-prep-friendly vegetable bowls. With just 30 minutes of prep, you get four healthy lunches that are ready to grab-and-go. We use bulgur, which cooks faster and is higher in fiber than brown rice, but you could swap in quinoa (or any hearty whole grain). Feel free to add chopped cooked chicken, shrimp or tofu for extra protein.

Tuna & White Bean Salad

Rating: Unrated
12
The time-honored Italian pairing of canned tuna and cannellini beans makes a super-simple, satisfying lunch. Serve over salad greens, on grilled whole-wheat country bread or tucked in a whole-wheat pita pocket.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas

Rating: Unrated
3
This healthy high-fiber salad comes together in just 10 minutes. Serve it right away or pack it in individual servings for four super-satisfying high-fiber lunches for the week ahead. To cut down on prep time, we're using preshredded Brussels sprouts from the produce department and store-bought roasted chickpeas. Look for roasted chickpea snacks with the healthy snacks or nuts at your grocery store.

Green Salad with Edamame & Beets

Rating: Unrated
3
This big salad is a feast for the eyes and an everyday way to incorporate nutrient-rich beets and plant-based protein from edamame (green soybeans). If you're not a fan of cilantro, mix in freshly chopped basil or dill instead.

Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad Bowls

Rating: Unrated
2
Pasta salad is a classic summer side dish, but adding protein (leftover grilled chicken is perfect here) and extra greens makes it a super-satisfying lunch. We use baby spinach, but arugula or baby kale works too. Top with a bright and tangy basil vinaigrette just before serving. The great news is that these easy meal-prep lunches take just 20 minutes to prepare--that's 4 days of lunches in less than 30 minutes.

Spinach & Strawberry Meal-Prep Salad

Rating: Unrated
1
One of our most popular salad recipes, Spinach-Strawberry Salad with Feta & Walnuts (see Associated Recipes), gets a makeover in these simple yet totally satisfying meal-prep spinach salad bowls. They require minimal prep and can be customized to your taste. Swap in roasted salmon for the chicken thighs, and almonds or pecans for the walnuts, and use any fresh berry that looks good at your market.

Broccoli-Cranberry Salad

Rating: Unrated
1
This easy broccoli salad is tossed in a creamy dressing and spiked with sweet cranberries, Cheddar cheese and toasty walnuts. This easy side is great for lunch--add shredded chicken to make it a main dish.

Green Goddess Salad with Chicken

In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss and chicken salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. Any extra dressing is delicious served over grilled chicken or flaky white fish, such as cod or flounder.

Crunchy Mexican Salad with Spicy Cilantro Vinaigrette

A spicy cilantro vinaigrette gives this black bean salad Mexican flair. We used the beans for protein, but if you have cooked chicken on hand, you can use that instead. Also, if you have it, finish the salad with a quarter of an avocado for a boost of healthy fats.

Shrimp Ceviche

Rating: Unrated
27
Traditional ceviche recipes consists of raw seafood tossed with an acidic marinade (think: citrus juice or vinegar) that “cooks” the fish. In this shrimp ceviche recipe, we cook the shrimp before marinating it in lemon, lime and orange juices, plus chiles for some heat. Avocado adds creaminess to help the dish come together. Serve this shrimp ceviche with tostones (fried plantain chips) or tortilla chips. Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

Spinach & Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette

Inspired by the classic warm party dip, this simple salad can be served up right away or divided into small lidded containers for a week of delicious lunches. To keep the hard-boiled eggs tasting fresh, we suggest adding them to your salad just before serving or in the morning before packing your lunch to go.

Inspiration and Ideas

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Rating: Unrated
48
Nobody will miss the meat in this colorful, zesty vegetarian taco salad. The rice and bean mixture can be made ahead and the salad quickly assembled at mealtime. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Roasted Veggie & Quinoa Salad

Quick, simple and packed with satisfying protein and fiber, this salad makes a perfect lunch or easy one-dish dinner.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Rating: Unrated
2

This refreshing fruit salad is a classic combination that will be the favorite at any potluck or cookout. Serve with a creamy yogurt dressing to take this side (or dessert) to the next level.