Healthy, Make-Ahead Salad Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas

Rating: 5 stars 2
In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss cheese and chickpea salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. The extra dressing is delicious served with grilled vegetables.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Cucumber Pasta Salad

Rating: 5 stars 2
This light and tangy cucumber pasta salad is fresh and bright. The orecchiette pasta holds the dressing for flavor in every bite, but you can use another small pasta shape if you like. This easy salad is perfect for a warm day or to serve as a lunch dish for company! For a fruitier flavor, try apple-cider vinegar in place of white distilled vinegar.
By Sarah Epperson

Spinach & Strawberry Meal-Prep Salad

Rating: 5 stars 3
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.

Chickpea, Artichoke & Avocado Salad with Apple-Cider Dressing

Rating: 4.5 stars 5
This delicious 400-calorie 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.
By Hilary Meyer

Mashed Chickpea Salad with Dill & Capers

Rating: 5 stars 3
This creamy yet light vegan salad is full of bright, herby goodness. On its own, it's great to serve alongside a sandwich or veggie burger in place of potato salad or coleslaw. You can also make it into a light lunch by adding a handful of arugula to enjoy it as a green salad. Double the recipe and refrigerate to have on hand throughout the week.

Green Salad with Edamame & Beets

Rating: 3 stars 9
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.
By Katie Webster

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Lemon & Cumin

Rating: 5 stars 3
Don't skip salting the cucumbers in this quick cucumber salad recipe—just 10 minutes pulls out some of their excess moisture, concentrating the flavor and keeping the salad from being watered down. Serve this smashed cucumber salad at a summer cookout alongside burgers and hot dogs.
A portrait of Carolyn Malcoun
By Carolyn Malcoun

Couscous & Chickpea Salad

Cooked couscous and canned chickpeas come together in this quick lunch salad. The basil vinaigrette makes it taste anything but basic! When in season, we recommend adding fresh chopped tomatoes for a spin on tabbouleh.
By Katie Webster

Lemony Lentil Salad with Feta

Rating: 5 stars 4
This delicious and healthy lentil salad comes together in just 30 minutes and makes a wonderful hot-weather meal. Serve with whole-wheat pitas, if desired.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps

Rating: 5 stars 2
We love the retro vibe of these egg salad lettuce wraps. Iceberg lettuce makes a perfect low-carb swap for bread to serve the egg salad.
By Katie Webster

Tuna & White Bean Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 7
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.
By Ruth Cousineau

Mason Jar Power Salad with Chickpeas & Tuna

Rating: 5 stars 6
This power salad will keep you fueled for hours, thanks to 26 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. Tossing the dressing and kale, and then letting it stand in the jar, softens it enough so you don't need to massage or cook it to make it tender.
By Katie Webster
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Inspiration and Ideas

20 Make-Ahead Sides for Your Next Outdoor Gathering
Whether you're grilling burgers and hot dogs or serving up grilled chicken and kebabs, these cool salads and grillable sides are sure to impress your guests.
Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas
Rating: Unrated 8
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.
Chopped Salad with Sriracha Tofu & Peanut Dressing
Rating: 5 stars 3

Prep four days' worth of high-protein vegan lunches using just four easy ingredients from your local specialty grocery store, including a veggie-heavy salad mix as a base. Because this salad mix is hearty, you can dress these bowls up to 24 hours before serving to allow the flavors in this healthy chopped salad to marry. If you can't find a hearty mix, go with broccoli slaw or shredded Brussels sprouts.