Healthy, Make-Ahead Salad Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Greek Potato Salad

In this healthy potato salad recipe, a white-wine vinaigrette dresses the potatoes, tomatoes, feta and olives. Waxy potatoes, such as red and yellow, make the best potato salad because they hold their shape when cooked. Keep the potato skins on for more fiber and potassium.

Pasta Salad with Black Beans & Avocado Dressing

Rating: 4.44 stars
9
Everyone will love this pasta salad recipe that's packed with tomatoes, corn and black beans. We lighten up the creamy dressing with avocado for a healthier version of a picnic favorite.

Chickpea, Artichoke & Avocado Salad with Apple-Cider Dressing

Rating: 4.75 stars
4
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.

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.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas

Rating: 2.5 stars
4
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.

Sweet Potato, Kale & Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

These hearty kale salads hold up well for 4 days, making them perfect for meal-prep lunches. To keep the ingredients from getting soggy, dress this salad and top it with peanuts just before serving. For a delicious vegan option, swap in roasted tofu for the chicken breast (see Associated Recipes).

Green Salad with Edamame & Beets

Rating: 3.33 stars
6
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.

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.

Mason Jar Power Salad with Chickpeas & Tuna

Rating: 5 stars
2
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.

Vegan Creamy Coleslaw

Classic coleslaw goes vegan in this easy barbecue side dish recipe. Eggless or vegan mayonnaise's mild flavor is indistinguishable from regular mayo in this coleslaw flavored with Dijon and cider vinegar. Look for it in the condiment section of large grocery stores or natural-foods stores.

Cucumber Pasta Salad

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

Shrimp Ceviche

Rating: 4.66 stars
29
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.
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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.
Mediterranean Broccoli Pasta Salad
Rating: Unrated
3
We've loaded this healthy pasta salad with vegetables and flavors of the Mediterranean. Sun-dried tomatoes and a touch of lemon zest jazz up the dressing, while tender-crisp broccoli florets cook alongside the pasta, making assembly (and cleanup!) a breeze.

Cabbage Slaw

Rating: 4.8 stars
5

Although it's not a traditional topping for American tacos, cabbage slaw is an essential ingredient when making fish tacos. This colorful, vinegar-dressed coleslaw can be made in just a few minutes. Use preshredded cabbage to make it even quicker.