Healthy, Make-Ahead Salad Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Spinach & Strawberry Meal-Prep Salad

Rating: 5 stars 4
One of our most popular salad recipes, Spinach-Strawberry Salad with Feta & Walnuts, 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.
By Carolyn A Hodges, RD

Sweet Potato, Kale & Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

Rating: 5 stars 1
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).
By Carolyn A Hodges, RD

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.
Katie Webster
By Katie Webster

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas

Rating: 3.5 stars 11
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.
By Carolyn A Hodges, RD

Pasta Salad with Black Beans & Avocado Dressing

Rating: 4.5 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.
A portrait of Breana Killeen, M.P.H., RD
By Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD

Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps

Rating: 4.5 stars 3
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.
Katie Webster
By Katie Webster

Sesame Chicken & Cabbage Salad with Crunchy Ramen Noodles

Rating: 4 stars 14
This salad is crisp, crunchy and cool with shredded cabbage, carrots and chicken breast tossed with toasted ramen noodles and slivered almonds. The dressing is an aromatic combination of orange, sesame, ginger and soy. You may want to double the dressing and save some for a salad the next day.
Eating Well Bio Page
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Mason Jar Power Salad with Chickpeas & Tuna

Rating: 5 stars 7
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.
Katie Webster
By Katie Webster

Green Goddess Salad

Rating: 4 stars 7
This gorgeous green goddess salad combines fresh shrimp, cucumber, artichoke hearts and cherry tomatoes with homemade dressing. The green goddess dressing is beautifully green and creamy with avocado (loaded with good-for-you fats) and fresh herbs. Buttermilk and a dash of rice vinegar add tang.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Crispy Chickpea Grain Bowl with Lemon Vinaigrette

Rating: 5 stars 5
Our favorite part of these vegetarian grain bowls is the tangy lemon vinaigrette, which ties together a satisfying combo of quinoa, toasted pumpkin seeds, and roasted chickpeas and kale. Whip them up for easy meal-prep lunches or a healthy and satisfying dinner.
Sara Haas Headshot
By Sara Haas, RDN

Broccoli-Bacon Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 27
A picnic favorite, this salad combines broccoli, water chestnuts, cranberries and just a little bacon for delicious results. Our version has plenty of creaminess without all the fat. Make it once and it will become a regular on your backyard barbecue menu.
Eating Well Bio Page
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Chopped Salad with Sriracha Tofu & Peanut Dressing

Rating: 4 stars 5
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.
By Carolyn A Hodges, RD
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Inspiration and Ideas

18 Pack-and-Go Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work
Bust out of your lunch rut with our pack-and-go healthy lunch recipes for work. And if you work remotely, we have plenty of work from home lunch ideas that are easy and will still save you time. These fast lunch ideas will also work for students who need a healthy school lunch to energize them for after school activities, whether they're young kids or teens. But here you'll find more than enough lunch ideas for adults, too. From easy salad recipes to hearty soup recipes to healthy wrap recipes you can make ahead, these new ideas for lunch are delicious ways to stay satisfied throughout the afternoon.
20 Veggie-Packed Lunches for When You're Bored of Salad
We get it: salads are healthy, satisfying options for midday, but sometimes we need some change in our routine. Sandwiches, wraps and grain bowls are ideal midday meals to help you stay full and feeling good.
Chopped Cobb Salad
Rating: 5 stars 1

This single-serving recipe for Cobb salad swaps chicken in for bacon, which makes it a great source of protein for lunch. If you prefer another salad dressing, feel free to use that instead of our honey-mustard vinaigrette.