Healthy, Make-Ahead Salad Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Chickpea, Artichoke & Avocado Salad with Apple-Cider Dressing

Rating: 4.75 stars
3
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.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas

Rating: 2.5 stars
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 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.

Green Salad with Edamame & Beets

Rating: 3.33 stars
4
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.

Mason Jar Power Salad with Chickpeas & Tuna

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

Shrimp Ceviche

Rating: 4.66 stars
20
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.

Tortellini Salad

Rating: 5 stars
2
A tomato-rich dressing boosts the flavor and lowers calories and fat in this tortellini salad (the dressing is also great on green salads or grilled fish). Roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes add a good dose of vitamins A, C and fiber.

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Rating: 4.63 stars
23
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.

Mediterranean Broccoli Pasta Salad

Rating: 5 stars
2
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.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Rating: 5 stars
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.

Quinoa Avocado Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars
2
Protein-packed quinoa pairs with creamy avocado in this refreshing grain salad. It's the perfect make-ahead side dish to bring on a picnic or take to a potluck. Or pack it for lunch or enjoy it as a light dinner.

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).
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Inspiration and Ideas

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.

Moroccan Kidney Bean & Chickpea Salad

Rating: Unrated
4
The bold flavors of the lemon-cumin dressing in this healthy bean salad recipe make it a wonderful side dish to grilled beef and lamb, yet it's also a stellar meatless main when served with whole-wheat couscous.

Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad Bowls

Rating: 5 stars
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.