Diabetes-Friendly Salad Recipes

Find healthy, delicious salad recipes for diabetes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Cucumber Vinegar Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 7
This cucumber vinegar salad has the perfect balance between sweet and sour flavors, plus a hint of fresh dill. The red onion adds nice crunch. Enjoy this salad right after you're done making it or store it away to snack on for later.
Olivia Dansky headshot
By Liv Dansky

Sesame Kohlrabi & Chicken Salad

Rating: 5 stars 3
Kohlrabi (a bulbous vegetable related to broccoli and Brussels sprouts but with a milder, sweet flavor) and almonds add crunch to this crowd-pleasing salad. Baked tofu or shrimp can be used instead of the chicken.
headshot of Laura Kanya in a blue shirt against a pink background
By Laura Kanya

Warm Butternut Squash & Kale Salad with Goat Cheese & Pepitas

Rating: 5 stars 1
This healthy salad makes the perfect side dish for the holidays. Butternut squash turns tender in the oven, while goat cheese and pumpkin seeds add creaminess and crunch. Letting the kale and lemon juice sit helps tenderize the leafy green, so don't skip that step.
Portrait of Wendy Lopez
By Wendy Lopez

Winter Greens Bowl

This one-pan meal packs in lots of plant-based protein and flavor thanks to beans and quinoa, while a creamy lemon-garlic dressing completes the dish. 
By Mila Clarke

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese & Pomegranate

Rating: 5 stars 2
This gorgeous warm salad with nutty roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet-tart pomegranate seeds and creamy goat cheese is perfect for any winter meal--from a weeknight dinner to Christmas dinner or any other holiday celebration. The recipe is easily doubled if you are entertaining a crowd: just be sure to spread the sprouts out (use 2 pans if necessary) so they roast instead of steaming.
By Carolyn Casner

No-Cook Black Bean Salad

Rating: 5 stars 9
A classic black bean salad is a must for picnics and potlucks. This vegan version gets its creaminess from blended avocado. Any mix of salad greens will work well, but try arugula if you want to give this hearty salad a peppery kick.
Hilary Meyer
By Hilary Meyer

Tuna Salad Spread

Rating: 4 stars 1
This tuna spread recipe is a healthy twist on tuna salad and uses avocado and Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise. Serve it on cucumber slices, butter lettuce leaves or whole-grain crackers.
By Lauren Lastowka

Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dressing

Rating: 5 stars 4
Pure maple syrup adds body and rich flavor to the dressing, providing a perfect counterpoint to the smoked cheese.
By Ruth Cousineau

Classic Sesame Noodles with Chicken

Rating: 3.5 stars 7
Sesame noodles become a satisfying meal with lean chicken and tons of veggies in this quick, healthy noodle recipe. Be sure to rinse the spaghetti until it's cold, then give it a good shake in the colander until it's well drained. Are you a spiralizing pro? Swap 5 cups of raw zucchini, carrot or other veggie "noodles" for the cooked pasta.
Eating Well Bio Page
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Superfood Chopped Salad with Salmon & Creamy Garlic Dressing

Rating: 4.5 stars 4
Curly kale forms the base of this salad, but you could use chard or spinach. To the greens, add a multitude of chopped veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage and carrots. Finish with rich salmon for protein and a drizzle of creamy yogurt dressing to bring it all together.
By Carolyn Casner

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.
Eating Well Bio Page
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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
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Inspiration and Ideas

Sunomono (Japanese Cucumber Salad)
Rating: Unrated 6
This version of sunomono uses more readily available English or slicing cucumbers, but if you live near an Asian market you could substitute Japanese cucumbers. Some recipes call for salting the cucumbers first, but we found that squeezing them in paper towels removed enough excess moisture without adding additional sodium. This Japanese-inspired salad is cool, crisp and simply delicious.
Breakfast Salad with Egg & Salsa Verde Vinaigrette
Rating: Unrated 1
Salad for breakfast? Don't knock it until you've tried it. We love how this meal gives you 3 whole cups of vegetables to start your day.
Chicken & Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

The key to this chicken salad is the homemade bacon dressing, which is made directly in the pan used to cook the bacon. Brussels sprouts are tossed with the dressing in the warm pan, allowing the residual heat to gently wilt the shredded sprouts.