Make boring salads a thing of the past with our top 10 healthy salad recipes that are all ready in under 30 minutes.
Most of us don’t eat as many vegetables as we should. Even with the best intentions it can be easy to fall short of the famous 5 A Day.
And while we may know that salads are an easy way to eat more veg, many of us associate them with limp, boring ingredients and bland flavours. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Our selection of 10 healthy salad recipes will show you that eating salads can be as delicious as it is nutritious.
We’ve gathered togrther our favourite quick and easy salads, all of which offer at least two portions of vegetables – many of them more. Each one is quick and easy so you can have it on your table in under 30 minutes.
1. Lively green salad recipe
A green salad may not sound that exciting but, really, it is what you make it. Our version shows the variety of tastes and flavours you can achieve with only green ingredients.
We’ve finely chopped cucumber, green peppers, spinach, celery and a handful of parsley, then tossed in garden peas, edamame beans and some sunflower seeds for a little crunch.
Dress your green salad in a little soy sauce for an injection of umami.
2. Roasted chickpea salad recipe
If you’re looking for a vegetarian salad that’s more substantial than most, this roasted chickpea salad is for you.
Drain tinned or jarred chickpeas and toss them with black pepper, cumin, paprika and a little olive oil. Spread out into one layer on a baking tray and roast at 200°C for 20-25 minutes until crispy.
These are great as a topping for a chopped salad, made using crisp lettuce, fresh tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, sweetcorn and avocado. Chop everything into small chunks then top with the chickpeas.
Mix three tablespoons of fat-free Greek yoghurt with one tablespoon of hot sauce and drizzle over to finish the salad.
3. Classic garden salad recipe
Everyone should know how to rustle up a classic garden salad. As the name suggests, it’s made from ingredients that can be grown in your garden, though most of us will of course be sourcing these elsewhere!
Simply mix together crisp lettuce leaves, chopped tomatoes, rounds of cucumber and a few slices of red onion. Season, drizzle over a little olive oil, perhaps some balsamic vinegar too, and serve alongside anything and everything. It’s a truly versatile dish.
4. Vibrant corn salad recipe
This is a real summer salad that goes well with grilled meats and fish, making it the perfect accompaniment to a barbecue.
Grill or bake corn on the cob. Once cooled, slice off the kernels.
Combine with halved cherry tomatoes, very thinly sliced red onion, tinned black beans (drained) and diced cucumber.
Dress with extra virgin olive oil, a little salt and pepper and a generous sprinkling of dried oregano. Toss well and finish with a few torn basil leaves.
5. Healthy Greek salad recipe
A Greek salad is a beautiful and versatile thing.
Perfect as a side dish to chicken or lamb, it’s also hearty and filling enough for a main course.
This is a recipe that’s only as good as the ingredients you use, so buy the best you can.
6. Simple tomato salad recipe
Perfectly ripe tomatoes take centre stage in this easy recipe, so use the best ones you can find. Any variety will work, from baby plums to heirloom tomatoes, so pick whichever look the tastiest.
Slice any large tomatoes and halve any small ones. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then drizzle generously with balsamic vinegar. Toss well, then leave to sit for 5-10 minutes.
Once the flavours have had a chance to meld, toss through some very finely sliced red onions and top your salad with a small sprinkling of feta cheese and a few basil leaves.
Serve alongside a simple green salad and some good quality wholemeal bread.
7. Asian-style salad recipe
This salad is similar to a coleslaw but replaces the heavy, mayo-based dressing with a lighter, Asian inspired sauce.
Toss together two handfuls of grated or julienned carrots and two handfuls of finely sliced red cabbage per person. Drizzle over a little soy sauce, a splash of rice wine vinegar and a tablespoon of sesame oil per person. Finish with chopped coriander leaves and sesame seeds.
Turn this into a main meal by transforming it into a noodle salad. Simply cook 50g of wholewheat noodles per person and toss through, adding a dash more sesame oil and soy sauce.
8. Sweet potato and avocado salad recipe
Creamy avocado, sweet potatoes and earthy tahini come together in delicious harmony in this hearty salad.
Chop two sweet potatoes into 1cm rounds, slice three bell peppers into strips, sprinkle with cumin, chilli flakes and black pepper. Drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil and toss everything together.
Roast for 25 minutes at 200°C.
Pile plates high with salad leaves and top with the roasted veg and half a sliced avocado per person.
In a ramekin or small bowl, mix together (per person) 1 tbsp thini, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp maple syrup or honey. Thin with a little water, drizzle over the salad and serve.
9. Healthy pasta salad recipe
Many pasta salads are made with lashings of mayonnaise, making them higher in fat and calories than you might realise.
Our version is much healthier, using extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice as an alternative dressing that won’t disappoint.
10. Lighter potato salad recipe
Replacing mayonnaise with fat-free yoghurt and extra virgin olive oil reduces the calories and replaces unhealthy saturated fats with healthy monounsaturated fats, making this potato salad recipe lighter than your average version.
We also add spring onions and sweetcorn to up the vegetable count. Although they’re very nutritious, potatoes don’t count as one of your 5 A Day.
Cut new potatoes into evenly sized chunks and boil them until soft but still holding their shape. Around a handful of potatoes is enough for each person. Drain and leave to cool.
Mix together 100g fat-free Greek yoghurt with a teaspoon of mustard, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, a large (drained) tin of sweetcorn, half a bunch of chopped spring onions and a handful of chopped chives or dill. Season and mix well.
While the potatoes are still a little warm, toss them gently in the dressing. Serve with oily fish and spring vegetables.
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