Our Top Salad Recipes
There’s no denying that healthy eating and salads go hand in hand. A bowlful of fresh, crunchy, veggie goodness is your best friend when you want a tasty lunch or dinner that’s low in calories and big on vitamins and nutrients.
While it’s hard to get excited about a plate of green leaves, we’re here to prove that salads NEVER have to be boring! Whether they’re a side or a main meal, there are so many different flavour combos and twists that you can use to give your salad some life. From a squeeze of zingy citrus, to a handful of carby pasta or quinoa, our top salad recipes are packed with flavour.
BLT Pasta Salad
This BLT Pasta Salad is a salad for people who think they don’t like salads! It has the typical salad-y base of tomatoes and lettuce, but we’ve loaded it with plenty of pasta and salty bacon too.
This is the ideal choice if you don’t want to do loads of chopping, and it turns from a handful of simple ingredients into a filling meal in just 20 minutes. Even with a decent amount of pasta and a creamy dressing, this recipe is only 448 calories per serving. Why not halve the portion and serve it as a side dish at your next barbecue?
Drenched in oil and loaded with olives and feta cheese, a traditional Greek Salad may be delicious, but it’s not as slimming friendly as we might wish. The good news is that we’ve created a recipe that delivers the unmistakable fresh flavours of this much-loved salad, for a fraction of the calories.
The magic of this recipe is all in the dressing – don’t be thrown when you spot pickling liquid in the ingredients list! We found that mixing a couple of tablespoons of juice from any jar of pickled vegetables with the rest of the salad dressing ingredients creates the best flavour. It’s so much lighter than olive oil, while still giving your salad leaves a delicious tang.
Courgette Ribbon, Lemon and Feta Salad
If you’re craving something refreshing, this Courgette Ribbon, Lemon and Feta Salad won’t let you down. With zesty lemon and salty feta, you just know that every mouthful is bursting with fresh flavours.
This is the dream salad for anyone who isn’t a fan of lettuce – you won’t be needing any iceberg, there’s no rocket in sight and you can forget about a bag of mixed leaves! Instead, use a vegetable peeler to carve your raw courgettes into paper thin ribbons. These make up the base of your salad, giving it a perfect crunch.
Herby Lemon Chicken Salad
This might look like your typical chicken salad, but wait until you try it! Our Herby Lemon Chicken Salad is what happens when sweet, crunchy vegetables meet juicy, lemon-infused chicken breast.
For a real kick of zingy citrus, we’ve marinated the chicken in lemon zest and juice, along with plenty of aromatic herbs. What really sets these flavours apart is the pinch of sumac in the marinade – it’s a reddish coloured spice made from dried berries, and it has a really lovely citrusy taste. You won’t regret picking some of this up and keeping it in the cupboard; it can be used time and time again with meat, fish or vegetables.
This is one of our favourite salads for a light lunch! At just 284 calories, it’s super slimming friendly – why not add a wholemeal bread roll on the side to make it even more filling?
Very Green Zingy Kale Salad
This Very Green Zingy Kale Salad will make you look forward to eating your greens! It’s the ultimate bowlful of green goodness, and it tastes just as vibrant as it looks. Packed with kale, green beans, spinach, grapes and apples, a serving is sure to help you munch your way to your 5-a-day.
Adding fruit into your salads is a great way to explore new flavours and keep them interesting! The hint of sweetness from the fruit in this recipe is perfect for balancing out the slightly bitter tang of the kale. Make sure you follow the recipe carefully when it comes to blanching your veggies so that they don’t end up overcooked and soggy!
Thanks to the quinoa, this salad is filling as a meal on its own, although we love to serve a smaller portion as a side dish for so many different recipes. Try it with Salmon Fish Fingers or this Tex Mex Chicken!
Chicken Waldorf Salad
While we’re on the subject of fruity salads, we can’t forget to mention this unmissable Chicken Waldorf Salad. It’s another recipe that’s great for people who want to dodge the lettuce, with crunchy textures coming instead from celery, apples, grapes and walnuts.
This recipe is perfect for rustling up if you have some leftover cooked chicken in the fridge. In no time at all you can be tucking into the juicy chicken and sweet fruit, all tossed in our lemony yoghurt dressing. This is just the salad you need on a warm summer’s day!
Summer Pineapple, Lime, Feta and Quinoa Salad
No matter what time of the year it is, this Summer Pineapple, Lime, Feta and Quinoa Salad tastes like sunshine. Eat it out in the garden in the summertime, or dish it up in colder months when you need a taste of holiday in a bowl.
Served as a side dish or main meal, this is a satisfying medley of juicy pineapple chunks, red and green peppers, creamy feta cheese and fluffy quinoa. With a good squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of coriander, this salad might come together quickly, but it delivers big flavours every time!
Tuna Niçoise Pasta Salad
This hearty salad is inspired by the classic French recipe. Traditionally made with tuna, beans, eggs, olives and potatoes, we’ve swapped spuds for pasta (although you could totally stick to potatoes if you prefer).
To make our Tuna Niçoise Pasta Salad super slimming friendly, we’re not using any oil in the dressing. Instead, mix together fat free yoghurt, a little Dijon mustard, lemon juice, honey and the perfect balance of herbs and seasoning to create a creamy dressing that complements all the flavours in your salad.
Despite being just 357 calories per portion, this salad is packed with protein and pasta to fill you up and power you through your day.
Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad
With crunchy bacon, Parmesan cheese and its signature creamy dressing, it’s no wonder a Caesar salad is one of the most famous salads around. If you’re after a lower calorie version of this classic dish, look no further than our Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad.
We might have ditched the croutons and made our own slimming-friendly dressing, but you better believe we’ve kept all those irresistible flavours! The garlicky dressing tastes so good with the salty bacon and tangy Parmesan – you won’t feel one bit like you’re missing out!
You can throw this together in just 20 minutes too, so it’s great when you want something fresh, flavourful and fuss-free.
Balsamic Steak and Feta Salad
We challenge you to find a salad recipe that’s tastier, faster or lower in calories than this Balsamic Steak and Feta Salad! Ready in well under 10 minutes, it’s only 179 calories per serving and your taste buds will thank you for the combo of juicy steak and salty feta cheese.
The key to plating this recipe up so quickly is prepping your steaks in advance – you won’t want to skip the marinating as it really ramps up the flavours. Get the meat covered in the marinade and set it in the fridge while you go about your day.
The herby dressing is one of our favourite things about this salad. It’s zingy and aromatic and it gives the finished dish such a fragrant freshness!
What’s your favourite salad recipe?
We’d love to know what your idea of the perfect salad is! Head on over to our Facebook group to let us know. There are almost 1 million members in the group so it’s the place to be for slimming inspiration, motivation, recipe ideas and more!
Not sure what to make for dinner tonight? Have a scroll through our Gallery, where you’ll find recipe photos sent in by our lovely Pinch of Nom community (warning…scrolling will make you feel HUNGRY!).