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10 Vegetable Salad Recipes to Eat (and Love) This Summer

It only takes a few ingredients and a bit of creativity to turn boring veggies into delicious meals. Here are 10 ways to do it.

 

No matter what the season, you can stroll through the produce section or your local farmers’ market and pick up the fresh ingredients to make a veggie salad. Grab anything that looks good, from apples to zucchini, and there’s a way to integrate it into a medley of deliciousness.

Each vegetable salad on this list is packed with both flavor and nutrition. And as long as you don’t go overboard with the dressing or cheese, you’ll keep the calories low too.

Enjoy!

Vegetable Lasagna Salad

Serves 4

This is a fresh take on pasta salad; a deconstructed version of the layered noodle dish. Instead of tomato sauce, the salad has a tomato-caper dressing and fresh tomatoes.

The recipe uses chilled lasagna noodles as well as thinly sliced zucchini, but you can ditch the pasta and add more zucchini for fewer calories.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

538

Calories

26 g

Protein

81 g

Carbs

14 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup crushed tomatoes

2 tomatoes, finely diced

1/4 cup capers

1/2 red onion, finely diced

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 lb. lasagna noodles, cooked and cooled

1 head Romaine lettuce, separated

1 zucchini, sliced very thin lengthwise

1/2 cup black olives, pitted and sliced

1 cup (4 oz.) grated Parmesan

1/4 cup parsley

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

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Avocado Cucumber Salad

Serves 4

There are many ways to use avocado in salad: as a creamy element that works as a substitute for mayo, diced for a topping that adds Southwestern flair, or even as the main ingredient.

Here it’s the star – well, one of. Avocado shares the spotlight with cucumber for the perfect balance of creamy and crisp.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

152

Calories

2 g

Protein

11 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. seedless cucumber, cut into chunks

2 thin scallions, sliced

1 large avocado, pitted and diced

2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

Juice of 1/2 lime

Salt and hot sauce to taste

Chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

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Roasted Vegetable Salad with Garlic Dressing & Toasted Pepitas

Serves 4

If you love the rich flavor of roasted veggies, this is the salad for you. Not only are the carrots, beets, and greens drizzled with olive oil and warmed in the oven, but the dressing is made from an entire head of roasted garlic. Even the pepitas are toasted to bring out a nutty flavor.

Altogether, this is a delicious salad whether you have a lot of root veggies to use up, or want a winter salad to help you stay warm.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

280

Calories

8 g

Protein

22 g

Carbs

20 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 medium head garlic

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 bunch carrots, scrubbed

1 bunch beets, scrubbed with greens trimmed

1 bunch of rainbow chard (or beet greens)

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/3 cup raw hulled pepitas

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Root Vegetable & Quinoa Salad with Tahini-Maple Vinaigrette

Serves 6

If you think eating vegetarian has to be boring, you haven’t had the right salad yet. This one hits a lot of the right notes because there are mellow radishes, creamy avocados, sweet carrots, and earthy beets.

They all come together with a unique salad dressing that’s surprisingly easy to whisk together. Once you try tahini-maple vinaigrette, you’ll want to taste it on different combos of fresh greens and roasted veggies.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

566

Calories

20 g

Protein

74 g

Carbs

23 g

Fat

Ingredients

Quinoa Salad:

5 small to medium beets

1/2 cup black quinoa

3/4 lb. small carrots

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

4 or 5 radishes, thinly shaved

1 large (or 2 small) avocados

A few handfuls of baby kale

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Tahini-Maple Vinaigrette:

1 Tbsp. tahini

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. water

2 tsp. pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

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Healthy Potato Green Bean Salad

Serves 4

One way to make potato salad healthier is to leave out the mayonnaise. But this one takes it a step further by adding green beans to the mix.

They’re lower in calories than potatoes and add vitamins A, C, and K. String beans are linked to health benefits including weight loss and regulating the symptoms of diabetes.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

300

Calories

6 g

Protein

41 g

Carbs

14 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 lbs. small potatoes, peeled

6 oz. green beans

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 tsp. lemon juice

4 tsp. mustard seeds

4 tsp. thyme leaves, chopped

1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced

Coarse salt to taste

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Broccoli Apple Salad

Serves 6

You don’t need leafy greens to make a salad. Instead, reach for one of the most nutrient-dense foods: broccoli. This green superfood has cancer-fighting antioxidants, immune system-boosting benefits, and lots of fiber to make this a filling lunch.

Broccoli makes a great base for a salad, and for skeptical eaters it’ll go down easier with diced apples, plump raisins, and shredded carrots. The creamy dressing also helps.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

258

Calories

4 g

Protein

29 g

Carbs

16 g

Fat

Ingredients

Broccoli Salad:

4 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 2 medium heads)

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup diced red onion

2 large apples, finely chopped

1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Creamy Dressing:

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

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Fruit & Vegetable Fiesta Salad with Honey-Pepper Dressing

Serves 4

Not sure what nutrients are deficient in your diet? Of course it helps to take a daily vitamin, but you could also eat this power salad.

It has over 10 different fruits and veggies in it, including raspberry, red bell pepper, green grapes, green peas, and pomegranate.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

236

Calories

4 g

Protein

47 g

Carbs

6 g

Fat

Ingredients

Fiesta Salad:

1 onion, diced

1/2 cup diced cucumber

1 orange, cut into chunks

1 carrot, sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup raspberries

3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1 apple, cut into chunks

1 banana, sliced

1/2 cup green grapes

1/2 cup green peas, cooked

8–10 almonds

Honey-Pepper Dressing:

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. white vinegar

1/2 tsp. cayenne

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. dried parsley

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

2 Tbsp. pure honey

1 tsp. hot pepper sauce

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Fresh Pea Salad with Ginger-Miso Vinaigrette

Serves 4

This light, crisp salad can use either individual peas or the whole pea pods. Either way, it’s bright and fresh with cucumber, radishes, cilantro, lime juice, and arugula.

Toasted sesame seeds add a little depth of flavor, but overall this salad captures the best of spring and early summer.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

256

Calories

6 g

Protein

19 g

Carbs

18 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 cups shelled fresh peas (or thawed frozen peas)

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (or more to taste)

2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar

1 Tbsp. white miso

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger

1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar (or more to taste)

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1 Tbsp. Asian sesame oil

4 cups baby arugula

1 small cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced

2 medium radishes, thinly sliced

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

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Summer Vegetable Chopped Salad with White Beans & Lemon Vinaigrette

Serves 6

This fresh mix, a combination of bean salad and corn salad, is ideal for a barbecue or picnic.

It uses juicy summer veggies like grape tomatoes, green beans, sweet corn, bell peppers, and zucchini – all easy to find in high quality at any farmers’ market. Tangy feta, fresh basil, and a light lemon dressing finish it off.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

488

Calories

22 g

Protein

56 g

Carbs

22 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 cups (about 1 medium) zucchini, washed and cut into 1” pieces

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

2 cups fresh green beans, blanched and cut into 1” pieces

1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups diced bell peppers

2 ears sweet corn, blanched and kernels removed

4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

8–10 basil leaves, torn

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 heaping Tbsp. grainy deli mustard

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Spinach & Cajun Shrimp Salad

Serves 2

This salad is a complete, healthy meal that’s easy to assemble, but that’s not even the best part. All of the ingredients can be layered together in a mason jar for optimal portability.

It’s healthy too with protein, fresh spinach, and avocado. Make Cajun shrimp for dinner the night before, and then assemble this jar salad for lunch the following day.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

440

Calories

36 g

Protein

35 g

Carbs

22 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup sautéed onions and peppers

6 oz. Cajun shrimp

1/4 cup fresh guacamole

5 oz. fresh baby spinach

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