8 Salad Recipes to Help You Stay on Track with Your Fitness Goals This Year

8 Salad Recipes to Help You Stay on Track with Your Fitness Goals This Year

Whether you’re looking to include more plant-based meals to your diet, eat a little cleaner, or ready to level up your salad game this year, you’ll find plenty of inspiration in the salad recipes below. These salads are perfect for serving as dinner sides, sharing with friends, or enjoying as full meals on their own. With everything from green salads, quinoa salads, couscous, and beyond, these salad recipes are a delicious way to help you enjoy your food while staying on track with your goals.

1. Quinoa Greek Salad

This Quinoa Greek salad is perfect as a side dish, wrapped into a tortilla or whole grain wrap, or in a big bowl topped with grilled chicken or avocado for a full meal. This salad is bursting with flavors and a powerhouse of nutrients that will keep you fueled and satisfied throughout the day! Meal prep a big batch to last in the fridge for up to 5 days. If meal prepping, leave the dressing on the side until ready to serve.

Salad Ingredients:
½ English Cucumber, Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
1 Cup Kalamata Olives
¼ Cup Red Onion
1 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
½ Cup Feta Cheese

Dressing Ingredients:
¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
½ Tsp Dried Basil
¼ Tsp Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook quinoa according to the package.
  2. Chop all veggies and put in a large bowl with quinoa.
  3. Top with Feta Cheese and mix well.
  4. Whisk dressing ingredients and pour on top of salad immediately before serving. If meal prepping, keep dressing separate as it saves better if kept separately.

Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

2. Easy Summer Cobb Salad

If you’re a Cobb salad lover this lightened-up summer version is the salad for you. Get all your protein needs for the day with fresh grilled chicken, a hard-boiled egg, and a splurge of bacon. This beautiful salad showcases blueberries, fresh corn, and avocado for flavorful bursts of fresh summer produce. Top with your favorite fresh herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, and white balsamic vinegar, and fresh cracked pepper for a lighter version, or your salad dressing of choice.

Salad Ingredients:
1 Head of Romaine Lettuce, Chopped
½ Grilled Chicken Breast, Chopped
1-Piece Bacon, Chopped
1 Hard-Boiled Egg, Sliced
¼ Avocado, Sliced
1 Handful Blueberries
¼ Cup Fresh Corn
¼ English Cucumber, Chopped
1 Tbsp Blue Cheese (Or Other Cheese of Your Preference)

Dressing Ingredients:
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1-2 Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Start by adding a big bed of romaine lettuce to your bowl.
  2. Top with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.
  4. Finish by topping with fresh cracked pepper to taste.

3. Fall Harvest Salad

This delicious fall harvest salad is the perfect mix of sweet and salty, soft and crunchy, and includes roasted butternut squash, quinoa, apples, avocado, and pepitas; but it would also be great with pomegranates, roasted sweet potato, carrots, red onions, and your favorite cheese. Feel free to experiment and make this tasty salad your own!

Salad Ingredients:
Mixed Greens
½ Cup Roasted Butternut Squash
½ Cup Cooked Quinoa
½ Red Apple, Thinly Sliced
½ Green Apple, Thinly Sliced
½ Avocado, Thinly Sliced
Small Handful Pepitas
Small Handful Dried Cranberries

Dressing Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tsp Honey
Fresh Cracked Pepper to Taste

Instructions:

  1. Prepare quinoa and butternut squash according to the package.
  2. On a big bed of lettuce top with quinoa, butternut squash, red and green apples, avocado, pepitas, and dried cranberries.

4. Mediterranean Couscous Salad

This Couscous salad has a few more steps than most, but it comes together quickly, and is worth the few extra steps that make this salad delicious! The vegetables included are inspired by fresh Mediterranean flavors. The roasted chickpeas are lightly seasoned, add some protein, and bring a welcome crispy and savory touch to this salad. The dressing is tangy and sweet and uses only honey to sweeten. With all of its glorious flavor, it’s amazing how healthy this recipe is for you.

Chickpeas Ingredients:
1 Can Chickpeas, Well Rinsed and Drained
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ Tsp Each: Ground Cumin, Ground Chili Powder
¼ Tsp Garlic Powder
Optional: ¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper (For Spice)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Salad Ingredients:
1 Cup Couscous (Cooked According to Package)
1 ½ Cups Chopped Cucumber
1 ½ Cups Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
½ Cup Kalamata Olives, Halved
¼ Cup Italian Parsley, Finely Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped

Dressing Ingredients:
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Lemons, Zest and Juice Of
1 ½ Tbsp Honey
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tsp Dried Oregano

To top:
Feta Cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chickpeas in a bowl, ad 1 Tbsp Olive oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Mix well, making sure chickpeas are completely covered in spices. Spread chickpeas in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, tossing halfway, and cooked until crisp and lightly browned.
  2. Prepare cous cous according to package, and fluff with a fork when finished.
  3. While cous cous is cooking prepare veggies, by chopping everything up if you haven’t already.
  4. Prepare dressing by adding olive oil, lemon zest and juice, honey, Dijon mustard, and dried oregano. Whisk until combined.
  5. To serve as a salad combine cous cous, veggies, cooled chickpeas, and salad dressing in a bowl. Toss well and serve with feta cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. If meal prepping to save for later, keep salad dressing separate, as this salad doesn’t save well if already dressed.

5. Easy One-Pan Summer Tex Mex Quinoa Salad

This zesty quinoa salad is a blend of quinoa, pinto beans, fresh corn, and cucumbers that converge with red onions and herbs, and a zesty red wine vinaigrette for a totally clean and tasty side or snack. Serve this delicious side dish alongside enchiladas, tacos, or grilled chicken. This dish would also go great in a wrap or on its own as a snack. Top it all off with sliced avocado and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and you’ll be hooked.

Salad Ingredients:
1 Cup Quinoa, Cooked According to Package
1 Can Pinto Beans (Or Black Beans), Drained and Rinsed
1 Cup Corn (About 2 Corn Cobs)
½ English Cucumber, Chopped
½ Red Onions, Diced
Big Handful of Spinach, Chopped
½ Cup Cilantro, Chopped
½ Cup Green Onions, Chopped
Sprinkle of Feta Cheese

Dressing Ingredients:
¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
½ tsp Cumin
¼ tsp Chili Powder
Ground Pepper to Taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine Salad ingredients and mix well.
  2. Make dressing by combining red wine vinegar, cumin, chili powder, and ground pepper. Whisk to combine, and drizzle dressing over salad.
  3. Toss salad. Serve, or keep in fridge up to 5 days.

6. Healthy Thai Crunch Chicken Salad

If you love a good crunch, this Thai crunch chicken salad will be right up your alley. The fresh flavors and light, tangy dressing make this salad perfect to enjoy for a light lunch or dinner. With fresh bell pepper, edamame, Thai chili-lime flavored cashews, and shredded cabbage there’s a lot to crunch on in this flavorful lineup. Chicken and avocado bring a boost of healthy fats and proteins to the mix, all served up with a homemade Asian ginger dressing. Double or triple the recipe and give it a good toss for a good crowd pleaser for any party or get together.

Salad Ingredients:
½ Head Romaine Lettuce, Chopped
1 Cup Shredded Cabbage
½ Cup Shelled Edamame
½ Cup Orange Bell Pepper, Chopped
½ Chicken Breast, Cubed
¼ English Cucumber, Chopped
Handful Cilantro, Roughly Chopped
8-10 Thai Chili Lime Cashews (Or Regular Cashews)
Lime Wedges (If Serving to A Crowd, Leave on The Side)
A Sprinkle of Sesame Seeds

Dressing Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 tsp Ginger, Minced

Instructions:

  1. Make the salad dressing by combining all the ingredients and whisking until completely combined.
  2. Assemble salad by starting with a bed of lettuce, top with cabbage, edamame, orange bell pepper, chicken breast, cucumber, cilantro and cashews.
  3. Toss salad.
  4. Drizzle with salad dressing and a hearty sprinkle of sesame seeds, toss again. 
  5. Serve with fresh lime wedges.

7. Protein-packed Power Quinoa Salad

This protein-packed quinoa salad is a classic recipe that makes for an easy snack or meal. Meal prep a big batch to have on hand to eat throughout the week. A small bowl topped with avocado makes a perfect snack or wrap into a spinach tortilla with roasted chicken breast and hummus for a full meal!

Ingredients:
1 Cup Quinoa
1 Can Black Beans (Drained and Rinsed)
1 Cup Spinach, Chopped
½ Cup Green Onions, Chopped
½ Cup Cilantro, Chopped
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
½ Cup Feta Cheese
2 Limes, Juice of

Instructions:

  1. Combine in a large bowl.

Enjoy immediately or save in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days!

8. Mayo-Less Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This fresh tuna salad recipe is so delicious, it will have you wondering why you ever made tuna salad with mayonnaise! Cucumber, radishes, and celery bring all the crunch to this salad. Fresh mint and parsley, and a zesty Dijon dressing pack in the addicting flavor. This tuna salad would be wonderful in a sandwich or a wrap, but I always have it with whole-grain crackers.

Salad Ingredients:
1 Can Tuna
1-2 Celery Stalks, Chopped
¼ English Cucumber, Chopped
2 Radishes, Chopped
1 Green Onion, Chopped
¼ Red Onion, Finely Chopped
¼ Cup Kalamata Olives, Halved
Small Handful Parsley, Chopped
5-7 Mint Leaves, Chopped

Dressing Ingredients:
1 tsp Dijon
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes to Taste

Instructions:

  1. Drain tuna, combine with chopped veggies and herbs.
  2. Combine dressing ingredients and whisk well. Drizzle over salad.
  3. Toss everything and enjoy!

I hope you’ve found inspiration from the salad recipes above. I encourage you to adapt them to make them your own - add fresh ingredients from your garden, or what you have on hand to make your own beautiful blend of fresh flavors. Have fun and enjoy!

8 Salad Recipes Infographic
8 Salad Recipes Infographic

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