33 Salad Ideas for Inspiration

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again…I am not much of a salad person. I think a lot of people envision “healthy diets” being full of big salads and bean sprouts and tofu, and while there’s certainly nothing wrong with those things, that’s not at all how we eat. Our definition of real food of course includes a variety of fresh organic greens, but also a lot of other things like whole grains and dairy and fruit and even locally-raised grass-fed cheeseburgers. :)

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So when I recently caught myself craving a certain salad, which has never before happened in my 34 years, I of course felt compelled to share it with all our facebook fans. And I also asked them about their favorite salad combinations as well (below) because I’ve learned that not all salads are created equal.

Over are the days of somewhat soggy iceberg lettuce pieces topped with stale looking carrots and a side of highly processed salad dressing. If you start with some fresh greens and top them with the perfect mix of “accessories”  I am learning that salads can actually be kind of good. And if we really come up with a super tasty combination of accessories my kids might even have a little salad, too. So here are some ideas to keep us all from getting burnt out…and as always leave any additional suggestions you might have in the comments below!

Salad Ideas

  1. Mixed greens with apples, toasted walnuts, blue cheese, and olive oil (pictured above)…the salad that inspired this post!
    Variations of this salad:
    • Add dried cranberries, hold the blue cheese, and use a balsamic vinegar with the olive oil
    • Add strawberries, use roasted pecans instead of walnuts, top with salmon and balsamic vinegar
    • Gorgonzola or feta cheese instead of blue cheese
    • Pears instead of apples
    • Add grilled chicken
  2. Spinach with hard boiled egg, bacon, avocado, and a warm bacon dressing (with our without blue cheese)
  3. Mixed greens, goat cheese, glazed pecans, locally-grown cherry tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar
  4. Cobb salad with blue cheese dressing
  5. Spinach or mixed greens with apples, walnuts, feta or asiago cheese, shredded carrots, avocado, raw garlic (sliced and diced very small) and sometimes some black, garbanzo, or kidney beans for more substance topped with olive oil and a little rice wine vinegar
  6. Shredded Napa cabbage, red cabbage, edamame, julienned carrots, cucumbers, peanuts, cilantro & any Asian style dressing
  7. Spinach, roasted beets, pears, goat cheese, toasted walnuts or pecans, and red onion all drizzled with olive oil and a nice citrus vinegar
  8. Baby spinach, chopped granny smith apples, dried cranberries, goat cheese and toasted pecans dressed with olive oil, raspberry vinegar and minced shallot
  9. Greens, strawberries, pecans, feta, and vinaigrette
  10. Mixed greens, grilled chicken, sliced strawberries, sliced almonds, crumbled blue cheese, thinly sliced red onion with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  11. Arugula, shaved parmesan, lemon juice, olive oil and red pepper
  12. Caprese salad (tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella) with pesto and balsamic vinegar (pictured)
Caprese Salad
  1. Mixed greens, feta, tomato, chickpeas (or white beans), carrots, olive oil and vinegar
  2. Spinach, cranberries, mandarin oranges, blue cheese, and candied walnuts
  3. Spinach, pears, dried cranberries, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, and chicken (if you want meat) with oil and vinegar
  4. Mixed greens, cooked sliced beets, green or red onions, feta or goat cheese (I prefer goat) toasted walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  5. Broccoli, cauliflower, grape tomatoes, cheese (cubed small), green onion, cucumbers, bell peppers, and natural sunflower seeds tossed with olive oil & balsamic vinegar
  6. Arugula, shaved parmesan, good olive oil, and pine nuts
  7. Romaine, almond shavings, avocado, mandarin oranges, some whole wheat cork screw pasta with a honey & sesame oil dressing (with or without chicken)
  8. Spinach or mixed greens with honey roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds, mushrooms, avocado and goat cheese
  9. Spinach salad with red bell pepper, carrots and cucumbers with home made maple vinaigrette
  10. Spinach, goat cheese, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, pine nuts, and a poppy seed dressing
  11. Spinach, strawberries, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, and a balsamic dressing
  12. Grilled chicken, roasted red and yellow peppers, grape tomatoes and fresh mozzarella over bib or romaine with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  13. Mixed greens, roasted butternut squash, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries with an apple cider vinaigrette
  14. Roasted pears and grapes over spinach with walnuts, goat cheese and a honey lemon dressing
  15. Greens, olives, tomatoes, red onion, and this Greek feta cheese dressing
  16. Mixed greens, shredded carrots, seedless cucumbers, avocado, hard boiled egg, walnuts, parmesan or asiago cheese, and bacon (sometimes chicken too) with maple balsamic vinaigrette
  17. Arugula, cherry tomatoes, Romano cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic
  18. Romaine tossed in a homemade lime dressing (lime juice, stone ground mustard and olive oil) and topped with taco seasoned ground meat cooked with minced onions and garlic, corn, black beans, avocado, black olives, a sprinkle of cheese and sour cream
  19. Mixed baby lettuce, purple onion, sliced navel oranges, avocados, toasted almonds, balsamic vinaigrette
  20. Spinach or salad greens topped with pistachios, goat cheese, pears & balsamic vinegar
  21. Taco salad (pictured)
Taco Salad
Taco Salad

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47 thoughts on “33 Salad Ideas for Inspiration”

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  1. Great article! These salad ideas are a breath of fresh air for anyone looking to add some excitement to their meals. I can’t wait to try some of these delicious and healthy options. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. The salad of mixed greens with apples, toasted walnuts, blue cheese, and olive oil sounds delicious! I love the idea of the combination of sweet and savory flavors, and the blue cheese adds a nice bit of creaminess. I can also imagine that the toasted walnuts add a nice crunch.

    I like the variations that you suggested as well. I think adding dried cranberries would be a great way to add a bit of sweetness and tartness to the salad. I also think using roasted pecans instead of walnuts would be a nice change, and adding salmon would make the salad more protein-rich.