Easy Spring Salads

By on April 16, 2013

Salads are some of the best foods to eat during the spring and summer months. Fresh produce and light ingredients go hand-in-hand with warm temperatures and sunshine, and the best salads are filled with both. Whether you’re craving cool crispy veggies or warm grilled chicken, your options for healthy spring salad recipes are plentiful.

And if you think all salads involve lettuce, think again! Keep reading to explore different salad varieties and find something delicious to make tonight:

Traditional

When you think of a salad, this is where your mind probably goes. Traditional salads are greens-based; choose from iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, arugula or a mix of greens. Chop up some fresh veggies and add a protein if desired for a fresh healthy side or main dish.

Some of the most popular salads out there include Caesar salads, spinach salads and chopped salads.

No Lettuce Required

No lettuce? No problem. You don’t need leafy greens to make a salad—or any greens at all! Use other vegetables and fruits as bases for a twist on traditional salad flavors. Tomato recipes are great for non-lettuce salads since tomatoes stand up well on their own, as do heartier veggies like potatoes, zucchini and eggplant. Grains like rice, couscous and quinoa also make excellent salad bases.

Try the following non-lettuce recipes: Creamy Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad, Couscous Tabbouleh Salad and a Roasted Eggplant Salad.

Meredith Kimelblat_photo-Albacore Pasta SaladPasta

Pasta salads are a spring and summertime staple. They’re just as delicious chilled as main dishes as they are served alongside grilled hot dogs or burgers, and they’re so simple to make. Use whatever pasta you have on hand, add in some crunchy veggies to balance out the soft pasta and toss everything in dressing. Mayonnaise-based dresses are traditionally picnic-y, but you can use balsamic or olive oil based dressings for a lighter dish.

This albacore pasta salad makes a yummy spring dinner, or bring this calico pasta salad to work for a light, satisfying lunch.

Vegetarian

Vegetarians are often associated with salad recipes, but these associations aren’t usually that positive. Contrary to popular belief, though, vegetarian salads can be hearty, interesting and absolutely crave-worthy. Instead of just using veggies, add some healthy protein with tofu, tempeh or even veggie burger patties!

Try this Roasted Tempeh and Asparagus Salad or this Grilled Vegetable and Portobello Burger Salad. Both use fresh spring veggies and are guaranteed to satisfy.

Meat

On the other end of the spectrum, it’s absolutely acceptable to make meat the star of your salad. Tuna salad, chicken salad and even salmon salad make delicious, hearty salad options and are equally yummy when they’re stuffed into subs or sandwiches. Wrap chicken or tuna salad in a lettuce wrap for a light and refreshing lunch.

Try these protein-packed recipes: Zesty Tuna Pasta Salad and Easy Mediterranean Chicken Salad

 

Author Bio: Meredith Kimelblatt on behalf of ConAgra Foods. For more easy recipes for dinner along with light pasta and tomato recipes for spring.

 

About Meredith Kimelblatt

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Easy Spring Salads