Need some healthy ideas for salad toppings? These quick and easy salad recipes will give you plenty of creative ways to keep your salads healthy and delicious!
Keep your salads bursting with flavor, texture and nutritious ingredients with these best healthy salad toppings to try right now. You'll find ways to incorporate protein, fresh veggies, nuts, fruits and more in ways that will keep your salad balanced and fulfilling.
Crunchy, tangy, sweet and spicy ingredients can help turn a plain salad into a delicious addition to any meal, and with more substantial ingredients, an entrée for lunch or dinner.
To finish off a salad, you'll want to drizzle it with a dressing that's healthy and enhances all the delectable toppings you've added. You'll find homemade vinaigrettes and even condiments that you can blend quickly using fresh herbs, seeds, vinegars and more. They're guaranteed to taste better than the grocery store version.
Healthy Salad Topping Ideas
In this collection of healthy salad topping ideas, you'll find ways to enhance your salad greens with fresh ingredients and zesty dressings. Let these recipes inspire you to create a main course or side dish that's gluten-free, seasonal and full of creative and healthy ways to up your salad game.
Avocado Caprese Salad
Build a non-dairy Caprese salad with this stack of garden fresh vegetables and herbs. Start with a slice of juicy heirloom tomato followed by a thick slice of buttery avocado for a healthy fat. Top it off with a fragrant and verdant fresh basil leaf. Sprinkle on a little salt, drizzle with your best olive oil and consider a splash of aged balsamic vinegar for a spicy finish.
Fresh broccoli florets act as the base for this veggie enhanced salad. Mix-ins include raisins, chopped red onion, chopped walnuts and crumbled sugar-free and nitrate-free bacon. Dress it with a homemade mayonnaise and apple cider vinaigrette for a punch of flavor. For a holiday side dish, just swap out the raisins for sugar-free dried cranberries or other dried fruit. Don't like nuts? Keep it nut-free by using sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds instead.
Chicken Salad With Spinach And Strawberries
Baby spinach plays host to this tasty salad that's topped with chicken and fruit. Use either rotisserie or grilled chicken for protein and fresh, juicy sliced strawberries for a succulent and sweet addition. Chopped walnuts provide more protein, as well as a healthy fat and some crunch. It's a flavor packed salad that needs a simple champagne vinaigrette to enhance the already scrumptious ingredients. Swap out the strawberries for any other berry, such as blueberries, blackberries or raspberries to change the flavor.
Always a favorite, this salad offers a variety of toppings from which to choose. Coupled with cured meat sitting on a bed of Romaine lettuce, choose vegetables like cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and olives to complete the salad. A homemade Italian dressing with zesty spices offers the perfect finish.
Shrimp Avocado Salad
Sitting atop a bed of baby arugula, add freshly cooked shrimp and chopped avocado for this seafood salad. The avocado offers a buttery texture that replaces the traditional parmesan cheese, for those who need to keep it dairy free. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper followed by a squeeze of fresh lemon juice are all you need for a healthy dressing on this quick and easy salad.
Strawberry Arugula Salad
This arugula salad is topped with an easy Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Fruit is a perfect addition and here, strawberries add sweetness. Other berries or mandarin oranges would work as well. Crunchy slivered almonds are one of the best salad toppings for adding texture. This salad has all the fresh flavors of spring produce and takes minutes to put together.
Romaine lettuce serves as the base for this ingredient packed salad that features sugar-free and nitrate-free bacon and tomatoes to round out the full BLT experience. A delicious topping of chopped avocado is all it needs before being drizzled with a homemade chipotle balsamic dressing for a zing of flavor. This is the perfect salad with which to add protein in the form of rotisserie or grilled chicken and even diced ham, any of which will turn it into a healthy entrée meal.
Cold Sweet Potato Salad
Go for natural sweetness with this refrigerated salad that uses tender chunks of sweet potato as the building block for this flavorful side dish. Toss in chopped red onion, diced celery and crunchy slices of red bell pepper to layer on the tastiness. It's drizzled with a homemade lime juice and chipotle dressing for added spiciness and outrageous flavor. Keep it chilled until ready to serve.
Turkey Raspberry Salad
Bibb or butter lettuce provides a delicious base for leftover turkey in this salad that also includes fresh raspberries, chopped avocado and a nutty salad dressing. The salad dressing pulls together all the flavors by using walnut oil, champagne vinegar, lemon juice and Dijon mustard to add a burst of flavor. Add a little crunch and more nut flavor by garnishing with chopped walnuts. It's the perfect salad idea for lunch or a light dinner.
Make this protein-packed chicken salad that includes healthy fats from walnuts and olive oil, crunch from diced celery and a little natural sweetness from grapes. Give it a punch of flavor from finely diced red onion. The lemon and olive oil dressing keeps it mayo-free. This healthy chicken salad is the perfect topping for a bed of your favorite lettuce or to wrap in a large lettuce leaf for a handheld meal.
Walnut Pear Bacon Salad
Perfect for a protein-packed lunch or substantial side salad, this nutty and fruity salad is topped with hard-boiled eggs, walnuts, sliced pears and crumbled bacon. It's full of texture and flavor. Customize it with your favorite salad greens. Go for crunchy iceberg or Romaine, or even a tender spring mix. Drizzle it with a simple homemade pear dressing that's quickly made in your blender.
Tomato Cucumber Salad
This summer salad of garden-fresh tomatoes and cucumbers are sliced and topped with fresh herbs such as basil, parsley or cilantro. For a little more bite, add in sliced red onion. Keep it simple with a red wine and olive oil vinaigrette. It's the perfect side salad to throw together quickly for cookouts.
Grilled Romaine Salad With Bacon And Ranch Dressing
Grilling large and hearty Romaine lettuce leaves adds a smoky touch to the base of this substantial salad. Top the charred lettuce with sugar-free crunchy bacon crumbles, sweet cherry tomatoes and refreshing slices of cucumber. Keep it dairy-free with the homemade ranch dressing made with paleo mayo, lemon juice, coconut milk, garlic, and minced herbs.
Chimichurri sauce is that versatile condiment that can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or salad dressing. This healthy recipe uses parsley, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, red wine vinegar, chipotle chili flakes, sea salt and ground pepper. You can easily swap out the parsley for mint or cilantro for a different herbal flavor profile. It's easily blended into a grassy sauce that's perfect for topping a steak, salmon, or chicken salad.
Winter Harvest Salad
Fall and winter provides fresh vegetables like squash, hearty greens like kale and juicy fruits like pomegranate, all which are perfect for creating a delicious salad. Create a harvest salad with Kabocha squash that's roasted and combined with chopped kale and topped with pecans, pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries. It's made zesty with a homemade Dijon and maple syrup dressing.
Full of flavor and texture, start with a bed of watercress that's topped with bite-size pieces of oranges, dried cranberries, sliced avocado and a sprinkle of chia seeds for additional fiber. The dressing is packed with citrus juices from lemons and oranges and spiced with Dijon mustard in a base of olive oil. Light and delicious, it's the perfect mix of greens and fruit.
Recipe by Cooked And Loved
Easy Taco Salad
To a bed of chopped Romaine lettuce, add a well-seasoned and browned grass-fed beef topping to this taco salad bowl. Pile on the healthy salads toppings of grape tomatoes, avocado, red onion, jalapeno pepper and cilantro. Use a dairy free sour cream, available in larger grocery store chains, as well as grain-free tortilla chips to complete this healthy main course salad.
Recipe by Paleo Running Momma
Butternut Squash, Apple And Kale Salad
Autumn flavors and textures are abundant in this salad that's built on a base of hearty kale. Kale is a healthy green to use since it's packed with minerals and vitamins A, K, and C. It's also rich in fiber. Add roasted chunks of butternut squash, crisp apple slices and crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds. Omit the cheese to keep it dairy free, but do add in sugar-free dried fruits such as cranberries or cherries for a touch of sweetness. Make the simple olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon and garlic dressing for the perfect finish.
Recipe by Yay For Food
Chopped Kale Salad
Chopped curly kale, red cabbage and baby spinach form the perfect base for healthy salad toppings of shredded carrots, chopped red bell pepper and pumpkin seeds. Omit the feta cheese to keep it dairy-free and vegan. It's a vibrant salad that's made even more delicious with the homemade olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, lemon juice and herbal salad dressing. It's a substantial salad that's nutritious, filling and satisfying.
Recipe by Peas And Crayons
Grilled Salmon Salad
A quick session on the grill gives salmon filets the perfect texture to be considered as a healthy protein source to top your bed or salad greens. Cut it into bite-sized chunks for the topping, along with cucumber, avocado, tomatoes, and hard-boiled eggs. This entrée salad is dressed with an easy homemade spicy Dijon, lime, garlic and honey vinaigrette.
Recipe by Paleo Newbie
If you just have to have that toasted bread-like crunch on top of your salad but you need to keep it gluten and grain-free, you'll want to make these croutons. Using ground chia seeds, coconut flour, eggs, olive oil, freshly chopped rosemary and sea salt, you'll make this simple dough that's spreadable on a baking sheet. Once baked, cut it into squares for your croutons. They're freezer-friendly so you can store the cooled croutons for later use.
Recipe by Healthful Pursuit
These easy salad ideas give you plenty of healthy options for your favorite salad toppings.