Skip to main content

15 Quick and Easy Side Dish Salad Recipes

Short on time doesn't mean short on flavor.

A fresh, crisp salad is always a welcome side dish to any meal, from a casual lunch to the most formal dinner. But with all the time it takes to prep a meal, the last thing you need is a side dish salad that's complicated and time-consuming to make. Have we got a solution for you! Here are 15 quick and easy side salad recipes that'll come in handy, whether for a potluck, barbeque, Thanksgiving, or just another weeknight. 

1. Herb 'n Honey Cucumber Tomato Salad | Ready in 20 minutes

"Crisp and sweetly delicious, this salad is a wonderful addition to any summer picnic. May serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to four hours before serving for enhanced flavor," recipe creator Ginny Maziarka says.

Herb 'n Honey Cucumber Tomato Salad
Photo by lutzflcat

2. Classic Restaurant Caesar Salad | Ready in 20 minutes

Reviewers attest: This salad lives up to its name. It would fit in just as well at a barbeque as it would at a fancy restaurant. 

Classic Restaurant Caesar Salad
Photo by Deb C

3. Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Ready in 15 minutes

Some of our home cooks have swapped certain ingredients for others, like strawberries for mandarin oranges and walnuts for almonds. Others make this sweet, tangy salad as it is. You do you.

Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Photo by Dianne

4. Jamie's Cranberry Spinach Salad | Ready in 20 minutes

"Very nice salad. We liked it with our Thanksgiving dinner because it was light and tasty," Julie Burke says.

Jamie's Cranberry Spinach Salad
Photo by Dianne

5. Easy Apple Coleslaw | Ready in 25 minutes

Make this easy barbeque side salad your own with add-ins like pineapple, red onion, jalapeño, pecans, or sunflower seeds — just a few of the variations our home cooks have tried. 

Easy Apple Coleslaw
Photo by Jennifer Baker

6. Thai-Inspired Sunomono with Jalapeno, Cilantro, and Basil | Ready in 30 minutes

Serve this aromatic cucumber side salad to spice up a weeknight dinner.

Photos:Thai-Inspired Sunomono with Jalapeno, Cilantro, and Basil
Photo by Soup Loving Nicole

7. Strawberry Avocado Salad | Ready in 15 minutes

Reviewers call this salad a real crowd-pleaser, making it an excellent dish to whip up for a potluck.

recipe active photo
Photo by SunnyByrd

8. Quick and Easy Carrot and Chickpea Salad | Ready in 15 minutes

"I love this fresh and satisfying salad and have had it as a side salad and as a main dish for lunch," AnnInLondon writes. "Simple, inexpensive, quick to put together and it uses ingredients that I always have on hand." 

 

Quick and Easy Carrot and Chickpea Salad
Photo by Casablancaise

9. Baja Salad | Ready in 20 minutes

Home cooks recommend serving this salad with grilled chicken, empanadas, quesadillas, and even pizza. Remember to toss well before serving!

Baja Salad
Photo by Baking Nana

10. Taco Slaw | Ready in 20 minutes

Home cooks write in that this Mexican-inspired coleslaw works well as a side salad or as a topping for tacos of all kinds. (Even roasted cauliflower tacos!)

Taco Slaw
Photo by lutzflcat

11. Good for You Greek Salad | Ready in 15 minutes

"Fabulous! I made this to go with gnocchi and baked chicken. The two little girls I made it for loved it," Melissa Goff says.

WATCH: Good for You Greek Salad

12. Kale Salad | Ready in 10 minutes

"I am thrilled that I tried this recipe and that I read every review," Monique Douglas says. "It is critical to massage the kale. To do this, remove the stems, put a little olive oil on your hands, and knead the kale like you would bread for about 5 minutes, or until it is a dark rich green."

Kale Salad
Photo by Bibi

13. Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Feta | Ready in 20 minutes

"Simple and delicious! Perfect for a picnic or a brunch. Very refreshing, good combination of ingredients and flexible to add others if you are so inclined." — Stirring up Trouble

Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Feta
Photo by Stirring Up Trouble

14. Napa Cabbage Salad with Lemon-Pistachio Vinaigrette | Ready in 15 minutes

"This salad has a fresh zippy flavor and makes a nice accompaniment to baked fish or roasted chicken." — Always Cooking Up Something

Napa Cabbage Salad with Lemon-Pistachio Vinaigrette
Photo by Molly

15. Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing | Ready in 25 minutes

"Wonderful salad for the holiday seasons. Great to serve for dinner at home or to take to a family gathering," recipe author Nora LaCroix writes.

WATCH: Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Related

mary claire lagroue

About Mary Claire Lagroue

Food writer who meal preps like it's her job.