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Nutrisense Dietitians Recommend: Tasty, Nutritious Salads You'll Love

Written by
Team Nutrisense
Reviewed by
Carlee Hayes
RDN, CD
plates of different types of salads

It's National Salad Month! And while the idea of a salad may seem boring, we're here to change that perception. Like any 'healthy' meal (remember, just because it's a salad doesn't mean it's suitable for your specific needs—there's no one-size-fits-all for healthy eating), salads don't have to be dull and devoid of flavor. 

At Nutrisense, we believe that food can be delicious and nutritious, including salad. We've asked some members of our Nutrition Team to pick their favorite salads, so you can choose from a variety of unique textures and flavors that will please even the pickiest of eaters. 

9 Exciting Salads From Our Nutrition Team

Thanks to these options, you’ll never have trouble finding a salad recipe again. And best of all, these salads are full of nutrients that your body needs to function at its best. Read on to pick from our favorites. 

1) The Ultimate Garden Salad

Recommended by: Marie Funk, MS, RD, LDN 

a plate of The Ultimate Garden Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound mixed greens
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 cucumbers
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta 

Why Marie Loves It

"This salad recipe is super easy to prepare. Just some chopping and mixing, that’s it. The dressing includes balsamic vinegar, which we know is excellent for glucose control. And, it's packed with tons of flavor."

—Marie Funk, MS, RD, LDN 

2) Cucumber, Dill, Feta, and Pistachio Salad

Recommended by: Jordyn Wallerius, MS, RDN, CD  

a plate of Cucumber, Dill, Feta, and Pistachio Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion or shallot
  • 2 English cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Why Jordyn Loves It

"I love this Cucumber, Dill, Feta, and Pistachio Salad from Spoonful of Flavor for a bright spring side dish. The crunch from the cucumbers and pistachios combined with the salt from the feta and acid from the apple cider vinegar is the perfect combination. I’ve even added a handful of greens when I wanted to mix it up."

—Jordyn Wallerius, MS, RDN, CD  

3) Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

Recommended by: Randi Yow, RDN, LDN

a plate of Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

Ingredients

For the salad: 

  • ½ thinly sliced onion 
  • 1 large cucumber 
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes 
  • 2 medium avocados 
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or dill

For the dressing: 

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cloves minced garlic 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Why Randi Loves It

"For spring/summer, I love a good salad, and avocados happen to be my favorite food (and great for you with healthy fats). So, I love adding this avocado, cucumber, and tomato salad as a side to whatever protein we're having. It's also incredible with some greens and sunflower seeds added in."

— Randi Yow, RDN, LDN 

4) Greek Chickpea Salad

Recommended by: Bahar Brocken, RD, LDN 

a plate of Greek Chickpea Salad

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup halved pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 crumbled dairy-free feta or regular feta
  • 1/2 chop chopped parsley

For the dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Why Bahar Loves It

"Having a salad with your dinner most nights is an easy and healthy way to get a boost of nutrients and fiber in your diet (along with those glucose-lowering effects of having a salad before a balanced meal). I love mixing up my salads each week and experimenting with something different every time to keep things exciting. This Greek Chickpea salad is one of my favorite go-to's because it’s fast and delicious and has a recipe included for an easy homemade dressing. Chickpeas provide an excellent source of protein and fiber, and I often add some avocado because, well, how can you go wrong with avocado?!"

—Bahar Brocken, RD, LDN 

5) Green Goddess Salad

Recommended by: Marissa Kleinsmith, MS, RDN 

a plate of Green Goddess Salad

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 small head of green cabbage
  • 3-4 baby cucumbers 
  • 1/4 cup of chives
  • 1 bundle of green onions or scallions 

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup of basil leaves
  • 1 cup of spinach leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small shallot
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of nuts of your choice (I used cashews and walnuts)
  • 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar 
  • Any extra chives (optional)

Why Marissa Loves It

"Cabbage for the win! This Green Goddess Salad gets better on day two or three as the flavors in the dressing marry, and you don’t have to worry about the greens getting soggy with sturdy veggies like cabbage and cucumber. Those staple veggies add a snappy crunch to this salad and are fantastic to have on hand because of their long shelf life in the fridge. The dressing is full of heart-healthy fats, loaded with phytonutrients, and as simple as throwing nuts, garlic, greens, and herbs in the blender. I love it so much; I've cooked it with our members at one of our live cooking demos. Double this recipe for crowds or tote it along with you for lunch on busy days."

—Marissa Kleinsmith, MS, RDN

6) Israeli Salad

Recommended by: Carlee Hayes, RDN, CD

a plate of Israeli Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Persian cucumbers, diced
  • 1 pound fresh ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup minced onion (optional)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste (the recipe uses about 1/2 tsp)

Why Carlee Loves It

"Salad doesn't have to be complicated, and the key to a salad that isn’t boring (in my opinion) is the ability to use it in different ways. I love this salad from Tori's Kitchen because it’s versatile. I make a big batch at the start of the week and pair it with multiple meals throughout the coming days. I love a big bowl of this salad topped with juicy grilled chicken and sliced avocado, but it doesn’t stop there. You can throw it on a bowl of greens for a fresh twist, add a few spoonfuls to a hearty wrap, or even use it as a taco filler. The options are endless."

—Carlee Hayes, RDN, CD

7) Honey Glazed Beet, Fresh Fig, and Roasted Kale Salad

Recommended by: Stephanie Etherington, RD, CD, CDCES 

a plate of Honey Glazed Beet, Fresh Fig, and Roasted Kale Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 small beets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bunches dinosaur kale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 dozen figs, quartered
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Why Stephanie Loves It

"Salads that include a touch of sweetness are my favorite, and this salad is almost too beautiful to eat. It’s a great choice to bring to your next barbeque or family gathering. This Honey Glazed Beet, Fresh Fig, and Roasted Kale Salad is one of my favorites. Pine nuts or pecans would be an excellent addition. Include a nice piece of wild-caught salmon, or enjoy it with grilled chicken for an extra protein boost."

—Stephanie Etherington, RD, CD, CDCES

8) Charred Corn Salad with Chili-Lime Shrimp 

Recommended by: Molly Downey, RDN, LDN

a plate of Charred Corn Salad with Chili-Lime Shrimp

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 16-20 cleaned and deveined shrimp 
  • 1 ear white corn
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes 
  • 1 diced avocado 
  • 10 ounces baby arugula
  • Cotija to garnish

For the cilantro dressing:

  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the marinade:

  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Why Molly Loves It

 "This is one of my favorite warm weather salad recipes. It’s easy to season up the shrimp and add it to the grill for a nice smoky flavor. It does not require much time/effort and provides an excellent weeknight meal with minimal ingredients."

—Molly Downey, RDN, LDN

9) Cowboy Caviar

Recommended by: Victoria Eaton RDN, LDN, IFNCP

a plate of Cowboy Caviar

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 3 Roma tomatoes seeds removed, diced
  • 2 diced avocados 
  • ⅓ cup diced red onion 
  • 15 ounces rinsed and drained black beans 
  • 15 ounces rinsed and drained black-eyed peas 
  • 1 ½ cups frozen, thawed sweet corn  
  • 1 diced bell pepper diced
  • 1 diced, seedless jalapeno pepper 
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro

For the dressing:

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Tortilla chips 

Why Victoria Loves It

"I’m a big fan of lettuce-less salads. Cowboy Caviar falls into my “favorite salads” category. It’s traditionally used as an entertaining dip, but I like to pair it with baked salmon or shredded chicken for an easy, fiber-rich, filling bean salad."

—Victoria Eaton RDN, LDN, IFNCP 

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