Healthy Salad Recipes Made Without Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce

Double-Ginger Celery Salad, salad, ginger
"Been there, spun that" when it comes to romaine and iceberg lettuce salads? Toss together a healthy salad made with more unique and antioxidant-packed vegetables. All of these starter and dinner salad recipes have less than 500 calories and come together in under an hour!

Succotash Salad with Buttermilk-Avocado Dressing

Three Bs make this summery grilled chicken salad stand out: butterhead lettuce, bacon, and beans. If you can't find fresh limas, frozen work here, too.

Shrimp Salad with Lime Dressing

Cilantro, avocado, and limes are the only greens required to make this Mexican main dish salad. Rather than a taco salad, build salad tacos by stuffing all of the ingredients into warm corn tortillas.

Fan Rave: "It's a simple and quick meal to make and the flavor combination is refreshing. This is going on the 'Keep' board on Pinterest!" — reader Kristin Cleveland

Eggplant Panzanella

Peppery arugula complements the smoky grilled eggplant in this well-balanced take on the classic Italian bread salad. A handful of fresh tarragon—an herb that's actually a member of the lettuce family!—infuses each forkful with a slight bittersweet element that will keep everyone coming back for more. (As will the creamy mozzarella, of course)

Flank Steak and Plum Salad with Creamy Chimichurri Dressing

Convince meat-and-potatoes fans that a salad isn't defined by watery iceberg leaves drowning in Caesar dressing. This grilled steak, onion, and plum salad is served on a bed of lamb's lettuce (a green with delicate sweet, nutty notes) for a filling yet healthy dinner.

Chicken with Escarole and Warm Mustard Dressing

A member of the chicory family, along with endive and frisee, escarole is a sturdy green with a hint of nutty flavor. The underloved green and crispy fennel slices make a tasty base for this protein-rich sauteed chicken salad.

Did you know? Escarole provides a healthy dose of vitamin A, which can help your eyes, bones, and skin.

Tuscan Tuna Salad

In less time than it would take to walk to the corner deli and build your own salad, you can be devouring this arugula, tuna, and bean blend. A light spritz of lemon is all the dressing you need if you incorporate a can of albacore packed in oil.

Barley and Edamame Salad with Red Pepper Drizzle

Choose your own leafy green adventure to kick off this hearty whole grain salad. Baby spinach or arugula both make ideal bases to highlight the fiber-strong edamame and barley and the creamy, tangy goat cheese.

Tip: Instead of preservative-loaded bottled dressing, top this vegetarian dinner with a scoop of garlicky roasted red pepper sauce.

Bulgur Salad with Olive Dressing

Spotlight sturdy winter greens like radicchio, endive, and escarole in this Mediterranean-inspired whole grain salad. To cut back on calories and carbs, we combine cauliflower rice and bulgur for the good-for-you-grain element.

Pecan and Collard Chicken Salad

Collards are good for more than braising with pork. Slice the greens into pretty ribbons, coat in an orange vinaigrette, and plate with bacon, chicken, and pecans for this Southern-influenced entree.

Sprouts, Avocado, and Apple Salad

Sprouts need not be served whole. This meatless main dish salad starts with the tasty, tender leaves peeled separately (promise this process isn't as tedious as it sounds!). Just before serving, toss your Brussels sprouts salad with a simple homemade citrus vinaigrette, sweet apple slices, creamy avocado, and crunchy pumpkin seeds.

Farro, Chickpeas, and Greens

Unlike more delicate iceberg or romaine leaves, mustard greens and kale are strong enough to hold up under the heat from the warm beans and farro. They'll wilt to tender perfection as you toss with the vinaigrette and feta cheese.

Deviled Egg Salad

Grab your Bibb (lettuce) for this springy salad. It's perfect for sharing with kids since they can "hunt" for the deviled eggs hiding amidst the tomatoes, sweet peppers, and bacon.

Tip: If available, use fresh dill in the vinaigrette rather than dried for more flavor and freshness.

Pasta with Chicken, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Feta Cheese

No need to choose between pasta salad and green salad. This potluck-perfect spinach salad acts as a two-in-one meal and satisfies even big appetites thanks to 27 grams of protein from the chicken and cheese.

Power Kale Salad

A fruity dressing tames the bitterness of the kale in this superfood salad that's perfect to brighten up a chilly winter day. Pair with a whole-wheat roll and dinner is done.

Double-Ginger Celery Salad

Poor celery. It often gets the short end of the stick (or should we say "stalk"?) when it comes to the vegetable hierarchy. Not here, though: the stems and the leaves replace the romaine and iceberg in the speedy side salad.

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