5-Minute Healthy Salad Recipes to Make Your Soul Happy (2024)

A salad dressing can make or break your meal.

You know the drill: A plate of naked greens? Call the drab police, because someone’s being super drab.

But greens drizzled with an outrageously good dressing or vinaigrette? Call the actual police, because a certain home chef (you) just absolutely killed it.

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These healthy salad dressing recipes mix up flavors so well, the question is less “how do I make them?” and more “when do I stop?”

If the concept of Greek yogurt and cilantro or chipotle pepper and lime don’t tickle your fancy, then this isn’t the article for you.

Major bonus: Each recipe takes about 5 minutes to whip up. Because we know how much you wanna eat your fabulous salad.

If you squint hard enough, it may count as dessert.

1. Maple balsamic vinaigrette

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We’ve got no beef with extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) and balsamic vinegar on their own at all. Both are delicious additions to a pile of veggies, nuts, and whatever else you feel like throwing into a salad bowl.

But if they’re your favorite go-to dressings? Oh, boy. You have got to mix them together. This variation is a pretty great place to start.

Adding maple syrup and mustard makes the EVOO and balsamic combo even sweeter and spicier. Look, we’re no advocates of putting maple syrup on everything (sorry, Elf fans). But heck, it might as well feature in your salad once in a while.

If you like your food naturally sweet (it’s the best type of sweet), we’ve got a breakdown of natural sweeteners that may surprise you.

2. Raspberry vinaigrette

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This vinaigrette tastes just as good as it looks. It’s sweet as a (very welcome) result of the raspberries and honey. But Dijon mustard, chia seeds, and olive oil round out this healthy homemade salad dressing for more nutrients and complexity.

Whip this up in a mere 5 minutes for a week of flavorful, healthful, wonderful dressing. This vinaigrette is also a playful way to work apple cider vinegar into your diet.

Because who doesn’t like a bit of creamy goodness all over their salad?

3. Creamy cilantro lime dressing

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Tex-Mex food isn’t just nachos, ground beef, and buckets of queso (although we probably wouldn’t turn down any of these right now).

With avocado, beans, and salsa standing out in any salad, it only makes sense that a worthy dressing accompanies them. Look no further. This blend of cilantro, lime, and garlic is ideal for drizzling over any Tex-Mex dish.

Greek yogurt adds the creamy texture, and it’s good for you. Now, for the yogurt to become the main attraction…

4. Greek yogurt Caesar dressing

If you love Caesar salads as much as we do, you know all about the struggle. That is, trying to find a dressing that isn’t packed with processed gunk and raw egg.

Where’s the solution? Right here, folks.

We were psyched to find this Greek yogurt Caesar dressing. Finally, the versatile ingredient takes center stage (we know you were all waiting for its big moment).

This recipe is evidence that eating Caesar salad doesn’t have to throw a wrench in your healthy-eating plans.

Now we’re getting serious.

5. Greek vinaigrette

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Greece may own the rest of the world at many things — statues, yogurt, and cheese among them — but the noble Greek salad is maybe the zenith of the country’s achievements. And the star performer of any salad is its dressing.

This healthy homemade salad dressing goes with almost any salad. Not only are the colors beautiful, but the oregano adds a delicious flavor that differentiates it from other recipes.

And with a mere 5-minute prep time, what’s not to love? Opa! We love the Mediterranean diet for a reason.

6. The best soy and sesame dressing

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Feel free to keep a jar of this in your fridge all the time to use not just on salads, but pasta and proteins as well! The soy sauce can give your meals an extra salty punch. Be sure to use a high quality olive oil.

Sometimes, however, you’re not in the mood for soy — or you’re fully allergic to it. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some amazing Asian flavors that don’t contain even a drop of soy sauce.

If you’re into salads that make your eyes water, and not just because of the sheer beauty, you’ll be onto a winner here.

7. Chipotle lime vinaigrette

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You’ve every right to zhuzh up your veggies with this chipotle dressing.

Those zingy flavors come from a combo of chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and cumin — perfect for any hot sauce lover who wants something a bit healthier than chicken wings for lunch.

One of our writers even attempted to make their own hot sauce — here’s how it went.

With these seven dressings alone, you’ll be well on your way to eating salads every day and never repeating yourself.

Obviously, given that there are more than 7 days in the year, you’re going to have to start playing around with your salad recipes too. Why not give these fall classics a try? Or these Mexican salad concoctions? Or these lettuce-free options?

It’s a brave new world of salads. And now, you get to stride in with your head held high.

5-Minute Healthy Salad Recipes to Make Your Soul Happy (2024)


What are 5 components of a satisfying salad? ›

There are five elements to a perfect salad: greens, sweetness, creaminess, crunchiness, and dressing.

What salad dressing is heart healthy? ›

Simple balsamic vinaigrette. Balsamic vinegar is full of flavour and olive oil is full of unsaturated fats which, when consumed in moderation, are good for your heart health.

What can I put in a salad to make it more interesting? ›

Add spices and flavours such as paprika, chilli flakes, curry powder, harissa or parmesan. Add acidity or sourness with vinegar, lemon juice or pomegranate molasses to transform your salad.

What are the three 3 keys to a quality salad? ›

The three keys to ensuring a quality salad are:
  • freshness of ingredients.
  • the ingredients blend together in harmony.
  • appealing to the eye.

What are the 5 main salads? ›

salad, any of a wide variety of dishes that fall into the following principal categories: green salads; vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads.

What is the healthiest salad you can eat? ›

10 Nutrient-Dense Salad Recipes
  • Low-Carb Asian Chopped Salad.
  • Spicy Shrimp, Avocado, and Arugula Salad.
  • Tofu and Kale Salad.
  • Pear, Grape, and Feta Salad.
  • Mediterranean Chicken Salad.
  • Blood Orange and Quinoa Kale Salad.
  • Golden Beet and Pomegranate Salad.
  • Roasted Chickpea and Kale Salad.
Jul 20, 2021

How do you make a healthy salad taste good? ›

12 Easy Ways to Make Salad Taste Amazing – Seriously
  1. Make Your Salad a Spectacle. ...
  2. Mix and Match Leaves. ...
  3. Upgrade Your Salad Dressings. ...
  4. Massage Your Salad Greens. ...
  5. Toss in Cooked Veggies. ...
  6. Add Fresh Herbs. ...
  7. Sweeten with Fruit. ...
  8. Heat Your Salad Dressing.
Mar 9, 2022

What to put in healthy salads? ›

leafy greens such as romaine, arugula, kale and spinach. whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and bulgur. chopped or shredded vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, cabbage, and beets.

What is the most unhealthy salad dressing? ›

Caesar dressing. Made up of mayonnaise, cheese, salt and oil (and all too often, anchovies), Caesar tends to be one of the least healthy options out there. Those ingredients cause it to be high in both saturated fats and sodium.

What is the number 1 salad dressing? ›

Ranch Dressing

The ranch is hands down America's most beloved salad dressings. It is made from a number of ingredients such as buttermilk, mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, onion, chives, salt, and pepper. A creamier and richer version often features sour cream or yogurt for enhanced taste.

What is the number one healthiest salad dressing? ›

Generally speaking, the healthiest salad dressing will be a vinaigrette like balsamic or oil and vinegar, while Caesar, ranch or anything with the word “creamy” will be the unhealthiest. The exception? We like products made with healthy swaps—think Greek yogurt in place of mayo or heavy cream.

What is the key to a good salad? ›

The secret to a good salad
  • Be gentle with lettuce. Balsamic dressing. ...
  • Serve up perfect avocado. Forget lemon juice or cold water – the only way to stop an avocado going brown in a salad is to peel and chop them right before serving. ...
  • Say goodbye to onion tears. ...
  • Adore your dressing. ...
  • Sprinkle in some protein.

What are the common components of salad? ›

If it's just a throw-it-all-in salad, it's usually lettuce (spring greens or romaine or red and green leaf), spinach leaves, shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, celery, beets, grape tomatoes, broccoli stem if we have it, jicama if we have it, garbanzo beans, white corn, dried cranberries or cherries, candied ...

What salad must be substantial and satisfying? ›

3. Main Dish - Must be substantial and satisfying. Make it with meat, fish, eggs, poultry, vegetables, fruit or a combination of fruit and cheese.

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