Fresh Salad Recipes and Ideas
Salads work beautifully as fresh starters, snappy side dishes or light main meals. Check out these tips on preparation, assembly and service to help make all your salads sing.
Few dishes are more versatile than a salad. The meal staple comes in all kinds of starting-point categories—pasta salads, fruit salads, lettuce salads, broccoli salads, chicken and other protein-based salads—the possibilities go on and on. Versatility plus fresh ingredients means it’s a cinch for salads to stay healthy, too, scoring that win-win blend of low fat, low calorie and big flavor, when prepared just so. Whether you follow a salad recipe step-by-step or mix-n-match ingredients pulled from your pantry or fridge, here are some tips to keep your salads simple and delicious.
Experiment with greens, such as arugula, kale, endive and all varieties of lettuce. Wash them in cool water, then dry thoroughly before using. Consider investing in a salad spinner, salad tongs and other useful salad implements—find more at The Betty Crocker Store.
No one likes wrestling with an unwieldy Romaine leaf or humungous chunk of melon. Cut salad ingredients into reasonable bite-sized pieces for eating ease.
If time’s an issue, look to preparation helpers such as pre-washed greens mixes, pre-sliced mushrooms, pre-cut fruits and broccoli florets, canned seafood, and Suddenly Salad. There’s no shame in high efficiency.
Make It a Meal
To make your salad a main course, think about the ingredients that often star in your favorite meals, such as chicken, pork, beef, seafood and cheese. Include healthy amounts of these protein sources in your pasta or green salad. Add bread slices or biscuits to round the meal out—go home made, fresh from the oven, with Bisquick.
We’re not talking simply iceberg lettuce and a few cherry tomatoes here. Add some excitement to your salad. Riff on favorite recipes. Dream up fresh, new combinations. Scan the fridge for inspiration in that leftover half an avocado, grilled chicken breast, broiled seafood or other veggies or proteins. Use ingredients you have on-hand to personalize pre-mades, Suddenly Salad or other helpers.
Mix It Up
Skip right past ho-hum and head straight to gung-ho by tossing together a variety of colors, and textures, too. Snip in fresh green herbs, peel in strips of orange carrot or sprinkle on crunchy extras like nuts, Bac~Os or homemade croutons.
For maximum freshness, don’t add salad dressing until serving, even if you’ve assembled the actual salad ahead of time. When you do, be extra careful not to use too much, for both taste and health reasons. Another option: Serve salad dressing on the side, in a ramekin or as bottles of olive oil and infused vinegar, and let diners personally dress salads upon eating.
Of course everyone loves your greatest salad hits, but why not add some fresh new ideas into the mix? A few new twists on fruit salad include Melon-Cucumber Salad, Strawberry-Kiwi-Spinach Toss and Sour Cream-Honey Fruit Salad. If seafood salad’s your thing, mix it up with Shrimp Salad Italiano, Grilled Mixed-Seafood Salad or Seafood Caesar Salad. Standard chicken salad gets fresh new flavor this California Chicken BLT Salad, Ultimate Chicken-Pasta Salad and Tropical Chicken Salad. Perk up plain old pasta salad with recipes including Garden Ranch Pasta Salad, Layered Summer Pasta Salad and “Healthified” Turkey Pasta Salad. Broccoli salad blossoms in Sunny Broccoli Pasta Salad, California Citrus Broccoli Slaw and Tortellini-Broccoli Salad. With these and hundreds of other salad recipes at BettyCrocker.com, you’re sure to discover new favorites.