Tired of the same chopped kale salad day after day? Ditch the green (just for a min.) and try these creative takes on salad instead.
Who Needs Lettuce?
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Is a salad really a "salad' without lettuce? It sure is. Actually, these kinds of greens-less salads really shine in the summer—you probably noticed all those fruit, grain, and pasta bowls popping up at backyard barbecues everywhere. This isn't to say you can't ever eat a salad with romaine or spinach again—leafy greens are packed with vitamins and minerals, like vitamin K, calcium, iron, and folate. But you can gain tons of protein, fiber, and body-boosting nutrients from these nine delicious salads, too.
Photo: Martin Barraud/Getty Images
Strawberry Caprese Farro Salad
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An easy caprese salad never gets old, but here's a fun, fruity twist on the classic mozzarella and tomato dish. Fresh strawberry slices provide added antioxidants and a sweet note that's just right for the season. After letting cooked farro cool in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes, you're free to throw the rest of the mixed ingredients on top. (Discover more grain-based salads that seriously satisfy.)
Get the recipe: Strawberry Caprese Farro Salad
Photo: A Beautiful Plate
Garlic Shrimp Zoodles
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This fresh take on a summer favorite will give your zoodles a garlicky punch. Even better, it only takes 15 minutes to prepare. By taking only a few minutes to cook the zoodles, you can avoid a watery and mushy texture (blah). Some cooked shrimp plus a little salt and pepper, and dinner is served.
Get the recipe: Garlic Shrimp Zoodles
Photo: Salt & Lavender
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
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Traditional pasta salad is sure to put you in a food coma. Instead, try this Mediterranean style recipe—loaded with heart-healthy fats. Simply make some pasta and store it in the fridge to cool. Then mix it with a creamy Greek yogurt dressing and salty feta for a side dish that's rich in protein and flavor. (Next up: Orzo Caprese Pasta Salad.)
Get the recipe: Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Photo: Shaw's Simple Swaps
The Best Fruit Salad
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Pineapples, strawberries, and kiwis make this fruit salad a triple threat thanks to a balance of tart, sweet, and acidic. And the lemon-poppy seed dressing adds a citrusy punch. All you need is about 30 minutes, a large mixing bowl, and a serving spoon.
Get the recipe: The Best Fruit Salad
Photo: The Stay at Home Chef
Greek Orzo Salad
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This Greek salad gets an upgrade with the help of orzo, a type of rice-shaped pasta fit for light summer salads. For the perfect texture, cook the orzo until it's al dente—about 8 to 10 minutes. Let the whole salad marinate in the fridge for about 1 to 2 hours before digging in. The extra time will make for a more flavorful bite.
Get the recipe: Greek Orzo Salad
Photo: Just a Taste
Summer Grain Salad
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This salad doesn't just stick with one fiber-packed grain, it features three—a medley of barley, freekeh, and brown rice. (Learn more about other ancient grains to switch up your healthy carbs.) But you don't have to use this exact mix—wheat berries, amaranth, kamut, or quinoa will also give this dish a healthy, hearty texture. Add color to this grainy salad with heirloom carrots and tomatoes, both of which are in season.
Get the recipe: Summer Grain Salad
Photo: Pook's Pantry
Avocado Jicama Cucumber Salad
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Everyone's favorite green fruit—the avocado, duh—gets a bit of crunch with the addition of jicama and cucumber, and some zest with the help of fresh lime juice. This salad will be gone in an instant!
Get the recipe: Avocado Jicama Cucumber Salad
Photo: Lively Table