10 Salads So Hearty You Won't Miss the Lettuce
If you think salads are made mainly from lettuce, we want you to think again! From Mediterranean staples like fattoush and tabbouleh to more hearty options with rice and quinoa, salads can be much, much more than just romaine or iceberg.
So whether you're looking for salad recipes to accompany your pasta dinner or act as a meal in itself, we have you covered. Here are 10 of our favorite lettuce-free recipes to switch up your salad-making routine.
Tabbouleh is a refreshing salad that's made from finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, and bulgur. Lemon juice adds acidity and tang, while mint adds a burst of freshness and flavor. "This salad is great, I love it. It is easy, fast and vegan," says user Rochelle. "I especially like the crunchiness of the cucumbers."
Related: One-Skillet Mediterranean Recipes
Brown Rice Belgian Endive Salad
The addition of brown rice takes this lettuce-free salad recipe from side to main course. Endives are rich in fiber, as well as good sources of iron. "Great crunch factor and love the bite of the vinegar," says user lisaod.
Spinach Salad with Chicken, Avocado, and Goat Cheese
This high-protein, high-fiber salad will make you question why you always thought of lettuce as a go-to salad green! The use of your own homemade dressing also keeps things healthy. "Made it just as listed. Excellent and simple," says reviewer David Wall.
Chickpea, Artichoke, and Feta Salad
This recipe by KellyJeanne results in "a fresh-tasting salad from ingredients that last a long time in the pantry and refrigerator, with a pleasing balance of earthy, sharp, salty, and green." With a boost of protein coming from the chickpeas, this lettuce-free salad is filling all on its own.
Creamy Kale Salad
Part of the cabbage family, kale is a nutritional powerhouse. Some people may find kale to be tough to digest, so take Lesley Carol's advice for a more palatable and creamier kale salad: "I 'massaged' the torn kale in a bowl with a dash of kosher salt for 2-3 minutes to break down the fibers and make it more toothsome. I also added 1 Tbsp. of tahini to the dressing for an even creamier version."
Mediterranean Three Bean Salad
Arabic Fattoush Salad
"If you've never made a single Arabic dish, this is a delicious and healthy place to start," says recipe creator Sonja Taha. Fattoush is a popular salad staple on tables across the Middle East, where you'll often see it served for both lunch and dinner. While it's common to see lettuce in fattoush recipes, some are also lettuce-free — just don't skip on the pita and sumac, two essential ingredients to any fattoush salad.
Quinoa Vegetable Salad
This low-calorie lettuce-free salad is perfect for when you want a lot of leftovers. "I cut the recipe in half and still, it was several meals for the two of us," says user Esther Kenagy. Not only that, but thanks to the quinoa, it's also naturally gluten-free.
Related: 5 Quick and Easy Gluten-Free Dinners
Healthy Garden Salad
A light lime vinaigrette adds a splash of acidity to this colorful, lettuce-free salad recipe. Shelled edamame is an excellent source of protein and relatively low in calories. "Great taste, easy to make ahead and very good as leftover," says reviewer DONNA9197.