20 Delicious Make-Ahead Salads

By Laurel Randolph on 4 February 2015 0 comments

Feel like you should be eating more salad, but can't be bothered to get everything chopped and prepared every day? Luckily there are some delicious and nutritious salads that you can make days ahead. (See also: 10 Great Freeze-Ahead Burrito Recipes)

Spend just a few minutes on Sunday making a couple of these make-ahead salads, and you'll be a happy, healthy eater all week long.

1. Quinoa Salad

A take on tabbouleh salad, this quinoa salad with cucumber, tomato, and herbs is easy and healthy. A little prep, and you'll have a nutritious lunch that lasts five days in the fridge.

2. Spicy Chicken Salad

Use leftover chicken to throw together this simple chicken salad with a kick. Chopped jalapeno, red onion, red pepper, avocado, and scallions combine with a flavorful dressing to make a tasty dish. Add the avocado just before eating to prevent browning.

3. Israeli Couscous Salad

Israeli couscous is a fatter, plumper version of it's tiny counterpart. Just cook some up and add in cucumber, green onion, snap peas, parsley, and feta for a fresh couscous salad that lasts. Swap out the vegetables to mix things up.

4. Moroccan Carrot Salad

This crunchy carrot salad finally gives carrots a starring role. It lasts several days in the fridge and goes great with some arugula thrown in at the last minute. Be sure to scale this recipe down (it serves 20).

5. Asian Noodle Salad

You can't go wrong with a make-ahead Asian salad that's pretty and delicious. Just cook the soba noodles and layer them with edamame, fresh veggies, peanut dressing, and crispy noodles in a mason jar and you have an easy to transport lunch.

6. Orzo Salad

Try this quick salad that uses a tiny rice-like pasta called orzo. Combine the cooked orzo with feta, olives, bell peppers, and an easy dressing, and you have a salad that will last a week in the fridge.

7. Asian Tuna Salad

A tasty take on the traditional mayo-laden tuna salad that doesn't require cooking, serve this salad over lettuce or cooked, cold soba noodles. The recipe suggests storing the cilantro and chopped onion separately and sprinkling them on before eating.

8. Black Bean Salad

This very simple black bean salad with corn, red peppers, and avocado in a lime-cilantro vinaigrette takes longer to say than it does to make. It's a great flavor combination, and it tastes better the longer it sits.

9. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

A chickpea salad featuring cucumber, feta, tomato, bell pepper, olives, and a fresh vinaigrette that takes mere minutes to prepare and no cooking needed! Store the dressing separately until it's time to eat.

10. Chicken Salad With Grapes

Whip up a lighter version of chicken salad made with yogurt, grapes, walnuts, and capers and serve it over fresh greens for a well-rounded meal.

11. Beet and Barley Salad

This beet and barley salad takes a little work in the kitchen, but if you can find the time, it makes for a delicious dish. Roast the beets and cook the barley and chard before tossing with a lemon dressing and feta cheese. It keeps for about a week in the fridge.

12. Spring Pea and Romaine Salad

A fresh green salad with spring peas, creamy feta, crunchy cucumber, and zesty radishes that comes together in about five minutes. It can be layered in jars for easy transportation.

13. Rainbow Slaw Salad

Try this crunchy slaw salad with a rainbow of veggies and a light but flavorful vinaigrette. It actually tastes better the next day, so it's perfect for meal planning. Add some grilled chicken and it becomes a raw "stir fry."

14. Egg Salad

Need a high-protein lunch that you can make ahead? A classic egg salad with a little mayonnaise, dill pickle relish, and celery will do the trick. Serve it over crisp greens with crackers.

15. Roasted Broccoli Pasta Salad

This tasty pasta salad with roasted broccoli and red pepper is made even easier if you have leftover cooked pasta or veggies to use up. Throw in the walnuts just before serving.

16. Kale Salad

Try a crunchy, healthy kale and apple salad that you can dress the day before. Massage the kale leaves with vinegar and salt to tenderize them a bit before topping with a fresh-tasting vinaigrette.

17. Burrito Bowl Salad

A protein-packed dish like this burrito bowl salad is sure to be a lunchtime hit. It takes a little prep work, but when stored in mason jars, this salad will last for a few lunches. It features chicken, roasted sweet potato, quinoa, and bacon.

18. Chickpea and Farro Salad

This easy chickpea salad has protein and whole grains that will keep you going until sundown. It packs great as a lunch and pairs well with fish.

19. Chopped Brown Rice Salad

A great way to use leftover brown rice, this chopped salad has the tang of fresh grapes and the crunch of nuts. Be sure to read the notes after the recipe — store ingredients in separate containers, and feel free to add some protein.

20. Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Not your typical tuna salad, this recipe is packed with flavor. Just combine tuna with artichoke hearts, bell pepper, olives, red onion, herbs, and garlic — no cooking required!

Are make-ahead salads part of your lunch routine? What are your favorites?

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20 Delicious Make-Ahead Salads

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