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48 Easy Side Salads That Go With Any Meal

These simple side salad recipes are the perfect co-star for any main dish. Add a splash of color to dinner tonight.

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Mandarin Broccoli Salad

Sweet, crunchy and colorful, this salad has a fresh mix of textures and flavors. It tastes even better when you chill it overnight, if you can wait that long. —Margaret Allen, Abingdon, Virginia
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Shaved Fennel Salad

This salad tastes even more impressive than it looks. It has an incredible crunch thanks to the cucumbers, radishes and apples. And the finish of fennel fronds adds just the faintest hint of licorice flavor. —William Milton III, Clemson, South Carolina
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Zucchini Panzanella Salad

I learned how to make panzanella from my friend's grandmother. Once I discovered how to make the perfect vinaigrette, it became a dish I crave during the summer. It's also a great way to use day-old bread and your garden's bounty of zucchini. —Felicity Wolf, Kansas City, Missouri
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Apple Sausage Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Making croutons with cinnamon-raisin bread is sweet genius. Toss together the rest of the salad while they toast. —Kim Van Dunk, Caldwell, New Jersey
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Cashew-Pear Tossed Salad

A friend who does a lot of catering fixed this salad for our staff Christmas party several years ago, and we all asked for the recipe. The unexpected sweet-salty mix and lovely dressing make it a hit with everyone. —Arlene Muller, Kingwood, Texas
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Grilled Apple Tossed Salad

Grilled Apple Tossed Salad

The grilled apples in this salad combine so well with the blue cheese, walnuts and balsamic dressing. I like to serve it on pink Depression glass dessert plates from my great-grandmother. —Paul Soska, Toledo, Ohio
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Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

My family is always happy to see this fruit and veggie salad on the table. If strawberries aren’t available, substitute mandarin oranges and dried cranberries. —Irene Keller, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Berry Tossed Salad

Kiwi and feta add interest to this delightful salad that's sweet, tangy, creamy and tart. It pairs perfectly with the grilled ribs my mom likes to make. She got the recipe from a good friend. —Krista Kliebenstein, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
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Blueberry Romaine Salad

I love to bring this delicious salad to school gatherings. The homemade dressing couldn't be simpler, so I whip it up in advance and just give it a quick toss with the other ingredients when I get to any event. —Kris Bristol, Charlotte, Michigan
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Apple-Feta Tossed Salad

A friend of mine shared this recipe with me after I raved about the delightful salad at dinner. I have served it for years now, and no matter where i take it, I have to bring along copies of the recipe to hand out. -Marlene Clark Apple Valley, California
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BLT Chicken Salad

Featuring all the fun fixings for a BLT chicken sandwich, this salad is so lovable. I can prep the ingredients ahead of time and just throw it together at the last minute. Barbecue sauce in the dressing gives it unexpected flavor. Even picky eaters love my chicken salads. —Cindy Moore, Mooresville, North Carolina
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Guacamole Tossed Salad

The fresh blend of avocados, tomatoes, red onion and greens in my salad gets additional pizazz from crumbled bacon and a slightly spicy vinaigrette. —Lori Fischer, Chino Hills, California
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Almond Strawberry Salad

It's easy to love this pretty salad topped with strawberries and sliced almonds. With just a few ingredients, it's loaded with flavor. —Renae Rossow, Union, Kentucky
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Blueberry Chicken Salad

On weekday mornings, I whip up this fun chicken and blueberry combination in minutes to take for lunch. It also works as a nice light salad for a summer supper, and it’s a cinch to double it for a shower or potluck. —Kari Caven, Coeur d'Alene, ID
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Garden Chickpea Salad

Looking for a summer dish with a difference? Combine colorful crunchy veggies with soft feta cheese and good-for-you garbanzos. If you like, add sliced, cooked chicken or lamb. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan
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Merry Berry Salad

Dried cranberries, crunchy apple chunks and toasted almonds dress up this crisp green salad. It's drizzled with a sweet-tart dressing that's a snap to blend. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

This salad has been a family favorite for a while! I love to bring this to parties or simply eat as a wonderful lunch or side dish. —Nikki Barton, Providence, Utah
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Crunchy Tossed Salad

Count on compliments, not leftovers, when you share this fun, tossed salad at your next gathering. It's so easy to throw together, and someone always asks for the recipe. —Deborah Weisberger, Mullett Lake, Michigan
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Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad

If you want something new to try for your Thanksgiving menu, toss this salad together. Fresh spinach leaves are tossed with toasted almonds and dried cranberries and drizzled with poppy seed dressing. It's likely to become a holiday tradition at your house, too. —Michelle Krzmarzick Torrance, California
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Roasted Butternut Tossed Salad

This salad makes an easy and special side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, and it's packed with nutritious veggies, almonds, berries and squash. —Katie Wollgast, Florissant, Missouri
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Grandma's Spinach Salad

With all its fresh ingredients, this pretty spinach salad was my grandma’s favorite. Even my little ones like it (but don’t tell them spinach is good for them)! —Shelley Riebel, Armada, Michigan
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Wendy's Apple Pomegranate Salad

My grandparents grew pomegranates, pecans and walnuts and would send us some each year. Some of my best memories are the days I used to spend with my grandmother learning how to cook with her. Whenever I make this, it's like having lunch with my grandmother again. —Wendy Ball, Battle Creek, Michigan
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Dad's Greek Salad

Dad's Greek Salad

The heart of a Greek salad recipe is in the olives, feta, cucumbers and tomatoes. Dress it with olive oil and vinegar, then add more olives and cheese. —Arge Salvatori, Little Ferry, New Jersey
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Gorgonzola-Pear Mesclun Salad

This pretty salad is a tasty way to get your greens. To change it up, swap apples for pears and pecans for walnuts. —Joylyn Trickel, Helendale, California
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Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan

Try this simple arugula salad recipe for a fresh side the whole family will love. It combines fresh peppery greens with tasty golden raisins, crunchy almonds and shaved parmesan. —Nicole Rash, Boise, Idaho
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Cranberry-Sesame Spinach Salad

For a feast or any occasion, we love this snappy fall salad that balances sweet and sour with good crunch from almonds and sesame seeds. —Stephanie Smoley, Rochester, Minnesota
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Honey-Pecan Kiwi Salad

This dish won second place in a summer salad recipe feature published in our local newspaper. But it takes first place with my family, always happy to try my new creations. —Marla Arbet, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Kale & Bacon Salad with Honey-Horseradish Vinaigrette

Totally scrumptious and packed with nutrition, this salad was my response to friends who asked how they could incorporate kale into their diets without sacrificing taste. It is also wonderful made with collard or mustard greens, prepared in the same fashion as the kale, or with a mix of spinach & arugula or watercress. —Elizabeth Warren, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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Green Salad with Dill Dressing

With a big holiday meal, a light colorful salad is the perfect side dish, especially with this flavorful dressing. I like to make this pretty, tasty salad for the holidays or anytime. —Lucy Meyring, Walden, Colorado
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Yellow Squash & Watermelon Salad

I always enjoy taking this healthy option to parties and potlucks, and people really seem to appreciate it. No oil is necessary for this salad; the lemon juice combines with the feta to lightly coat the bright, fresh ingredients. —Camille Parker, Chicago, Illinois
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Spinach & Bacon Salad with Peaches

Peaches and bacon? Oh, yeah. I made this family favorite for a big summer party. It was so easy to prep the parts separately, then toss it all together right before chow time. —Megan Riofski, Frankfort, Illinois
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Spinach Salad with Raspberries & Candied Walnuts

I created a bright spinach salad with raspberries for a big family dinner. Even those who don't normally like spinach change their minds after the first bite. —Robert Aucelluzzo, Simi Valley, California
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Bow Tie & Spinach Salad

With pasta salad, it’s easy to change up ingredients. We like to add grilled chicken and pine nuts, and sometimes we substitute black beans for the garbanzo beans. —Julie Kirkpatrick, Billings, Montana
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Mixed Greens with Lemon Champagne Vinaigrette

Simple and delicious, this champagne vinaigrette recipe pairs perfectly with mixed greens or a salad of your choice. —Ray Uyeda, Mountain View, California
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Mandarin Orange & Romaine Salad

A tangy salad of romaine, celery and oranges with tarragon vinegar and hot pepper sauce makes a cool companion for turkey dishes. —Cathy Pawlowski, Naperville, Illinois
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Bacon Chicken Chopped Salad

Here's one of many reasons we love tomato season. Chopped salads are so simple and such a fantastic way to eat fresh. —Donna Marie Ryan, Topsfield, Massachusetts
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Bacon Spinach Salad

Even our kids—who normally don't care for spinach—can't resist this salad with its rich dressing and crumbled bacon. Of course, you can use other greens instead of spinach. —Gretchen Kuipers, Platte, South Dakota
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Quick Nicoise Salad

Like the French, I pack my classic Nicoise salad with veggies, potatoes, tuna and eggs. Cooking the potatoes and beans together helps the dish come together fast. —Valerie Belley, St. Louis, Missouri
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Chicken & Onion Caesar Salad

My Caesar with grilled chicken is a healthier alternative to heavy meat and potatoes dishes. After grilling the kabobs, we serve them family style. —Melissa Adams, Tooele, Utah
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Orange and Beet Salad

This jewel-colored orange and beet salad is one where I just kept adding touches until I got it just the way I want it. —Jessie Apfe, Berkeley, California
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Jeweled Endive Salad

Every Christmas, friends have a huge potluck party. I wanted to bring something unique, so I topped off endive and watercress with jewel-toned pomegranate seeds. —Alysha Braun, St. Catharines, Ontario
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Fennel Salad with Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette

A sweet balsamic vinaigrette always pulls everything together in a delicious harmony of flavors. Raspberries are one of my very favorite fruits, so I'm always eager to find a new use for them. —Susan Gauthier, Falmouth, Maine
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Kale Slaw Spring Salad

Kale Slaw Spring Salad

My parents and in-laws are retired and like to spend winters in Florida. This tangy spring salad welcomes the snowbirds back for our Easter celebration! —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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My Underground Vegetable Salad

Oven-roasting root vegetables is a delicious way to get the most out of these earthy treats, bringing out their subtle sweetness. Serving them over endive with a homemade vinaigrette is just a bonus! —Peter Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
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Ribbon Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Zucchini, cucumbers and carrots are peeled into “ribbons” for this citrusy salad. We like to serve it for parties and special occasions. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Turkey Salad with Pear Dressing

This salad is perfect for using up leftover turkey, chicken or deli meat. Anjou pears are such a great winter fruit. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Strawberry-Quinoa Spinach Salad

We make quinoa with spinach and strawberries year-round, but it's most fun when we go to the farmers market to get the season’s first berries. —Sarah Johnson, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Chickpea Pancetta Salad with Cran-Orange Vinaigrette

When it comes to holiday-worthy salads, this one really fills the bill. The colorful mix of dried cranberries, orange segments, salad greens and red pepper looks beautiful on the table.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.

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