Do you love salads but want to take a break from lettuce? These recipes are full of veggies and nutritious ingredients to show that salads without lettuce are also fresh, light, and delicious!
You’ll find filling salads that can be made ahead for filling healthy lunches for work or enjoyed as a main meal or side dish for dinner.
Does a Salad Have to Have Lettuce?
Of course not! A salad is simply a mix of ingredients that can include but is not limited to veggies, cooked meats, pasta, grains, and more all tossed in your choice of dressing -whether it has lettuce or not is completely up to you.
These salads without lettuce taste amazing, are packed with nutrition, and are easy to make. Check them out and click to print the ones you like!
Salad Recipes Without Lettuce
What to Use in a Salad Instead of Lettuce
There are so many different ways to toss a healthy AND great-tasting salad without using lettuce as the base. Check out these other nutritious options that taste just as good, if not better!
- Arugula: has a peppery taste with plenty of vitamins and minerals. It’s my personal favorite lettuce alternative.
- Spinach: offers plenty of iron. If you find regular spinach too bitter, baby spinach tends to have a sweeter flavor and softer texture.
- Kale: massage raw, chopped kale with lemon juice to help soften it. It’s an excellent source of vitamins K and C and tastes great with vinaigrette.
- Cabbage: is also high in vitamins K and C. It has a sweet and delicious crunch you can pair with any cooked protein and salad toppings. I like using creamy dressing for this option.
- Spiralized veggies: from zucchini, beets, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, and more, a spiralizer is a great way to transform a veggie into a filling base!
- Shaved Brussels sprouts: similar to cabbage but slightly sweeter. Compared to kale and cabbage, it’s the HIGHEST source of vitamins K and C.
- Quinoa: high in protein and super filling.
- Rice: a great base to make a satisfying meal as well as a great way to use up leftovers.
- Farro: wheat kernels can be cooked and made into a rice-like base for any salad.
- Cooked pasta: ANY kind of whole-grain pasta tastes super satisfying and makes a great source of fiber.
- Couscous: similar to quinoa in texture and takes less than 5 minutes to cook!
- Cubed bread: ever heard of Panzanella? This will change your life.
- Potatoes: are a healthy starch that offers fiber and makes a satiating base for salads. Cubed potatoes can be boiled or roasted and tossed with your favorite salad ingredients.
Salads with greens other than lettuce
If you love salads with greens but want to leave lettuce aside, these recipes hit the spot! A few greens mixed with tasty and nutritious ingredients show that salads without lettuce can be awesome!
18 Epic Salads without Lettuce
Simple Couscous Salad
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1 garlic clove, grated or minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups broccoli florets, steamed & chopped small
- 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup parsley, finely chopped
- In a medium sauce pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the couscous, stir, cover with a lid, and turn off the heat. Let it rest to absorb the water and cook for 5 minutes. Once the couscous is ready, fluff it with a fork.
- Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the cooked broccoli and fresh tomatoes.
- Transfer the cooked couscous to the salad bowl, top with parsley, and toss to combine all the ingredients with the dressing at the bottom of the bowl.
- Enjoy it warm or refrigerate it for 1 hour or overnight.