Freshen up your table with these bright and fresh vegan salad recipes. Healthy and delicious, I can say with confidence that there’s a salad that you’ll love in this mix!
Great big, fresh, colourful vegan salads are the perfect way to celebrate delicious seasonal produce and you've got to love how easy they make throwing a meal together, whether it be for side dishes or a main meal.
Here I've rounded up my best vegan salad recipes. All naturally vegan and dairy-free and most are gluten-free too.
Vegan Salad Recipes
Kidney Bean Salad
Lemon Orzo Salad
Vegan Broccoli Salad
Strawberry Spinach Salad
Sugar Snap Pea Salad
Cucumber Avocado Salad
Watermelon Mint Salad
Quinoa Cranberry Salad
Peanut Crunch Salad in a Jar
Quinoa Butternut Squash Salad
Vegan Brussels Sprout Salad
Massaged Kale Salad with Savoury Granola
Green Bean Potato Salad
Vegan Asparagus Pasta
Tomato Chickpea Salad
Pear Walnut Salad with Maple Cinnamon Dressing
Vegan Avocado Dressing
Oil-free Strawberry Vinaigrette
And now you've got some great vegan salad recipes up your sleeve, here are some tips for how to make and store your own vegan salad creations.
Salad Making Tips
- Season well - Even greens benefit from some salt and pepper. Every component of your salad should taste good so season everything, including your salad leaves, the dressing, mix-ins like roasted veg or toasted nuts etc. Toss it, taste it, and add more seasoning if it needs it.
- Don't just use lettuce - Shredded Brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens, endives, chicory, chard, arugula, radicchio, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, spiralized or shredded kohl rabi, celeriac (celery root), carrots or sweet potato are all great in salads.
- Add roasted vegetables - Sweet, caramelized roasted vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, rutabaga etc add another dimension to your salads, improving the texture and the flavour.
- Add grilled vegetables - Sweet potato, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant etc all grill really well. Cut them into large slices, brush with a little oil and leave them on the grill until you get the fancy black lines!
- Add pickled vegetables - Any you like. They are crunchy and tangy and add so much interest.
- Use fresh herbs - Just a handful mixed with your other greens adds bursts of flavour throughout. Parsley, cilantro, dill, chives, mint, tarragon and basil are great to use. My herby green sauce is also greta on salads.
- Add healthy fats and protein - They add flavour and interest and make salads more satisfying. Tofu (like my baked tofu or crispy tofu), crumbled vegan feta cheese, toasted nuts or seeds, thinly sliced vegan beef or vegan turkey roast, avocado, chickpeas, beans, pan seared tempeh bacon and hummus are all great additions.
- Add cooked grains - Great for making salads more filling and they add interest too.
- Dried fruit - Raisins, sultanas, cranberries, apricots and dates are all great in salads and add a lovely chewy texture as well as bursts of sweetness.
- Fresh fruit - Sound weird but works so well! Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, pomegranate seeds, chopped apple, pear, citrus, all work really well in salads.
- Add texture - A good blend of soft (like avocado, cooked potatoes, strawberries, or soft vegan cream cheese), chewy (like dried fruit or roasted tofu), crunchy (like raw red onion, nuts & seeds or vegan croutons) makes a salad a lot more interesting.
- Balance - Make sure the flavours balance well. There should be a mixture of sweet, salty, acidic and also maybe bitter and spicy ingredients. Maple syrup and different vinegars like balsamic vinegar, raspberry vinegar, sherry vinegar, and white wine vinegar are all great for experimenting with.
- Use a great dressing - Most store bought one's aren't the best and the dressing is key to bringing everything together and great flavour. My Oil-Free Strawberry Vinaigrette and Avocado Dressing are both really tasty.
Vegan Salad FAQs
There are so many delicious meat-free alternatives you can add to your vegan salad recipes. Vegan chicken breasts, tofu (my baked tofu is really great in salads), vegan beef, tempeh, nuts, grains, seeds, vegan cheese, avocado, lentils, black beans, white beans, potato, sweet potato, falafel and cold veggie/bean burgers are all satiating and add protein, great texture, interest and flavour to your salad.
The best way to keep lettuce and other leafy greens fresh is to wash and dry them thoroughly then store them in an airtight container with a layer of kitchen paper across the top and bottom of the container. The paper absorbs any moisture/condensation and by changing it as it becomes damp you keep your salad leaves nice and dry. Try to only dress the amount that will get eaten, then store leftover salad and dressing separately. That way the salad isn't sitting in moisture and won't get soggy.
I love my salad spinner! The amount of water they remove that would otherwise be sitting on the leaves the whole time is impressive. This not only makes the salad leaves last longer, it also makes your salad taste better because the dressing isn't being diluted by that excess water.
Fill the outer bowl of the salad spinner with cold water. Enough to completely submerge the salad you're going to be washing. Place the salad leaves in the spinner basket and gently lower it into the cold water. Use a hand to gently agitate the leaves and rinse off any dirt.
Lift the basket out and pour the water away. I use mine to water my house plants. Put the basket back in, put the top on the spinner and spin it really well. Pour out any water and repeat until the leaves look nice and dry. That's it. You're done!
Kim Arsenault says
Thanks for all these wonderful salad recipes, Mel! You are seriously our go-to for all our recipes and we appreciate you so much! Although sometimes my finished results are not always perfection, it's usually my rushing through a recipe and NOT reading your TIPS, which can totally make the difference! Can't wait to try out some of these !
A Virtual Vegan says
Thank you Kim. I hope you enjoy these salad recipes too!