6 Fresh and Flavorful Green Salads That are a Cinch to Make

Easy spring salad recipes

Spring is officially here, and with it comes an abundance of fresh produce, like asparagus, carrots, peas, avocados, and watercress. So pack up a picnic basket—it's time to enjoy these seasonal veggies!

Here are six fresh and flavorful green salads that are a cinch to make right in the comfort of your own home:

1. Cobb salad

This is a classic restaurant salad that you can make at home. Serve it with goddess dressing for a unique spin. Serves four.


  • 8 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup trimmed watercress
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 2 tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 2 hard-cooked large eggs cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup diced peeled avocadoes
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese


  • Combine the lettuce and watercress in a large bowl
  • Place two cups of lettuce mixture on each of the four plates
  • Arrange six tablespoons chicken, four tomato wedges, two egg wedges, two tablespoons avocado, and one tablespoon cheese over each serving
  • Serve each salad with 1/4 cup dressing

2. Grilled chicken Caesar salad

Who doesn't like a Caesar salad? You can easily make it vegetarian by omitting the chicken and using an anchovy-free dressing. Serves six.


  • 4 four-ounce skinned, boned chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat Caesar dressing
  • 2 cups cubed French bread
  • Olive oil-flavored vegetable cooking spray
  • 6 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into eight wedges
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Ground pepper


  • Marinate chicken in 1/4 cup reduced-fat Caesar dressing for one hour
  • Coat the French bread cubes with cooking spray
  • Place in a single layer on a baking sheet
  • Bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes
  • Remove chicken from marinade
  • Coat grill rack with cooking spray and place on grill over medium heat
  • Place chicken on the grill for five minutes on each side
  • Cut chicken into slices
  • Combine the chicken, bread cubes, lettuce, and next three ingredients in a large serving bowl
  • Pour remaining 1/4 cup dressing over lettuce mixture and toss well
  • Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper

3. Chicken orzo salad with goat cheese

This yummy salad is ready in a snap. Use store-bought vinaigrette or make your own. Serve with pita wedges. Serves six.


  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo
  • 3 cups chopped grilled chicken breast strips
  • 1 1/2 cups trimmed arugula
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup prechopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 6 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
  • Salt and pepper


  • Cook pasta according to package directions and drain
  • Combine the pasta, chicken, and the rest of the ingredients
  • Toss well and drizzle salad dressing over pasta mixture
  • Mix together and sprinkle with cheese

4. Green pea pasta salad

This salad is made with arugula. You can add prosciutto to it for extra protein. Serves four.


  • 8 ounces uncooked seashell pasta
  • 1 cup of frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup canola mayo
  • 1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  • Cook pasta according to package instructions
  • Add peas to pasta during the last two minutes of cooking
  • Drain and rinse with cold water
  • Combine mayo and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl
  • Add pasta mixture and arugula and toss to coat

5. Charred asparagus and arugula salad

This salad features a soft-boiled egg that adds protein and richness. It also features a lemony dressing. Serves four.


  • 4 large eggs in shells
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 five-ounce baby arugula


  • Preheat broiler to high
  • Bring a small saucepan filled with water to a boil
  • Add eggs and cook eight minutes
  • Place the eggs in a bowl filled with ice water and let stand a few minutes
  • Peel eggs, cut into quarters, and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Combine the olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and asparagus on a baking sheet
  • Spread in a single layer in the pan
  • Broil a few minutes or until lightly charred
  • Remove asparagus and cut into small pieces
  • Combine a pinch of salt and pepper with yogurt, lemon juice, and one tablespoon of water in a medium bowl
  • Add the arugula and toss
  • Arrange the arugula mixture on a platter
  • Top with asparagus mixture and eggs

6. Salmon and spinach salad

This salad features mint, tarragon, and garlic. If you don't care for fennel, you can swap for another crunchy element like cucumber and celery. Serves four.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 six-ounce salmon fillets, skinned
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 3/4 cup sliced fennel bulb
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 six-ounce baby spinach


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high
  • Sprinkle salmon fillets with a pinch of salt and pepper
  • Add to pan and cook for five minutes on each side
  • Allow to cook and break fillets into large flakes
  • Combine the rest of the olive oil, some salt and pepper, tarragon, vinegar, and garlic in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk
  • Add fennel, mint, parsley, and spinach and toss to coat
  • Arrange spinach mixture on plates and top with salmon

Super salads

Now that heading back to the great outdoors is at the top of everyone's agenda, a fresh, inspired meal to suit the setting is a must! And any of these refreshing seasonal salads are sure to satisfy the occasion. All that's left to do is to do head to the farmer's market. Happy shopping!

  1. "Superfast Salads," Cooking Light, April 29, 2009.


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