This list of 15+ cheap salad recipes has all sorts of salad recipes. From green salads to high protein salads and even some pasta salads, you will find delicious salads on this list.

Alright, who here doesn’t love a big bowl of salad, raise your hand!

No one?


You are in the right place because I am about to show you all the salad recipes that I eat frequently.

I love them ALL!

A collage of 4 images with the title, "BEST Salad Recipes" in the middle.
Cheap salad recipes
You will find every type of salad on this “BEST Salad Recipes” list.

Tips for making salads

  • Always try to get organic ingredients where you can. Salads are famously sprayed with pesticides and that defeats the purpose of eating a salad. I know they are expensive, but, they pay off in the long run.
  • Keep your greens in the crisper section of your fridge. Preferably, wrap them in a paper towel where possible and then put them into a zip-lock bag. They will last much longer.
  • When using legumes like lentils and dry beans in your salads, I strongly recommend soaking them overnight. Many legumes have lectins in them that are bad for your guts. Soaking and then pressure cooking them will make them more gut-friendly. Source: Blue Zone, Healthline, and my own personal conversations with health professionals.
  • If you are using canned beans, make sure you wash them thoroughly so that you can get rid of most of the preservatives in them.
  • For make-ahead salads, see if you can wait until the last second before adding the dressing. This will prevent them from getting soggy. I always put my dressing in a small container next to the salad container. This way, it’s easy to get to when needed.

Traditional green salads are always in demand at my house. We consume a ton of salads, so, I am always experimenting with different ingredients.

Here are some of my examples of green salads. Which one is your favorite?

15+ Cheap salad recipes

Easy Cucumber Salad

Top and closeup view of a spicy cucumber salad in a white bowl. cheap salad recipes.
How delicious does this cucumber salad look!

Cucumber salad with a twist! Here, I marinated feta cheese and olives in harissa sauce. Then, I added a cucumber, radish, onion and dill. This salad is best served cold and immediately after making it.

It’s a keto, vegetarian, and whole foods-friendly recipe. To make it vegan, marinate firm tofu instead of feta.

Arugula salad recipe

Top view of arugula, tofu and mini sweet peppers in a bowl. cheap salad recipes.
This easy arugula salad is ready in just 10 minutes.

There is nothing like a simple arugula salad recipe made with simple ingredients. There are good fats in it and it has a delicious proteins too.

The salad is easy to make and it’s ready in just 20 minutes. Also, there is an exotic spice that makes the tofu taste AMAZING. Head over to the post and make this easy arugula salad.

Panzanella Salad

Top and closeup view of panzanella bread salad with olives, tomatoes, bread, onions and capers.
This colorful Panzanella bread salad is ready in just 20 minutes.

What to do with old sourdough bread. Before you throw it away, look at this salad recipe! It’s an easy tomato bread salad where the old sourdough really shines.

This panzanella salad recipe takes just 20 minutes to make. Easy and delicious brunch recipe.

Warm kale salad with pomegranate

Top and closeup view of the warm kale salad in a bowl. Beet chips, pomegranate and almond slices are visible too - best salad recipes
Sure, you can share this salad with your date, but, you can easily eat this whole kale salad bowl by yourself too. I won’t judge you.

This is a new addition to my salad list. I have always massaged my kale, but this time I decided to warm it up.

For me, purple kale is always the best because it brings so much color to any plate. You can always sub it with curly kale, if you can’t find purple kale.

Incidentally, you can also put purple kale in soup and it’s magnificent!

Spinach salad with bagel chips

Closeup view from the top of spinach salad bowl with dressing. Best Salad Recipes
Spinach salad is a quick way to get your green salad ready for dinner

This spinach salad has become our go-to salad. Whenever we are short on time, I just whip up this salad in a jiffy and we are ready to devour it.

Go for baby spinach when making this recipe because it is very easy to work with. You can even try adding baby kale.

I think the bagel chips are the best part of this salad, but if you are on keto sub it with my beet chips or radish chips. Or, make your own croutons and add them to the salad. This will be the easiest of the cheap salad recipes because you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now.

Vegan Caesar salad

Front view romaine lettuce salad with tofu croutons in a wooden salad bowl with two wooden spoons

I have always been told that for those who have gone vegan after being meat eaters or vegetarians, one of the things they miss most is eggs.

Eggs are a huge no-no on a vegan diet which means omelets, quiche, egg muffins, poached eggs and many more are out of bounds.

Sucks, right?

Well, Caesar salad shouldn’t be one of the recipes you can’t enjoy on a vegan diet. I have the very best vegan Caesar salad that I have been told tastes just like the real deal.

So, enjoy this majestic salad without the guilts!

Didn’t know that you can’t eat eggs on a vegan diet? Consult my handy guide to get the list of all things vegan.

Farro salad with baby kale

Overhead view of farro salad made with grilled pearl onions and grilled cherry tomatoes. chickpeas and baby kale also visible

Baby kale is always present in our home. They are easy to digest and eat, plus they don’t have the uber strong flavors of “adult” kale.

In this salad, baby kale is really the star of the recipe even though it’s called farro salad. The baby kale adds flavor, nutrition, and color to the salad.

Potato salad

Overhead view of white bowl with a blue napkin wrapping most of the bowl. Bowl filled with multi colored potatoes, sautéed greens, carrot shavings, grilled shallots and pesto sauce.

Here is yet another example of a salad where the green outshines the named ingredient. I feel like the greens are huge attention-getters and for good reasons.

The greens in this salad are baby arugula and baby spinach. Add your favorite baby greens to this salad and you won’t be disappointed.

Copycat Whole Food’s sweet kale salad

Front View of a White Plate With Kale, Cranberries, Dried Apples, Walnuts, Red Onions, Carrots, Sunflower Seeds, Sliced Almonds, Feta and Orange Zest. Background has a large Brown Salad Bowl That is Delibrately Blurred. Contains Kale Salad With Thin Black Plastic Tongs.

I used to be a frequent visitor to Whole Foods. This day, because of the atmosphere, I try not to go outside too much.

One of my favorite things to eat at Whole Foods was their sweet kale salad. This salad is normally in the hot foods section. It was simply scrumptious and I can never get enough of it.

So, instead of missing out on it, I am glad I had the foresight to make this recipe in 2016. I have been making it at home for the last 2 years and it’s hit all the right spots.

Tabouli salad

Front view of a brown bowl filled with tabouli salad
Add fresh herbs to a meal and they will help absorb the protein

This is not your Grandmother’s tabouli salad (assuming your grandma made it using bulgur wheat). I went a different route with this Mediterranean salad.

Instead of bulgur, I used Amaranth grain. But, the star is the copious amounts of parsley which is the true star of the salad.

The best part is that this is one of the most versatile cheap salad recipes. You can use quinoa, bulger wheat, farro, or orzo pasta in place of amaranth.

High protein salads

Legumes are a vegan’s best protein friend. When cooked correctly, they can provide much-needed nourishment for the body.

Here are some of my favorite legume salads. The best part is that I have made them super easy to make.

Mediterranean lentil salad

Top and closeup view of Mediterranean Lentil Salad made in the Instant pot. Cheap salad recipes.

I made this salad in the Instant Pot and that’s all everyone likes to hear. Making it in the instant pot makes this recipe super easy to make.

It also has plenty of protein and other nutrients that vegans are always looking for. You can substitute the feta cheese with vegan feta cheese.

This salad is my favorite on this list of cheap salad recipes. That’s because I can make it in minutes using just my Instant Pot. I never have an excuse to not eat right!

Thai edamame salad

Top and closeup view of unshelled edamame with bell pepper and shredded coconut
This edamame salad is packed with protein, folate, and fibers!

Edamame is considered to be one of the sources of complete proteins for vegans. They are easy to cook with and they can be flavored a hundred ways from Sunday. This edamame salad is made with Thai flavors and has good fats too.

Navy bean salad

Front view of navy bean salad in a white bowl. Cheap salad recipes.

Ever since we made this recipe back in 2016, it has become a staple on our Thanksgiving menu each year. We feel that the Thanksgiving table is empty if the salad is not present.

Once again, parsley is taking center stage when it comes to taste. Parsley flavors the legumes in this salad like no other herb can.

This navy bean salad is also the most colorful of all the cheap salad recipes on this list. It’s like eating the rainbow!

Pressure cooker couscous salad

Top view of couscous salad in the Instant Pot Container with a wooden spoon in it.

I have been called “crazy” for cooking my couscous in the pressure cooker. Until you try making this unique salad in your Instant Pot, you will not understand why it’s much easier.

This salad is made with all Mediterranean ingredients, with tarragon being the king. The strong flavors make this a very unique salad to make any weeknight.

Fruit salads

If you grew up in Indian (like me), your fruit salads always included some kind of dairy like condensed milk, custard or even evaporated milk.

Seeing fruit salads without dairy in it was shocking, but I quickly adopted. Now, I make fruit salads all the time and they have no condensed milk it! Wild, I know!!

Check out some of my favorite fruit salads

Watermelon salad with arugula

Front view of a grey plate with arugula, melon balls and mozzarella balls

Watermelon is not just good to make lassi. It also makes for a good salad.

I have loved how it’s natural sweetness works with the strong flavors of arugula. They make a good team.

What brings everything together is the amazing pear dressing. I like taking it to picnics.

Summer fruit salad

Closeup view of a white bowl with blackberries, peaches, avodado and quino

I gathered some of my favorite fruits, added quinoa to them, and then turned it into a salad.

Sounds easy, right?

It is very easy and it can be made with simple ingredients.

Kachumber salad

Overhead view of a light gray bowl with Kachumber salad in it and clan†ro on the top left

Kachumber is a salad I grew up eating. It was always served as a side dish to every meal.

Now, I took the traditional kachumber and turned it up a notch! This one has fruits like mangoes and tomatoes. I also upped the spice levels in this salad.

You can eat it by itself or use it as a topping for your sandwiches.

Greek olive salad recipe

Top view of olive salad on a whipped feta dip with a tortilla chips on inserted on the left side of the dip
You will never see olives in the same way again.

I know you are not surprised to see olive salad under the fruit salad section because you are well aware that it’s a fruit!

Olives are, in my opinion, the most healthy food on the planet. They are packed with natural and good fats. Plus, they have plenty of fiber and no carbs.

So, eat this olive salad all day long and have no guilt.

Vegetable salads

I find that mixing all kinds of veggies in a salad makes them that much more interesting. I know I could never say no to a broccoli salad or a cucumber salad.

Here are some of my favorite vegetable salads that can be made in no time at all.

Roasted cauliflower salad

Overhead view of roasted cauliflower salad on a white oval serving platter - 5 Hearty Vegan Recipes in Dutch Oven

Roast cauliflower and then add orzo pasta. Bring all the ingredients together with a simple herby tahini sauce!


You have the perfect vegetable salad or pasta salad on your hands. This salad can be served as a side dish or a main course meal.

I have even more fun and exciting cauliflower recipes that will make you love this cruciferous vegetable!

Mediterranean Brussels sprouts salad

Top view of cooked Mediterranean Brussels sprouts in a grey square skillet.

Have you tried grilling sprouts on top using a stove-top grill?

This method ensures that I can have grilled sprouts all year round! My favorite way is to make a Mediterranean flavors sprouts recipe which does include olives.

Don’t know how to choose sprouts when buying them? Consult my handy dandy Brussels sprouts guide

And, if you get your hands on sprout tops, I show you the best way to cook them.

Ask me questions

Types of salads

– Green salads
– Vegetable salads
– Pasta salads
– Fruit salad
– Mixed salads

What are green salads made of?

Green salads are normally made of a mix of green leafy vegetables like:
– Spinach
– Kale (baby kale, curly kale, purple kale, etc)
– Romaine lettuce
– Iceberg lettuce
– Arugula
– Green chards
– Baby bok choy
– Fresh herbs like parsley, dill and purple basil

Some of these greens might also include colorful greens like Red leaf lettuce, Lolla Rosa, Red Chard, spring mix, and more.

Can a salad be a meal by itself?

The right salad can be the perfect meal by itself. If it has the right proportions of protein, fats, and veggies, the salad can be satiating.

What’s a good protein to add to a vegan salad

If you are making a green salad, choosing the right vegan protein makes all the difference. I prefer using tofu and tempeh as my go-to protein salad.

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