32 Fall Salad Recipes That You’ll Actually Look Forward to Eating

·11 min read

Once fall arrives, corn, zucchini and tomatoes make way for squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, figs and the like. And they’re all invited to lunch. Ease into the season with 32 fall salad recipes that are both healthy and exciting, from hearty kale numbers to a radicchio bowl that’s secretly plant-based. Plus, most of them only take a few minutes to put together.

RELATED: 38 Healthy Fall Recipes Under 500 Calories (That Still Taste Delish)

1. Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <15 minutes, <10 ingredients

If you swap the usual light, crisp greens for heartier Brussels sprouts, you can instantly upgrade a salad for the new season. Serve it as a side dish, or add a protein (like chicken or tofu) to turn it into a main course.

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2. Easy, Healthy Broccoli Salad

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, <500 calories, make ahead

It’s like that creamy broccoli salad you grew up with…but with an upgraded maple-mayo-cider dressing that’s a touch more elegant. This fall salad tastes best if you give the flavors a chance to meld, so let it sit for at least 30 minutes before serving (or, even better, make it a day ahead).

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3. Warm Ginger-Scallion Pork and Kale Salad

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, paleo, <500 calories, high protein

As much as we adore kale, eating those leafy greens raw can be hard to swallow—literally. This recipe uses a bit of heat and an acidic dressing to soften the texture and add tons of flavor. It calls for coconut aminos to keep things paleo, but you can also use soy sauce or tamari if that’s what you have.

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4. Chickpea, Kale, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <15 minutes, gluten free

In our humble opinion, apples are the ideal salad topping: crisp, tart and just sweet enough. Plus, they play nice with the tart lemony vinaigrette and tangy goat cheese. Swap the kale for arugula if you want to lighten up the texture.

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5. Herbed Kale Salad with Persimmon, Pomegranate and Maple-Cumin Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, gluten free, ready in <30 minutes

Maple-cumin dressing? Salad has never tasted this good. And hot tip, massaging the kale with something acidic (here, the lemon juice in the dressing) will soften its tough fibers and make it more pleasant to eat.

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6. Meal-Prep Creamy Kale Caesar Salad

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, no cook, make ahead

Not only will you have lunch for the week in just 15 minutes, it’ll convert your veggie-resistant kids. You can thank the cheesy, creamy dressing and satisfyingly crunchy toasted nuts.

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7. Harvest Cranberry, Persimmon and Burrata Salad

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, <500 calories

Burrata is taking a break from summer pasta salad for something more autumnal. It’s just the match for crisp, sweet persimmons. Seek out the Fuyu variety, which have a texture similar to an apple.

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8. Abundance Kale Salad with Savory Tahini Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: gluten free, dairy free, vegan

Fast, filling and fabulous for busy weeknights. It’s loaded with greens, roasted sweet potatoes, red cabbage and radishes, not to mention a dreamy dressing that’s completely plant-based. (Thanks, tahini.)

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9. Roasted Sweet Potato and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Honey Mustard Yogurt Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, gluten free, <500 calories

OK, this one will take you 35 minutes to make. But hello, it’s sheet-pan salad (meaning minimal dishes to clean). And it’s drizzled in a homemade sweet and tangy dressing to boot.

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10. Prosciutto and Fig Salad Board

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <30 minutes, gluten free, special occasion–worthy

Equal parts impressive and easy, meaning it’s ideal for an alfresco dinner with friends before the weather gets too chilly. Pair it with a baguette, some wine and a few cozy fall side dishes.

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11. Shredded Sprouts Salad

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, gluten free

Bring on the Brussels, bacon and grated Asiago for a salty, savory salad you’ll want to add to your rotation ASAP. If you’ve never shredded sprouts before, don’t worry—it’s really easy, and all you need is a chef’s knife.

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12. Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Apple Salad

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes

  • Why We Love It: gluten free, dairy free, <500 calories

Hey there, autumn. Tart apples and juicy pomegranate seeds add brightness to spiced cauliflower and nutty tahini dressing. If you have a convection setting on your oven, you can use it to your advantage here: The fan will circulate heat, crisping the cauliflower to the ultimate degree. But if not, no worries. Just set your oven 30 degrees higher for a similar effect (or bust out your air fryer).

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13. Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, <500 calories, low sugar

It’s almost too pretty to eat…oh, who are we kidding? We’re having thirds. We don’t feel bad about it either, considering beets are rich in folate, antioxidants and fiber.

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14. Radicchio, Lentil and Apple Salad with Vegan Cashew Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegan, dairy free, gluten free, low sugar

The four-ingredient dressing couldn’t be simpler, and it also happens to be vegan (even though it’s oh-so-creamy). Bonus, it tastes amazing over pasta or on toast, so go ahead and make a double batch.

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15. Black Fig and Tomato Salad

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, no cook, <10 ingredients, gluten free, vegan

Black figs, fresh basil and tangy Champagne vinegar are a great excuse to put summer tomatoes on the fall table. Serve with goat cheese or ricotta, or go all out and build an entire cheese plate as a side.

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16. Lemon-Tahini Salad with Lentils, Beets and Carrots

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, <500 calories, gluten free, dairy free, <10 ingredients


We love how the bright, nutty dressing complements the earthy flavor of the kale and root vegetables. Psst, want to save some time? Use precooked lentils and beets. It’ll be our little secret.

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17. Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: low sugar, high protein, gluten free

A salad for people who, well, hate salad. It’s got an umami-rich mustard dressing that’s reminiscent of a Caesar (but easier to make), smoky roasted chickpeas and Parm shavings. What’s not to like?

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18. Citrus, Fennel and Avocado Salad

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, gluten free, dairy free, vegan

Looking for a beam of brightness during the colder months? Blood orange and ruby red grapefruit should do the trick. If your avocado isn’t quite ripe enough, try stashing it in a brown paper bag with an apple to hasten the process.

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19. Black Fig, Mozzarella and Basil Salad

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <15 minutes, <10 ingredients

Peak fig season is in September, so kick off the season with this ten-minute wonder. With so few ingredients, it’s an ideal opportunity to splurge on the best fruit and cheese you can find. Now, where’s the crusty bread?

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20. Roasted Squash Salad with White Beans, Breadcrumbs and Preserved Lemon

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: dairy free, vegan, low sugar, <500 calories

When the temps drop and a chill settles into the air, we like to trade our usual dainty green salads for something heartier, like this autumnal beauty. Soaking the beans and simmering them with garlic and bay leaf will make them more flavorful, but canned beans can save you a lot of time. The choice is yours.

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21. Spicy Carrot Salad with Chickpeas and Parsley

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: low sugar, <500 calories, ready in <30 minutes, no cook

The dressing stars harissa, a hot North African chile paste. It turns zesty and bright when combined with lemon and white wine vinegar, and coats the shredded carrots just so. Serve this fall salad alongside salmon or roast chicken for a veritable feast.

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22. Julia Turshen’s Radicchio and Roasted Squash Salad

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: gluten free, vegetarian, make ahead

This salad can sit out on the table for hours without losing any integrity or flavor, making it great for entertaining. Plus, you can mix the whole thing up the day before, refrigerate it and then bring it to room temperature before serving. Genius or what? Oh, and the leftovers would be pretty damn delicious in a grilled cheese. Just saying.

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23. Mackerel Asparagus Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: low sugar, high protein, <500 calories, ready in <30 minutes

Nothing beats the divine one-two punch of zippy soy-sesame dressing and tender mackerel. You can substitute canned tuna if that’s what available to you; it just won’t taste quite as mild or rich.

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24. Warm Sesame Noodle Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, dairy free, high protein

For those of you who like your greens with a side of carbs, this meal is one part noodles and one part vegetables. The creamy peanut-soy dressing won’t hurt anything either.

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25. Indian Salad Bowl with Crunchy Chickpeas

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: gluten free, <500 calories, ready in <30 minutes

Complete with mango chutney, shredded coconut and curry-roasted chickpeas, this is one fall salad you don’t want to miss. Use a store-bought mango chutney if you want to save a little time.

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26. Yotam Ottolenghi’s Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Pistachio Salad

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: low sugar, <500 calories, <10 ingredients

Sometimes lettuce just doesn’t cut it. Here, cauliflower, parsley and mint hold down the fort. We recommend tasting and adjusting the seasoning as needed before serving, since the amount of salt called for is relatively small.

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27. Crispy Goat Cheese Salad

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: low sugar, <500 calories, vegetarian

A bed of arugula crowned with crispy breaded goat cheese? Now *that’s* our kind of salad. Fall-ready fennel and radishes get tossed with lemon juice and olive oil to round out the meal.

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28. Roasted Delicata Squash Salad

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian, gluten free

This gourd is nutty, sweet and gets crispy in the oven, plus you don’t have to peel its tender, edible skin. Add a sprinkle of crumbled feta and pomegranate seeds, then wow your guests.

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29. Falafel Salad with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: no cook, <500 calories, vegetarian, low sugar

Psst: You can totally skip the messy deep-frying and sauté the ten-ingredient falafel patties instead. Or go for the ultimate in convenience and let store-bought falafel do all the work.

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30. Warm Freekeh Salad

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 minutes, vegetarian

It’s time to add this ancient grain to your pantry. It’s chewy, earthy and quite the match for roasted butternut squash and fresh mint. This is one bowl we wouldn’t mind eating on the couch…with our coziest blanket…and a spooky movie in the queue.

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31. Kale Salad with Persimmons, Crispy Chickpeas and Fried Shallots

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, <500 calories, special occasion–worthy

It’s totally satisfying and wholesome (not to mention impressive), thanks to a delicious combination of fresh persimmons, sweet dried apricots, crispy roasted chickpeas and irresistible frizzled shallots. Some might argue it’s even better than that fast-casual salad joint you love to haunt.

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32. Fall Roasted Vegetable and Lentil Salad with Pine Nut Cream

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegan, gluten free, low sugar, <500 calories

Our lunch plans are looking up. This hearty fall salad can be served on its own as a main course, and the ingredients can be as adaptable as you choose. For example, you could replace the lentils with canned cannellini beans or chickpeas, and trade the cilantro for parsley or dill.

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