If you can’t get into salads for lunchtime, you might be doing it wrong! Think about your favorite foods and how you can incorporate them into easy salads for lunch. Just about any protein—beef, ham, chicken, fish, seafood, or beans and eggs—can work beautifully in a simple, delicious salad. Salads can be great lunch options for mom and dad, but the right serving may also appeal to toddlers and preschoolers.
Try these tips and recipes for easy salads for lunch that you can whip up in no time at home.
Salads make great lunch options due to their limitless potential. You can add countless toppings to your salad to make it more interesting and try different lettuces, spinach, kale, and other greens. Try these lunch salad ideas.
Simple Salads for Lunch
When it comes to very healthy choices at mealtime, salads are top notch. Consider these different ideas for lunchtime salads.
At-Home Salad Bar
Making your own salad station at home is a great option the whole family can enjoy. Set out a few different options of protein, vegetables, and toppings like croutons, shredded cheese, and bacon bits. Easy salads for lunch are ready in a snap! Encourage each family member to fill his or her plate with their favorite salad ingredients to arrive at a delicious meal.
Some fun ingredients to include in your at-home salad bar:
- Bacon bits
- Craisins / Dried cranberries
- Cubed ham, turkey, or chicken
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Leftover salmon, steak, cod, crab, shrimp, or any other delicious entrée
- Vegetable assortment – broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, etc.
Entrée Salads from Leftovers
When planning dinners each night, remember how easy it is to make lunch the next day if you have a little bit of leftover main course. From steak and ham to grilled chicken, salmon, and beyond, you can top your salad with a nice entrée to make it even more enticing. For kids, let them choose their own meat or protein to add with their veggies.
- Turkey Salad – Use up those Thanksgiving leftovers or make this salad after a big turkey dinner. Add fresh white meat turkey, Craisins (dried cranberries), cubed Colby Jack or cheddar cheese, and real bacon bits atop spring mix greens. (Or any combination you so please!)
- Chef’s Salad – After a big ham dinner or when you’ve got some hard-boiled eggs to use up in the fridge after Easter, whip up a yummy chef salad for lunch. Include cubed ham, turkey, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs, along with cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes.
- Black Bean Salad with Turkey or Chicken – It might be more like a salsa or a dip, but you can make a pretty wicked southwest chicken or turkey black bean salad with corn and diced tomatoes. Include yellow cheddar or Colby Jack cheese to tie it all together. Serve with chopped veggies or as an entrée over rice. You can also scoop it with Tostitos as an appetizer! Yum!
- Chicken Cutlet Salad – Slice up some leftover fried chicken cutlets to top off your salad. Add in any other raw veggies, nuts, dried fruit, or leftover vegetables that you like. Alternatively, consider adding fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and balsamic dressing for an Italian twist.
A chicken Caesar salad or shrimp Caesar salad is a truly delicious entrée option. You can get simple kits or make your own with all the supplies. Caesars are one of the best salads for lunch, no matter if you’re eating at a restaurant, packing lunch for work, or chilling out at home. Caesar dressing, hearts of romaine, croutons, parmesan, and chicken or shrimp blend together for the perfect lunchtime flavor.
Vary the Greens
Remember that traditional lettuce is far from your only option when making easy salads for lunch. Try greens like spinach, kale, spring mix, endive, or arugula. You might also look into radicchio to add some color to your salad. Mix it up, keeping a few different types on hand so you don’t get bored of salads for lunch each day.
A chopped salad can be a great option to keep things interesting. You can do a simple wedge salad with bacon bits or a platter with a variety of chopped vegetables, meats and proteins, cheese, and more. You might include cherry tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, beans, and corn, among others.
To make your chopped salad for lunch, follow these tips:
- Chop everything and mix it together.
- Use a variety of textures and flavors to create a delicious lunch.
- Choose a salad dressing that complements the entire dish.
Chopped vegetables, meats, cheeses and other toppings can be eye appealing, delicious and easy salads for lunch.
If your little ones are venturing into the world of yummy salads for lunch, embrace it! Let them put whatever they want on top, even if it’s Cheerios and raisins. (Not that you have to eat that, but the point is to let them explore what looks good to them!)
If you have any awesome recommendations for delicious and easy salads for lunch, be sure to share in our comments below! And if you like simple meal ideas, be sure to check out our Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas for Quarantine!