25 Side Salads that Go Beyond Lettuce

Stuck in a salad rut? Try one of these 25 ideas for side salads that go beyond plain lettuce! From grains to fruit to pasta to beans, there are lots of ways to change up your salad game.

A good salad can be made of anything—no lettuce required. Below are different side salads that go beyond traditional salad leafy greens like iceberg or romaine, and some recipes you might like to try! Any of these would work alongside a main course like roast chicken, pork chops, or seared fish.

Robin Shreeves joins Summer Miller in compiling this list.

  • Chickpea Barley Salad

    Moroccan Chickpea Barley Salad
    Elise Bauer

    This chickpea and barley salad recipe tips its hat to Morocco with ras el hanout, pistachios, dried apricots, onions, parsley, and lemon.

  • Kale and Farro Salad With Candies Pecans

    Bowl of Kale and Farro Salad with Spiced Candied Pecans with a Pair of Salad Servers

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    This one's a textural delight, with a creamy dressing and sweet candied pecans. It's make-ahead friendly and also happens to be vegan.

  • Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

    Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan Salad
    Elise Bauer

    With a touch of lemon zest and the zip of scallions, this is a perfect accompaniment to many fall and winter dishes: roast chicken, stews, or pork chops.

  • Soba Noodle Salad

    Soba Noodle Salad
    Elise Bauer

    Bell peppers and mango in the same salad? The contrast matches well together in this salad on a base of cold Japanese noodles made with buckwheat flour.

    Continue to 5 of 25 below.
  • Cucumber Mint Quinoa Salad

    Cucumber Quinoa Salad
    Elise Bauer

    This quick easy quinoa salad with cucumbers and mint is perfect for a summer picnic salad!

  • Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

    Bowl of Roasted Sweet Potato Salad Topped with Crumbled Feta Cheese, Surrounded by Stack of Plate with Forks, a Small Bowl of More Feta Cheese, a Small Bowl of Salt, a Cutting Board with Lime Wedges, a Kitchen Towel, and Empty Glasses

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

    If you've never had sweet potato salad before, you're in for a treat. Crumbly, salty feta helps bring out the savory side of tender roasted sweet potatoes. Serve it with roast chicken at dinner and then enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day.

  • Roasted Broccoli Salad with Feta, Barley, and Pomegranate

    Roasted Broccoli Salad
    Sally Vargas

    Roasted broccoli is base for this hearty winter salad. Toss with barley, spinach, feta, almonds, and pomegranate seeds. 30-minute cooking time.

  • Roasted Radish and Feta Salad

    How to Roast Radishes
    Sally Vargas

    Have you ever roasted radishes? Their flavor transforms in the heat of the oven, turning juicy and sweet. Toss them with a vinaigrette and some feta for a light meal or side salad.

    Continue to 9 of 25 below.
  • Harvest Salad with Miso-Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

    Harvest Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
    Sabrina Modelle

    Toss miso-maple roasted squash with greens, apples, cooked grains, pepitas, dried cranberries, and pomegranate arils. Best fall salad EVER. Makes a great lunch, too.

  • Southwestern Three Bean Salad

    Mexican Three Bean Salad
    Elise Bauer

    A three bean salad with a Southwestern twist! You'll love the combo of pinto beans, black beans, and green beans, with onions, jalapenos, Cotija cheese, and cilantro with a sweet lime dressing.

  • Black Bean Salad

    Black Bean Salad
    Elise Bauer

    A fresh black bean salad, perfect for a summer picnic or potluck. Red bell peppers, jalapeños, avocado, black beans, and corn combined to give this salad its kick and fresh flavors.

  • White Bean and Tuna Salad

    White Bean Tuna Salad
    Elise Bauer

    A classic combination that's so easy to make with pantry staples.

    Continue to 13 of 25 below.
  • Grapefruit Avocado Salad

    Grapefruit Avocado Salad
    Elise Bauer

    Grapefruit and avocado make the perfect pair in this cheerful, healthy salad! It's dressed with a light citrus vinaigrette.

  • Orange and Beet Salad

    Orange and Beet Salad
    Elise Bauer

    Brighten your day with this colorful beet salad with sliced beets, navel oranges, red onions, and arugula in a light vinaigrette.

  • Kale Caesar Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing

    Elise Bauer

    Make this e kale and romaine Caesar salad with a creamy Parmesan dressing (and no egg!) Great for a potluck.

  • Radicchio Salad with Green Olives, Chickpeas, and Parmesan

    Emma Christensen

    A beautiful radicchio salad with green olives, chickpeas, and Parmesan. Quick and easy to toss together and great with chicken or fish.

    Continue to 17 of 25 below.
  • Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella

    Bowl of Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella Surrounded by a Slices of Bread, Vase of Flowers, Utensils, and a Kitchen Linen

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

    Panzanella gets the cool weather treatment with vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and beets, along with hearty kale. Slightly sweet maple brown butter dressing and tangy goat cheese balance out the savory veggies and bread.

  • Cold Pea Salad

    cold pea salad in a white bowl
    Sally Vargas

    For a unique spin on peas as a side, try this salad with frozen peas, smoked almonds, water chestnuts, and a hint of curry. Great as a summer side, its smokiness would pair nicely with bbq chicken.

  • Greek Pasta Salad

    greek pasta salad in a bowl
    Sabrina Modelle

    Everything you love about a Greek salad on top of lettuce mixed with pasta and a lemony dressing instead. A perfect potluck dish.

  • Festive Beet Citrus Salad with Kale and Pistachios

    beet and kale salad in a blue bowl
    Elise Bauer

    Beets, kale, and blood oranges combined together bring some brightness to a winter dinner. Sprinkled with pistachios and drizzled with citrusy, briny dressing, it's a winner.

    Continue to 21 of 25 below.
  • Classic Carrot Salad

    Classic Carrot Salad in a bowl with wooden serving spoons.
    Michelle Becker

    Carrots, raisins, apples, and mayo. That's all it takes to make this simple salad. If you've never tried it, trust us, it works. Really well.

  • Quinoa Succotash

    quinoa succotash
    Elise Bauer

    Cook onions, quinoa, corn, lima beans, and tomatoes in bacon fat then add stock and water. The result is a flavorful, protein-packed side salad that would also work as a main dish.

  • Pasta and Bean Picnic Salad

    pasta and bean summer salad in a bowl with a spoon
    Sheryl Julian

    White beans, tomato, celery, and onions join shell pasta in this summer salad finished with a light vinaigrette.

  • Endive Salad with Walnuts, Pears, and Gorgonzola

    Endive Salad with Walnuts Pear Gorgonzola
    Elise Bauer

    Endive is a crisp, bitter delight that's tempered with walnuts, chopped pear, and creamy blue cheese.

    Continue to 25 of 25 below.
  • Watercress Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

    Watercress Bacon Salad
    Elise Bauer

    Here's a simple watercress salad with fresh peppery watercress and a hot bacon apple cider dressing.