15 Healthy Salad Recipes That Aren't Boring And Will Keep You Feeling Good In The New Year

When you hear the words "healthy" and "salad" together in the same sentence, I'm sure the first thought in your mind isn't, "Mmmmm, must be delicious!" Salad gets a bad rep for being plain and boring, and much of that comes from its association with the most evil of all words, "diet." But when you get a little creative, salad can actually be a really filling, yummy meal that will leave you feeling satisfied. No, really, salad can be really great! Guys, stop laughing. I'm serious.

I know that on a cold winter night, you would probably rather eat comfort food like mashed potatoes and chicken fingers with a mug of hot chocolate (that actually sounds amazing), but let's be real — it's a new year, and everyone is focusing on eating better, even if they're not talking about it. It's a cliche resolution for a reason. Instead of sticking to mixed greens and avocado, mix things up and make some truly awesome salads that will even have skeptics coming back for more. Here are 15 healthy salad recipes that don't suck to get you started.

Asian Summer Salad With Marinated Steak

The title of this might say “summer salad,” but it can really be made all year-round (especially if you live somewhere warm, like California, in which case, I hate you). Steak isn’t always the healthiest of options, but it’s not bad to have sometimes, and really nothing in this salad is bad for you, so that kind of cancels it out. This is a very different mix, and the unique flavors will leave you feeling like you didn’t even just eat a salad.

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Quinoa and Black Rice Salad with Cumin and Avocado

If you want a salad but don’t want lettuce, you can make do with other healthy options, like quinoa. In case you haven’t heard, quinoa is basically a superfood that is good for you AND keeps you full. This mix of quinoa and black rice is definitely a lot of grains, so keep your servings small. But with avocado and a clean dressing, it’s still pretty healthy.

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Bulgur, Chickpeas, Roasted Tomatoes, and Grilled Haloumi Cheese

A lot of salads become fattening and unhealthy because of the addition of too much cheese. You should generally try to avoid cheese in salad if you’re trying to be really good, but once in a while you can throw some in. Haloumi cheese is a good option because it really stands out on its own. This salad is full of so many delicious items that it can easily be eaten as a main course, with or without meat.

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Chicken Quinoa Salad

Mix simple chicken with quinoa, almonds, apricots, and a sweet dressing for a very different salad that will leave you feeling satisfied — and you’ll probably forget that you just ate something that was pretty healthy.

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Mediterranean Chopped Salad

I don’t know why chopping up a bunch of vegetables makes a salad better, but it just does, and I’m not going to argue with it. This mixes up so many great veggies that are good for you with chickpeas that will fill you up and give a little protein. I love that the salad dressing is very clean, too — most salads fail because of fatty, unhealthy dressings, but this one is simple and good for you.

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Salmon Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

One of my personal favorite salad toppings is salmon. It gives a really nice flavor, mixes well with greens, fills you up with healthy protein and fats, and is still healthy on top of all of that. This salad could not be more simple, and it’s also really versatile. You can add more veggies if you want, or you can change up the way you cook the salmon — grill it, broil it, whatever you’d like.

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Grilled Chicken, Mango, and Avocado Quinoa Salad

Grilled chicken is always a go-to diet option, but there’s no reason you have to eat it plain. Mix it with quinoa, avocado, and sweet mango for a seriously yummy mix of flavors.

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Green Bean, Artichoke, and Hard Boiled Egg Salad

Adding a hard boiled egg to your salad for extra protein is always a great idea, especially if you’re a vegetarian. This salad, with salty artichokes and crunchy green beans, is unique, and feels like more of a side dish than anything else.

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Sweet Potato Avocado Salad

Sweet potatoes and avocados are two seriously delicious superfoods (I don’t think anyone can argue that), so why not put them together for a healthy salad? With just a little bit of jalapeno, honey, and lime, these are transformed into something you won’t want to stop eating.

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Farro Salad with Chicken Andouille and Grilled Shrimp

If you’re a big meat eater and the thought of a leafy green salad makes you roll your eyes, try this version. It’s made with farro instead of lettuce (a healthy grain), and chicken andouille with grilled shrimp. It’s a really hearty “salad” that is also still healthy.

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Asian Chicken and Cabbage Salad

This salad is easy because all you really have to do is grill some chicken and make the dressing, then mix it into a coleslaw mix. Although the addition of honey will mean some extra sugar, it’s nice to have a slightly sweet flavor in your salad sometimes.

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Chopped Broccoli Salad with Tahini Soy Dressing

This is another delicious chopped salad recipe that includes super healthy broccoli and an amazing dressing that mixes ginger, tahini and lemon. Add some avocado, and you’re more than good to go.

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Arugula Salad with Chicken, Black Quinoa, and Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Simple roasted chicken is one of the healthier proteins you can eat, so mix it with a salad and you’ve got an excellent dinner or lunch option. The mix of a sesame dressing with arugula will give off a great flavor — so much so that everything else can stay simple.

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Brussels Sprouts and Sunchoke Salad

If you’re looking for something really different, go for this salad. You won’t find sunchokes in every dish, but they’re perfect for salads — they’re almost like potatoes, but less starchy. Plus, they are substantial enough to leave you feeling satisfied. Brussels sprouts, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese are always an excellent combo.

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Wilted Kale and Lentil Salad

It’s hard to get healthier than the combination of kale and lentils. Both are so filling and so, so good for you. They’re also both delicious, even though that might surprise some people. With the addition of sweet potatoes and apple cider vinegar, this might be the healthiest salad on this list.

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