One of my favorite things about spring is the fresh lettuce at the farmer’s markets and the return of the amazing flavors of fresh vegetables and herbs. When spring finally arrives, we are all excited for radishes, peas, fresh strawberries, and greens!
These spring salad recipes are the perfect way to really showcase garden produce and celebrate the return of warm weather with some fresh seasonal eating.
Seasonal Eating for Spring
We try to eat seasonally as much as possible. In the winter, this means focusing on a lot of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, winter squash, beets, and tubers. These usually make their way into soup or stews in the Instant Pot, but it’s also possible to eat them in a roasted vegetable salad like this one.
As much as I love those veggies, when spring finally arrives it just naturally feels like time to make a change and lighten things up.
One strategy of course is just to pile all the fruits and veggies together in whatever way sounds tasty (topped off with one of these homemade salad dressings). If you’re looking for a more nuanced approach, here are some of the spring salads that are especially winning combinations:
1. Spring Salad With Honey Mustard
I was so excited when a local farmer started selling his homemade goat cheese at our farmer’s market. I can now get all of the ingredients for this salad (one of my all-time favorites) locally and inexpensively when they are in season. It tops fresh greens with grain-free breaded chicken, fresh strawberries, pecans, goat cheese, and dried fruit with a honey mustard dressing.
This is a kid and adult favorite at our house for sure, and filling enough for a meal. There’s something in it to please even the pickiest eaters (because breaded chicken fingers), but helps kids see the fun of a colorful healthy plate.
I do make the honey mustard dressing from scratch, but since I discovered these store-bought dressings with awesome ingredients I usually have those at the ready in the fridge as well.
Here’s the recipe for Spring Salad With Honey Mustard.
2. Strawberry Feta Salad
Strawberries and greens is one of my absolute favorite ways to do a salad. (Obviously, since it’s very similar to the recipe above!) If the honey mustard or goat cheese on my Spring Salad just isn’t your thing, this version features lots of freshness and just a light drizzle of olive oil. Tangy feta and some crunchy pecans and cashews round out the mix. Until spinach is in season, I substitute any leafy green.
This salad would go wonderfully with a scoop of Grilled Citrus Chicken Salad as well!
Here’s the Strawberry Feta Salad recipe.
3. Fish Taco Salad
For years, I refused to try fish tacos because I couldn’t imagine how it could possibly be good! (Fish on a salad?!) I finally tried them in college when they were the nightly special at a favorite restaurant. Surprise, surprise… I absolutely loved them! Just goes to show you should try new things. (Are you listening kids?)
After going grain-free and vegetable oil-free, flour tortillas weren’t on the menu, but I still occasionally craved the flavors of fish tacos. This salad was my solution. We top it with baked fish as well as fermented beets or sauerkraut for a kick, and avocado for creaminess. I also sometimes add fresh sour cream or raw cheese if we’re doing dairy.
Here’s the Fish Taco Salad recipe.
4. Color Burst Salad
Ever eaten at a Japanese restaurant where they serve salad with a ginger dressing? I loved that dressing and figured out how to recreate it at home with fresh ingredients. It inspired this salad which I often use as a quick lunch option with leftover chicken or beef.
Top fresh greens with chicken, sunflower seeds, fermented beets or sauerkraut, and raisins and it makes a delicious and fresh meal. Surprisingly, I’ve even eaten this one for breakfast.
The dressing here is an Asian Coconut Ginger Vinaigrette made with coconut milk and fresh ginger root. I can’t even take it as I’m sitting here typing this… I want to make this right now!
Here’s the recipe for Asian Color Burst Salad.
5. Cucumber Salad Recipe
Granted, this recipe is best a little later in the season when cucumbers are in season, but it fits the bill for light and fresh. I make this often in the spring and early summer and it’s always a crowd-pleaser at potlucks and picnics. It is a healthier take on the traditional cucumber salad and it combines cucumbers and red onions in a sweet vinegar marinade.
This salad is super simple to prep but takes about 2 hours to marinate in the fridge so plan ahead a bit.
Here’s the Cucumber Salad recipe.
6. Spring Greens Salad With Crispy Prosciutto
This simple salad is super fresh and uses the best of seasonal spring produce. Tender radishes, sweet snap peas, and a touch of green onion atop fresh baby lettuces and brought together by a creamy Green Goddess dressing… what could be better?!
Spinach, arugula, or baby romaine all go great in this salad.
And a Bonus… Radish Cream Cheese Dip!
Ok, I know, this isn’t a salad and I’m totally cheating by putting it in here. Still, radishes are one spring vegetable we often don’t know what to do with and that deserve a little more appreciation! They are a great veggie to grow in the garden with kids because they are fast-growing and one of the first crops to pop up in spring.
While they may be too zesty for some kids (or adults) to eat by themselves, paired with cool cream cheese they add the perfect amount of zip to a dip! Serve alongside a salad with carrots or cucumbers for dipping, or with grain-free crackers.
Here is the Radish Dip recipe.
What is your favorite spring salad when the weather turns warm? Share below!
Discussion (24 Comments)
One of my Favorite Salads is:
Romaine Lettuce, baby spinach
Grilled chicken with homemade cajun seasoning
Pico de gallo : avocado, lime, onion, tomatoes, green bell pepper, garlic- finely diced- with an optional dash of sea salt and pepper (all of these minus the avocado, fresh from the garden if possible!)
a mix of asagio (sp?) shredded hard cheeses
topped with homemade cilantro lime dressing- olive oil, honey, lime juice, ginger, cilantro, garlic- processed in a blender.
I can give the appropriate specs if any of you would like the recipe!
I’d love your dressing recipe! Thanks!
I would love the recipe for the Cilantro Lime Dressing including appropriate specs pleese!
hi!! sorry it took me so long to look at this! Here is the Recipe: 1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped, 1 clove garlic, 3/4 tsp minced fresh ginger root, 1/4 cup lime juice (fresh lime preferrably), 1/3 cup honey, 2 tsp basalmic vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste, 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves and 1/2 cup evoo (extra virgin olive oil).
Place the jalapeno pepper, garlic clove, and ginger into a food processor or blender (or mince by hand); pulse until the jalepeno and garlic are finely chopped. pour in lime juice, honey, vinegar, and salt. Add the cilantro leaves; pulse a few times to blend. turn the food processor or blender on, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated into the dressing. Season to taste with salt before serving.
Enjoy! it is really yummy! oh, it will separate in the fridge. Just shake before serving. thanks!
My favorite salad is:
mixed baby greens
I signed up for the newsletter. My favorite salad has greens, tomatoes, cukes and hard boiled eggs.
I just found your blog and I’m loving it so far!
My favorite salad is smoked salmon, avocado, spinach, lemon juice, cucumber, olive oil and salt.
I love the classic spinach salad
Another salad I just made the other night and it was FABULOUS was a chicken salad
roasted red bell pepper
cherry tomatoes/grape whatever you find at the farmer’s market
green bell pepper
1/2 a red onion chopped
dressing is garlic, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Chill and serve on lettuce cups (butter lettuce is what I used).
I am for sure making this often this summer. Yum, yum!
This one seems to be a favorite for this summer.
mixture of baby spinach and romaine
uncured nitrate free bacon
hard boiled egg
Dressing of choice, mine is a honey mustard.
also as organic as you can get 🙂
any fruit I might have on hand
Dressing of choice
I also really love a salad with:
and red or yellow bell peppers.
If I have left over meat from dinner, then I will add that to the salad as well.
Some times, simple can be delicious
My favorite salad:
Hearts of palm
toasted almond slivers
and mixed greens.
This is so good you don’t even miss the salad dressing!
(Oh, and I signed up for the newsletter too)