13 salads for people who think they don’t like salads

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Think salads are just a pile of leaves on a plate? Think again. We’re here to flip the script with 13 salads that are anything but ordinary. These are for everyone who’s ever pushed a salad around their plate, thinking, “Is this it?”

Prepare to be surprised by combinations that are as flavorful as they are colorful, bringing together ingredients in a way that’s sure to change some minds. The magic of these salads lies in their ability to merge unexpected textures and tastes into something completely new. Forget about sad, soggy greens; these recipes celebrate crunch, spice, sweetness, and tang in every bite.

They’re perfect for shaking up your lunch routine, adding some excitement to dinner, or simply proving that salads can be the star of the show. Ready to dive into a world where salads are anything but boring? Let’s get started.

Low angle shot of a bowl of watermelon salad with kalamata olives and feta cheese.
Watermelon and Feta Salad. Photo credit: All Ways Delicious.

Japanese Cucumber Salad (Sunomono)

If you’re skeptical about salads, the Japanese Cucumber Salad, also known as Sunomono, might just change your mind. It’s a refreshing mix of thin cucumber slices, rice vinegar, and a hint of sugar, creating a light yet flavorful dish. Ideal for those looking to add a fresh touch to their meal without overpowering their palate.
Get the Recipe: Japanese Cucumber Salad (Sunomono)

Green Bean Salad

Who said salads need to be all about the lettuce? This Green Bean Salad tosses fresh green beans with a tangy dressing and a crunch of almonds, creating a dish that’s as nourishing as it is tasty. It’s an excellent way to bring a pop of color and a burst of flavor to your table, proving that salads can be both simple and exciting.
Get the Recipe: Green Bean Salad

A low angle shot of a bowl of cucumber raita with radishes on top.
Cucumber Raita. Photo credit: All Ways Delicious.

Cucumber Raita

For a soothing side that cools the palate, try adding Cucumber Raita to your next spicy meal. This blend of grated cucumber, creamy yogurt, and herbs is more than just a salad; it’s a refreshingly tangy complement that balances out bold flavors. Ideal for those seeking a gentle introduction to salads, it’s a subtle twist on traditional greens.
Get the Recipe: Cucumber Raita

Mexican Corn Salad

Add a little fiesta to your meal with a Mexican Corn Salad, where sweet corn meets tangy lime and spices in a colorful ensemble. It’s a creamy, zesty dish that breaks all the salad stereotypes with its bold flavors and hearty texture. This salad is a crowd-pleaser, perfect for anyone ready to shake up their salad game with something vibrant and satisfying.
Get the Recipe: Mexican Corn Salad

Asparagus and shrimp salad in a white bowl.
Asparagus and Shrimp Salad. Photo credit: All Ways Delicious.

Asparagus and Shrimp Salad

Elevate your salad experience with an Asparagus and Shrimp Salad, a combination that’s as elegant as it is delicious. With lightly dressed tender shrimp and crisp asparagus, this salad is a testament to the idea that salads can be the highlight of a meal. It’s an ideal choice for those looking for something that’s both sophisticated and refreshingly simple.
Get the Recipe: Asparagus and Shrimp Salad

Kachumber Salad

Kachumber Salad is a traditional Indian dish that bursts with the freshness of tomatoes, cucumber, and onions, all seasoned with a sprinkle of spices. It’s a simple, yet profoundly refreshing side that complements any main dish wonderfully. For those exploring salads from around the world, this is a must-try.
Get the Recipe: Kachumber Salad

Cucumber kimchi on a white plate with a pair of chopsticks lifting a slice of cucumber.
Cucumber Kimchi. Photo credit: All Ways Delicious.

Cucumber Kimchi

This salad is your go-to if you’re in the mood for something spicy and crunchy. Cucumber Kimchi is a Korean salad that brings cucumbers to life with a fiery chili paste, offering a tangy and vibrant side dish that’s anything but boring. It’s perfect for those looking to introduce some excitement into their salad routine, with a flavor that’s as bold as it is refreshing.
Get the Recipe: Cucumber Kimchi

Yum Woon Sen

Take a flavorful journey to Thailand with Yum Woon Sen, a glass noodle salad that’s a harmonious blend of noodles, proteins, and herbs in a spicy lime dressing. This dish is a celebration of textures and flavors, offering a refreshing break from the ordinary. It’s an excellent choice for anyone eager to explore the diverse world of salads with a dish that’s light yet rich in taste.
Get the Recipe: Yum Woon Sen

Overhead shot of green papaya salad in a black bowl.
Green Papaya Salad. Photo credit: All Ways Delicious.

Green Papaya Salad

Enjoy the unique taste and texture of Green Papaya Salad, a beloved Thai dish known for its crunchy unripe papaya and a dressing that dances between sweet, sour, spicy, and savory. This salad is a bold exploration of flavors and textures, making it an exciting choice for those looking to try something out of the ordinary.
Get the Recipe: Green Papaya Salad

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Think of a salad that feels like a breath of fresh air on a hot day; that’s what Watermelon and Feta Salad offers. With juicy watermelon, creamy feta, and a hint of fresh mint, it’s a salad that combines sweet and savory in every bite. This dish is a delightful way to enjoy salads in a new light, perfect for those warm summer days when you crave something refreshing.
Get the Recipe: Watermelon and Feta Salad

Low angle shot of a striped bowl filled with Thai larb salad garnished with shallot slices.
Thai Larb. Photo credit: All Ways Delicious.

Thai Larb

Venture into the heart of Thai cuisine with Larb, a meat salad that’s as flavorful as it is unique. Ground meat, fresh herbs, and a zesty lime dressing come together in this dish, offering a burst of flavors with every bite. It’s an adventurous choice for those looking to spice up their salad routine with something truly different.
Get the Recipe: Thai Larb

Salpicon de Res

Dig into the vibrant flavors of Mexico with Salpicon de Res, where shredded beef meets a rainbow of vegetables in a lime-infused dressing. This salad is a hearty, flavorful blend that showcases the rich tapestry of Mexican culinary traditions. Perfect for anyone seeking a robust, meaty salad that’s both refreshing and satisfying.
Get the Recipe: Salpicon de Res

Overhead shot of spicy cucumber salad in a black bowl with a fancy serving spoon on the side.
Spicy Cucumber Salad. Photo credit: All Ways Delicious.

Spicy Cucumber Salad

For a twist on the traditional, Spicy Cucumber Salad brings together the cool crunch of cucumber with a kick of heat. This salad is a simple yet exhilarating side dish that pairs well with any meal, offering a refreshing bite with just the right amount of spice. Ideal for those who like their greens with a little extra zing.
Get the Recipe: Spicy Cucumber Salad

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