Our Favorite Spring Salad Recipes Starring Fresh, Seasonal Produce
A spring salad can be as simple as tender, leafy greens tossed with vinaigrette, or you can step it up by adding seasonal treats like peas, asparagus, radishes, and baby artichokes. You can even make it a main dish by adding protein such as chicken or salmon. Here, we've gathered our super salad recipes that celebrate this vibrant season.
Hurrah, it's spring. If you're anything like us, by the time the end of winter arrives, you're probably so over root vegetables; instead, you're looking forward to the fresh, bright produce associated with the start of spring. One of the very best ways to usher in this new season? By enjoying a slew of seasonal salads, like the Potato, Snap Pea, and Pea-Tendril Salad that's pictured here.
Our guide to making the best spring salads—starring arugula, Bibb lettuce, Boston lettuce, mache, mesclun, and tender dandelion greens—is just what you need for mealtime inspiration. While these leafy greens are available year-round, they thrive in the cooler weather of spring and fall, so we look forward to using them in springtime salads with accents of asparagus, radishes, peas, and other in-season produce. When you buy spring salad greens, look for leaves that are bright and fresh looking. Always choose crisp lettuces that are free of blemishes. At home, lettuce should be washed and thoroughly dried in a salad spinner to remove any excess moisture. Refrigerate washed-and-dried greens in a reusable produce bag or airtight plastic bag for three to five days.
If you're looking for a salad worthy of main-dish status, consider our colorful Market Salad with Poached Chicken. A market salad is exactly what you'd expect: a dish made using only what is fresh at the market. This springtime take features crisp endive, blushing watermelon radishes, and a tart lemon dressing. But we're also highlighting spring grain salads like our Crispy Grain Salad with Peas and Mint, which uses quinoa and millet along with tender spring greens and peas, or a verdant take on the classic rice salad with asparagus, peas, and basil. It's a wonderful make-ahead dish and one that's easy to transport for potlucks or parties.
The last category of spring salads that you'll find here are simple vegetable sides packed with seasonal flavors. Whether you choose to pair Bibb lettuce with crisp radishes or arugula with fennel and pine nuts, you'll find that every recipe here is fresh, light, and crisp—just what we all need after a winter of soups and stews.
Embrace this collection of spring salad recipes as a way to make the most of seasonal produce and welcome all the fresh flavors to come.
Soft Lettuces with Prosciutto, Peas, and Poppy Seeds
Red- and green-leaf lettuce and pale Bibb are tossed in a creamy vinaigrette and layered with salty strips of prosciutto and fresh sweet peas (frozen are fine, too). A final sprinkling of poppy seeds lends a touch of crunch.
Grilled Asparagus with Caper-Cornichon Vinaigrette
Here's a modern take on the French sauce gribiche that's often served with steamed asparagus. This salad calls for grilling asparagus until lightly charred but still crisp, then piling it on a platter with sliced hard-cooked eggs and serving with a thyme-scented mustard vinaigrette that's loaded with cornichons and capers.
Watercress, Strawberry, and Toasted-Sesame Salad
Fast and beautiful, it takes just a few minutes (and even fewer ingredients) to assemble this salad with bright colors and flavors. Peppery watercress and honey-luscious strawberries are combined with feta, toasted sesame seeds and roasted tamari almonds.
Slow-Roasted Salmon Salad with Barley and Golden Beets
Pale-pink salmon, golden beets, and vivid parsley—the prettiest shades of spring are all here. And they come together quickly. The fish, topped with thin lemon slices, slow-roasts for 20 minutes, then browns under the broiler. While it cooks, you put together the rest of the salad, nestle the salmon into it, and serve family-style.
Artichoke Salad with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette
A delicious combination of stuffed artichoke and panzanella, this salad starts with steamed artichokes. A warm vinaigrette punched up with chopped tomato, capers, and baguette croutons is spooned into the scooped out centers of the artichokes, the rest is tossed rest with a mix of bacon lardons and snappy chicories, and used to fill the rest of the artichokes.
Fried Chicken Salad with Sugar Snap Peas and Green-Goddess Ranch
This crowd-pleaser combines crunchy Little Gem lettuce, sweet sugar snap peas, refreshing fennel, and avocado, but it's the golden chicken tenders that are the biggest draw. They're tossed in a yogurt-mayo base, coated with panko, and shallow-fried in olive oil. A creamy, herby green-goddess ranch dressing complements this hearty salad. Serve it on the side for light drizzling or dunking.
Pepper-Shrimp-and-Noodle Salad with Crunchy Spring Vegetables
Cold peanut noodles get a fresh reboot in this veg-forward version. Mix thin spaghetti or ramen with our gingery sesame sauce, fry garlic slivers for the garnish, then season shrimp with salt and pepper and sizzle them in the same pan. Build each bowl with noodles, shrimp, garlic, and an aromatic bouquet of cucumber, radishes, cilantro, and mint.
Butter-Lettuce Salad with Egg and Potatoes
The secret to this main-dish salad of tender lettuce and asparagus and crisp sugar snap peas is the warm dressing made from melted butter and fresh lemon juice. An egg on top is the perfect finishing touch.
Market Salad with Poached Chicken
A market salad with poached chicken, endive, watermelon radishes, and a tart lemon citronette makes a delicious main course. It's the embodiment of spring: colorful, fresh, and flavorful.
Roasted Beet and Dandelion Greens Salad
Young, tender dandelion greens are abundant this time of year. Here, the greens are tossed in a salad with roasted beets; cumin seeds flavor the warm dressing.
Halibut Salade Nicoise
Delicate poached halibut is the star of this fresh springtime take on the classic Nicoise salad.
Rice Salad with Asparagus and Peas
Rice salad gets a makeover thanks to this recipe. Step one: Start with arborio rice, then add anchovies, garlic, and basil. Finally, make it all about spring by adding in peas and asparagus. The result is incredibly delicious.
Pea-Shoot and Baby-Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Croutons
Combine vibrant green pea shoots with the season's first radishes and baby artichokes for a salad that's full of texture. Add Parmesan croutons, which get a little kick from cayenne, for richness and heft.
Bibb Salad with Radishes and Asparagus
Crunchy radishes, delicate Bibb lettuce, and fresh asparagus are mixed with a homemade dressing for a unique salad that will complement any spring menu.
Crispy Grain Salad with Peas and Mint
Combine protein-and-amino-acid-packed quinoa and millet with spring peas, mint, tender greens, and a lemony vinaigrette, and you put the punch back in lunch or dinner.
Rhubarb Salad with Goat Cheese
Honey-roasted rhubarb, toasted walnuts, crisp fennel, and tangy goat cheese combine to make an unforgettable spring salad.
Pea and Asparagus Salad
Pair two seasonal favorites—peas and fresh asparagus—and keep everything raw for a crisp-tender bite. Tossed with fresh mint, toasted almonds, and a rice-wine vinaigrette, this is a powerhouse spring salad.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
Be sure to make this sweet and tangy salad during strawberry season. Strawberries, spinach, almonds, and feta merge for a dish that's both cleansing and satisfying.
Spring Greens Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
A simple springtime salad that uses a mix of baby greens such as mustard, spinach, baby arugula, mache, and purslane, along with plenty of parsley and chervil.
Raw Artichoke and White-Asparagus Farro Salad
This is a satisfying main-course salad with chewy farro and pungent feta cheese. Raw baby artichokes, which have a nutty crispness similar to celery root, and mild, tender white asparagus bring plenty of spring flavors, while red onion adds color and bite.