Food & Recipes

11 Lettuce-Free Salads That Are Perfect For Summer And Fall

Not a fan of lettuce? Give these tasty salads a try!

Summertime means you can start taking advantage of all that fresh produce popping up at your local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Asparagus? Yes, please! Tomatoes, don’t mind if I do!

However, if you’re like me, you can get tired eating the same old lettuce-based salads day after day (and night after night). No matter how many new salad dressings you try, sometimes you’re just bored from eating your greens.

No worries! Luckily, there are a ton of incredible salads that don’t require lettuce, but still pack a ton of flavor and nutrients.

farmers market photo
Getty Images | Andreas Rentz

Check out these 11 alternatives to the traditional salad that are perfect for summer and fall. Have a read through these recipes, then head out the door to the produce stand nearest you to start bringing these fresh, nutrient-packed creations to life.

salad photo
Getty Images | David Hecker

The real question is: Which one to make first? The corn salad? Roasted tomato caprese? Decisions, decisions.

1.  Roasted Pepper Salad With Feta, Pine Nuts And Basil

Toasted pine nuts, roasted peppers, feta, basil, and olives — how could you possibly go wrong with this combination? Short answer: You can’t. This salad takes only 10 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to cook, which means you can have a healthy dinner on the table in less than half an hour! Find this delicious recipe at the blog Once Upon A Chef.

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2. Snow Pea, Orange And Grapefruit Salad

This unique salad is both crunchy and refreshing. Not a grapefruit lover? Drop it and double the oranges.

oranges photo
Getty Images | Christopher Furlong

We love the boost of protein that the the snow peas and sunflower seeds provide (4.4 grams per cup, in fact!), and the citrus fruits are, of course, great sources of vitamin C. Get the recipe from the blog The Yummy Life.

3. Five-Minute Super Bean, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Salad

A salad that can be prepped in five minutes? Sign us up. And one that mimics the flavors of minestrone soup, but in salad form? Yes, please. Not only that but this recipe is both vegan and gluten-free, which makes it good to keep in your back pocket for those times when your guests have dietary restrictions. Get the recipe from the blog The Miniature Moose.

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4. Fresh Corn Salad With Scallions And Basil

Summertime is all about enjoying fresh ears of corn. But what do you do when you’re just plain tired of eating corn on the cob? Mix it up in a salad, of course!

corn on the cob photo
Getty Images | Dan Kitwood

This tasty salad is a fantastic use for leftover corn on the cob by simply adding some finely sliced basil and scallions. Get the recipe from the blog Once Upon A Chef.

5. Thai Cucumber Salad With Peanuts

It’s always a fun idea to look to other cultures for their take on dishes. This Thai salad combines crunchy cucumbers, salty peanuts, slices of onion, and touch of heat from a jalapéno pepper for a dish that pretty much screams “summer.” Get the recipe from the blog Once Upon A Chef.

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6. Cucumber and Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

Are sweet salads more your wheelhouse? Thinly sliced cucumber, strawberries, feta cheese and poppyseed dressing combine for beautifully-presented summer salad. Get the recipe from the blog With Salt & Wit.

RELATED: These 6 Watermelon-Cutting Tricks Will Make It The Best Summer Yet

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7. Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad

Everyone loves a Caprese salad! However, instead of the usual raw tomatoes, this recipe roasts the red fruits for a slightly different take on the classic dish containing tart balsamic vinegar, creamy mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. Get the recipe from the blog The Italian Dish Blog.

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8. Strawberry Broccoli Salad

This recipe is sweet, crunchy and nutrient-packed, thanks to strawberries and broccoli. Sound like an odd combination? Give it a try! We may never go back to regular old green salads. Get the recipe from the blog The Diva Dish.

delicious fruits and vegetables atinioxidants on a white board
delicious fruits and vegetables atinioxidants on a white board

9. Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad With Apples And Walnuts

If you’ve yet to try raw, shaved Brussels sprouts, now is the time!

Brussels sprouts photo
Getty Images | Peter Macdiarmid

Try adding shaved parmesan for an extra layer of creaminess. This shaved Brussels sprout salad segues easily into autumn, thanks to the addition of apples and walnuts. Get the recipe from the blog Back To Her Roots.

10. Tomato Watermelon Salad

Here’s another combination that you may not have thought to try before: watermelon and tomato!

watermelons photo
Getty Images | Mark Kolbe

The tartness of the tomato combined with the sweetness of the watermelon and the brightness of basil make a salad you’ll want to make again and again. Get the recipe from the blog Love Food Eat.

11. Hasselback Caprese Salad

You’ve likely heard of Hasselback potatoes, but applying that technique to tomatoes for a Caprese salad? Genius. To make this recipe, you’ll simply slice long, oval tomatoes three-fourths of the way through, and then tuck slices of mozzarella cheese and basil leaves inside. To finish it off, you can sprinkle these Hasselback tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and pepper. This unique recipe will plate beautifully and will definitely impress any summertime guests! Get the recipe from the blog Fuss Free Cooking.

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Looking for more great summer recipes that’ll maximize the season’s fresh produce?

Check out 10 creative zucchini recipes, 8 no-cook recipes perfect for hot weather and these summer vegetable dishes you can make in 20 minutes.

zucchini photo
Getty Images | Sean Gallup

All of these would be best followed by a boozy popsicle or perhaps accompanied by a wine slushie. Ah, summer. The possibilities really are endless, aren’t they?

If you’re a salad-lover and you haven’t yet checked out this five-step formula for a perfect salad, do it now and save yourself tons of time. Each step calls for a different type of ingredient to help you create a delicious salad every time.

RELATED: This Is The Best Pasta Salad Recipe Ever (according To Pinterest)

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