6 Lettuce-Free Salad Recipes for Hearty & Healthy Meals

Say goodbye to leafy greens — for now!

Watermelon salad
Headshot Crop By Cara O'Bleness June 13, 2022

When it comes to throwing together a simple and quick lunch, salads are a staple in my kitchen. However, sometimes I find myself bored with the usual red leaf lettuce and spinach base I tend to gravitate toward. Whenever I find myself in a food rut, it’s time to switch things up! While greens are the go-to base for a salad, lettuce-free salads are a healthy and tasty way to pack nutrients into your mid-day meals — especially if you’re not a fan of leafy greens to begin with.

Toss Up These Salad Recipes — & Hold the Leafy Greens

Skip the spring mix in your grocery haul this week and try one of our favorite lettuce-free salad recipes!

Claire Thomas’ Watermelon Summer Salad


  • 8 c. watermelon, cubed

  • ½ cucumber, peeled and chopped

  • ¼ medium red onion, finely chopped

  • 2 limes, juiced

  • 15 mint leaves, finely chopped

  • 4 tbsp. crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese

  • Chili lime seasoning

For full instructions and access to her gym and home plans — plus more tasty recipes, like Egg and Avocado Salad — download Claire Thomas’ CPT Fit App.

Maria Teixeira’s Greek Quinoa Salad

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 c. cooked quinoa

  • ½ c. cooked chickpeas

  • ½ c. tomatoes

  • ½ c. cucumber

  • ¼ c. red onion

  • Parsley, to taste

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

  • Dried oregano

  • Garlic powder

  • Salt and pepper

  • Lemon

Download Maria Teixeira’s fitness app for instruction (in addition to gym and home workouts). Plus get more lettuce-free salad recipes — including a Green Goddess Salad!

Grace White’s White Bean Caprese Salad


  • 1-14 oz. can of white beans, drained and rinsed

  • 5 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 5 oz. small mozzarella balls

  • ¼. c. basil leaves, slivered

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For preparation instructions, download Grace White’s fitness app, where you’ll also find several other lettuce-free salad recipes, including Beet and Couscous Chicken Salad, Tomato Salad with Pine Nuts and Feta, Southwest Tuna Salad, and more.

Ida Jemina’s Greek Meatball Salad

Meatball Ingredients

  • ½ of a red onion

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 1 tbsp. fresh mint leaves, chopped

  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 egg

  • ⅔ lb. lean ground beef

  • Oregano, to taste

  • Black pepper, to taste

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Salad Ingredients

  • 150 g. low-fat cheese

  • 1 red onion

  • 2 tomatoes

  • ½ of a green pepper

  • ½ of a cucumber

  • Olives

Download Ida Jemina’s fitness app for instructions, as well as access to her HIIT workouts, booty gym and home programs, and more.

Serena Thalia’s Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe


  • 3 c. pasta shells

  • 1 cucumber, cut to desired size

  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved

  • ⅛ c. shallot, minced

  • 1 ½ c. crumbled feta

  • 1 c. zucchini, cut to desired size

  • 1 c. yellow squash, cut to desired size

  • ½ c. sliced carrots

  • 1 c. bell pepper, cut to desired size

  • ⅔ c. olive oil

  • ¼ c. white balsamic vinegar

  • 1 ½ tsp. minced garlic

  • 2 tbsp. sugar

  • 1 ½ tsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. pepper

For complete instructions, full-body workouts, and more, download Serena Thalia’s fitness app.

Steve Weatherford’s Hot Turkey Salad


  • A pinch of hot chili powder

  • A few mint leaves

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil

  • 250 g. cooked turkey meat strips

  • 1 tbsp. lime juice

  • 1 large carrot, julienned

  • 0.3 oz. coriander

  • 3 garlic cloves, grated

  • 0.3 oz. fresh ginger, grated

  • 2 spring onions, halved

  • 1.8 oz. radishes, thinly cut

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped

  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips

  • 1 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos

  • 1 large head of white cabbage, shredded

  • 5 fl oz. unsweetened almond milk

Download Steve Weatherford’s fitness app for preparation instructions and more tasty recipes, including Chickpea Tuna Salad.

Headshot Crop

About the author

Cara O'Bleness


Cara is a passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media. She loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. In her free time, Cara is an avid reader, enjoys meditating, and loves spending time with her husband and their chihuahua pug mix, Callie, streaming the latest horror flick or true crime documentary. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.

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