When most people think of “vegan” salads, they imagine very plain and boring recipes that call for lettuce and little else. However, in today’s day and age, making refreshing vegan salads full of vibrant and healthy flavors is easier than ever.
The best vegan salads usually don’t even have lettuce in them. Instead, vegan salads often feature a wide variety of bases, from potatoes to squash. This article breaks down eight vegan salad ideas that will help vary your diet and wow guests of both vegan and non-vegan nature alike.
Butternut Squash Kale Salad
Most people don’t think of butternut squash as a typical ingredient for salad. However, vegan salads often lack filling ingredients because of the inability to add meat or other satiating ingredients.
A salad that combines creamy, slow-roasted butternut squash with carrots, kale, and a vinaigrette of your choice will make a tasty salad. It will also help you create a vegan salad that is still light but packs enough of a punch to work as a standalone meal.
Vegan Potato Salad
Many vegans steer clear of potato salad because many potato salads traditionally use lots of non-vegan mayonnaise in their construction. However, making delicious vegan potato salad is actually very easy.
There are two great routes for vegan potato salad. If you want a lighter option, opt for a “german” potato salad recipe. German potato salad contains no mayo. Instead, German potato salad calls for a light vinegar-based dressing.
If you’re craving something creamier but still vegan, try combining tahini with coconut yogurt or another dairy-free alternative to create a rich dressing for potato salad. This is a great way to trick non-vegans into thinking that they are eating animal-based products.
Oven Roasted Broccoli Salad
Just like butternut squash salad, using broccoli as a base for salad is a great way to make a vegan salad that is filling enough to work as a standalone meal.
Broccoli salad can be made with either cooked or raw broccoli, but cooked broccoli that has been tossed in olive oil and baked until tender adds great depth of flavor to any salad recipe. Try combining cooked broccoli with nuts, dried berries, and your favorite creamy vegan dressing to make a salad that even non-vegans will love.
Zesty White Bean Salad
White beans are usually used in Italian cooking to make white bean or minestrone soups. However, for vegans, white beans make a great protein-rich salad. Many vegan salads suffer from a lack of essential proteins. However, white beans are packed full of the protein your body needs.
White beans need to be cooked and soaked overnight. After this process, the possibilities are endless. White bean salad doesn’t need many other ingredients like lettuce or other greens. Instead, white bean salad is often best when white beans are complemented by raw tomatoes, onions, and a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Dill Pickle Salad Dressing
Pickle salad dressing may sound kind of crazy, and it certainly isn’t for everyone. However, dill pickles can add a great tangy and savory layer to many vegan salads! Dill pickles can be combined with creamier dressings full of tahini to add a great tangy twist. This dressing works great served over simple chopped greens and veggies.
In addition, pickles can be added to dressings with soaked nuts, vinegar, seasonings, and vegan-friendly sweeteners like agave nectar to create an interesting and unique pickle dressing. For the brave of heart, try adding in a little bit of pickle brine to your next dressing recipe!
Mexican Inspired Corn and Black Bean Salad
Many vegans love a good roasted corn salad. However, spicing up your next corn-based salad with black beans and simple Mexican ingredients can create a zesty salad. It will work equally well as a side dish or appetizer.
For a great Mexican twist, combine black beans and roasted or grilled corn with cilantro, tomatoes, onion, or even avocado. This type of salad usually needs no dressing. However, corn and black bean salad work great with a tangy chipotle dressing made from vegan mayo or tahini and chipotle peppers.
Kale and Avocado Salad
Kale and avocado have quickly become a staple vegan salad and for a good reason. Avocado is full of healthy fats, vitamins, and other nutrients that are easy to skip out on when eating with a vegan diet.
Creamy avocado and crunchy kale pair well with a wide variety of flavors. However, try adding a creamy almond butter-based dressing to your next kale and avocado-based salad for an extra creamy and filling meal.
Vegan Caprese Salad
Caprese salad usually consists of fresh buffalo mozzarella served over thick slices of fresh tomato and topped with basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Sadly, buffalo mozzarella isn’t vegan.
In the last few years, vegan mozzarellas have gotten much better in quality and taste. Substituting vegan mozzarella into a traditional Caprese recipe works great. But, to add even more delicious vegan flavors, try adding slices of fresh peach or nectarine. This fruity twist pairs perfectly with the traditional Caprese flavors.
Hi, I’m Rana and I blog at ranasrecipe.com. My passion for food began very early in my life. And after managing a cafe, a granola business and helping other food businesses scale up, I found my true calling in creating wonderful recipes so that everyone can enjoy cooking as much as I do! Don’t forget to follow me on my social channels- instagram and pinterest.