Vegan Salad Recipes That’ll Rock Your World

Boring? Heck no! These vegan salad recipes will rock your world!

By Lora O’Brien

Yeah, yeah. I know – most vegans are sick to death of salads. Sick. To. Death. I mean, it’s usually the bland, tasteless food that’s offered to us when we go out with non-vegan friends – hands up if you’ve heard this before: ‘we’re going to a steakhouse, but don’t worry, I’m sure they have salad.’ Ugh.

But the truth is, salads are bey. Salads are life. Gone are the days when salads were wilted, sorrowful bowls of blah – thanks to some creative vegan chefs, today, salads are creative meals of plant-based goodness that leave us both refuelled and happy. Yes, happy! If you’re still seeing your salads as a basic bed of greens, you may just need a few easy tips, like these below. To build the perfect salad, you just need to follow these steps:

1. Start with a leafy base

Most vegan salad recipes need crispy, leafy greens. Wash your greens upon buying and then after drying them store them in a lock tight container to keep them fresh throughout the week. And don’t be afraid to mix it up a little  – try a mix of leaves like:

  • Kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Mixed greens

2. Sprinkle on those fruits & veggies

If you’ve never tried adding fruit to your salad before, do try it. It works surprisingly well, and depending on what salad vibe you’re going for, fruit can really amp up the taste and texture of an otherwise dull salad. Add raisins and apricots to Middle Eastern style salads, or green mango to Asian ones. Apple’s a nice addition, especially with walnuts or a citrus based dressing.

Basic raw veg is great, but why not  try some roasted red peppers or some grilled zucchini to make your salads both delicious and playful?

  • Asparagus
  • Radishes
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Cucumber
  • Corn
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Figs
  • Dried fruit
  • Strawberries
  • Mango
  • Blueberries
  • Grapefruit

3. Pack your salad with protein

Adding protein to your salads makes them a hearty, refuelling meal. Great vegan proteins to add include:

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Tofu
  • Seitan
  • Tempeh
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Easy, right? But that being said, sometimes your creativity may be failing you. In those times, why not turn to one of these 30+ vegan salad recipes that are far, far, FAR from boring?

Vegan Salad Ideas That’ll Rock Your World

1. Quinoa Fruit Salad

Salad for breakfast? Why the hell not? This summery one features mango, berries, grains and a wonderfully zingy citrus vinaigrette, guaranteed to help you start the day off right! I also love that it’s high in protein, thanks to the quinoa.

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

2. Mexican Street Corn Salad

I love corn – the sweetness, the crunch, the carbs (as long as it’s not GMO corn! No, no, no!)  If you feel the same, then this easy salad recipe is right up your street. Be sure to have all the salad prepped and ready to go so that as soon as your corn is cooked you can throw it all together. Trust me, it’ll taste that much better. And it’s all finished off with a creamy cashew dressing. Viva Mexico!

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

3. Lentil Walnut Taco Salad in Tortilla Bowls

Why eat your salad on a plate when you can eat it from an edible tortilla bowl?! Lentils make a perfect meat-sub and they’re spiced and mixed with walnuts to create the heartiest part of this dish. It’s then served over greens with these crispy tortilla bowls. The avocado dressing is the pièce de resistance!

Get the recipe here.

tortilla bowl salad

4. Fiesta Mango Quinoa Salad

If you’re not one for throwing fruit into your salad bowls, please just try to start off with some mango – you’ll love it! It goes so well with the spiciness of the chilli and the sweetness of the fruit. Pumpkin seeds give this salad wonderful texture not to mention a healthy boost of protein. Plus, the quinoa will sustain you for longer, thanks to even more protein.

Get the recipe here.

quinoa bowl

5. Ginger Sesame Vegan Meatball Salad

These ginger same vegan meatballs are a fabulous staple dish to batch cook. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, they’re full of savoury gingery flavours and can be used in so many ways. Not only are they a delicious protein source for salads, you can add them to sandwiches and rice bowls, too!

Get the recipe here.

vegan meatballs

6. Vegan Caesar Salad with Tempeh

Before going vegan, I used to be a huge lover of a chicken Caesar salad, mainly due to the the crisp lettuce and the tangy dressing. What I didn’t like so much? The hidden fish inside of the sauce – and now, of course the idea of chicken is just gross! So I am so happy that I can now enjoy my go-to salad in a much healthier and vegan friendly fashion, thanks to tempeh. This is what I shall be eating for the whole week. And maybe the next, too!

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

7. Cajun Roasted Cauliflower Salad

If you’ve never roasted cauliflower before, then you should try it ASAP! It gains an almost meaty texture so it really steals the show if you throw it into a salad. The Cajun spices add a real depth of flavour, whilst the tahini makes a fuss-free, nutritious dressing. It’s a healthy meal you can serve for lunch or dinner any time!

Get the recipe here.

roasted cauliflower bowl

8. Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Soy & Sesame

If you want a quick and easy vegan salad recipe loaded with goodness, then this is one for you. It’s brimming with goodies, from the chickpeas and quinoa, both of which lend plant-based protein to the dish, to the healthy fats from the pumpkin, sesame and hemp seeds. It all mixes together in a bed of kale, and is finished with an orange soy and sesame dressing.

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

9. Herby Vegan Potato Salad

Given the massive amounts of mayo and egg involved in making a potato salad, it seems unlikely you’ll be able to find any decent vegan salad recipes for the stuff. Until now, that is! This one gets some crunch from celery and a burst of flavour from sun-dried tomatoes. Yum!

Get the recipe here.

potato salad recipe

10. Vegan Macaroni Salad

Sometimes you just want some vegan salad recipes that are super filling and tasty. Something that reminds you of your childhood, too. And this salad is all that. Perfect for picnics and BBQs, and tastes even better the second day – if you manage to have any leftovers, that is!

Get the recipe here.

macaroni salad

11. Spring Chickenless Salad

Before going vegan I would typically add chicken to my salad for something filling (don’t judge!) But when I went vegan I thought, ‘What the heck will I eat now?’ Um, duh! Chicken salad, still! It’s super easy to make mock chicken if you’re missing meat, but not wanting to revert back to your carnivore ways. It all comes together in a creamy vegan mayo dressing. Something you just gotta make a salad that is more about comfort than nutrition.

Get the recipe here.

plant based 'chicken' salad

12. BBQ Cauliflower Salad w/ Ranch Dressing

Why not bring the vibe of a summer BBQ to your salad? This hearty salad will well and truly fill you up without leaving you feeling heavy and sluggish. The roasted cauliflower slathered in barbecue sauce is enough to make anyone give up meat. Yep, it’s  that  good! Plus, it’s topped with corn, tomatoes and crispy baked onion rings. Have I died and gone to salad heaven? Cos it sure feels like it when I eat this one!

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

13. Quinoa Superfood Salad

I used to buy a salad not all too dissimilar to this in a resto, and it would cost me just short of ten pounds. Daylight. Robbery. Now you don’t have to rely on pretentious health bars to get your superfood salad – you can make it from your very own kitchen! Sometimes I just crave a really healthy, green salad and this ticks all the boxes. Packed with lots of different shades and texture, it won’t even feel like you’re eating rabbit food.

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

14. Beet Salad with Carrot, Quinoa & Spinach

Keep your salad like and refreshing with this salad loaded with superfoods such as carrot, quinoa, spinach, edamame and avocado. Tossed in an apple cider lime and herb dressing, it’s bursting with colour and nutrition.

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

15. Buffalo Tempeh Salad with Ranch Dressing

You’ve probably tried and loved buffalo cauliflower by now. So why not try making buffalo tempeh bites?! Tempeh is firmer than cauliflower, so it makes a brilliant meat substitute, as it has the same texture to say, a chicken wing, but without the gross decaying animal flesh. The cashew ranch dressing is the perfect refreshing coolness against the fiery spice of the marinated tempeh.

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

16. Peachy Quinoa & Arugula Salad

I don’t know why, but the combination of bitter arugula, sweet peaches and tart balsamic vinegar is such a heavenly combination, This is one of the best vegan salad recipes for blending summer flavours. It’s such a quick and easy salad to prepare, you could whip it up in seconds. Make a batch of grains at the beginning of the week and dine on this during the week for a light, refreshing and yet incredibly hearty meal.

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

17. The Everyday Superfood Salad

Sometimes, you just have to eat the rainbow! This is one of the healthiest vegan salad recipes. It’s a real superfood boost, from the mixture of kale, broccoli, beets, carrot, ripe avocado and blueberries, to the mix of nuts and seeds. A tangy blueberry and ginger dressing finishes this salad off. Seriously, you’re about to give your taste buds a real explosive treat – and isn’t this one of the prettiest salads, too?

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

18. Curried Carrot Slaw with Maple Tempeh

Carrots can be a bit on the bland side, so seasoning them with something like curry powder lifts them up and brings them to life. The carrot slaw is met with nutty tahini, and then layered with sticky sweet and smoky maple glazed tempeh triangles.

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

19. Cauliflower Rice Salad w/Peanut Sauce

If you’re far from a cauliflower lover, you need to give this recipe a try. Cauliflower is so underrated! If you’ve previously had it streamed, try experimenting. Roast it, fry it, turn it into cauliflower rice. Your world is about to become a better place, thanks to cauliflower! This salad is a testament to the wonders of this veg, and the ginger, peanut and lime dressing brings a touch of exotic Asia to the dish.

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

20. Thai Salad with Peanut Tempeh

The base of this salad is quite literally a mass of veggies. From red pepper, cabbage onions to carrot noodles, this recipe is the perfect way to use up any leftover veggies in your fridge. Some brown rice vermicelli noodles are thrown in, too, because #carbsarelife. Cilantro and mint add a little green power. Then comes the marinated peanut tempeh, and oh my word, this is what Thai foodie dreams are made of.

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

21. Rice Paper Summer Salad Rolls

Not a fan of salad on its own? Throw it into rice paper to make a fresh, light and healthy summer roll. Packed with raw, crunchy veggies and vermicelli noodles, these are delicious served alongside a creamy spicy peanut sauce.

Get the recipe here.

vegan fresh rolls

22. Smoked Maple Tofu Salad

Asian vegan salad recipes are amongst some of my faves. There’s usually some lime, chilli, ginger, soy sauce, spring onions, lemongrass, coriander and mint, all of which are just bursting with flavour. This recipe has all of those….and more! My favourite part? The sticky smoked maple tofu topping.

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

23. Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower & Tempeh

I absolutely love how turmeric turns everything it comes into contact with the most brilliant shade of yellow. Here, the cauliflower chunks are roasted alongside the tempeh and tossed in a turmeric and miso dressing. Toasted walnuts and vegan shiitake bacon are then thrown into this salad, and the whole dish is then drizzled with a sweet and creamy maple-tahini salad dressing.

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

24. Super Easy Spring Green Salad

This healthy and vibrant salad is full of the fresh flavours of spring and summer. Crispy, crunchy, zingy and fresh, it’s a mix of both flavours and textures. The best part? You can throw it together in minutes! Add some protein for a main, or serve as a side dish.

Get the recipe here.

spring green salad

25. Vegan Ceviche

If a salad can be defined as a bunch of veggies in a sauce, then the Peruvian dish of ceviche is, technically, a salad. This one combines avocado with exotic hearts of palm, tomato and other veggies in a zingy dressing, all served up on a bed of lettuce. Love Peruvian food? Get more vegan recipes here!

Get the recipe here.

vegan ceviche

26. Middle Eastern Chickpea Eggplant Salad

This easy sauteed eggplant salad is made with just 2 main ingredients: fresh herbs and spices with a tangy garlic and lemon dressing. Drizzle some tahini on this, and you’ll never want to eat anything else! This is also one of the best vegan salad recipes for stuffing into a pita pocket. 

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad recipes

27. Quinoa Tabouli

Did you know that herbs are sprayed with fewer herbicides than other veggies? Which means if you can’t afford or find organic, this parsley based salad is a perfect detox dish. It’s tangy, it’s healthy, and it’s simple to make, too! One of my fave vegan salad recipes for sure.

Get the recipe here.

quinoa tabouli

28. The Big Vegan Bowl

Ok, this is it – the ultimate vegan salad! Sure, the components may not be all mixed up, but all the flavours and healthy ingredients are there – you’ve got your proteins, fibre, good fats and of course, your greens. You could add one of the dressing recipes below…or not!

Get the recipe here.

buddha bowl

VEGAN SALAD DRESSING RECIPES

Want a variation on the vegan salad recipes above? Don’t rely on store bought dressings – not only do they cost a pretty penny, but they usually contain sneaky sugars, preservatives and even hidden animal derived ingredients. Gross!

For a quick and easy salad dressing use a zesty fruit such as lemon or lime to add a quick and easy dressing over your salad. Sometimes I just use olive oil and balsamic vinegar – it’s incredibly rich and goes really well with leafy greens. Don’t be afraid to use herbs, too. Cilantro and basil pack a powerful flavour and can really boost a salad. But if you want something a bit richer and more complex, check out these vegan salad dressing recipes, below.

1. Sweet Chilli & Mustard Sauce

There’s not much to this dressing: just four simple ingredients and then you can slather it all over your salad and rice bowls. The base is yellow mustard and water, and it’s then sweetened a little with maple syrup to dull the chili powder down every so slightly so that it doesn’t knock your socks off. Voila!

Get the recipe here.

mustard chili dressing

2. Oil-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

Some of us don’t want lots of oil in our salad dressing, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still taste spectacular. This lemon and poppy seed based dressing is going to add the perfect zest of life to your bowl of greens. It’s bright, fresh and aromatic – and low in calories, too.

Get the recipe here.

poppy seed salad dressing

3. Vegan Green Goddess Dressing

This green dressing is made with, yep, you guessed it: lots of greens! The herbs make this wonderful and fresh and has a wonderful detox vibe. The best part is that you can play around with the herbs to suit what you have on hand when making it. Use this over salads, but it would also make a great snack if you wanted to dip some crudites into it, or even use it as a pasta dressing.

Get the recipe here.

vegan green goddess

4. Raspberry Lime Vinaigrette

Perfect for summer vegan salad recipes! The base of this is raspberries and lime so it’s pretty tangy. But there’s some brown sugar to sweeten it up. Drizzle this over any salad to give it a lift of life. Plus, can we all gush over the colour of this dressing?

Get the recipe here.

raspberry dressing

5. Cashew Ranch Dressing

I’m a huge fan of ranch dressing. It’s a little creamy, it’s a little zingy. It’s basically the best. But traditional ranch dressing has a whole heap of dairy in it such as mayonnaise, sour cream and buttermilk, whereas this wonderful creation is 100% vegan friendly. Plus, the creamy texture in this dressing doesn’t rely on dairy – the answer is cashew nuts! Go live out your ranch dreams, guys.

Get the recipe here.

vegan salad dressing

Main image: Green salad with edible flowers. Get the recipe here.

Lora O'Brien
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5 thoughts on “Vegan Salad Recipes That’ll Rock Your World”

  1. OMG! I have enough salads for the whole month, thank you Eluxe for these delicious vegan recipes 🙂

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