5 Highly Makeable Salads You'll Want to Eat for Every Lunch & Dinner

Plus, five very drinkable dressings.

June 20, 2019
Photo by Rocky Luten

When we kicked off our latest recipe contest, Your Greatest Salad of All Time, we can't say our motives were entirely altruistic. Because, c'mon, who doesn't love a brilliant new salad formula?

In the summer months, there's nothing more valuable than meeting your new favorite sal-pal. Bonus points if it comes drizzled with a dressing you just can't stop thinking about.

And so, we set out to find our 2019 Salad Star. We asked for the salad recipes you can't stop eating for lunch, dinner, and—promise not to judge—sometimes breakfast. The more produce, the better, we said.

Well, let's just say you delivered—and then some. We received more than 120 submissions for salads of all shapes and sizes, packed full of seasonal fruits, vegetables, and just the right amount of cheese.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Thanks so much Food52 but are any of these Test Kitchen Approved?”
— inpatskitchen

And now, the time has come to announce the top five submissions. Without further ado:

1. Early Summer Panzanella by Sarah

Fresh veg panzanella meets a bright and punchy garlic scape pesto in this hearty summer salad. Grilled bread, you ask? Oh yes, there's grilled bread.

2. Tricolor Salad by drbabs

The only thing this juicy, perky number has in common with a traditional tricolore is radicchio. It's a medley of charred peach, avocado, smoked cheddar, and toasted pecans, plus a dressing that stars fresh orange juice.

3. Spicy Korean Buckwheat Noodle Salad by Lauren

This cold noodle salad manages to be creamy and satisfying, with just enough tang and spice to keep it light. The crunchy chopped vegetables are a perfect complement.

4. Melon, Bacon & Spinach Salad by inpatskitchen

We adore the unconventional melon juice dressing that ties this dish together: It has the perfect level of sweetness against the savory bacon, acerbic onion, and funky blue cheese.

5. Kale Salad with Minced Egg & Spiced Almonds by The Right Recipe

This salad is dead simple—yet it tastes anything but, thanks to a mix of textures, a perfectly balanced vinaigrette (no small feat!), and the clever addition of finely minced hardboiled eggs, which get sort of smooshed into the dressing.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you again to everyone who submitted a salad recipe.

Next up, some homework: Help us select the top two by taking these recipes for a spin in your kitchen and letting us know what you think. Rate the recipes, write comments, or reaching out to us directly at [email protected]. We're headed to do another round of recipes tests ourselves, and we'll be back with two finalists on July 1.

Share your congrats for the finalists in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • inpatskitchen
  • drbabs
  • Ella Quittner
    Ella Quittner
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


inpatskitchen June 20, 2019
Thanks so much Food52 but are any of these Test Kitchen Approved?
Ella Q. June 28, 2019
Hi Pat, congrats! Yes, all are TKA.
drbabs June 20, 2019
Thanks, Food52! I’m super excited to be a finalist!
drbabs June 20, 2019
Oops, semi-finalist. You know what I mean (embarassedly longing for an edit button....).