Salads have undergone a massive transformation over the past 50 years, from the Jello-based jigglers of the ’70s to the iceberg lettuce-heavy crunchers of the ’90s. Today’s salads are filling and satisfying, still packed with vegetables but also delivering energizing protein and healthy fats from ingredients like avocado, nuts and tasty cheeses. “Salad is so much more than just a healthy meal: It’s comfort food,” says Darlene Schrijver, author of the new cookbook The Salad Lab and founder of the eponymous TikTok account, which boasts nearly 3 million followers. Try one of these nourishing and flavor-packed salads tonight!

Tropical Salad With Creole Chicken

(Serves 4)

Tropical Fruit Fresh and Creative Super Salad Recipes
Erin Kunkel

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tsp. Creole seasoning
1 tbsp. avocado oil
8 cups spring mix
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1 cup mandarin orange segments
1 cup sliced strawberries
2⁄3 cup goat cheese
1⁄2 cup roasted sliced almonds

1. In a bowl, toss chicken with Creole seasoning and season with salt. Heat oil in a griddle pan on high. Sear chicken 1 min. per side; turn heat to medium high and cook 4 to 5 min. per side. Cut into cubes.

2. In bowl with dressing*, add chicken and remaining ingredients. Toss to coat and serve.
*For dressing: In a large bowl, whisk 1 tbsp. diced shallot, 1⁄2 tsp. garlic, 2 ⁄3 cup rice vinegar, 1⁄3 cup orange juice, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, 1 tbsp. honey, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, and 1 ⁄2 tsp. Creole seasoning and season with salt and pepper until well combined.

PER SERVING: 338 cal, 13g protein, 25g carbs, 4g fiber, 17g sugar, 21g fat

Soba Noodle Salad

(Serves 4)

Soba Noodle Fresh and Creative Super Salad Recipes
Erin Kunkel

1 cup frozen shelled edamame
8 oz. dried soba noodles
2 tsp. avocado oil
1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1⁄2 cup halved and shaved watermelon or daikon radish
1⁄2 cup diced cucumber
1⁄2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1⁄4 cup chopped scallion greens
2 tbsp. furikake

1. Thaw edamame. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add soba; boil 5 min. Strain, rinse and cool.

2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium. Cook mushrooms 5 min.

3. In bowl with dressing*, add next 6 ingredients, edamame, soba and mushrooms. Toss to coat. Top with furikake and serve.

*For dressing: In a large bowl, whisk 1⁄4 cup avocado oil, 2 tbsp. each lime juice, mirin, miso and water, 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil, 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger, and 1 ⁄4 tsp. wasabi until smooth.

PER SERVING: 528 cal, 13g protein, 73g carbs, 16g fiber, 7g sugar, 22g fat

Chopped Salad

(Serves 4)

Chopped Salad Fresh and Creative Super Salad Recipes
Erin Kunkel

1⁄3 cup finely chopped red onion
1 1⁄2 cups finely chopped Roma tomatoes
6 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce
1 1⁄2 cups chopped seeded English cucumber
1 cup chopped avocado
1⁄3 cup finely crumbled blue cheese
3 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped bacon

1. Fill a small glass bowl halfway with ice water and add onion. Soak 10 min., then drain and pat onion dry. Place tomatoes in a colander; press down with a spoon to drain excess liquid.

2. In bowl with dressing*, combine all remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Serve.

*For dressing: In a large salad bowl, whisk 1 ⁄4 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp. crème fraîche, 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley, 2 tsp. each lemon juice, Dijon mustard and honey, and 1 ⁄4 tsp. lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.

PER SERVING: 390 cal, 11g protein, 14g carbs, 4g fiber, 6g sugar, 34g fat