14 Fall Salad Recipes Bursting With Autumn’s Most Drool-Worthy Produce

Fall is the best season, no contest. (Clearly, I’m in the majority.) We’re several weeks into the season, and I’ve made soups aplenty, stocked and restocked my Trader Joe’s fall favorites, and indulged in my favorite pumpkin cake. But to even things out amidst all the sweet, cozy classics, I’m on the hunt for recipes that taste and feel like fall, but are healthy and nourishing, too. Enter: the internet’s best fall salad recipes. You’re welcome.

14 Fall Salad Recipes That Take Sides to a Whole New Level

The best thing about fall salads is that they feature delicious salad bases like Brussels sprouts and quinoa, along with my favorite toppings like sweet potato and apples. I’m convinced that if you put all the best fall ingredients in a bowl, it would taste pretty good. Read on for 14 fall salad recipes that will bring the season into your kitchen. (And help you change things up once the pumpkin-induced coma subsides.)

Apple Walnut Salad

Why We Love It: Putting apples in a salad is one of the easiest ways to get to my heart. Throw in some walnuts and dried cranberries and it’s game over. This salad recipe actually makes me drool, and I get giddy thinking about how good it will taste while all of the ingredients are in season. Run, don’t walk, to try this one out. 

Hero Ingredient: The juicy, crunchy, sweet Honeycrisp apples.

Harvest Kale Salad

Why We Love It: Packed with superfoods and fall produce, this salad is as good as it looks. (And it looks pretty dang good.) The squash, brie (yes, brie!), and pears also make it more filling than your typical salad. It’s crunchy, creamy, and our favorite way to eat kale—perfect to serve at all of your fall dinner parties. 

Hero Ingredient: Brie needs to be the mainstay of more fall salad recipes.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Caramelized Date Salad

Why We Love It:  This recipe has everything I crave in a salad: something creamy, something crunchy, something unexpectedly sweet, and something tangy. Here, that means sweet potatoes, pistachios, dates, and plenty of goat cheese. It’s so delicious and goes so far beyond your basic fall salad. This recipe is what they mean when folks encourage you to eat the rainbow.

Hero Ingredient: Sweet potatoes are my fresh, fall-season favorite.

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad

Why We Love It: I’ll say it: delicata squash is the best squash. You don’t have to peel it (looking at you, butternut), and the rings crisp up perfectly in the oven—leaving the perfect creamy interior. In this recipe, the squash truly shines, with feta, almonds, and plenty of herbs to support the salad’s star. With plenty of color and a variety of texture, this salad knows what it’s doing.

Hero Ingredient: The unexpected spices, cumin and coriander, add a nice heat to this cold-weather salad.

Buffalo Cauliflower Chopped Salad

Why We Love It: This might be the fall salad recipe to end all fall salad recipes. It’s also one of the most unique recipes on this list thanks to the lighter—but still bursting with flavor—buffalo sauce that makes the roasted cauliflower all the more delish.

Hero Ingredient: The creamy, lemony dressing is light but substantial, coating your greens perfectly while still letting the buffalo sauce shine.

Shredded Kale & Cranberry Salad with Crispy Tofu

Why We Love It:  I spend all year waiting to eat cranberries at their peak, and this salad makes all my fresh, fall dreams come true. The sweet and tangy berry pairs so well with the kale and herb blend, and the crispy tofu just gives it all a crunchy, satisfying, and delicious texture. But trust: whatever protein you choose, this salad will always satisfy.

Hero Ingredient: The dressing’s juice and zest of an orange, for a fresh flavor that can’t be beat.

Roasted Delicata Squash & Kale Salad

Why We Love It: Sheela Prakash shared this recipe with us a few years ago, and it has been a fall favorite ever since. It’s wholesome, colorful, and incredibly flavorful. This recipe has the perfect tangy dressing, is gluten-free and vegan, and has some yummy crunch components, too. Plus, it just looks pretty. 

Hero Ingredient: Delicata squash has been waiting all year to shine in this salad. Scratch that—every salad.

The Best Simple Green Salad

Why We Love It: A little nod to simplicity in our favorite fall salad recipes is always welcome. This pared-down green salad is just what we crave when we’ve overdone it on the creamy desserts, pasta, and casseroles that are everywhere this time of year. With mixed lettuces, fresh herbs, and toasted walnuts as the base, this salad makes way for a flavor-packed shallot vinaigrette that I’ll happily pour over anything.

Hero Ingredient: ACV gives the dressing the perfect acidity and puckery bite. 

Green Salad With Sesame Dressing

Why We Love It: Everyone loves a classic green salad, and if you can believe it, this recipe takes things up a notch. The baby greens happily soak up every drop of the ginger-spiked dressing, giving you a bowl of creamy, crunchy, and nutty goodness. I’m not joking when I say that the first time I made this, I finished it straight from the bowl.

Hero Ingredient: This salad is a PSA to start sprinkling your furikake on way more than rice. The nori and seeds in the Japanese condiment add a delicious salty crunch.

Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad with Crispy Quinoa

Why We Love It: Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking shared this beautiful veggie salad with us that’s full of fall and winter’s best. The red pepper flakes add the perfect amount of spice, the quinoa brings just the right amount of crunch, and the pinto beans give the salad some protein. It’s super easy and will be a fall favorite for sure.

Hero Ingredient: Can’t beat the quinoa.

Grapefruit, Avocado, and Golden Beet Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas and Feta

Why We Love It: We’ve almost made it to peak citrus season, and I’m already working on getting my fill. Combined with golden beets (which, if you’re not a fan of their pinky-red cousins, are far milder and a little sweeter), this salad simply lets the seasonal produce do it’s thing. Plus, it’s so pretty when it’s all plated up.

Hero Ingredient: I’m an avocado girlie for life.

Chaat Masala Citrus Salad

Why We Love It: If this salad was rated on a function of prep time and impressiveness, it would be off the charts. Your guests will think you spent hours making it, and clean their plates in no time. This recipe really spotlights the fresh citrus and supplements the flavor with radishes, mint, and as much chaat masala as your taste buds can handle.

Hero Ingredient: Pass the chaat masala, please.

Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette

Why We Love It: Everything about this recipe, from the image to the ingredient list, just screams fall. Not only does it feature a tasty maple-mustard vinaigrette, but it also has tons of fall favorites: kale, apples, cranberries, almonds, goat cheese, and more. This is one of the fall salad recipes that will be on a weekly rotation at my house. 

Hero Ingredient: Wild rice makes this salad all the more satisfying.

Kale Citrus Salad

Why We Love It: If you’ve long been turned off of kale as I have, this salad is your welcome-back gift. The key is to massage the greens long enough that the leaves easily give to the citrus-tahini dressing. Tossed together with an array of citrus, this salad is beauty made edible. (Be sure to read the whole thing, as the recipe shares the secret to getting restaurant-quality slices.)

Hero Ingredient: As the recipe states: breadcrumbs are the new croutons. And so, so much better.

This post was originally published on October 6, 2021, and has since been updated.