Web Only ArticleNovember 23, 2015

Stuffed? Lighten Up With Our 12 Best Gluten-Free Salad Recipes

All "feasted" out? Our "Reader Recipe Favorites" series delivers a selection of irresistible salads, each of them gluten-free, light, and tasty.

[Updated Nov. 28, 2015]

Ah, another Thanksgiving behind us. There's nothing like a few light meals to follow our favorite holiday for feasting—a holiday when some of us edge a little too close to gluttony. If you're feeling that way, you'll love our compilation of 12 tasty salad dishes, a list based on reader popularity. They're creative, unusual, nutritious, and, best of all, light.

Let us know what you think of these recipes; use the “Comments” section below to tell us how they came out for you—and what secrets you might have to make them more to your liking.

PS: We have now opened up all of the recipes in this feature so that they're free to all visitors (though we'd still love new arrivals to register; it's free, takes just a few moments, and gives you access to all of our recipes over the years.) Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Raspberry Salad

No. 12: Gluten-Free Raspberry Salad

12. Raspberry Tossed Salad:

This appetizing salad has all kinds of goodies, from raspberries and raspberry spread to baby spinach and red-leaf lettuce to sunflower seeds and onions. It originally appeared in Connie Sarros’s Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults. Find the recipe here.

11. Red Quinoa Salad with Beets and Arugula: 

Hey, don’t complain about beets! They’re good for you—amazingly healthy. As Environmental Nutrition puts it, “The deep fuschia-purple color of beets comes from the phytochemical betacyanin, which has been found to have anti-cancer effects. In addition, beets are a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, and vitamin C.”

This salad also gives you arugula and quinoa in a most creative dish. Click here for the recipe.

10. Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Mint

If you like quick, easy, light, and tasty, round up the ingredients for this distinctive salad, presented by Julie Biuso. The recipe includes tomatoes, Kalamata olives, chickpeas (or white beans), feta cheese (optional) and quinoa, with lemon juice and Dijon mustard adding flavor. Click here for the recipe.

Sweet Potato Salad

No. 9: Sweet Potato Salad

9. Sweet Potato Salad, Gluten-Free: 

We cheat a little on this one, going for potatoes as part of a salad, but... they make it  a filling dish, and they work well with the recipe’s other ingredients, which include celery, Kalamata olives, parsley, carrots, and more. Click here to find this recipe, which comes from Sue Spector.

Tarragon Chicken Salad

No. 8: Tarragon Chicken Salad

8. Tarragon Chicken Salad with Apples: 

This one is a versatile dish—it works fine on its own or as the filling in a flavorful sandwich. Apples and grapes supply sweetness and texture—plus beneficial nutrients. Find the directions here.

7. Quinoa Salad with Herbs, Feta, and Pomegranate:  

Our readers love all things quinoa, judging by the most popular dishes in multiple categories. So this recipe is right up your alley: a tasty mix of quinoa, herbs, feta cheese, and pomegranate. The recipe—which you’ll find by clicking here—originally appeared in the book Pomegranates, by Ann Kleinberg.

6. Quinoa Salad with Kale, Cherry Tomatoes, and Avocado: 

"This beautiful salad," as author Kristine Kidd describes, "is nutrient-dense and fragrant with fresh basil [and] an ideal potluck dish that transports well and gives other gluten-free guests a safe and nutritious item." Well said! You'll find the recipe here. 

No. 5: Gluten-Free Thai Chicken Noodle Salad

5. Gluten-Free Thai Chicken Noodle Salad 

Here's a real treat: a dish boasting salty as well as sweet-and-sour Asian flavors complementing tender noodles and crisp vegetables. As author Matthew Kadey adds, "Supermarket rotisserie chicken is a convenient way to infuse this dish with protein without turning on the oven." Click here to access Kadey's recipe.

4. Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Rosemary Pumpkin and Quinoa Salad  

Get even more use out of pumpkin (or winter squash) with this Julie Biuso recipe. It also calls for cherry tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, and quinoa, along with several spices (among them rosemary, pepper, and basil) to add flavor. Find the recipe by clicking here.

 Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs

No. 3: Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs

3. Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs:

You'll be able to whip up this tasty quinoa salad in les than a half-hour, and you won't mind having leftovers (the recipe, by Julie Biuso, serves four to six). Add grilled meats, Biuso says, or keep it vegetarian by adding grilled bell peppers or eggplant with humus. Click here for instructions.     

2. Grilled Romaine Salad:

If you live in a cold-weather climate and are averse to winter-time grilling, you might file this one for warmer weather. Created by Sueson Vess, it combines two heads of romaine lettus with breat, and a bevy of flavors—balsamic vinaigrette, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, olive oil, and a bit of honey or agave nectar. The reulst is a Grilled Romaine Salad that'll surprise you. Find the recipe here.

1. Daikon Lentil Salad  

We'll let author Mathew Kadey explain his combination here: "Lentils and daikon [radish] provide a powerful one-two fiber punch," he says. "Consider serving this salad on a bed of baby spinach or with a garnish of pea shoots. It also makes for a nutritious lunch at the office or a Thanksgiving side dish."

The recipe also calls for carrot, onions, feta cheese, and mandarin orange segments. Find Kadey's instructions here.

Daikon Lentil Salad

And at No. 1: Daikon Lentil Salad


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