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17 Gluten-Free Salads for Any Time Light and Fresh Meals

17 Gluten-Free Salads for Any Time Light and Fresh Meals

Salads are an excellent choice for everyone, giving a bounty of fresh veggies and fruits for good health.

And you can make them in a seemingly infinite amount of ways.

Even though veggies and fruits are gluten-free by nature, many of the other things you add to them might be full of gluten.

Salads that are big and full of flavors, colors, and contrasting textures always entice everyone to eat them up.

That’s why you need these gluten-free salads that everyone can safely eat without a stitch of gluten to be found. 

Make them for a light and healthy lunch for yourself.

Or make them as the starter for a big family meal.

Even for holidays or potlucks, serving a gluten-free salad like one of these recipes ensures everyone can eat all their veggies in the most delicious of ways!

Try One of These 17 Gluten-Free Salads!

Whether it’s just you for lunch or dinner, or you need to feed a crowd, these 17 gluten-free salads are sure to make everyone love salad again!

1. Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad recipe

If you’re sick of lettuce-based salads, then broccoli salad is the answer!

It’s got plenty of crunch from the fresh broccoli florets.

You’ll chop them up with thinly sliced red onions, dried cranberries, shelled sunflower seeds, shredded cheddar, and cooked bacon.

A dressing of mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper pulls it all together.

Here, the only thing you need to check as you put your ingredients together is that the bacon and the shredded cheese you use are gluten-free.

Not every brand will be which is why reading the labels is important.

With cheeses, sometimes it’s best to shred them yourself to avoid the anti-caking agents, some of which may contain gluten. 

This broccoli salad is perfect for any night, or to win everyone over at a party!

2. Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad dish jpg

For something that is light, refreshing, yet filling, this quinoa salad is sure to be a new favorite.

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and makes for a more robust base to your salad.

You’ll want to cook it first and then pair it with your other salad ingredients.

Chickpeas, cucumbers, red bell peppers for a pop of color, parsley, red onion, and minced garlic go great with a nice lemony vinaigrette.

It’s all so easy to make from scratch for your next barbecue, any holiday, or as a side for tonight’s dinner.

3. Greek Salad

Greek Salad

Greek salads are full of Mediterranean flavors.

And they don’t need to have gluten.

Often, they’re served with warmed pitas, but you can omit those or find a gluten-free pita instead.

You’ll need cucumbers, baby plum tomatoes, kalamata olives, and red onion slices.

You can also add some artichoke hearts, but drain them well first or they’ll make things soggy.

Don’t forget the feta cheese.

Or the dressing which is a simple olive oil and white wine vinegar with dried oregano, salt, and pepper.

Make it party size to feed a crowd, or keep it standard size for your family.

Everyone will love these fresh flavors that only taste indulgent!

4. Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad 1

Cobb salad is a brilliant meal in one bowl.

It’s so enticing too with all those colors, flavors, and textures together.

Traditional cobb salad calls for lettuce, cooked chicken, tomatoes, avocados, hardboiled eggs, bacon, and blue cheese.

Remember to check your bacon and blue cheese brands to make sure you buy the gluten-free ones.

As for salad dressing, you can make a gluten-free ranch, though if you really want to impress, try making the vinaigrette from the famed Brown Derby.

For that, you need red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, dry mustard, and a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce.

5. Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Gluten Free Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is definitely the kind of salad that eats like a meal.

It’s also a welcome side dish for any party spread.

The only thing you need to do is use your favorite gluten-free pasta.

Those spiral shapes work best because all the dressing flavors get trapped in every nook and cranny.

Cook your gluten-free pasta as the package directs and then run it under cold water to cool it down.

You’ll then toss it with broccoli florets, red onions, sliced cherry tomatoes, black olive slices, and feta.

Or go nuts with other combinations and pasta salad side dishes.

A simple vinaigrette really pulls it all together for a tasty dish!

6. Southwestern Chop Salad


All these amazing flavors and textures come together in this southwestern chop salad. 

That’s what makes it so sensational.

Made with homemade pico de gallo, romaine lettuce, sweet corn, black beans, avocado, and crushed blue corn tortilla chips, the finishing touch is a salsa ranch dressing.

And yes, it’s got zero gluten in it (as long as you buy gluten-free ranch and tortilla chips).

You can also add grilled chicken or steak on top to make it more of a meal (gluten free, of course!).

Or serve it with your typical Taco Tuesday favorites.

Iowa Girl Eats has the full recipe for you!

7. Taco Salad

Taco Salad

Want to do something different for taco night?

Then make taco salad!

Those hard taco shells are gluten-free.

If you can’t find a giant bowl-shaped one, you can simply put your taco salad ingredients into a big bowl and then crush your taco shells on top as the finishing touch.

You’ll cook ground beef with taco seasoning using a gluten-free brand. 

Then you layer it all in the bowl with romaine lettuce, green onions, salsa, grape tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, and shredded cheddar.

This is the salad that brings the fiesta to  your mouth every time!

8. Chopped Asian Salad


The problem with many Asian salad recipes is they often include fried wontons or fried lo mein noodles.

And those are definitely not gluten-free.

Sure, you could leave them out but then you miss the satisfying crunch it really needs to make you crave salad.

But if you make a chopped Asian salad with napa cabbage, purple cabbage, carrots, red bell peppers, green onions, almonds, chicken, cilantro, and avocado, you’ll have all the texture you need.

And the taste too.

As for the dressing, if you grab the recipe from Eating Bird Food, you’ll learn how to make a chili almond dressing that is gluten-free and utterly delicious!

9. Caesar Salad


But those darn croutons.

And that Worcestershire sauce.

Are you doomed to forever forgo a classic like Caesar salad?


You can eat it if you make a few adjustments.

Namely, using a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce and gluten-free croutons.

The Organic Kitchen shows you how to make it with a gluten-free option so you’ll always have the elegance of a Caesar salad that fits your lifestyle. 

10. Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad

Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad

When you’re not feeling all into a green salad, try a tomato, cucumber, and avocado salad.

These three fruits are a fast way to filling in the nutritional gap.

Yes, we said fruits because technically, they are fruits!

You can add a little red onion for more color and more contrast in flavor if you like.

A light lemony vinaigrette is a surefire way to make this salad pop!

11. Chicken Garden Salad

Chicken Garden Salad

When you’re in a pinch to eat right, a chicken garden salad is an excellent gluten-free meal.

You can use grilled chicken or shred any leftover cooked chicken you have on-hand.

Then you’ll mix it with an array of greens that include iceberg lettuce.

And then it’s time for the veggies.

Carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are great.

You can go the extra mile with green beans or asparagus too.

Ideally, whatever you have that’s fresh will be a win.

Cheese and chopped bacon add a little extra.

And yes, go for gluten-free croutons for more crunch.

A Dijon vinaigrette is the perfect choice for your dressing with this salad. 

12. Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

Whether you want an elegant starter for an Italian meal or you feel like a light and refreshing lunch, caprese salad is a superb choice.

It’s simple, with thick slices of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil.

A little olive oil and fresh ground pepper are the final touches.

No basil? 

If you have pesto sauce, that will do in a pinch.

As long as you’re using gluten-free brands, you can enjoy a caprese salad without gluten!

13. Creamy Cucumber and Dill Salad

Creamy Cucumber and Dill Salad

On a hot day, a creamy cucumber and dill salad makes for a spectacular crowd-pleaser.

Scale it up or down to feed as many people as you like. 

The soothing, cooling cucumber paired with dill and pungent red onions in a creamy sour cream-based sauce is definitely a winning combination.

A little white vinegar, sugar, salt, and garlic powder give it more jazz.

It’s ready in a flash and can be your main, side dish, or a gluten-free party appetizer. 

14. White Bean Salad

White Bean Salad

White bean salads are easy to throw together in minutes.

And with those white beans, you’ll be giving everyone a hefty dose of protein.

Drain two can of the beans and add chopped red onion, cilantro, lemon juice, white vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir it to combine and you have a gluten-free and vegan-friendly salad that anyone can eat. 

15. Thai Mango Salad

Thai Mango Salad

When you’re tired of the same flavors, go with a Thai mango salad.

You just need to peel and julienne a couple mangos, slice a red bell pepper, add cilantro, shallots, and toasted cashews.

All those fresh flavors and crunchy bits need one final accent…the dressing!

You can make that with the juice of a lime, tamari (which is gluten-free), honey, and chili garlic sauce.

Serve this as a side when guests come or make this the salad that everyone envies when you bring it to work for lunch. 

16. Persian Shirazi Salad


If you like Greek salad, Persian Shirazi salad is a great one to try when you want a different twist.

It’s light and refreshing, made with diced cucumber, tomato, and herbs tossed in a dressing of olive oil and lime.

Want to give this tasty salad from Iran a try?

17. Watermelon Feta Salad

Watermelon Feta Salad

And finally, here’s a summer salad that makes fruit the focal point.

Sweet, juicy, and refreshing watermelon is paired with red onions, feta cheese, balsamic vinegar, and fresh mint leaves for a savory-sweet union you’ll love.

There’s no gluten in balsamic vinegar or feta, so grab your fork and dig in!

While there are many salads that sneak gluten into the mix, these are sans gluten, making them a fantastic option when you’re sick of the same old salads!

gluten free salads hdr

17 Gluten-Free Salads for Any Time Light and Fresh Meals

Gluten-free salad ideas and recipes to cook with light and fresh meals


  • Broccoli Salad
  • Quinoa Gluten Free Salad
  • Gluten Free Greek Salad
  • Cobb Salad
  • Gluten-Free Pasta Salad
  • Southwestern Chopped Salad
  • Taco Salad
  • Chopped Asian Salad
  • Gluten Free Caesar
  • Tomato Cucumber Avocado
  • Chicken Garden Salad
  • Caprese Salad
  • Creamy Cucumber and Dill
  • White Bean Salad
  • Thai Mango Salad
  • Persian Shirazi Salad
  • Watermelon Feta Salad


  • Choose your desired gluten-free salad recipe.
  • Gather and organize needed ingredients.
  • Create a tasty gluten-free salad recipe to complete your meal!

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