I talk about “refrigerator salads” a lot because they’re my favorite way to make sure I’m eating healthy even when I’m like, SUPER busy. I know I’ve turned a lot of you into refrigerator salad fans too, so I thought I’d round up my favorite refrigerator salads in one place to make them easy to find! Scroll on down to read more about what a refrigerator salad is, why I love them, and see what made the list!
What is a “Refrigerator Salad”
Simply put, a refrigerator salad is a salad that holds up well to refrigeration. It’s a salad that I make on Sunday and I can keep in my refrigerator for quick meals throughout the week (and by “throughout the week” I mean for the next four days or so). I try to keep one refrigerator salad prepared and waiting every week and it really helps me meet my daily vegetable goals (because honestly, if I didn’t have a salad ready to go in the fridge I’d probably just melt some cheese in a tortilla for dinner).
The Versatility of Refrigerator Salads
Another reason I love refrigerator salads is because they can be quite versatile. Many of them can be as a side dish with dinner, usd as a bed for some grilled chicken or a boiled egg for lunch, or stuffed into a wrap or pita and make a sandwich! So you can change it up throughout the week and prevent boredom.
How Long Do Refrigerator Salads Last?
The lifespan of each salad will vary and you can find more details on the best way to store each salad by clicking through to their blog post, but to make it into this “refrigerator salad” category, I picked salads that hold up well for at least three days of refrigeration. As with most prepared foods, I don’t suggest refrigerating longer than 5 days. The environment of your particular refrigerator and ingredient freshness can impact their longevity.
19 Refrigerator Salads for Eating Healthy on the Go!
*Vegan salads marked with an asterisk.
Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad
Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad* – This one is kind of like a cold version of my Spanish Chickpeas and Rice. Lemony, artichokey goodness with plenty of plant based protein to make it meal-worthy.
Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad
Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad – This salad is my new current obsession! The tangy, creamy, sweet Honey Mustard Sauce is the perfect pair for the crunchy bitter green flavor of fresh broccoli. You’ll be hitting those daily vegetable goals EASILY with this salad.
Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad
Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad – That dressing, tho… 🤤 This indulgent salad is kind of like a Caprese salad meets pasta salad. I like to add slices of grilled chicken to this one for a totally restaurant-worthy meal, but for a lot less $$$. Keep this one refrigerated sans dressing for optimal longevity if your fridge!
Cold Peanut Noodle Salad
Cold Peanut Noodle Salad* – Eat the rainbow! This colorful salad tastes as festive as it looks. Super crunchy, full flavored goodness that is just as delish on day four as it was on day one! It’s super filling on its own, but would also be awesome with fried tofu cubes or shredded chicken.
Cucumber and Black Bean Salad
Cucumber and Black Bean Salad – Hello, SUMMER. I pretty much serve this as a side dish to everything during the summer months. The fresh cucumber and salty feta give this hearty black bean salad a 1-2 flavor punch. So simple, but SO good.
Parsley Salad with Almonds and Apricots
Parsley Salad with Almonds and Apricots* – This salad is so underrated. The bulgur (cracked wheat) makes this salad super hearty, while the fresh parsley keeps everything light and fresh. Crunchy almonds, sweet dried apricots, and a homemade vinaigrette give the salad plenty of flavor and texture. I love this salad throughout the fall and winter months because it doesn’t rely on a lot of fresh summery vegetables, like most salads.
Roasted Vegetable Couscous
Roasted Vegetable Couscous* – When summer vegetables are at their peak, this salad is a staple! It makes a great side dish, a tasty bed for grilled meat, or a flavorful filling for wrap sandwiches!
Cowboy Caviar* – This potluck classic is one that I love to make year round. It has more color, texture, and flavor than any sald I’ve made, and is so good that I like to just scoop it up with chips. I love offering this salad as a “healthy” chip dip option at parties. Even if it’s a party of one. Me. I’m the party.
Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad
Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad* – This totally killer salad has the amazing super power of being freezer friendly! Yes, you can FREEZE this salad! It may be the first of its kind. So keep a few portions of this on hand in your freezer for “emergencies.”
Sweet Crunch Winter Salad
Sweet Crunch Winter Salad* – Another great winter refrigerator salad option! When the fresh, juicy, summer vegetables are long gone you can make delish salads using the hearty vegetables of fall and winter, like cabbage, carrots, and broccoli.
Spinach and Orzo Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Spinach and Orzo Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette – Talk about tangy goodness! Between the sun dried tomatoes, homemade balsamic vinaigrette, and feta, this salad is a tangy food lover’s dream. And if you don’t have orzo, you can always sub for another small pasta variety, like couscous or even bowtie!
Super Fresh Cucumber Tomato Salad
Super Fresh Cucumber Salad – You may have seen me wax poetic about this salad on social media. It’s such a classic summer staple. The aroma of the fresh cucumber and tomato is so intoxicating to me and it fills my entire refrigerator with its “super fresh” aroma, that I want to just stand with the refrigerator door open and sniff. But then I remember that I get to eat it, too. WIN.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing* – This is one of my most VIRAL recipes, and for good reason. It’s just freaking delicious! Thankfully it holds up well in the fridge, and it’s another great option for the winter months. :)
Quinoa Tabbouleh* – If you’re a lemon and garlic lover, this one is for you. The homemade dressing drenches everything in super tangy lemon garlic flavor, while the cucumbers and tomatoes help keep things light. I could eat my weight in tabbouleh!
Vinaigrette Slaw with Feta
Vinaigrette Slaw with Feta – This salad is perhaps my favorite way to eat cabbage. Anytime I have leftover cabbage from another recipe, I make a batch of this Vinaigrette Slaw with Feta because it’s such a tasty snack, or side to go with my dinner. And it’s just so SIMPLE.
Marinated Lentil Salad
Marinated Lentil Salad – Most people only think of eating lentils hot, but they make a great (inexpensive) base for a salad when chilled! You can even add some fresh spinach if you want to up the greens in this salad.
Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
Greek Chicken Pasta Salad – Another reader fav! I love this salad as a light lunch, especially during the hot months of summer. It’s filling, fresh, and has everything you need in one bowl. You can swap chickpeas for the chicken to make it vegetarian!
Lemony Cucumber Couscous Salad
Lemony Cucumber Couscous Salad – As soon as those summer cucumbers hit the market, this is the FIRST salad I make! It’s so fresh and delightful, with those cute little couscous pearls, I can never get enough.
Apple Dijon Kale Salad
Apple Dijon Kale Salad* – I know I’ve said every one of these is my favorite, but this one really holds a special place in my heart. Those tart apples, crunchy walnuts, sweet raisins, earthy kale, and tangy homemade vinaigrette come together for one of the tastiest salads EVER. The perfect salad for fall!
I can’t wait to try these salads. Thanks a million
Excellent resource and recipes for salads and I am in the market of buying a dedicated reach in glass door refrigerator and locating it in the clean part of the garage area and my goal is to duplicate the concept of sweets greens at home for my personal use to conveniently have a variety of fresh leafy greens and a variety of toppings that will hold up well in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days so that i can mix and match and create a new fresh salad at will.
Can your company suggest a good reach glass door refrigerator and a variety of leafy greens and variety of toppings that will hold up well for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator to mix match and create a fresh salad at will.
You share some delicious, inexpensive recipes and I love trying them!! I always read your emails cuz I know you have some good recipes!!
HONEY MUSTARD BROCCOLI SALAD – the healthiest of all.. .I guess. I can have this everyday. :-) Thanks for the recipe though. Will prepare for my family this weekend.
I’ve been working my way through this list – so far I’ve made the Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad, Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad, and the Tomato Mozzarella Pasta salad and all three have been a huge hit. I love that I can make it for dinner one night (in 15-30 minutes!) and then have leftovers that will actually hold up for lunches for several days.
That’s awesome Katie!
These salad recipes are amazing. I like them a lot.
I also love your black bean/pineapple/cashew/quinoa salad. Still make it all the time.
Perfect ideas for my office lunches. Also, let me note I keep moist ingredients separate for this kind of meals since it is so super hot here that this way or packing makes me sure the food won’t spoil ! :-I Thank you and enjoy your day :-)
I LOVE all the ideas here!! Salads are one of my favorite meals just because they are so easy to make and it’s easy to keep them interesting. Thank you for all the delicious recipes here!
I’ve made several of these over the years, and can’t wait to try more. I have to say the roasted cauliflower salad with tahini dressing is one of my favorite meals EVER! And if it even lasts 3 days in the fridge, I never get tired of eating it. Absolutely delicious! The Greek chicken pasta salad is another favorite around here. That one is a meal prep I do often. I make a batch and it’s enough for me to bring lunch for my pastor the next day (he loves it!!) And lunch for my husband and I for two days.
Thanks for this round up! I need some new inspiration for packing lunch this week. :) love all your salads!
Thanks Tara for being a super fan!
Should these be stored (for meal prep) with the dressing mixed in or on the side? I’ve looked through a few posts and it doesn’t specify in all of them. For salads, I thought it was best to store the wet and dry ingredients separately. Unless it’s a wet/mayo based salad, like chicken or tuna salad. It seemed like the broccoli salad did recommend storing with the dressing mixed in, but I want to make sure when I eat it on Thursday, it won’t be gross.
It can depend largely on your tolerance for how food changes as it refrigerates. The only ones I would say to definitely keep the dressing separate are the Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad, Cold Peanut Noodle Salad, and Spinach and Orzo Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette. If you’re really sensitive to texture changes in leftovers, just play it safe and keep all your dressing separate. :)