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25 Tasty Homemade Salads for One

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Look no farther than this list of 25 easy salads for one. These salads are simple, flavorful, and can be made ahead of time to take to work or meal prep for the week. They’re great recipes to enjoy more vegetables.

[This recipe was originally posted in April 2017. It has been updated by adding a list of 25 salads for one instead of just one buffalo chicken salad and a few packable salads.]

Lots of times salads that we make at home end up being super boring, and take lots of time to prepare. That doesn’t have to be the case, making a salad at home can be tasty, enjoyable, and satisfying. But it takes a few guidelines to do that.

Simple, flavorful salads for one are totally possible with these easy recipes. It just takes pantry essentials, some chopping (or pre-chopped ingredients), and creativity to build a tasty, fun salad.

I’ll share some of my favorite easy salad recipes for one, but need to share a few ground rules and guidelines first.

How to Make a Satisfying Salad

I’ve made so many unsatisfying salads in my past, I’m so over it, and have some tips to help you avoid the mistakes I made.

Include 3 (or more) food groups: vegetables/fruits (or both!), protein, carbs, dairy, etc. Having a few food groups gives you some variety of flavors, textures, and nutrients. Plus carbs + protein help fill you up. Vegetables is not a meal.

Add crunchy toppings: chopped nuts, seeds, croutons, roasted chickpeas or beans. Crunchy toppings add texture, flavor, and lots add essential fats and other nutrients.

Add carbohydrates: You don’t have to add some sort of carb to your salad itself, you can enjoy rice, pasta, or bread on the side. But it’s essential to add some sort of carb to your salad for one is essential to feed your brain and leave you feeling satisfied.

Add fat: cheese, dressing, nuts/seeds, avocado, etc. This is, hands down the best way to make a salad that actually feels satisfying. Again, it adds flavor, and creaminess (cheese, oil, avocado), but is a source of energy and satiation.

Add protein: This is an addition I don’t often see skipped, but it’s also a great reminder. If you’re adding a leaner protein, I’d recommend adding another source of fat (see above) for more satisfaction. Any plant or meat based protein will work well!

This is about as nutrition focused as I get here. In my work as a non diet dietitian, focusing on eating perfectly or getting in all the vegetables is often stressful for people, and can lead to eating lots of food, but not enough energy.

If you’re feeling stressed about eating and are hungry a lot, let’s talk. I work with lots of nutrition clients one on one. Check out my services here.

Cooking for One Tips

Here are a few resources for you to make cooking for one easier:

In addition to general cooking for one tips, there are things to keep in mind when you’re making salads for one.

Add whatever you have. Making salads for one can be a great way to clean out your fridge. Add

Make extra servings. Use the slider with the serving size in the recipe card to adjust these single serving soup recipes. Or look for soup recipes with 4+ servings. There are lots of those!

Store your leftovers. There are lots of containers to store leftover soups, etc in. I used to use small IKEA ice trays, and recently got some Souper Cubes. Oh they’re so awesome. Flexible and with a lid, so they can stack in the freezer.

Just like all recipes, adapt them to work for you. Swap the protein or vegetables for preference, or use what you have on hand. Look for substitutions online too.

Grain Salads for One

These aren’t the traditional lettuce or green salad recipes, but I’d totally count them. There are lots of chopped vegetables in these grain salads, so let’s count them as salads for one. Of course you can add a handful (or more) of lettuce to them too.

Mediterranean Grain Bowl for One

This tangy Mediterranean grain bowl for one is ready in 20 minutes. It’s full of lots of pantry ingredients, most of which can be swapped for what you already have. Use this recipe, especially the dressing, and adjust to use what you have.

Check out this recipe

This Mediterranean grain bowl is packed with different textures and flavors, and it’s topped with a tangy, super flavorful salad dressing. I make extra dressing to dress salads or grains for a couple days. It’s one of my go to recipes.

Warm Harvest Bowl with Crispy Tofu (2 servings)

This vegetarian harvest bowl with tofu, apples and maple glazed winter squash is a great make-ahead meal for lunches during the week, or a delicious vegetarian dinner. Batch cook each ingredient to use it in even more recipes for the week.

Check out this recipe

Use fresh, or cooked kale to make this fall favorite grain salad. Quickly pan fry tofu in some of the dressing for bonus flavor. Of course, you could swap the tofu for sliced pork chop, that’d be great.

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

This easy vegetarian burrito bowl is the perfect super quick dinner recipe. You can throw it together in 5-10 minutes, using ingredients you already have in your pantry, with good salsa, it’s packed with flavor and doesn’t taste thrown together.

Check out this recipe

Again, not a traditional grain salad, with no lettuce/greens in the recipe as it is, but it’s easy to add lettuce. Or keep it as it is, and enjoy with lots of random vegetables with different textures. Yum!

Italian Beans for One (Instant Pot)

Italian beans for one is an easy one-pot vegetarian dinner that’s cooked in the Instant Pot. Cook white beans from dried to get tender, richly flavored beans. Add some vegetables and enjoy with crusty bread for a full dinner.

Check out this recipe

Ok this simple Italian beans recipe doesn’t technically contain a grain, but with soft, tender beans I thought I’d just throw it in here. It feels like a salad with the warm, tender kale and carrots in it.

Salads with Fruit, for One

Fresh fruit is a tasty addition to a classic salad for one. It adds lots of sweet flavor and texture. Plus, the sweetness of fruit pairs well with a tangy vinaigrette dressing.

Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges (for one)

This 15 minute spinach salad with mandarin oranges is a perfect flavor packed vegetarian salad for one. It’s full of crunchy, juicy, and flavorful toppings-tender spinach, mandarin oranges, edamame, and an orange & ginger vinaigrette.

Check out this recipe

Shelled edamame and pistachios adds some protein, fat, and fiber to help fill you up. Enjoy this simple spinach salad with mandarin oranges with crusty bread for a filling, fiber rich meal.

Watermelon Chicken Salad

Enjoy the best summer flavors with this easy watermelon chicken salad. It’s made with sweet juicy watermelon, tender chicken, peppery arugula, salty feta, and chewy barley. This single serving salad is summer on a plate, no doubt!

Check out this recipe

I usually prefer to enjoy watermelon on it’s own, but if you haven’t tried adding it to a salad yet, definitely try it. Watermelon, blueberries, chopped nuts, and chicken (+ more vegetables) are great with arugula or spinach in this summery dish.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Chicken (for one)

Make a strawberry spinach salad with chicken for one in just 10 minutes with cooked chicken, sweet strawberries, avocado, pistachios, and hemp hearts. It’s bathed with an easy 4 ingredient balsamic dressing that you’ll want on everything!

Check out this recipe

Strawberries are a tasty salad addition. With chicken, avocado, and pistachios, this dish is filling and bursting with flavor. Enjoy with crusty bread for extra satisfaction.

Chicken Salad Recipes

I don’t often think of chicken salad as a traditional salad for one, but why not. It’s great with different lettuces, and with enough of it, the dressing can double as a salad dressing for ease. Serve it over lettuce as a salad, or with lettuce in a sandwich.

Chicken Cranberry Walnut Salad for One

Cranberry walnut chicken salad just takes 15 minutes to make. It’s the perfect easy lunch. Serve over greens, in a sandwich, croissant, or a wrap for lots of options.

Check out this recipe

I like this simple salad for one as you make extra chicken salad dressing to dress the greens as well. It’s great paired with crusty bread or a toasted pita for more satisfaction.

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad (for one)

This apple pecan chicken salad, is a fantastic throw together lunch or dinner. It just takes 10 minutes! Use precooked chicken, green apple, pecans, and a Greek yogurt/mayonnaise dressing for a tangy salad.

Check out this recipe

If you haven’t added chopped apples to your salad for one or chicken salad, do it. The apples and pecans pair well with a yogurt/mayo based dressing and chicken. It’s so tasty and easy.

Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwich

Make an easy chicken salad pita for one in about 10 minutes. This easy lunch is so tasty! Eat it over a bed of lettuce, over whole grain bread, or just off a spoon. 

Check out this recipe

Have you served chicken salad in a pita before? A lightly toasted pita goes great with chicken salad, especially with some greens on it too. It’s versatile and so so tasty.

Side Salads for One

I’m a fan of focusing on a main dish or side dish, then serving it with a simple component. These simple side salads are packed with enough flavor to actually enjoy with a super simple chicken breast and bread (or another grain!) for an easy full meal.

Carrot Cucumber Salad for One

Need an easy side salad for one? This 6 ingredient carrot cucumber salad takes just 5 minutes to make, and is great with lots of different dishes, like a 15 Minute Pantry Pasta with ‘Homemade’ Tomato Sauce.

Check out this recipe

Thinly slice some cucumber, onion, and carrot to toss into this simple carrot cucumber salad. It’s got a light, tangy dressing that goes well with a simple main dish or leftovers like spaghetti or lasagna.

Warm Kale Salad for One

This 10 minute warm kale salad for one is a great way to use up hearty greens after they’ve started to go bad. Turn wilting greens into a flavorful warm salad with this simple recipe.

Check out this recipe

If you find yourself with wilting greens often, this warm kale salad for one is your kind of side. Extend the shelf life of wilting greens by sauteeing them quickly with some butter and onions. Highly recommend it!

Cucumber Beet Salad for One

This easy cucumber beet salad takes just 10 minutes to assemble and it’s packed with tangy, salty, and sweet flavors. It’s a bowl of wonderful textures too, with crunchy cucumbers, tender beets, and soft feta cheese.

Check out this recipe

I like this salad when I have some leftover feta cheese. It’s easy, packed with flavor through the bright vinaigrette and feta.

Spinach Salad with Roasted Pears and Oranges

This spinach salad with roasted pears and oranges is bursting with fall flavors and is made in under 30 minutes, including roasting the pears. The sweet pears and oranges are elevated with a tangy red wine vinegar based salad dressing to make this an easy and flavor packed side salad.

Check out this recipe

If you have time, make sure to roast the pears for this simple pear and orange salad. It’s great with a pork chop, chicken, or leftovers.

Copycat Chick Fil A Kale Salad Recipe

Make your own version of the popular 10 minute Chick Fil A kale salad recipe, aka superfood salad at home. It’s easy, flavorful, single serving, and there are endless simple toppings that taste so delicious!

Check out this recipe

This kale salad with dried tart cherries is the epitome of a side dish. It’s got a variety of textures and flavors, and let me tell you, the tart cherries are the best part. SO good! It’s so flavorful, you can serve it with a boring grilled chicken breast.

Avocado Grapefruit Salad (for one)

This easy and flavor packed avocado grapefruit salad over winter greens is the perfect light salad for a quick side salad or dinner.

Check out this recipe

You can easily make this grapefruit salad a full meal by adding some edamame, chopped chicken, hard boiled eggs, or other protein and croutons. It’s so easy, tasty, and a great winter side.

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese for One

Fresh beets, arugula, hemp hearts, and goat cheese are drizzled with a balsamic glaze and topped off with lemon juice for this easy and delicious beet salad.

Check out this recipe

Tender beets and goat cheese are the base for this super flavorful and easy salad. Dress it with a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a great side. To make it more filling, enjoy with edamame or another simple protein and a grain or bread.

Apple Cucumber Salad (for one)

This 4 ingredient apple cucumber salad is such an easy and flavorful salad that can be thrown together in just 5 minutes. Enjoy it with crispy tofu, a grilled pork chop, or succulent shrimp.

Check out this recipe

This apple cucumber salad comes together very easily with a mandolin, but you can take a few extra minutes to julienne the apple and cucumber for lots of crunch and flavor. It’s a great dish to take to a late summer BBQ or pot luck.

Kale Apple and Pecan Salad (one serving)

This hearty kale, apple and pecan salad for one goes really well with a simply grilled pork chop. It’s a simple fall salad that’s bursting with flavor, and done in 10 minutes. It’s got crisp apples, kale, and glazed pecans with a tangy maple mustard vinaigrette.

Check out this recipe

I love this kale, apple, and pecan salad for one with a simple pork chop. I mean pork and apples is such a classic, tasty flavor combination. It’s easy, flavorful, and a great fall staple.

Broccoli Greek Yogurt Salad for One

Delicious broccoli Greek yogurt salad for one is ready in just 15 minutes. It’s packed with broccoli, almonds, red grapes, bacon, and a creamy Greek yogurt dressing with or without mayo. Make it to go with summer chicken burgers or add chicken directly to it!

Check out this recipe

Have you added grapes to broccoli salad before? If not, start adding them. They add such a lovely texture, extra bursts of flavor, and fun summer feeling to this classic BBQ side salad. Plus there’s bacon in this recipe, can it get any better?

Holiday Kale Apple Slaw with Pomegranate for One

Red and green salads are a great addition to your Christmas spread, but this super easy holiday kale apple slaw for one takes just 10 minutes, and is bursting with crunch and flavor thanks to an apple cider vinaigrette + pomegranates and apples.

Check out this recipe

This gorgeous salad for one makes for a tasty, easy holiday side dish. It’s easy to make for a crowd or one person. The pomegranate aerils really bring in the holiday feels.

Cucumber Salad for One (with Tomatoes!)

A simple cucumber salad for one is tangy and tasty on it’s own, but sliced garden tomatoes add even more color and flavor to this simple salad. Add chicken for an easy dinner for one, or keep it as a side dish for a summer picnic/quick dinner.

Check out this recipe

You just need 5 minutes to assemble this simple cucumber tomato chopped salad. It’s got fresh summer flavors, and a wonderfully light and zippy dressing. It’s even better topped with some thinly sliced basil.

Shaved Zucchini Salad for One

This shaved zucchini salad for one is refreshing, delicious, and perfect for a quick summer meal or a BBQ. It’s such a delicious light summer salad that’s crunchy, cheesy, salty, and tangy. Plus it just takes 15 minutes to make.

Check out this recipe

If you haven’t cut zucchini with a vegetable peeler yet, try it. Thinly sliced zucchini doesn’t have to be cooked, and makes for a pretty, easy, and tasty zucchini, feta, and corn salad.

Red Wine Vinegar Coleslaw

Not in the mood for a traditional mayo based coleslaw? This 10 minute red wine vinegar coleslaw is your answer. It’s a non-mayo coleslaw that has the perfect easy vinegar dressing base that lasts longer outside than mayo based coleslaw.

Check out this recipe

Red wine vinegar based dressing adds zippy flavor to this simple coleslaw salad for one. It’s such an easy recipe that’s great for one person or a crowd. This is a great side dish to make for an outdoor meal.

Vegan Coleslaw Dressing with Soy Sauce

This easy 5 minute vegan coleslaw dressing with soy sauce is the perfect quick and flavor packed side salad. It’s quick, delicious, and a perfect side dish for dinner or to take to a potluck. You can buy a bag of slaw and quickly make the dressing for the easiest homemade side dish.

Check out this recipe

Soy sauce, sesame seeds, and a few additional ingredients turn a simple bag of coleslaw into a tasty, vegan side. Enjoy it with a main dish with soy sauce in it too. It’s such an easy side salad for one (or a crowd!).

FAQ

What are good salads for a BBQ? Lots of salads would be good for a BBQ, but I would recommend a salad with vegetables and a vinaigrette instead of a creamy dairy dressing. This way it’ll stay safe in the sun, and tasty good after a few hours. How much salad for one person? I’d say 2-4 cups of salad is a good place to start for one person. How much you eat will really depend on what’s in the salad and your hunger levels, so adjust this guideline to meet your needs. Basing how much to eat off of your needs is best. Is one salad a day good for you? Sure! Salads can be a great way to get in a variety of vegetables and other ingredients too. If you want to eat more vegetables, and like chopping them, a salad is a nice way to do that. You can get vegetables in lots of ways too.

Did you make any of these salads for one? Leave me a comment & rating to share how they turned out!

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