20 Salads Worth Packing for Lunch

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

We’re pretty sure that boring salads are what started the whole “sad desk lunch” trend on the internet — and rightfully so; there are a lot of mediocre salads out there — but the good news is that there are just as many delicious and satisfying salads out there. Unlock your lunch’s potential with one of these 20 anything-but-sad salad recipes.

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

There are a few key tricks to packing a salad in a jar successfully. First, dressing either goes on the bottom or in a separate container. And second, greens and other delicate foods always go on top. That way they don’t get overly soggy or smashed.

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(Image credit: Christina Holmes)

If you’re looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary, this chrysanthemum greens salad is just the ticket. The slightly grassy greens are delightfully unexpected.

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(Image credit: Katie Webster)

Instead of noodles, this salad makes use of celery root, also called celeriac, for just the right amount of flavor and crunch. And thanks to the chicken, this recipe will leave you satisfied.

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(Image credit: Elizabeth Stark)

This spring/summer salad makes use of in-season peas for a flavorful and fresh dish. The toasted farro adds a bit of nuttiness and will keep you full for hours.

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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Because Greek salad is all about the toppings, it’s important to layer this jar salad together just so. Go ahead and let the chicken marinate in the dressing at the bottom — it will be all the better for it.

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

High summer temperatures call for make-ahead grain salads, and this golden beet one doesn’t disappoint. Using the rainbow chards stems also adds plenty of color.

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(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

While this salad was designed to be a healthy and packable recipe that you can take on the plane with you, it works just as well for your desk. Plus, the actual ingredients can be varied depending on what you have on hand.

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Thanks to the hearty radicchio, you can make this salad ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge. Just be sure that you add the avocado right before serving.

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(Image credit: Emily Han)

Quinoa and black bean salads have become something of a classic. This version updates the dish with a spice-laden citrus dressing and plenty of supremed orange segments.

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(Image credit: Anjali Prasertong)

Instead of adding leafy greens to this bean and grain salad, we’ve opted for thin ribbons of zucchini. It still has that refreshing taste without being boring. The salty feta tops everything off perfectly.

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

This salad was inspired by one at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. The citrus dressing and tossing the greens with the still-warm quinoa help soften the kale.

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

We love having bits of dried fruit in our salads, but it’s time to go beyond basic raisins and dried cranberries. Instead chop up a few dried apricots for this simple salad.

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(Image credit: Christine Han)

Yes, you can take this salad for your lunch to the office — even with those rounds of baked goat cheese. Just make sure you keep them separate from the salad until you’re ready to eat. This is a lunch where a bento box really comes in handy.

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(Image credit: Christine Han)

Everything tastes better with a generous pour of peanut butter dressing, including this tofu and broccoli salad. It’s filled with so many crispy veggies that it almost tastes like a slaw.

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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Looking for another way to up your kimchi intake? This spicy salad is just the ticket. This isn’t for the faint of heart, thanks to the peppery bite of the radishes as well.

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(Image credit: Megan Gordon)

This salad is big enough that it serves two, so it’s the perfect option for a dinner and a lunch later in the week, or for you and your significant other to both take for lunch. Just leave the chips off until lunchtime.

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

One of the flavors most often missing from a good salad is that umami savoriness. This salad solves that problem by mixing miso paste in with the dressing.

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(Image credit: Megan Gordon)

Roasting the fennel in this recipe brings out a bit of its sweetness and adds a new depth of flavor. The olives help balance that with their briny bite.

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(Image credit: Andrea Bemis)

Waldorf salad will forever be one of our favorites, and adding chickpeas makes it a full meal. We’ve also swapped the mayo for full-fat yogurt for a slightly healthier take.

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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Roasting eggplant gives it a much better texture, and it mixes perfectly into this hearty grain salad. The torn mint leaves add some freshness as well.

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