Salad doesn't by definition have to include lettuce or other greens, and some folks are perfectly happy if leafy vegetables are missing links in their food chain. For them, these thrifty salad recipes will be a welcome sight, because they put the spotlight on ingredients like fruit, seafood, and hearty pasta instead. These dishes might have you turning over a new leaf, so to speak, when preparing summer meals for the lettuce-haters in your life.
Leave it to author and Food Network TV host Ree Drummond, aka the Pioneer Woman, to mix ease with great flavor. Inexpensive and always-available frozen peas get a flavor boost from add-ins such as red onion, cheese, sour cream, and bacon. Did we mention bacon? Yes, the 12 servings will go fast.
Recipe: The Pioneer Woman
Don't let the long name intimidate you -- this is a recipe where simple ingredients combine for a most elegant presentation. Author and blogger Jenn Segal says she learned it while living in France, and its decidedly European appeal will no doubt give your table the feel of an elegant bistro.
Recipe: Once Upon a Chef
The classics are classic for a reason: They are enjoyed year after year. Waldorf Salad is a quirky dish with a signature taste featuring apples, grapes, and walnuts. Tradition aside, Simply Recipes founder Elise Bauer says it's okay to replace mayo with plain yogurt for a modern spin on the time-honored salad.
Recipe: Simply Recipes
This take on spinach salad from former Food Network hosts Pat and Gina Neely will please even those who don't like greens. It puts all the attention on fresh strawberries, a great buy in season. Added zest comes from a touch of goat cheese (store brand works fine) and slivered almonds.
Recipe: Food Network
Don't be fooled by the premium ingredients in this recipe from Ian Knauer, author and host of the PBS cooking show "The Farm." Inexpensive and oh-so-tasty, zucchini is the heart of this dish while pine nuts and parm provide a special accent. Buy the latter two on sale -- and don't fear waste, as you'll be asked to make this often.
The next time those foil pouches of salmon go on sale, grab a handful for this recipe that employs another now-in-every-kitchen ingredient: quinoa. Olives, cucumber, and peppers add zippy flavor to this dish that makes a delicious impression.
Recipe: Chicken of the Sea
Avocado, mayo (or yogurt), and hard-boiled eggs, plus a few spices, are whipped together in this simple-yet-pleasing spin on everyday egg salad. Spread it on toast and you'll have your guests forgetting those pricey avocado toasts served at the trendy bistros.
Recipe: Inspired Taste
This recipe will transport guests to the great outdoors, its flavors hinting of travel to faraway destinations -- that is, if diners don't shovel it in too quickly. It's just simple goodness; the most "difficult" part is boiling the pasta.
Recipe: Fork Knife Swoon