7 Southern Salad Recipes That Don't Include Any Lettuce at All

7 Lettuce-Free Salad Recipes

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Egg Salad In A Bowl

Lettuce-Free Delights

Lettuce certainly has its place at the table, offering both fiber and essential nutrients. But when you're in the mood for a break from the leafy green and want to shake things up, who says you need lettuce to make a salad? Down in the South, they've turned this notion on its head where salads without lettuce aren't just an exception — they're a celebration. Here are seven delicious Southern recipes that don't include any lettuce at all.  

Related: The South Has the Best Food in America. Here's What You're Missing

macaroni salad
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1. Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham

No lettuce is needed to make this refreshing, creamy Southern classic. A delightful mix of colors, this recipe shares similarities with layered salads, allowing you to do much of the preparation ahead of time. You can store everything in airtight containers in the fridge until you're ready to assemble the salad. Then, it's just a matter of boiling the pasta and mixing in the ham, veggies, mayo, and seasonings before chilling for at least two hours.

Recipe: Southern Living 

Cranberry Fluff Salad
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2. Cranberry Fluff Salad

Bursting with flavor and texture, this retro Southern delight is a perfect complement to any meal, from casual dinners to festive feasts. It combines fresh cranberries, creamy ingredients, and crunchy pecans for a deliciously balanced taste. Plus, it's incredibly easy to make, using simple ingredients readily available at any grocery store. Give it a try and add a touch of retro charm to your table!

Recipe: That Skinny Chick Can Bake

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Egg Salad In A Bowl

3. Egg Salad

When you need a break from lettuce, turn back to the classic Southern dish: egg salad. This protein-packed favorite delivers a creamy, tangy punch that fills you up without weighing you down. It's the perfect choice for a satisfying meal that keeps things simple and delicious.

Recipe: The Pioneer Woman  

Related: 9 Hearty Southern Breakfast Recipes

Southern Black-Eyed Pea Salad
MychkoAlezander / iStock

4. Southern Black-Eyed Pea Salad

This easy black-eyed pea salad brings a burst of color and flavor to any cookout or potluck. Dressed in a zesty vinaigrette, it offers a delightful contrast with its acidic tones that perfectly complement the sweet grape tomatoes and fresh basil. Bell peppers and celery add a splash of vibrant color, making this dish not only a feast for the taste buds but also a visually appealing addition to any buffet table.

Recipe: The Daring Gourmet 

Lime Gelatin And Cottage Cheese Salad
Josh Graciano / Flickr

5. Lime Gelatin And Cottage Cheese Salad

Here is yet another "green" salad on the list without a shred of lettuce in sight. This lime gelatin salad is a Southern nod to the over-the-top congealed salads of yesteryear. It combines the tangy zest of lime gelatin with a mix of crushed pineapple, chopped nuts, and perhaps a dollop of cream cheese, all set into a firm, wobbly mold. Not everyone is a fan of these distinctive, molded creations — even those with fond memories of relatives serving them at special gatherings might hesitate. But then, that means more for us.

Recipe: Southern Living

Watergate Salad
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6. Watergate Salad

Watergate Salad, also known as Pistachio Delight, is a blast from the Southern past that packs a playful punch of flavor. This quirky dessert salad is clearly a product of the '70s culinary scene, starting with a rich base of instant pistachio pudding mix and can of crushed pineapple, for a tropical twist. Throw in a cup of fluffy miniature marshmallows for a cloud-like texture, and sprinkle in some crunchy walnuts or pecans for that nutty kick. Top it all off with a swirl of Cool Whip, and you've got yourself a dessert salad that’s as fun to eat as it is to say. Get ready to spoon up some nostalgia!

Recipe: Allrecipes

Sweet Colorful Marshmallow Ambrosia Salad

7. Marshmallow Ambrosia Salad

Marshmallow Ambrosia Salad is a sweet, nostalgic treat that graces many Southern tables during Thanksgiving and holiday gatherings. This delightful salad combines the lushness of fresh fruit with the rich sweetness of cherry pie filling, creating a colorful and inviting dish. It's not just the fruit and pie filling that make this salad a standout; fluffy marshmallows add a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture that makes each bite a joyful experience.

Recipe: Southern Living  

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