Did you know that there was a National Salad Day? Yes, it’s the day when people celebrate those fresh and light meals. Although many perceive salads as boring and bland meals, others love to play with their ingredients to create flavorful plates. Salads work as fascinating appetizers before your main course, they can be a refreshing side, and, in some cases, it can be your main dish.
Some mistakenly believe that salads are only considered when one is trying to shed off some extra pounds. However, salads can be actual meals, especially since the ingredients can be really nutritious and fulfilling. If you happen to be one of those who like filling up on greens and other colorful vegetables, we have gathered an interesting list of salads from around the globe.
It is time to find out how the world makes its salads and see which recipe intrigues you the most.
The History of Salads – How They First Started
Everything in life has a starting point. And, while we are not trying to get into a philosophical debate here, we’re pretty sure that there was one person who started the very idea of salads. In fact, we are all so familiar with having plates of colorful salads on our tables that we merely know who was the inventor behind this healthy delicacy.
Before we dive into any details, it is important to know that the definition of salads may actually differ from one region to another. However, we all agree upon the fact that it is a healthy and nutritious plate, given its being laden with natural and raw ingredients. Whether you like to have a salad dish as an entree or as your main course, that won’t alter the fact of its lightness and healthiness.
The First People to Ever Eat Salads
According to history, the ancient Greeks and Romans were the first to innovate salads and add them to their daily nutritious plan. They used to collect several raw vegetables and mix them together in a plate, dribbling some salt, herbs, and vinegar for an extra flavor.
It is said that there was a debate during those ancient times that having raw vegetables before supper is a great way to boost your digestion process. They believed that raw greens were capable of clearing any obstructions found in the intestines. However, some believed that the vinegar significantly affected the taste of the wine, so they decided to move the order of the salad eating time, making it after the main meal.
The basic green salad dish is the most popular. However, the creation of a salad itself was based on the tradition of grabbing whatever raw food you have on hand and adding it to the plate. Using this method around different places in the world will definitely result in multiple kinds, leaving more options for everyone to choose what they prefer the most.
So, it is agreed that the benefits of salads are tremendous. Well, going back to our main topic, the invention of salad. Now that we have several types of salads around the whole world, it is hard to track the invention of each one. However, it is documented that the Greeks and Romans were the ones to start the salad revolution during ancient times to reap its health benefits.
Today, we consume salads before our main courses as a means to curb our hunger pangs until our meals are ready. Either way, it has been a staple through the centuries that adding a plate of salad to your main meal is a great way to stay healthy. Moreover, having a fresh salad dish beforehand is a great way to suppress your appetite and consume fewer calories if you’re trying to shed the excess pounds.
Famous Salads around the World
Each colorful dish of salads has its own origin and story of how it was first brought to life. In spite of that, this is not what we are tackling in this long list of delicious salads around the world. Instead, we are introducing you to the most popular dishes of salads found in different spots around the globe.
So, even if you were never a fan of salads, there is no way you won’t find something appealing on this list. There must be the right salad for you out there. Now, bear with us, and go through these yummy salad plates to see what the world has to offer.
1. Ramen Noodle Salad
Needless to say, both ramen and noodles come from the Asian part of the world. They are already popular in many parts beyond Asia, but not everyone is aware of the possibility of making a healthy salad out of them.
This yummy recipe is made up by grabbing some crunchy noodles and mixing them with other natural ingredients for a joyously colorful dish. Green onions, almonds, carrots, and lots of cabbage are the ingredients that help in coloring up this hearty meal. You can use some dressing for an accentuating flavor, but dropping the dressings is a much healthier option.
The Middle East knows how to offer the world a deliciously light plate of fresh vegetables by creating their special Tabbouleh. This Lebanese creation has made its way on top of the best and most popular salads of the world.
This healthy plate has parsley be the main ingredient. Added to it is a nice mix of fresh herbs and bulgur; they also act as a significant companion to the main ingredient to produce this refreshing meal. The plate is finished off with some diced tomatoes and cucumbers, adding even more colors to the salad, and drizzled over are some lemon juice and olive oil for a nutritious addition to your meal.
3. Greek Salad
Greek salad is well known as the oldest form of salad around the world. Well, that is pretty much expected since the ancient Greeks seemed to have a vital role in introducing this healthful invention to the whole universe.
Greek salad resembles a lot of Middle Eastern salads in terms of the main ingredients used to make it. It is basically made up of chopped pieces of cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and onion, along with cubed pieces of feta cheese. Some salt and olive oil are added to spruce the flavor of this hearty meal.
4. Classic Thai Beef Salad (Yum Nua)
Another Asian salad to go for is the Thai beef salad. It is not too common to see protein added to plates of salad, but it seems to be a classic style of Asian cuisine. Thai beef salad is commonly known as Yum Nua, and it is one of the most famous Thai salads around the world. The best part is that this one perfectly works as a main course, for the protein addition makes it a well-balanced meal.
Apparently, beef is the main ingredient of this salad; it comes in the form of grilled steak cut into thin slices to fit this hearty dish. Other ingredients are raw vegetables, including cucumber, chili, tomatoes, and herbs. The most commonly used dressings are lime juice and fish sauce.
Another Levantine salad that gets featured on this list is the fattoush. It is one of the world’s famous salads the Lebanese cuisine has offered. However, its popularity is at its peak around the Levantine communities as well as the rest of the Arab world.
Fattoush is another salad dish consisting of diced tomatoes and cucumbers. Little pieces of toasted pita bread is added to the mixed greens for a deliciously crunchy addition that leaves you full and joyful. Moreover, other vegetables are added to this healthfully bright salad, including lettuce, radishes, and sliced onions.
6. Macaroni Salad
Who knows that macaroni can be eaten in a healthy way? Well, when someone says macaroni, we spontaneously tend to pair it with cheese. While mac-n-cheese can be delicious and yummy, it is a fat-laden meal that gives little to no nutrition. And for this, people have always stirred away from macaroni or any other pasta when they wanted to stay healthy or lose some extra pounds.
Macaroni salad is a succulent appetizer in the world of salads. This type of salad consists of macaroni, obviously, along with some mayonnaise, pickles, onions, and celery. Some people like to add some tuna. While it is more of a side dish or an appetizer, it sort of consists of the main macros needed for energy. However, be careful while consuming this salad in particular, for overconsumption can actually backfire rather than be a healthy addition to your daily meals.
7. Coleslaw Salad
Another salad that tops the list of the world’s famous salads is the one with nicely shredded ingredients, the coleslaw. Commonly known as slaw too, this side dish has been a great way to fill up on some healthy food before having your main course.
The vegetables used in making up this appetizing dish are carrots and raw cabbage. Both are shredded into thin strands. Some like to add lettuce for an extra flavor, but it is not a staple ingredient. Once your shredded vegetables are ready, you then cover them in some mayonnaise and add some tasteful flavors, including lemon juice, black pepper, vinegar, and salt.
8. Chef Salad
The chef salad is one with several vegetables that give your digestive system a nice boost. It can also fill up really quickly, becoming a whole meal on its own. Just like many salads, this one has vegetables as its main ingredients, yet some protein sources are being added to make this plate even more delicious.
It is said that this salad has typically originated in America. The vegetables used here include tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and lettuce. Other ingredients include dairy products like hard-boiled eggs, squared bites of cheddar cheese, and slices of Swiss cheese. Meat varieties are also added, including ham and turkey. A creamy dressing can be used to spruce up the taste.
9. Conch Salad
One of the most popular salads in the Bahamas is the conch salad. Coming from the Caribbean side of the world, this salad is mainly based on seafood that comes either raw or cooked. It is totally up to you to choose how you want to have your conch salad.
This pulsating form of salad is able to provide you with lots of energy, given the addition of the raw conch meat. Other ingredients that are added to spice up the flavor include bell peppers, chilis, onions, and a little drizzling of orange and lime juices for an added sweetness.
10. Caprese Salad
This classic Italian salad has made it among the most trending salads around the world. Caprese Salad has gained popularity in many places beyond Italy for being a yummy dish blending juicy with creamy textures. It is made with great simplicity, yet it owns a very elegant effect in the culinary scene. It is one of those salads where colors fill up the plate, featuring a quite savoring meal.
Caprese salad mainly consists of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. They are both cut into round slices and placed alternatively to create white and red deliciousness. Salt and pepper are sprinkled according to your preference, then the dish is finished off with basil leaves topping the salad. Drizzling a little vinegar and olive oil is a great way to season your salad.
11. Beetroot Salad
Beetroot is a delicious option to add to your salads and have a protein-laden meal. It has been proven that beets have been so many benefits that you can reap to improve your overall health. If this is one of your goals, we should tell you that adding beets to your salads has a great impact on your overall health.
Thus, beetroot salad is quite delicious, given the many ingredients you pair with the beetroot to up your salad game. Lentils, coriander leaves, coconut, and some lemon juice are all dashed together in a nice bowl along with your nicely cut beetroot pieces.
12. Olivier Salad
Russia seems to have its own signature salad dish to offer to the world. The Olivier salad is one of the classic Russian salads that rapidly gained popularity for mixing some of the best ingredients. Most importantly, the Olivier salad is actually based on potatoes, which are almost everyone’s favorite source of carbs.
The Olivier salad is mainly made up of potatoes along with some eggs, vegetables, and meat varieties. Carrots, peas, pickles, and onions are the vegetables added along with the potatoes and eggs. The meat options vary between chicken, ham, or bologna. Tossing all of that ingredients together and embellishing them with some flavorful mayonnaise is the right way to create the best Olivier salad.
13. Rice Salad (Insalata di Riso)
Not all cultures prepare their salads with anything more than a mix of healthy, raw vegetables. However, it seems that countries on the Mediterranean coast always seem to have a different opinion. Italy is one of the countries that like to add the main source of carbs to its salads, but who knew that rice can actually be the main ingredient?
Well, the rice salad is a quite fancy one that is, obviously, based on rice. The ingredients paired with rice include fresh vegetables, like tomatoes, green onions, celery, eggs, and tuna. Olive oil and lemon juice are drizzled over the salad for an additional taste.
14. Tuscan Panzanella
Another Italian classic that wins the salads lists is the Tuscan Panzanella. It is a light meal, where bread and tomato dominate the dish, yet still leaves room for more ingredients to be added. This salad dish has always been a summer staple in Italian cuisine. It makes for a great appetizer before having your main course. Also, it can be your main dish if you’re looking for something healthy.
The Tuscan Panzanella is known to be mainly made up of tomato and bread, making for a deliciously crunchy meal. However, other ingredients are added to complement the dish. Vegetables like onions, cucumbers, and basil are used as a healthy addition to this salad dish. Balsamic vinegar and olive oil drizzle to groom up the taste.
15. Salad Niçoise
Salad Niçoise happens to be among the world’s most famous salads. After all, it is a summer staple in French cuisine, which is known for its adding some exceptional recipes to the culinary world. Salad Niçoise consists of several satiating ingredients that are sufficient in creating a hearty meal rather than just a side salad dish.
This French salad is a perfect mix of potatoes, boiled eggs, tuna, and healthy vegetables, such as tomatoes, olives, and green beans. All of this nice blend is tossed in a deep bowl ready to be savored.
Indonesia has its very own way of creating signature salads in the healthiest way possible. Most, if not all, of the ingredients that are used in the Gado-Gado salad dish, are either steamed or boiled, which are the ways they don’t strip the raw food of its nutritious value. Lontong, an Indonesian rice-based treat, comes as a side to the salad, with peanut sauce being the most
The Gado-Gado is a fulfilling kind of salad, made up of steamed vegetables along with hard-boiled eggs and boiled potatoes. Fried tofu as well as fried soybeans, known as tempeh, are also satisfying ingredients that are tossed into this hearty meal. And, finally, lontong, a treat where a banana leaf embraces rice, is added to ensure satiety.
17. Rujak Cingur
Rujak cingur is another Indonesian salad that makes it on our list of the most popular salads in different countries. Also known as simply cingur, this one can be found across different cities in Indonesia and is one of the healthiest salad options. It consists of different types of fruits and vegetables.
This salad dish is a nice blend of several vegetables, including cucumbers, sprouts, kale, beans, and kerahi, a type of cucumber that grows in Java. Along with these nutritious vegetables, more than a few sweet fruits are also added.. The fruits included are yam, pineapple, and mango. Other ingredients that are included are rice cake, tempeh, and tofu.
Kokoda is a Fijian fish salad and one of the most famous salads in the nations of the South Pacific Ocean. This salad dish is protein-packed and quite laden with nutritious ingredients, making for a beneficially satiating meal. It is made up of local fish that is freshly caught out of the ocean and right to the dish. Since Fiji is home to several palm trees, fresh coconut also plays a role in this salad dish, and it is known as miti.
The way the fish in this salad is cooked pretty much resembles the way the ceviche is made. They place the fresh fish into lime juice and let it marinate for some time. Lots of vegetables decorate this yummy salad dish, including onions, cucumbers, chili, tomatoes, capsicum, and coriander leaves. Fresh miti is freshly squeezed and poured over the dish for a sweetening flavor.
19. Taco Salad
Taco is a favorite delicacy that everyone likes to enjoy every once in a while. Little did people know that tacos can be used to make some delicious salads. The best part is that it’s a totally breezy recipe that doesn’t require any cooking skills to be made. It is your best pick if you like adding some crunch to your salad.
The taco salad is made up of some lean ground beef along with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and Mexican cheese. Cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper are used to season the ingredients and add a flavorsome taste. Roasted salsa and sour cream are added to juice up the ingredients with tortilla chips to add a munching effect to your salad.
20. Cobb Salad (American Garden Salad)
Neatly rowed food always has that magical effect of making you feel peckish, and that’s exactly what the Cobb salad is capable of. This salad is also commonly known as the American Garden Salad, and it’s one of the most prominent salads in the world.
The ingredients of the Cobb salad don’t differ that much from any of the other salads that are mainly based on greens, fruits, and meat varieties, in some cases. This dish is mainly made up of tomatoes, greens, chives, avocado, blue cheese, boiled eggs, and meat varieties, including fried chicken breast and crisp bacon.
21. Haystack Salad
Just like the name of the salad suggests, the Haystack salad is composed of several healthy ingredients all piled up, creating this deliciously colorful salad dish. It is one of the most popular salads in the Hispanic communities, and some even confuse it with taco salad, given the ingredients used.
Haystack salad is a nice pile of kidney beans, corn chips, tomatoes, bell pepper, lettuce, onion, carrots, cheddar cheese, and black olives. It is finished with some salsa and sour cream topping the flavorsome stack and seasoned with chili powder, pepper, and salt.
22. Chinese Chicken Salad
The Chinese chicken salad is one of the popular salads around the United States despite its Asian origins. Over the years, many variations of this salad dish have made an appearance, yet they all share the same core, which is using original ingredients straight out of the Chinese cuisine.
Regardless of the many versions that you can see, the most common one is made up of ingredients that color the salad bowl in the most satiating way. The ingredients commonly used are chicken, and greens, including cabbage and lettuce, rice vermicelli, nuts, and deep-fried wonton.
23. Larb Salad
Larb dish is one of the meat salads that managed to gain popularity around the world although it originated in Laos, one of the Southeast Asian countries with very unique cultures. Not a lot of people are aware of the Lao culture, but many did hear about the Larb salad.
This salad dish is based on meat, served with several raw ingredients on the side, including lettuce, cucumber, sliced carrots, green papaya, and sticky rice. The meat used in creating this dish could be anything from fish, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, or even duck.
24. Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad)
Another salad dish that traveled all the way from the Asian continent is the renowned Som Tam. It is one of the most consumed salads in Thailand and is rather known as the Green papaya salad. Like most of its salads counterparts, the som tam is deemed a healthy bowl. It is an ideal option if you are looking for something low on calories but still delicious.
The som tam takes you on a tour through different tastes. It’s a beautiful mix between sweet and sour as well as chili and salty. The ingredients are quite diverse, making room for a great food experience that you won’t find in many salads, with, definitely, the green raw papaya being the base. Other ingredients that provide this flavorful journey include red chili, cherry tomatoes, cloves, roasted peanuts, lime juice, fish juice, and lettuce.
25. Selat Solo
Selat solo is the name of a green salad that is native to Central Java. It is one of the healthiest salads, for it is made up of all raw and natural ingredients. This salad is a great choice if you are looking for something light yet laden with fibers and vitamins.
Selat solo is based on several kinds of vegetables like tomato, cucumber, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beans, and potatoes. Hard-boiled eggs are also featured to add some dairy to your meal. Thin slices of potato chips top the salad bowl, with some dressing on the side, either mayonnaise or mustard.
26. Potato Salad
In many salads, potatoes act as one part of the ingredients that add both taste and nutritious value to the meal. However, there is actually a salad where potatoes are the main ingredients with a variety of additions that spice up the flavor. The potato salad is deemed among the famous salads in many places, especially in Greece although it’s believed to have originated in Germany.
Anyway, the potato salad is a beautiful bowl of potatoes chopped into cubes and served as an appetizer before the main course is ready. Paprika and apple cider vinegar is used to season the potatoes. Moreover, the nice mix between mayonnaise and dijon is used to soak the potatoes in a creamy dressing before adding some pickle relish and celery seeds to flavor up your salad bowl.
27. Mimosa Salad
This Russian delicacy has changed the way people perceive salads forever. Mimosa salad has always been a fine addition to the culinary world. The moment you have to lay your eyes on a mimosa salad, you can’t help but feel like a festive parade is going on in a bowl.
It comes in several colorful layers that look like an English trifle, however, it resembles the scattering of mimosa flowers over snow, hence the name. This festive salad is a beautiful combination between dairy products and seafood along with some ingredients that balance out the flavor. It is made up of canned fish, eggs, cheese, and onion, with mayonnaise garnishing the bowl.
28. Japanese Spinach Ohitashi
Asians seem to have their very unique collection of salads that seem to make a revolution, in a good way, when they come out to the rest of the world. In the Japanese culinary world, the Japanese spinach ohitashi is not just an ordinary salad bowl. The word ohitashi, although used to refer to this salad, is not its name, but rather the eccentric way used to prepare it.
Ohitashi is simply using dashi sauce to soak the ingredients, creating this fancy dish. However, people nowadays tend to use faster methods when it comes to cooking. So, they toss the ingredients in a bowl, including spinach, rice, pickles, and miso soup, pouring soy sauce over them, and still call it ohitashi. Other vegetables that you can use instead of spinach are eggplant, okra, asparagus, canola flower, and beansprouts.
29. Tuna Salad
Tuna salad has always been a palatable trademark in the world of salads. It’s light, succulent, and more importantly, easy and quick to make. This salad is mainly all about a nice can of tuna tossed in a deep bowl and a generous dash of mayonnaise is added to it. In fact, mayonnaise has become a devoted ingredient when it comes to making a nice tuna salad.
In addition to the tuna and mayonnaise, other ingredients are added to the salad to increase the nutritious value of this hearty meal and spruce up the flavor. Such ingredients include relish, pickles, onion, celery, and bell peppers. If you want to ensure satiety, you can also go for a couple of bread slices and create a nice tuna salad sandwich.
30. Chicken Caesar Salad
One of the most jovial salads that the world has ever known is the succulent chicken caesar salad. In fact, picking up salads that contain some meat varieties rather than just being plainly green can be your doorway to a healthy lifestyle and a fit body. Chicken is not only a healthy option to add to your salad dish, but it can also deliver satisfying fullness and keep your mouth shut for a while.
Chicken caesar salad doesn’t have many versions although it has been through so many countries and yet the cultural influence wasn’t that impactful. It is made up of juicy slices of grilled chicken breasts that were drenched in palatable seasoning. The chicken proudly stands out in the dish among other healthy additions, including Romaine lettuce, anchovies, parmesan cheese, crunchy bread slices, olive, and, in some cases, eggs. Then comes the caesar dressing to add its magical touch.
31. Murcia Salad (Mojete)
Murcia salad is one of the traditional salads in Spain, originating in the region of Murcia, which is how it’s earned its name. In Spain, it is rather known as mojete, and it is ideal for all seasons, especially in summer. While it is made up of several ingredients, tomatoes seem to dominate the scene. The generous addition of tomatoes makes it a refreshing choice for a light meal during the hot seasons.
The Murcia salad has a generous amount of tomatoes cut into small chunks, so you can actually have tomatoes with every bite. The tomatoes are combined with other fulfilling ingredients, including tuna, boiled eggs, onions, and black olives.
32. Waldorf Salad
Waldorf salad is not your typical bowl of salad. In fact, it is quite distinct from all salads that are featured on this list or even the ones you have tried throughout your life. Its uniqueness comes from the fact that it is actually a fruit and nut salad rather than one filled with green vegetables and meat. So, it is mainly more sugary but equally succulent and luscious.
The Waldorf salad is a nice combination between fresh green apples, grapes, walnuts, and celery, with a damp bed of lettuce holding the ingredients together. You may think that the added ingredients create a bizarre mixture but that is not everything. A nice dash of mayonnaise is added to the ingredients, adding an eccentric edge to the salad.
33. Frog Eye Salad
While the name of this salad calls for a total freakout, it is actually one of the sweetest salads there are. The frog eye name comes from the fact that the very small rounded pasta, known as acini di pepe, creates a shape that resembles the frog’s eyes when mixed with the other ingredients. This is not the only unusual thing about this salad, what is even extraordinary is that it’s a sweet bowl of the salad rather than a savory one. And, the existence of pasta doesn’t change this fact.
The frog eye salad is made of little acini di pepe mixed with egg yolks, mandarin oranges, and pineapples. A nicely whipped topping is spread all over the ingredients paired with some marshmallows. All of those ingredients create a sweet flavor mixed with the little pasta that is there.
34. Guatemalan Fiambre Salad
The fiambre salad is among the star salads in Guatemala, for it is usually consumed on one of their significant celebrations, Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. This celebration is also known as Día de Todos los Santos, the Day of all Saints, and it’s of a Mexican origin where people honor the deceased by visiting their graves and building home altars, ofrendas, with the deceased favorite foods.
Fiambre salad was created by mixing all the dishes that each family brought to the graves, bringing into being the most eccentric salad. Preparing a fiambre can be really challenging since it can be made of dozens of ingredients, including sausages, beets, onions, chicken, Brussels sprouts, cold cuts, pickles, olives, and different kinds of cheeses.
35. Dressed Herring Salad (Herring Under a Fur Coat)
Although a salad with that long name isn’t that popular everywhere, it is actually one of the super traditional salads in Russia and other Russian-speaking countries. The Herring salad is a layered one, composed of several palatable ingredients, making it worth a try.
This classic Russian salad dish is composed of herring, definitely, and other layers of vegetables, eggs, and mayonnaise. The included vegetables are carrots, potatoes, onions, and beetroots. In some regions, a layer of fresh apples is added, contributing to an extra sweetness.
Now we know that salads are not always about tastelessness or boring ingredients anymore. After this really long list of different salads from around the world, you have no excuse to not add a healthy bowl to your main course and your daily meals. It is a great way to upgrade your lifestyle to a much better and healthier one without really compensating for a good taste. There is no way you won’t find the right salad for you in one of those succulent ones.