Listen, we’re well aware that salad doesn’t typically rank high on anyone’s list of favorite foods. But might we gingerly suggest that it may be because you just haven’t found the right one yet? All it takes is getting creative with ingredients so the salad in question goes beyond a bland leaf + dressing formula. Heap up roasted veggies, filling grains, crunchy nuts, and creamy sauces packed with flavor so that your dish resembles more of a real meal, and you’ve got yourself a weekday lunch that tastes like a treat. And since it’s fall, why not capitalize on the bounty of seasonal produce at the ready?
Piled high with roasted vegetables and wild rice, Crowded Kitchen’s Technicolor take on healthy lunch looks as good as it tastes. Thanks to the grains, it will fill you up—kiss your 4 p.m. hanger goodbye.
Time to put those Honeycrisps you picked at the orchard to use via Half Baked Harvest’s delicious homage to autumnal produce. The caramelized shallot vinaigrette perfectly hides kale’s bitterness, if you’re not 100 percent sold on the leafy green.
Pro tip: Prepare the butternut squash and farro on Sunday night to have it at the ready during the week whenever you don’t have time to cook. Freshly Zested’s recipe otherwise takes only a few minutes to put together, and the zesty result is totally worth the advance prep work.
The beauty of Chelsea’s Messy Apron’s Moroccan-inspired chickpea and carrot salad is that it can be served alone for lunch or as a side at a dinner party. She recommends some grilled chicken to really round it out.
Aside from providing us with some serious color-pairing inspiration, Brooklyn Supper’s recipe is also packed with amazing flavors. Eat it warm, as soon as the squash has come straight out of the oven.
If you think you don’t like brussels sprouts, that’s because you haven’t tasted The Modern Proper’s take, which sees the controversial veggie slathered in a creamy maple dressing. It makes the perfect Thanksgiving side.
Listen, we won’t pretend that spiralized veggies are any sort of legitimate stand-in for actual pasta, but you definitely won’t miss the noodles in this dish by The First Mess. The spicy chipotle miso dressing adds a creaminess that, when balanced out by crunchy edamame, almonds, and sweet potatoes, is absolutely delightful.
See more fall recipes we’re craving:
The Fall Slow-Cooker Recipes Our Favorite Foodies Have in Constant Rotation
7 Thanksgiving Appetizers That Might Just Steal the Turkey’s Spotlight
7 Autumnal Squash Recipes, None of Which Are Soup