17 delicious no-lettuce salads17

Posted on October 18, 2009 by ChristieDinner Time, Sides

Chicken and pumpkin salad


I’ve heard people complain they don’t eat salads because they still feel hungry afterward. Rubbish! They’re obviously not eating the right salads.

I’ll let you in on a secret: salads don’t have to include lettuce. Gasp! It’s a hard secret for some to swallow, but once you start to follow the no-lettuce rule, salads get a lot more interesting.

I eat salads every single day because they’re the easiest way to get lots of vegetables, and therefore nutrients, into my diet. Not to mention the fact I love the creativity of assembling a dish with different flavours, textures and colours.

Salads are also a great place for healthy nuts and seeds to hang out. It’s easy to get your daily dose of those when they’re nestled in between soft greens and covered in yummy dressings.

Plating up!

An important tip for enjoying salads; take the time to present them nicely on the plate. It makes the humble salad seem much more posh. Careful though, it can become an obsession!

As you can see with the picture above, this simple chicken and pumpkin salad looks much fancier than it’s 5 ingredient list should allow. Scroll to the bottom for the recipe.

Delicious no-lettuce salads to keep you satisfied:

Click each one to see a photo and full recipe.

What’s your favourite filling salad?

Christie x

Chicken and pumpkin salad recipe

serves 2 (easily doubled or tripled and lovely served on a platter)

  • small wedge of pumpkin, diced into 2cm cubes (about 2 cups worth)
  • 1 chicken breast, butterflied (how to butterfly a chicken breast)
  • 1 tablespoon aioli (garlic mayonnaise)
  • few sprigs flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 cooked beetroot, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, very thinly sliced
  • olive oil, to serve (optional)

1. Place the pumpkin cubes on a non stick roasting tray and bake in a hot oven until tender and golden, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the chicken breast in a non stick fry pan until brown on both sides and cooked through. This should only take a few minutes as the breasts have been butterflied. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

3. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and place into a bowl. Add the aioli and parsley and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

4. Plate up the salad. Start with the thin beetroot slices, overlapping them slightly in a circle shape on the plate, then top with the cucumber slices. Spoon some of the pumpkin mixture on top.

5. Thickly slice the chicken into strips and arrange on top. Drizzle with olive oil if you like and serve.

  • O that looks delicious… I’ll definitely be making more salads in the future (and without lettuce). Can’t wait to try the recipe. And I guess while I’m here…

    I’m a food science student conducting a research survey on the purchase of specialty food products. Feel free to help me fill out my short 8 min research survey. It’s completely voluntary.



  • Ju’eta

    As you know duck with anything is my favourite!! And love the salad suggestions. I might make one this week!

  • Great advice Christie…it’s always fun trying to create healthy dishes with a little oomph. Your salad choices and creations def prove that!

  • I love roast pumpkin in salads! It looks great layered like that.

  • These are definetely man salads! The lamb and eggplant looks a winner, nice work Christie :)

  • What a neat idea & what a tasty looking salad!! So autumnly!!!


  • Fantastic Christie. Thanks for the much-needed inspiration. That chicken salad looks amazing. It’s dinner time now and I really shouldn’t be looking at this as I haven’t made anything and I’m famished.

  • Oh I can eat these everyday!!!!

  • @Foodieguy – Glad to hear it!
    @Ju’eta – Yes, we love duck don’t we? I’ll make this for you when I get back home.
    @Howard – Hehe, I never thought of a no-lettuce salad as a ‘man salad’. Nice one!
    @Sophie – Yes, that was the point – very Autumnal. I love pumpkins in season, they’re so sweet.
    @Syrie – Oops! I always read food blogs when I’m hungry, it’s punishment!
    @Sweta – Me too, I really love salads :)

  • jo

    This salad looks absolutely delicious and it’ll make a great side dish or even a meal on it’s own.

  • I LOVED this post! Might finally convince my family to eat some salad. Totally agree on ‘dressing it up’ – we also eat with our eyes…

  • That looks delectable darling! And I love the presentation too! :D

  • Thanks for the inspiration–perfect timing with the weather suddenly summer-hot here in Canberra!

  • Leftovers does not seem like it!

  • Kat

    Love these ideas that I came across when searching for some “lettuce-less salads.” But I also prefer the meatless sorts, too…especially when the salad is an accompaniment to another dish (with meat.) Would love to see more!

    And here is a salad for you non-lettuce aficionados!

    Bloody Mary Salad:

    Mix halved cherry or grape tomatoes, thinly sliced celery pieces, sliced green olives, chopped green onions, cucumber chunks (optional), capers, and “mozzarella pearls” in with a vinaigrette made with vodka, spicy V-8, and an oil/vinegar base. YUM! It is a HUGE hit whenever I make it…and I always have to share the recipe!

    • Love this salad combo Kat, thanks for sharing it! Christie

  • Ali

    I like to make a big bowl of salad (cucumber, zucchini, radish, celery, carrots, onion, peppers) and then leave it in the fridge with a dish towel covering the bowl. It lets some of the moisture out and the salad easily lasts four or five days. Each morning, I scoop out a cereal bowl size helping, add a bit of trail mix and a bit of dressing. A perfect way to start the day!

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