Delicious Breakfast Salads Ideas


1) Sausage, Spinach, and Quail Egg Breakfast Salad


I know this sounds really weird, and also involves frozen pre-cooked sausage patties, but it has been working for me recently.  This combination came to me in an extreme moment of hunger that suddenly attacked me.  I started scavenging the fridge and pantry trying to come up with something that felt substantial and that was super quick.  The results of my kitchen raid included spinach, turkey sausage patties, some leftover baguette, and two quail eggs.  So I thought about it a bit, realized I could throw some spinach in a bowl, dress it a bit, place the sausage on top, and then the fried eggs.  I mean, what isn’t better with a fried egg on top?  I was quite wary about the taste of all this together, but when hunger calls, usually anything will do.  I actually liked it!   Then I found myself making it again and again, morning after morning, and I realized I was actually eating a salad for breakfast – which is odd for me.  I’m not generally thrilled to eat them at dinner. But apparently if you give it to me in the morning I’m excited, feeling oh so rebellious, subverting some unspoken food norms about appropriate breakfast foods…  

1 cup spinach
1 tablespoon chopped scallion
handful of sliced grape tomatoes
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 patties (or links) cooked breakfast turkey sausage (so we get these frozen precooked ones that you just pop in the microwave for like a minute; they are so useful to us! But obviously you can use any form of breakfast sausage that you want)
2 fried quail eggs (or one regular egg)*
pinch sea salt
pinch red pepper flakes
2 toasted baguette slices for serving

Place the spinach, scallions, and tomatoes in a bowl.  Drizzle the red wine vinegar and olive oil and toss a bit.  Sprinkle black pepper.  Place the cooked sausage links over that.  Place your fried egg over that, then sprinkle it with a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Slice and toast baguette, and spread a bit of butter on one side.

*To fry the egg, melt butter in skillet on medium heat.  Crack egg into skillet and fry just until egg white is cooked, or sunny-side up, roughly 1 minute.


2) Breakfast Salad~Soft eggs with cherry tomato salad, sprouts and toast

On weekends I like to treat myself. I like to starting my mornings in a healthy way. The idea of salad for breakfast may seem a bit strange but it is a great way to get a jump start on getting those recommended daily servings of vegetables. On any given day it is a struggle for me to consume one measly cup of raw veggies. I find that when I start with salad for breakfast, it motivates me to make healthier eating choices throughout the day.
I must confess that my salads don’t require a recipe. They are dictated by what’s in season and what I happen to have on hand. Here is a rough guide for you to follow.

Cherry Tomato Salad with Sprouts and Toast
1 serving
1 tablespoon goats cheese crumbled
1 stalk chive, chopped
5 grapes, halved
5 black olives, halved
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 slice toast
1 tablespoon hummus
1 soft boiled egg
alfalfa sprouts (as much or as little as you like)
Mix all the salad ingredients together. Spread hummus on toast and serve with alfalfa sprouts.



Like most people, I am trying embark on 2019 with a renewed commitment to health, joy, and calm. Maybe my lofty aspirations will last only a few days before the roller coaster of life, obligations, and not-so-good habits take over.  Day five and I’m going strong…. only 360 to go.A nourishing breakfast can never be a bad thing and this recipe has become quite popular at our house. I finally have my soft boiled eggs down to an art, and the rest of the dish is so simple that you whip up the whole thing in about 10 minutes. Easy, right?

I was eating my bowl of soft-boiled eggs, toast, and arugula and Abby remarked, “Hey, that’s a salad.”

Yes. Salad for breakfast…. 2019 here we come!

  • one or two farm eggs (room temp)
  • one or two slices of your favorite bread for toasting
  • unsalted butter
  • handful of arugula leaves
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

To bring your eggs to room temp, submerge them in a bowl of really warm (but not boiling hot) tap water.

Fill a small sauce pan with 3-4 inches of water. Cover pan with a lid and heat water on your stove top over a high flame.

Toss your bread in the toaster.

When the water is boiling, gently lower your eggs into the sauce pan, and set your timer to 5 minutes and 15 seconds. Adjust flame to achieve a nice simmer.  While the eggs are cooking, dump out the bowl of water that you used to warm your uncooked eggs. Refill the bowl with cold water and a few ice cubes. When the timer goes off, quickly remove eggs from the pot (using a slotted spoon is easiest) and immediately place cooked eggs in the ice water bath while you finish prepping the rest of your goodies. The eggs can rest here for a minute or so until they are cool enough to handle.

When your toast is ready, butter it and tear it into pieces. Nestle the buttery toast bits into a small bowl. Scatter arugula leaves over the toast.

Using a serrated knife, cut the top off of the egg. Scoop the egg out of the shell and place it on top of your toast and arugula. Sprinkle with good salt and some fresh ground pepper.


Serves one. You can easily increase the all ingredients to feed as many as you wish.

4) Chicken and Bacon Chopped Salad with Avocado Garlic Jalapeno Dressing

Like an earworm playing the bars of a song over and over, ideas too get stuck in your head, repeating themselves until you are either driven mad or you are finally forced to act upon them.
Like when you get it in your head that you need some sneakers. And not the kind that are useful for athletics. But the Keds kind, emblazoned proudly with stars. Basically, shoes that a seven year old would wear. These will complete your life.

Or when your best friend starts going on about doughnuts and how it is really sad that there aren’t Dunkin Donuts near you, or any other doughnut establishment for that matter. I should note that there was a delicious one in town. Then it closed and my doughnut supply dried up. And after this conversation with your best friend you absolutely cannot stop thinking about doughnuts and so you find yourself in line at the grocery store with a dozen donuts from the bakery section and you know in your heart of hearts that these will not actually be good but you physically are unable to force yourself to put the box down.

And so it is with this chopped salad. Or… I suppose it is a chopped salad.  I’m actually quite unsure on what exactly makes something a chopped salad, but I must have heard the term and it just burrowed into my thoughts until I couldn’t stand it any more. I decided to interpret the chopped salad as a salad with some heft, not leafy greens with a vinaigrette.  A substantial and filling salad.  A salad full of romaine lettuce and chicken and bacon and hard boiled eggs with an avocado and garlic buttermilk dressing.  And now I’m unable to get the salad out of my thoughts.
For the salad:
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
handful cherry tomatoes
sliced purple or red bell pepper
1 avocado, peeled and pitted, diced
4 cooked bacon strips, crumbled
1/2 pound of cooked chicken breast, sliced *
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup julienned jicamaFor the dressing:
2 small avocados, peeled and pitted
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon lime zest
juice from 2 small limes
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno
salt and pepper, to taste

To cook the chicken, I sprinkled both sides of the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Place in cast iron skillet with cooking oil (I actually used the bacon fat) and put flame on high. Add the chicken pieces.  Brown one side then flip.

In a big bowl, toss together romaine, tomatoes, bell pepper slices, avocado, bacon, chicken, eggs, celery and jicama.

For the dressing: Place all ingredients in a bowl and blend with an immersion blender until creamy.

Pour desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

5) Spinach Mandarin Pasta Salad with 5-spice Honey Dressing, a Recovery Pasta Salad

After an unexpected bout of food poisoning (I suppose there isn’t an expected one.  If so, perhaps one should reconsider his or her life choices), I could feel the utter depletion of vitamins and nutrients in my body. Everything in my being – from my eyeballs to my skin to hair, felt washed out, gray, the complete opposite of vibrancy and vigor. 

The soft, muffled cries for help from my bloodstream became hard to ignore.  As energy was still a bit lagging, a salad, with its inherent brightness and variety as well as its ease of preparation, seemed the best way to go about addressing the lack of vital nutrients. Here is a pasta salad with spinach, mandarin, some absolutely stunning Romanesco cauliflower, and some other goodies, topped with a gingery 5-spice honey dressing.

Though the offending food also contained pasta (pasta primavera actually, ala Seinfeld), that apparently did not deter me from using it in my salad.  Sometimes the very thing that leads to our downfall can be the same thing that leads to recovery.

For more great pasta salad ideas, click here.  Cooking Light has put together a slideshow of 25 pasta salad recipes – how can one not love the infinite possibilities that this dish has to offer?

For the salad:
1/2 of a large red onion, thinly sliced
lemon wedge
drizzle of olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

2 cups chopped spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups mandarin orange segments
5 cups cooked pasta (I used shells, but use whatever floats your boat)
1 cup chopped Romanesco cauliflower (feel free to substitute regular cauliflower, the Romanesco is just so beautiful!)
2 scallions, chopped
3 small carrots, chopped
1/4 cup chopped jicama
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

For the dressing:
1/3 cup canola
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons honey
lots of black pepper
pinch kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon 5-spice powder

For the dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together.

For the pasta salad: In a small bowl, drizzle the onion slices with a bit of lemon juice, a bit of olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.  Mix the red onion with the spinach, mandarin orange, pasta, cauliflower, scallions, carrots, jicama, and sunflower seeds.  Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle dressing over the salad, and use tongs to toss together.

6) Mixed Green Salad with Strawberry Blue Cheese Dressing

I find myself being possessive these days.  Words like “mine” and “mommy’s” are being bandied about so often you would think I was getting paid to catalog the entirety of the contents under this roof.  Even my friend Jess has commented on my possessiveness.

This possessiveness probably is a result of:
a) The commandeering of my unicorn.
b) The recent attempts to kidnap the moose that was given to me to replace the stolen unicorn.  I would just like to point out that the moose actually came with a baby moose.  And the baby moose was given to Max.  So Max actually has his own moose.
c) The encroachment on my headband collection.  Yes I still wear headbands. And I recently purchased a 6-pack of polka-dotted headbands in various colors.  Max loved the green one so I handed it over to him.  But that apparently isn’t enough.  He wants them all.  As though he is concerned about properly accessorizing his wardrobe of striped tee-shirts and sweatpants.

So after playing defense against all the toddler invasions, it is nice to have something that is mine.  Jenn’s salad.  A salad with strawberry blue cheese dressing.  A category of food that is safe from the hands of the little guy.  It has turned me into one of… them.  But only for a minute.

I’m totally loving this article on Cooking Light – they have categorized some dishes on the basis of “mood!” Though I didn’t see a category for “possessive,” they’ve totally got you covered if you are feeling nostalgic, romantic, adventurous, relaxed, or happy!

scant 1 cup chopped strawberries
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
2 ounces blue cheese
1 tablespoon roasted and salted pepitas
freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
4 cups mixed greens
2 chopped scallions
1/2 cup torn basil
handful sliced strawberries
1-2 tablespoons roasted and salted pepitas
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the dressing: Blend the dressing ingredients together with an immersion or regular blender.

For the salad:  In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, scallions, basil, sliced strawberries, and pepitas.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.  Toss the salad with desired amount of strawberry dressing.

7) Kale, Walnut, Plum Salad with Plum-Walnut Dressing


So I thought I was going to be all smug and self righteous this summer and not post a salad.  Since salads weren’t really floating my boat these past few weeks…  For some reason, I apparently thought this made me rebellious.  I am unable to account for how I got this notion.   I picked up some kale at the farmers market recently, and thought to myself, I’m going to make some fresh pasta and then toss it with the kale and some other things.  That sounds yummy!  Then it got hot.  And stayed hot.  Like, oh my god, I wish I had an air conditioner hot.  We live near the ocean; we’re not supposed to get hot like this!  Come back ocean breeze!  My tolerance for heat must have plummeted since moving here…  But anyway, I realized that rolling out some homemade pasta would be like a mild form of midieval torture, which cooking really shouldn’t be.  So I made a salad to use up the kale, and surprisingly (or not surprisingly), I really liked it!

For the salad:
1 bunch curly kale, stem removed and chopped
2 pieces of bacon
1 scallion, chopped
1 plum, pitted and sliced
bit of shaved Parmesan cheese
bit of shaved carrots
handful of toasted walnuts

For the dressing:
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
2 plums, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup canola
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

For the salad: Fry up bacon slices on a griddle over medium heat.  Once both sides have crisped, remove from griddle and place on a paper towel. Place kale, scallions, plums, Parmesan cheese, carrots, and walnuts in a medium-sized bowl.  Chop the bacon pieces, and those into the bowl as well.  Toss everything together.

For the dressing: Place everything in a food processor and pulse a few times until it all comes together.  Then drizzle over the salad and mix together.


8) Grilled Chicken Salad with Soy Vinaigrette



Hot off the grill, this chicken has a flavor that is powerfully umami. It is a classic recipe from Jenn’s mom’s kitchen, and it is usually the last thing we’ll throw on the grill at night. It requires almost no effort to cook, and it’s a great way to stretch our cookout into the next day, when we’ll chop it up and mix it into a fresh salad. The balance of smokiness, spices, herbs, veggies, and soy vinaigrette makes this the one salad we look forward to. We like to use a lot of parsley in this dish to help complement the soy and red wine vinegar.


Grilled Chicken:
Marinate ½ – 1 lb of chicken breast in

½ cup soy sauce

¼ cup canola oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp oregano

½ tsp basil

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp parsley

¼ tsp ground pepper

¼ cup soy sauce

1/8 cup canola oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 ½ tsp honey

¼ tsp Dijon mustard

splash of Franks red hot sauce

1/4 tsp pepper

¼ tsp oregano

1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped

2 carrots, shaved

½ cucumber, sliced

2 scallions, chopped

1 cup parsley, chopped

¼ red onion, sliced

grilled chicken, sliced


Marinate the chicken for at least 8 hours. Heat grill to medium high. Once hot, spread canola oil on grill grates, and place chicken down over the hot coals (or gas flame). Cook until one side has started to caramelize, and flip. Cook again until both sides are slightly charred. Remove from grill and chop into half-inch thick pieces. If you are refrigerating the meat for later, wait to chop until after you heat it back up.

In a large bowl, toss all salad ingredients.

In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients until emulsified. Drizzle over the salad.


9) Spinach, Strawberry and Asparagus Salad with Lemon Saffron Dressing


Spring is a season of contrasts.  Days full of sunshine and cheer, punctuated with periods of gray skies and rain.  Crisp, chilly mornings give way to afternoon warmth and that fresh feeling of being alive, which then hands the reins back over to the coolness to close out the day. 

Or, at least, that is the spring that lives in my memory.  The one formed by living on the East Coast for 23 years. At first glance, it appears that we now live in a land of eternal spring.  Occasional forays, perhaps, into some hot or cold (relatively) weather, but mostly smooth sailing with blue skies and warm temperatures.

But it isn’t quite spring.  Or if it is indeed spring, it is one with some blandness, one with less roughness around the edges.  In other words, one with less contrast.

This salad embodies the memory of spring.  Cool earthy green veggies interspersed with some fiery red from the strawberries and radishes.  Crunchy asparagus and celery sharing space with soft berries.  Warm floral saffron dressing coating some crisp greens.  Spicy radishes with sweet strawberry. 

A salad full of contrasts.  Which makes it particularly well-suited to serving with a big, greasy take-out pizza, all bendable and delicious, which is what we did…

For the salad:
3 cups spinach leaves
1 scallion, chopped
4 radishes, sliced
handful of pencil thin asparagus spears, tough ends removed, then chopped
2-3 tablespoons chopped celery
handful of strawberries, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
bit of lemon zest

For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
bit of lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, toss spinach, scallion, radishes, asparagus, celery, and strawberries.  Sprinkle a bit of salt, pepper, and lemon zest.

In a small pot over low heat, combine the olive oil and saffron threads.  Once the mixture is fragrant – about 5 minutes, take off heat and add the minced shallots.  Let the mixture cool a bit, then whisk in the white wine vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and mustard.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Pour desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss to coat.


10) Watermelon radish and cucumber salad


What’s this I see? Kids fighting over vegetables? Yes, it’s true.

This past Saturday at the Little Italy Mercato in San Diego, two little boys were tussling over cucumbers. Well, not just any cucumbers, Armenian cucumbers, otherwise known as “snake cucumbers” and “snake melons.”

“I wanted that one!” said the freckled blonde, stomping his right foot on the ground.

“Well, it’s mine!” said the dark-haired one, fiercely, as he handed a curly, striped cucumber as tall as he was to his mother and asked: “Can I have this?”

I sighed. Ahhh! There is nothing so touching as seeing children fight over fresh farmers’ market vegetables.

If you’ve seen an Armenian cucumber, then you understand why they’re so alluring.  Though a variety of melon, an Armenian cucumber looks and tastes like a regular cucumber, but can grown up to three feet long!

Pair them with electrifying pink watermelon radishes (a mild flavored variety of red radish) and you’ve got yourself one seriously spirited salad.

Watermelon Radish and Armenian Cucumber Salad
Makes 4 small or 2 large servings
Printable recipe.

1 1/4 cups watermelon radish, sliced thinly into half moons (about 1 large)
1 1/2 cups Armenian, Persian, or regular cucumber, sliced on the diagonal (about 2)
2-3 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Place radishes, cucumbers, and basil in a small bowl.

2. Whisk remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over salad. Toss lightly to coat. Serve.


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