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Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis has the salad recipes you need to make a hearty and healthy meal that’s on the lighter side. These recipes are also perfect for on-the-go lunches.

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis prepares a meal in a red striped shirt with white sunglasses perched atop her head.
Food Network host Giada De Laurentiis | Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

Giada De Laurentiis’ Meatball Salad

As De Laurentiis’ food and lifestyle blog Giadzy says of the humble yet mighty meatball: “We could write a love letter to meatballs. They’re a perfect meal-prep food [and] they can be served in a multitude of ways.”

The chef adds ricotta cheese to the meatballs in this salad, as the cheese “makes the meatballs super fluffy and light, so I really like it. It’s a very southern Italian tradition to add a little bit of ricotta in there.” Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, ground pork and sausage round out the recipe.

The meatballs are served on a bed of arugula, dressed lightly with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and Parmesan cheese. “You want to keep the salad simple anyway because you’re going to put the meatballs which have tons and tons of flavor over it,” De Laurentiis says in the Food Network video for this recipe.

Find this full recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.

The ‘Everyday Italian’ star’s Antipasto Salad

With the flavors of antipasto platter in salad form, this dish will easily earn a spot on your mealtime menu. With fusilli pasta, salami, smoked turkey, provolone cheese, grated Asiago cheese, green olives, roasted red peppers, and an easily assembled red wine vinaigrette, this is a flavorful, simple, and impressive salad.

Reviewers on Food Network’s site agreed, saying, “Amazing, amazing salad! So flavourful! Wish I had some now… I agree with other reviewers that the dressing is incredible,” and “Absolutely wonderful! Easy to make. A great pasta salad dish! This one is a definite keeper!”

Find the full recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.


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And finally, De Laurentiis’ Steak Salad

With red onion, baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, cooked and chilled beef such as rib-eye or New York steak, this salad is most definitely in the hearty category. Leftover steak can also be sliced and put to good use in this deliciously simple salad.

A zingy red wine vinaigrette made with (naturally) red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, olive oil, and pepper completes the recipe.

Home cooks expressed their surprise on Food Network’s site at just how good this salad is, saying “Don’t let the simplicity fool you into thinking it won’t be flavorful – it really packs a heck of a good taste,” and “This recipe is delicious, healthy and elegant. It’s one to add to my favorites! The dressing is just right, not too tangy.”

Another reviewer added that it’s the perfect salad to impress guests: “This recipe is very simple, delicious and very healthy. It’s also a beautiful dish to present.”

Get the full recipe and reviews on Food Network’s site.