Save on Pinterest

75 Delicious, Nutritious Main Dish Salads

Try these easy main dish salad recipes for a smart lunch or weeknight dinner. Fresh greens, hearty meats, crunchy veggies and juicy fruits make these healthy salad recipes the perfect addition to any menu rotation.

1 / 75

Pork and Balsamic Strawberry Salad

Serving this entree salad gives me hope that warmer days aren't too far off. If strawberries aren't in season yet, use thawed frozen in place of fresh. —Laurie Lufkin, Essex, Massachusetts
2 / 75
Exps196350 Sd163617b02 03 4b 3

Fajita in a Bowl

Pull out the skewers and take a stab at grilling peppers, onions and corn for an awesome steak salad that’s all summer and smoke. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
3 / 75
Tarragon Tuna Salad Exps Sdfm19 27561 E10 19 2b 3

Tarragon Tuna Salad

It's surprising how a few herbs can brighten up tuna salad. Made with reduced-fat mayonnaise, this version gets its zip from mustard. It makes a terrific light lunch or Sunday brunch dish. —Billie Moss, Walnut Creek, California
4 / 75
Turkey And Apple Arugula Salad Exps Hca18 180202 C08 25 5b 12

Turkey and Apple Arugula Salad

This satisfying salad proves that turkey can be enjoyed outside of the holidays. Peppery salad greens, sweet grapes and rich walnuts combine to create a flavor sensation. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
5 / 75
Asian Slaw With Steak Exps Sdjj17 199903 B02 17 4b 2

Asian Slaw with Steak

Main-dish salads are so perfect for summer, especially this one with its Asian-inspired dressing—my favorite's favorite flavor. The colorful slaw and juicy steak combo is super quick and wonderful for breezy weeknight dinners. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
6 / 75
Yellow Squash Turkey Salad Exps Sdas18 28399 D03 30  4b 4

Yellow Squash Turkey Salad

With a wonderful mix of flavors, colors and textures, this impressive salad can be made in minutes for lunch with a friend or for a light dinner with your sweetie. It’s my favorite fast recipe! —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
7 / 75
Grilled Asian Chicken Pasta Salad Exps Tham17 143282 B11 09 1b 7

Grilled Asian Chicken Pasta Salad

This cool noodle salad makes a great casual one-bowl dinner or a perfect dish for a potluck or buffet. —Sharon Tipton, Casselberry, Florida
8 / 75
Blt Turkey Salad Exps Opbz18 39131 B06 07 6b 5

BLT Turkey Salad

This variation of a BLT salad goes great with a side of garlic bread or garlic toast, and will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. —Sherry Conley, Noel Hants County, Nova Scotia
9 / 75
Greek Brown And Wild Rice Bowls Exps Sdas18 204870 C03 28  10b 3

Greek Brown and Wild Rice Bowls

This fresh rice dish tastes like the Mediterranean in a bowl! It is short on ingredients but packs in so much flavor. For a hand-held version, leave out the rice and tuck the rest of the ingredients in a pita pocket. —Darla Andrews, Boerne, Texas
10 / 75
Tasty Taco Chopped Salad Exps Sdjj18 62287 D02 09 2b 6

Tasty Taco Chopped Salad

My friends and I love Mexican food, but we try to eat healthy. My mom taught me how to make this tasty taco salad for my friends. —Matthew Smith, Knippa, Texas
11 / 75
Herbed Tuna And White Bean Salad Exps Sdjj18 199950 B02 09 3b 2

Herbed Tuna and White Bean Salad

This is a quick and delicious salad that can be made special for guests—or yourself—by grilling fresh tuna steaks instead of using canned. —Charlene Chambers, Ormond Beach, Florida
12 / 75
Shrimp Scampi Spinach Salad Exps Sdam17 100058 B12 08 3b 4

Shrimp Scampi Spinach Salad

My husband and I really enjoy both shrimp scampi and fresh spinach salad, so I put the two together. My oldest son loves it, too, and he's only 3! —Jamie Porter, Garnett, Kansas
13 / 75
Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad Exps Sdon16 124787 D06 07 1b 1

Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad

My colleagues and I made a pact to eat healthier, and we took turns sharing dishes. I'm happy to report that, thanks to recipes like this crisp and tangy salad, we all trimmed down. —Teresa Jordan, Springville, Utah
14 / 75

Jambalaya Rice Salad

My cold rice salad has a little hint of spice for a classic jambalaya-style kick. Shrimp, tomatoes, ham and peppers give the dish bright colors and a delightful texture. —Karen Rahn, Hixon, Tennessee
15 / 75
Almond Apricot Chicken Salad Exps Tham18 5040 D11 09 6b 6

Almond-Apricot Chicken Salad

Here's a one-of-a-kind pasta salad that combines tender chicken, sweet apricots and crunchy vegetables. Plus, the lemony dressing can't be beat. —Susan Voigt, Plymouth, Minnesota
16 / 75
Chicken Fajita Salad Exps Chbz19 3288 E10 24 2b  5

Chicken Fajita Salad

This recipe came from Texas, which is famous for its Mexican food. I love to cook, even though it's just for me and my husband now. I invite our grown kids over a lot, and they just love this chicken fajita salad. I'm happy to share it! —Lois Proudfit, Eugene, Oregon
17 / 75
Ground Beef Taco Salad Exps Scmbz18 98345 C01 10 5b 10

Ground Beef Taco Salad

In spring we look for something light and refreshing on the menu after the heavier comfort food of winter; this salad is a great solution. —Muriel Bertrand, Shoreview, Minnesota
18 / 75
Spinach Salad With Tortellini Roasted Onions Exps Sdjj17 201318 B02 16 2b 2

Spinach Salad with Tortellini & Roasted Onions

Spinach and tortellini go so well together, and this salad makes an easy meal with leftover cooked chicken. What really makes it special is the roasted onion that adds oomph to bottled salad dressing. —Robin Haas, Hyde Park, Massachusetts
19 / 75
Exps41968 Sd153319c10 10 3b 1

Chicken Tostada Salad

If I don't have any tostada shells on hand for this speedy salad, I just heat taco shells, break them in half and lay them flat on the plates. It works just as well. Great Southwest flavor! —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
20 / 75
Grilled Jerk Shrimp Orzo Salad Exps Cf2bz20 48862 B12 12 3b 4

Grilled Jerk Shrimp Orzo Salad

The heat, seasonings and appearance of this colorful main-dish salad are perfect for summer—or any time of year that you want to summon memories of sunshine. —Eileen Budnyk, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
21 / 75
Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Salad Exps Hcbz21 175204 B10 13 1b 3

Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Salad

We use this super duper chicken across several meals, including it in tacos, sandwiches, omelets and enchiladas. My little guys love helping measure seasonings. —Karie Houghton, Lynnwood, Washington
22 / 75
Veggie Nicoise Salad Exps Lsbz18 133577 C01 19 5b 13

Veggie Nicoise Salad

More and more people in my workplace are becoming vegetarians. When we cook or eat together, the focus is on fresh produce. This salad combines some of our favorite ingredients in one dish...and with the hard-boiled eggs and kidney beans, it delivers enough protein to satisfy those who are skeptical of vegetarian fare. —Elizabeth Kelley, Chicago, Illinois
23 / 75
Chicken And Hummus Pasta Salad Exps Sdas18 199593 C03 28  8b 3

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Salad

My family loves pasta salads, but usually they have too much mayonnaise or oily dressing. Using hummus gives this dish a great taste and texture, while also increasing its nutritional profile. Adding chicken (store-bought rotisserie chicken works well), makes this pasta salad a complete meal. —Jenny Lynch, Rock Island, Illinois
24 / 75
Exps138525 Th153342b02 20 2b 13

Shrimp & Nectarine Salad

For a cool salad on a hot summer day, I combine shrimp, corn, tomatoes and nectarines with a drizzle of tarragon dressing. We love it chilled, but it's delectable served right away, too. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York
25 / 75
Grilled Chicken Salad With Blueberry Vinaigrette Exps Sdjj17 48167 C02 16 2b 2

Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

When it comes to grilled chicken recipes, we love this refreshing salad in the summer. The real star here is the vinaigrette made with blueberry preserves and maple syrup. It goes great with a fresh baguette and a frosty glass of minted lemonade. —Susan Gauthier, Falmouth, Maine
26 / 75
Easy Asian Style Chicken Slaw Exps165287 Th143191b11 26 7bc Rms 5

Easy Asian-Style Chicken Slaw

From the first time I made this chicken dish, I knew it was a winner—the bowl came back to the kitchen scraped clean. This one-dish wonder works every time in my house! —Bess Blanco, Vail, Arizona
27 / 75

Mimi's Lentil Medley

I made this one summer evening by putting together what I had on hand. My husband gave it his top rating. —Mary Ann Hazen, Rochester Hills, Michigan
28 / 75
Garden Quinoa Salad Exps157354 Th2847295c02 27 1bc Rms 2

Garden Quinoa Salad

This recipe is special to me because it’s delicious as well as healthful. Serve it hot or cold, and enjoy the leftovers while they’re fresh! —Patricia Nieh, Portola Valley, California
29 / 75
Whole Wheat Orzo Salad Exps168827 Th143191c11 22 4bc Rms 3

Whole Wheat Orzo Salad

In less than 30 minutes, I can put together this hearty salad of pasta, white beans and veggies – and it’s good for a crowd. — Mya Zeronis, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
30 / 75
Exps174202 Lr153742d08 04 3b 2

Balsamic Steak Salad

My husband loves blue cheese and I like a hearty salad that eats like a meal, so I put the two things together to make this steak salad recipe. The sweet-tartness of dried cranberries pairs deliciously with the cheese, creamy avocado and balsamic vinegar. It's irresistible! —Marla Clark, Albuquerque, New Mexico
31 / 75

Orzo-Tuna Salad with Tomatoes

Stuffed tomatoes provide endless options when you add meat, cheese, rice, veggies – or in this case, orzo. — Jenni Dise, Phoenix, Arizona
32 / 75
Exps39128 Th153343d04 22 6b 5

Ginger-Cashew Chicken Salad

I revamped an Asian-style chicken salad recipe to create this gingery, crunchy salad. Now it’s a huge success when I serve it at ladies luncheons. —Shelly Gramer, Long Beach, California
33 / 75

Chicken Quinoa Salad

We pile our favorite gyro fixin’s into nutritious quinoa bowls. Our local gyro guy has a cool but spicy sauce that transforms his sandwiches. It’s a must here, too. —Leah Lyon, Ada, Oklahoma
34 / 75
Spinach Beef Salad Exps25569 Sd143203b10 16 5b Rms 7

Thai Spinach Beef Salad

Here's a main-dish salad that's just plain fun to eat. It's crunchy, beefy and has a little kick. Best of all, it's good for you. —Janet Dingler, Cedartown, Georgia
35 / 75
Classic Cobb Salad Exps Thfm17 4728 D09 27 4b 2

Classic Cobb Salad

Making this salad is a lot like putting in a garden. I “plant” everything in nice, neat sections, just as I do with seedlings. —Patricia Kile, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
36 / 75
Apple Sausage Salad With Cinnamon Vinaigrette Exps Thn16 175791 06b 15 4b 3

Apple Sausage Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Making croutons with cinnamon-raisin bread is sweet genius. Toss together the rest of the salad while they toast. —Kim Van Dunk, Caldwell, New Jersey
37 / 75
Mediterranean Spinach Beans Exps87318 Sd143204b12 06 7bc Rms 2

Mediterranean Spinach & Beans

If you want to make this dish vegetarian, use soy sauce instead of Worcestershire. I like this skillet meal served warm or cold. —Becky Cuba, Spotsylvania, Virginia
38 / 75
Exps42953 Sd163614c12 02 4b 6

Gingered Spaghetti Salad

We love this chilled chicken salad brimming with colorful veggies. Make it meatless by omitting the chicken and tossing in more edamame. —Cindy Heinbaugh, Aurora, Colorado
39 / 75
Exps36395 Cw163683d03 31 6b 3

Veggie Steak Salad

This salad just explodes with flavors. It's easy and quick to prepare, tastes delicious, and is a healthy dinner all on one plate. —Tiffany Martinez, Aliso Viejo, California
40 / 75
Exps100714 Sd153320c12 04 6b 4

Bow Tie & Spinach Salad

With pasta salad, it’s easy to change up ingredients. We like to add grilled chicken and pine nuts, and sometimes we substitute black beans for the garbanzo beans. —Julie Kirkpatrick, Billings, Montana
41 / 75
Exps109626 Sd153321d01 29 4b 4

Quick Nicoise Salad

Like the French, I pack my classic Nicoise salad with veggies, potatoes, tuna and eggs. Cooking the potatoes and beans together helps the dish come together fast. —Valerie Belley, St. Louis, Missouri
42 / 75
Exps 175226 Sd143204c12 04 1bc Rms 2

Cashew-Curry Chicken Salad

My husband and I fell hard for the curried chicken salad from our grocery store deli, and I knew I could find a way to make something similar. This greek yogurt chicken salad has become one of our favorites to take on trips to the beach. —Janine Cooper-Moren, Portland, Oregon
43 / 75
Exps40315 Sd153322a04 01 8b 3

Pear Chicken Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Classic pear salad gets an innovative makeover with chicken and maple vinaigrette. We like to serve it over crisp romaine for a refreshing experience. —Chrysa Duran, Cambridge, Minnesota
44 / 75

Cool & Crunchy Chicken Salad

When the weather sizzles, get your chill on with a cool chicken salad. Mine uses grapes, pecans and celery for that signature crunch. —Sarah Smiley, Bangor, Maine
45 / 75
Exps185958 Sd153320d12 10 13b 2

Thai-Style Cobb Salad

This veggie salad is like a mix of Cobb salad and my favorite summer rolls. If you have leftover chicken, toss it in. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
46 / 75
Exps83237 Sd153321b01 28 2b 4

Arugula & Brown Rice Salad

When we have company, arugula with brown rice is always on the menu. It’s my go-to pick for the potluck and party circuit, and I'm always sharing the recipe. —Mindy Oswalt, Winnetka, California
47 / 75

Southwest Shredded Pork Salad

This knockout shredded pork makes a healthy, delicious and hearty salad with black beans, corn, cotija cheese and plenty of fresh greens. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma
48 / 75

Sesame Beef & Asparagus Salad

Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies—especially when it comes to experimenting with fresh ingredients like these. This meaty salad is wonderful at the start of asparagus season. —Tamara Steeb, Issaquah, Washington
49 / 75
California Burger Bowls Exps Sdas17 190570 D04 04 1b 6

California Burger Bowls

Burgers are a weekly staple at our house year-round. Skip the fries, chips and bun—you won't need them with these loaded veggie & fruit burgers. To spice up the mayo, add 1/2 tsp. of chipotle powder. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
50 / 75
Exps175862 Sd153321b01 28 1b 5

Salmon and Spud Salad

I headed straight for the kitchen when I decided to pick up a healthier lifestyle. This salmon with veggies proves that smart choices can be simple and satisfying. —Matthew Teixeira, Milton, Ontario
51 / 75
Exps189996 Sd163324b08 12 6b 10

Warm Rice & Pintos Salad

During my undergrad years, my roommate taught me how to cook vegetarian dishes like brown rice with pintos. It's so versatile; you can turn it into a wrap or casserole. —Natalie Van Apeldoorn, Vancouver, British Columbia
52 / 75
Edamame Salad With Sesame Ginger Dressing Exps Sddj18 204868 D08 08 2b 10

Edamame Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

This bright baby kale salad is packed with a little bit of everything: hearty greens, a nutty crunch, a zip of citrusy goodness and a big protein punch. It's pure bliss in a bowl. —Darla Andrews, Schertz, Texas
53 / 75
Sesame Chicken Slaw Salad Exps Hcka18 53392 C10 20 2b 3

Sesame Chicken Slaw Salad

I tasted many types of Asian chicken salad in California. When I moved back to Georgia, I wanted more. Here’s a gingery-sweet recipe using wonton strips. —Michelle Mulrain, Evans, Georgia
54 / 75
Twisted Eggs Benedict Salad Exps Thfm17 198099 C09 21 4b 1

Twisted Eggs Benedict Salad

Salad for breakfast? Absolutely. You can prep everything except the dressing and chill it overnight. In the morning, dress the salad and poach the eggs. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
55 / 75
Shrimp Avocado Salad Exps Hc16 192652 C07 01 2b 6

Shrimp Avocado Salad

This salad can be served as a cool and satisfying dinner or lunch. The delicious taste and smooth texture of avocados mixed with the crisp shrimp salad is heavenly. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
56 / 75
Mediterranean Bulgur Bowl Exps Sdas17 185656 D04 04 05 5b 1

Mediterranean Bulgur Bowl

You can also transform this tasty bowl into an Italian version with mozzarella, pesto, tomatoes, spinach and basil. —Renata Smith, Brookline, Massachusetts
57 / 75
Exps89145 Sd153321d01 29 2b 10

Grilled Southwestern Steak Salad

Pasta salad loaded with steak, peppers and onions makes both my boyfriend and me happy. Plus, it’s versatile! We serve it hot, room temperature or cold. —Yvonne Starlin, Westmoreland, Tennessee
58 / 75

Ham & Mandarin Salad

I created this salad at the request of all the men in our house. They asked for something tangy, sweet, spicy and manly. This fit the bill. —Patricia Swart, Galloway, New Jersey
59 / 75

Orange-Wild Rice Salad with Smoked Turkey

For picnics and potlucks, we make a salad of smoked turkey, wild rice and dried cherries. The citrus dressing is refreshing and light. —Sharon Tipton, Casselberry, FL
60 / 75

Strawberry-Blue Cheese Steak Salad

At lunch one day, a friend told me about a steak salad she'd had at a party. It sounded so fantastic I had to try it for myself. My family would eat it nonstop if we could. Can't seem to get enough of that tangy dressing! —Alma Winberry, Great Falls, Montana
61 / 75
Berry Chicken Salad Exps47579 Cw143042b02 27 1b Rms 6

Berry Chicken Salad

Bright berries and creamy goat cheese make this one a winner! —Wendy Ball, Battle Creek, Michigan
62 / 75

Avocado & Garbanzo Bean Quinoa Salad

This delicious quinoa avocado salad is high in protein and holds well in the fridge for a few days. If you make it ahead, add avocados and tomatoes right before serving. —Elizabeth Bennett, Seattle, Washington
63 / 75
Exps99495 Sd163324b08 11 6b 3

Salmon & Spinach Salad with Avocado

We eat a power salad packed with salmon and spinach at least once a week. It’s a cinch to make, even after a hard day’s work. —Jenny Dawson, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
64 / 75

Turkey Salad with Pear Dressing

This salad is perfect for using up leftover turkey, chicken or deli meat. Anjou pears are such a great winter fruit. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
65 / 75
Exps86512 Sd153319c10 10 1b

Chicken and Asian Slaw

This meal is always a hit, and it goes together so quickly. Sesame ginger salad dressing adds refreshing flavor to this pairing of broiled chicken and an exotic homemade coleslaw. —Melissa Jelinek, Apple Valley, Minnesota
66 / 75

Strawberry-Quinoa Spinach Salad

We make quinoa with spinach and strawberries year-round, but it's most fun when we go to the farmers market to get the season’s first berries. —Sarah Johnson, Indianapolis, Indiana
67 / 75

Skinny Cobb Salad

This "skinny" version of Cobb salad has all the taste and creaminess with half the fat and calories. You can skip the coleslaw mix and do all lettuce, but I like the crunch you get with cabbage. —Taylor Kiser, Brandon, Florida
68 / 75

Salmon Salad with Glazed Walnuts

This main-dish salad was inspired by something I ate while on a trip. The glazed walnuts give it something special. I've also topped it with grilled chicken or portobello mushrooms with amazing results. —Joanna Kobernik, Berkley, Michigan
69 / 75

Asparagus Nicoise Salad

I’ve used my Nicoise as an appetizer or a main-dish salad, and it’s a winner every time I put it on the table. Here’s to a colorful, make-ahead salad! —Jan Meyer, St. Paul, Minnesota
70 / 75

Chicken Nicoise Salad

This salad makes it easy to eat what’s good for you. It’s versatile, so you can use asparagus in place of green beans and salmon instead of tuna, or add garden tomatoes. And if you follow the keto diet, you'll be happy to know this is a keto chicken salad. —Nick Monfre, Oak Ridge, New Jersey
71 / 75

Orange Chicken Spinach Salad

For a salad with refreshing color and crunch, we toss chicken and spinach with mandarin oranges and red onion, then splash everything with a tangy vinaigrette. —Jean Murawski, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan
72 / 75
Exps176237 Hck163687b07 08 3b 8

Grilled Pork Noodle Salad

The only complex thing about this easy salad is the flavor! With smoky barbecued pork and a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables, this is a comforting and tasty home-cooked meal. —Rosalyn Nguyen, Astoria, New York
73 / 75

Summer Splash Chicken Salad

When it’s too hot to eat inside, I head out to the patio. Shred some rotisserie chicken and toss with mango, watermelon and grapes for an ooh-ahh healthy chicken salad. —Barbara Spitzer, Lodi, California
74 / 75

Strawberry-Turkey Spinach Salad

This light, refreshing salad is a true showstopper, visually and nutritionally, with fresh strawberries and yellow pepper strips tossed with fresh baby spinach. Serve with warm whole wheat rolls or flax or bran muffins. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
75 / 75
Tropical Fusion Salad With Spicy Tortilla Ribbons Exps47903 Sd143205a01 29 3bc Rms 4

Tropical Fusion Salad with Spicy Tortilla Ribbons

Fresh fruits and veggies pair up for a fantastic summer salad that's savory, sweet and spicy all at once. Make the tortilla strips with your pizza cutter—so easy! —Jennifer Fisher, Austin, Texas

Sue Stetzel
Sue has been working with Taste of Home since 2011. When she isn’t writing, she’s answering your burning cooking questions and working with our team of Community Cooks. She spends her free time cooking, crafting, and volunteering for various organizations in her home town.

Newsletter Unit

CMU Unit

cover
Subscribe & SAVE Save Up To 80%!