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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.

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Pork and Balsamic Strawberry SaladTaste of Home

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

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Fajita in a BowlTaste of Home

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

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Tarragon Tuna SaladTaste of Home

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

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Turkey and Apple Arugula SaladTaste of Home

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

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Asian Slaw with SteakTaste of Home

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

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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

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Grilled Asian Chicken Pasta SaladTaste of Home

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

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BLT Turkey SaladTaste of Home

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

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Greek Brown and Wild Rice BowlsTaste of Home

Greek Brown and Wild Rice Bowls

This fresh rice dish tastes like the Mediterranean in a bowl! It's 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, Schertz, Texas

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Tasty Taco Chopped SaladTaste of Home

Tasty Taco Chopped Salad

My friends and I love Mexican food, but we also try to eat healthy. My mom taught me how to make this tasty taco salad for my friends. —Matthew Smith, Knippa, Texas

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Herbed Tuna and White Bean SaladTaste of Home

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

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Shrimp Scampi Spinach SaladTaste of Home

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

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Chicken Pasta Caesar SaladTaste of Home

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

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Jambalaya Rice SaladTaste of Home

Jambalaya Rice Salad

My cold rice salad has a hint of spice for a classic jambalaya-style kick. Shrimp, tomatoes, ham and peppers give it bright colors and a delightful texture. —Karen Rahn, Hixon, Tennessee

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Almond-Apricot Chicken SaladTaste of Home

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

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Chicken Fajita SaladTaste of Home

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

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Ground Beef Taco SaladTaste of Home

Ground Beef Taco Salad

Everyone at our house loves this taco salad. In spring we look for something light and refreshing on the menu after the heavier comfort food of winter. —Muriel Bertrand, Shoreview, Minnesota

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Spinach Salad with Tortellini & Roasted OnionsTaste of Home

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

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Chicken Tostada SaladTaste of Home

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

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Grilled Jerk Shrimp Orzo SaladTaste of Home

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

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco SaladThe musical "Waitress"

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

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Veggie Nicoise SaladTaste of Home

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

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Chicken and Spinach Pasta SaladTaste of Home

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

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Shrimp & Nectarine SaladTaste of Home

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

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Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry VinaigretteTaste of Home

Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

We love adding grilled chicken to our salads in the summer, but 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

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Easy Asian-Style Chicken SlawTaste of Home

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

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Mimi's Lentil MedleyTaste of Home

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

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Garden Quinoa SaladTaste of Home

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

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Whole Wheat Orzo SaladTaste of Home

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

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Balsamic Steak SaladTaste of Home

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

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Orzo-Tuna Salad with TomatoesTaste of Home

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

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Ginger-Cashew Chicken SaladTaste of Home

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

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Chicken Quinoa SaladTaste of Home

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

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Thai Spinach Beef SaladTaste of Home

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

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Classic Cobb SaladTaste of Home

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

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Apple Sausage Salad with Cinnamon VinaigretteTaste of Home

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

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Mediterranean Spinach & BeansTaste of Home

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

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Gingered Spaghetti SaladTaste of Home

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

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Veggie Steak SaladTaste of Home

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

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Bow Tie & Spinach SaladTaste of Home

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

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Quick Nicoise SaladTaste of Home

Quick Nicoise Salad

Like the classic French salad Nicoise, I pack my salad with veggies, potatoes, tuna and eggs. Cooking the potatoes and beans together helps build it fast. —Valerie Belley, St. Louis, Missouri

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Cashew-Curry Chicken SaladTaste of Home

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

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Pear Chicken Salad with Maple VinaigretteTaste of Home

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

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Cool & Crunchy Chicken SaladTaste of Home

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

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Thai-Style Cobb SaladTaste of Home

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

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Arugula & Brown Rice SaladTaste of Home

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

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Southwest Shredded Pork SaladTaste of Home

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

 

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Sesame Beef & Asparagus SaladTaste of Home

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

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California Burger BowlsTaste of Home

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

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Salmon and Spud Salad

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

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Warm Rice & Pintos SaladTaste of Home

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

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Edamame Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

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

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Sesame Chicken Slaw SaladTaste of Home

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

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Twisted Eggs Benedict SaladTaste of Home

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

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Shrimp Avocado SaladTaste of Home

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

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Mediterranean Bulgur BowlTaste of Home

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

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Grilled Southwestern Steak SaladTaste of Home

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

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Ham & Mandarin SaladTaste of Home

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

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Orange-Wild Rice Salad with Smoked TurkeyTaste of Home

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

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Strawberry-Blue Cheese Steak SaladTaste of Home

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

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Berry Chicken SaladTaste of Home

Berry Chicken Salad

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

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Avocado & Garbanzo Bean Quinoa SaladTaste of Home

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

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Salmon & Spinach Salad with AvocadoTaste of Home

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

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Turkey Salad with Pear DressingTaste of Home

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

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Chicken and Asian SlawTaste of Home

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

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Strawberry-Quinoa Spinach SaladTaste of Home

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

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Skinny Cobb SaladTaste of Home

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

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Salmon Salad with Glazed WalnutsTaste of Home

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

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Asparagus Nicoise SaladTaste of Home

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

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Chicken Nicoise SaladTaste of Home

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

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Orange Chicken Spinach SaladTaste of Home

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

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Grilled Pork Noodle SaladTaste of Home

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

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Summer Splash Chicken SaladTaste of Home

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

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Strawberry-Turkey Spinach SaladTaste of Home

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

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Tropical Fusion Salad with Spicy Tortilla RibbonsTaste of Home

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 part of the Taste of Home family for over 16 years. Her collection of magazines dates back to the premier issue in 1993. When she isn’t writing, she’s answer your burning cooking questions and working with our team of Volunteer Field Editors.

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