Salad for Dinner: Quick Main-Course Recipes for Busy Weeknights
Poached Salmon, Spinach, and Potato Salad
Whether you like steak in your salad or are vegetarian, we've got you covered in the event that you'd like to make for salad for dinner. These quick weeknight salad recipes star all kinds of protein, many different salad leaves, multiple other vegetables, and all kinds of tasty add-ins, from fresh herbs to tortilla chips to hard-boiled eggs.
When it comes to a meaty salad, beef can't be beat. Our recipes make good use of cheaper cuts of steak, like flank, so you can have steak salad on a weeknight. Chicken is a favorite of families everywhere, it's an easy-going protein that works so well with so many different flavors, from straightforward grilled to the many layered flavors of a taco salad. We adore salmon with salad and other types of fish—both fresh and canned—and shrimp, too. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options in our entrée salad recipes, including hearty mains with mushrooms, beans, and quinoa.
Romaine, baby spinach, arugula, and butter lettuce are just a few of the many greens available all year round, which means you can have a fresh, satisfying salad for dinner during any season. We do have salad recipes specifically for winter, though. One test-kitchen tip is to use roasted vegetables, they are a really good addition to salad when the weather is cold and tomatoes not as tasty as they are in the peak of summer.
Some say the dressing makes the salad. We're not entirely sure we agree with that, but we do agree the dressing can take a salad from good to great. And the permutations are endless; creamy buttermilk, warm tomato vinaigrette, tropical dressings with pineapple, and Asian-accented dressings made with fish sauce and lime juice—they're all here, paired up with the right combination of vegetables, leaves, and proteins to make your dinnertime salad routine a snap.
Taco Salad with Sweet-Potatoes
A hearty vegetarian main-dish salad chock full of black beans, jalapeños, radishes, and romaine. They're so good, we think roasted sweet potato chunks should be in every taco salad!
Steakhouse Wedge with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette
The fanciest salad in our collection, this riff on the classic served at steakhouses everywhere uses hangar steak to make the recipe more affordable. It also subs a sweet tomato vinaigrette for the usual blue cheese dressing for a healthier meal.
Crispy Panko Shrimp Salad
Talk about quick! This crispy, crunchy shrimp salad comes together in just 15 minutes. It's sure to be a recipe you add to your regular dinner rotation.
Greek Mezze Salad
No leafy greens here but this tasty take on mezze has all our Mediterranean favorites. Store-bought grape leaves and canned chickpeas make it quick to put together.
Chef's Salad with Turkey, Avocado, and Jack Cheese
It's easy to love a salad packed with such familiar ingredients as turkey breast, avocado, and Monterey Jack cheese—and even easier with no-fuss buttermilk dressing.
Thai Pork Salad
A combination of half charred and half raw cabbage leaves gives this salad great texture. Thinly sliced pork, cucumbers, mint, peanuts, and a dressing made of red onion, fresh lime juice, fish sauce, and serrano chile take this Thai-inspired dish to the next level.
Butter-Lettuce Salad with Egg and Potatoes
We like to top this salad with a fried egg, but you could swap in a poached or soft-boiled egg, or even an omelet, if you prefer.
Seared-Chicken Salad with Green Beans, Almonds, and Dried Cherries
Here's a salad that, with its hearty chicken cutlets served next to crunchy blanched green beans, holds its own against any three-course meal.
Steak Salad with Snap Peas
What do you do with leftover steak? Why not make a beautiful, good-for-you salad with it? This springy version is lovely enough for company.
Chicken, Feta, and Pistachio Salad
Toasted pistachios and spiced chicken elevate this winter salad to a special main course; salty feta complements the sweet oranges.
Buttermilk Chicken Caesar Salad
We've given the classic Caesar a down-home spin with homemade multigrain croutons and a buttermilk dressing used twice: once to marinate chicken breasts, then again to toss with the salad.
Scandinavian Shrimp Salad
There's plenty of shrimp plus hard-boiled eggs and potatoes in this hearty salad. Cornichons and fennel make it just a little different. It comes together in only 35 minutes and cooking is minimal since the potatoes and the shrimp can use the same pan.
Chopped Salad with Spicy Pork and Buttermilk Dressing
There's always something yummy on your fork in a good chopped salad like this one, which combines chile-rubbed pork, romaine lettuce, juicy tomatoes, corn, cheese, and a garlicky buttermilk dressing.
Salmon Salad with Parsley and Capers
Once you've used our method to poach fillets of salmon, you'll never use another. The end result is creamy and supple, perfect for pairing with bold ingredients like the capers, parsley, and red onion in this salad.
Couscous Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas
Aromatic cumin, lemon, and scallions add Middle Eastern allure to this vegetarian salad. Chickpeas and whole-wheat couscous provide complete protein.
Lighter Cobb Salad
We use light mayonnaise and low-fat buttermilk in our blue cheese dressing, omitting the egg yolks to cut down on fat and calories in our version of this diner classic.
Tuna Salad Nicoise
Amp up canned tuna in our version of the classic French salad. It's so elegantly dressed that you won't recognize the supermarket staple.
Flank Steak and Arugula Salad
The classic steak and salad comes alive with a few easy, Latin-inspired twists like a fiery spice rub for the meat and a simple dressing of vinegar and store-bought salsa for the arugula.
Chicken Club Salad
Crumbled bacon stretches the smoky flavor further than whole slices might, while light mayonnaise and crisp veggies add fiber in this satisfying salad.
Spinach Salad with Ham and Egg
There's a secret ingredient in this salad of leafy spinach, thick ham, and hard-boiled eggs: thinly sliced radishes, which add a peppery crunch to every bite.
Seared-Chicken Salad with Cherries and Goat Cheese Dressing
Cherries aren't only for jams and pies—these juicy, ruby-red summer beauties are ripe for the picking in this refreshing salad of Boston lettuce, goat cheese, walnuts, and sliced chicken.
Thai-Style Steak Salad
Better than takeout, we promise! Thin slices of medium-rare rib-eye steak makes this refreshing salad feel downright luxurious.
Spinach Salad with Turkey Bacon and Blue Cheese
We've pared down the traditional Cobb salad to what are arguably its main components—greens, egg, bacon, poultry, and blue cheese—and then taken it one step further, using turkey bacon to cover two of those requirements.
Mediterranean Salad with Green Beans and Feta
Feta and white beans provide plenty of protein in this main-course salad. If you don't have white-wine vinegar, you can substitute red-wine or balsamic vinegar.
Citrus Steak Salad
Not every steak entrée can boast as much vitamin C as this one, with orange segments mingling with strip steak, red onions, and romaine lettuce in an OJ-based vinaigrette.
Arugula Salad with Grilled Chicken, Corn, Tomatoes, and Blue Cheese
Grill the corn alongside the chicken to cut down on the prep time for this vibrant arugula salad.
Chicken with Watercress Salad
Pound chicken breast into a thin cutlet, then top with a light, peppery watercress salad for a healthy supper.
Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken and Scallions
Here's a quick and tasty pasta salad that's also gluten-free: soba noodles, red cabbage, shredded chicken, and scallions, tossed in a gluten-free soy-based sauce.
White Bean and Tuna Salad
We like to heat white beans a touch before combining with the other, more pungent ingredients in this recipe, like tuna and olives. It helps to marry the flavors and makes the end result smoother and a little creamier.
Chicken Salad with Pineapple-Lime Dressing
Sometimes a surprising vinaigrette is all it takes to make a simple salad something special. This one, with lime zest, honey, minced chiles, and finely chopped pineapple, has lots of flavor and plenty of appeal.
Greek Salad with Chickpeas
Chopped veggies, crumbled feta, and a can of chickpeas are tossed with a red onion vinaigrette in a meatless salad so nourishing, we've repurposed the same ingredients to make a hearty sandwich as well.