Quick Salad Recipes You Can Make for Dinner on Busy Weeknights
Whether you like steak in your salad or prefer a vegetarian meal, we've got you covered in the event that you'd like to make salad for dinner. These quick weeknight-ready salad recipes star all kinds of protein, many different types of salad leaves, a variety of other vegetables, and all kinds of tasty add-ins, from fresh herbs to tortilla chips to hard-boiled eggs. Simply put, we have a variety of delicious salad recipes that come together in a flash, which means there's always one you can make for a weeknight dinner.
When it comes to a meaty salad, beef can't be beaten. 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, and it's plain to see why: It's an easy-going protein that works so well in so many different salad recipes, including a straightforward grilled chicken salad to a many-layered taco salad. But think beyond the basics, too. We adore salmon with salad, as seen in the recipe here, and other types of fish—both fresh and canned. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options in our entrée salad recipes, including hearty mains that are bulked up 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 your favorite tomatoes aren't 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 that dressing can take a salad from good to great. And the options 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 with the right combination of vegetables, leaves, and proteins to make your dinnertime salad routine a snap.
Taco Salad with Sweet-Potatoes
Here's a hearty vegetarian main-dish salad bursting with black beans, jalapeños, radishes, and romaine. To make it even more delicious, we added roasted sweet potato chunks to the mix, and the result is so good we think they should be in every taco salad.
Steakhouse Wedge with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette
The fanciest salad in our collection, this riff on the classic that's served at steakhouses everywhere uses hangar steak to make the dish more affordable. It also subs a sweet tomato vinaigrette for the usual blue cheese dressing, making our version a little bit healthier.
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 of our Mediterranean favorites. Using store-bought grape leaves and canned chickpeas means it's a dish that's 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, but it's even easier still when the mix is topped 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.
Grilled Skirt-Steak Salad
This hearty salad is absolutely mouthwatering. With crunchy romaine, soft feta, and an array of fresh vegetables, it's one that's guaranteed to be a hit with your entire family.
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
Shrimp, hard-boiled eggs, and potatoes make this a hearty salad while the 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 be prepared in 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 salad comes alive with a few easy twists, including a fiery spice rub for the meat and a simple dressing of vinegar and store-bought salsa.
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—the 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
This salad is so much 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 can, and that's thanks to the orange segments mingling with strip steak, red onions, and romaine lettuce. It's all tossed together in an orange juice-based vinaigrette for bright flavor.
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.
Roasted Carrot Nicoise
Here's a vegetarian take on the classic Niçoise salad. Roasted carrots substitute the signature meats in this tasty dish.