Vegetarian Main-Course Salad Recipes for a Healthy, Hearty Meal
From grain salads to seasonal blends, these satisfying salads are delicious any time of the year.
When you're craving something that's nourishing, energizing, and all-around tasty, try one of these vegetarian main course salad recipes. Thanks to a hearty assortment of protein and fiber-packed ingredients, they'll help you to feel fuller for longer while still providing a flavorful bite.
Start with the Saffron Chickpeas and Bitter Greens with Quinoa, pictured here. In this recipe, chickpeas are poached with saffron and then tossed with a mixture of sautéed bell pepper, garlic, onion, and greens. Serve the mixture over pre-cooked or leftover quinoa for a protein-packed vegetarian salad. It serves four people and comes together in just 30 minutes, so you can enjoy it for a meal any day of the week.
During spring, stock up on artichokes, green beans, and asparagus, all of which are at their peak during the warmer months. We have a fabulous fresh pasta salad that makes use of some of these vegetables. Come summer, employ juicy cherry tomatoes and fresh corn on the cob for a vegetarian salad packed with the flavors and colors of the season.
Some of these vegetarian salads—such as our pasta salad and grain bowl recipes—can absolutely be served as a side dish as a picnic or backyard barbecue, too. Of course, we think they're at their best when you enjoy them as a main course for lunch or dinner. They're certainly hearty enough to be eaten on their own.
From salads made with legumes and grains to vegetable-packed all-stars, any of these vegetarian main course salads will make a nutritious and delicious meal.
Warm Lentil-and-Cauliflower Salad
Winter Cobb Salad
This vegetarian version of a traditional cobb salad swaps in tofu and crispy shiitake mushrooms in place of the usual bacon, but you surely won't miss the meat. It also features seasonal lacinato kale, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and blue cheese crumbles (of course!) for a superb winter dinner.
Moroccan Barley Salad
Rice-and-Bean Salad Bowl with Tahini Sauce
This protein-rich salad is packed with chickpeas, black beans, and red kidney beans—they're served over short-grain brown rice along with sliced cabbage, avocados, red bell peppers, and cucumbers.
Chopped Winter Salad
Lima-Bean Salad with Roasted Poblanos and Queso Fresco
Crowd-friendly and absolutely beautiful, this slightly spicy vegetarian salad starts by cooking dried lima beans and then mixing them with charred poblano peppers, cherry tomatoes, crumbled cheese, and a simple oil and vinegar dressing.
Marinated-Artichoke and Green-Bean Pasta Salad
Serve this springtime salad for lunch when you're looking for a light, vegetarian meal. It's best made a few hours in advance so that the flavors from canned artichoke hearts, fresh green beans, parsley leaves, and lemon juice can marinate together.
Greek Quinoa Salad
Warm Lentil Salad with Poached Eggs
Jammy poached eggs create a creamy sauce for this vegetarian salad that's made with French green lentils, Swiss chard, roasted almonds, and lots of fresh crumbled goat cheese. Green lentils (also known as French lentils) have a nutty flavor and hold their shape when cooked, making them a great choice for salads.
Greek Mezze Salad
How stunning is this no-fuss vegetarian salad? It pairs roasted chickpeas with pita wedges, radish wedges, thinly sliced cucumbers, and stuffed grape leaves for a low-key, herby, and flavorful Mediterranean-style salad.
Cherry Tomato, Corn, and Halloumi Salad
Grilled halloumi cheese looks beautiful on the plate and is spectacular to eat. Here it's paired with a trio of seasonal ingredients—corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, and arugula—for a bright summer salad.
Cauliflower Salad with Roasted Chickpeas
Black-Eyed-Pea-Salad with Celery
Butter-Lettuce Salad with Egg and Potatoes
Roasted Sweet-Potato and Farro Salad
Savory, sweet, and nutty all at once, this is a salad that can be enjoyed warm or chilled. Keep the skins on sweet potatoes to save time, fiber, and nutrients—when roasted, they offer a great textural contrast to the creamy flesh.
Eggplant, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad
Add grilled eggplant to the classic caprese salad of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil for a summer vegetable extravaganza. Enjoy it as a starter or a side, or serve it with crusty Italian bread as a vegetarian main dish.
Mediterranean Grain Salad
Bean, Corn, and Tortilla Salad
This healthy taco-style salad begins with a bed of romaine lettuce and baked tortilla chips. Heat pinto beans, frozen corn, and salsa in the microwave to make the warm topping.