36 main-dish salads

Fresh ideas for light and easy weeknight dinners

Garlicky Steak Salad with Chickpeas and Artichokes

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Garlicky Steak Salad with Chickpeas and Artichokes

No need to be alarmed about all the garlic; the OJ and soy sauce mellow it out.

Recipe: Garlicky Steak Salad with Chickpeas and Artichokes

almon salad

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Poached Salmon Niçoise

This reinvented version of Salade Niçoise uses wild Western salmon instead of tuna and anchovies, and adds watercress—because we love greens.

Recipe: Poached Salmon Niçoise

Spanish-Style Chicken Salad

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Spanish-Style Chicken Salad

For a warm salad, have the greens prepped and ready to dress when the hot chicken comes out of the oven. Using two kinds of paprika makes the dressing a little smoky and a little sweet.

Recipe: Spanish-Style Chicken Salad

Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Lemon Dressing

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Lemon Dressing

The mix of chicory greens creates layers of textures and flavors from mild to somewhat bitter. It’s a great combo with the sweet shrimp and big hit of lemon.

Recipe: Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Lemon Dressing

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Honey Dressing

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Honey Dressing

A touch of honey in the dressing brings out the roasted vegetables’ natural sweetness, and their meaty texture satisfies even the carnivores at the table. For an extra layer of flavor, serve the salad with shaved parmesan or asiago cheese.

Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Salad with Honey Dressing

Champagne chicken salad

Photo by Annabelle Breaky

Champagne Chicken Salad

One of the tastiest parts of this upgraded chicken salad are the young carrots. If you can't find young carrots, cut regular ones into 1/2-in. sticks instead.

Recipe: Champagne Chicken Salad

Beef, Broccolini, and Bread Salad with Salsa Verde

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Beef, Broccolini, and Bread Salad with Salsa Verde

Robust, briny, and herbaceous, Italian-style salsa verde works beautifully as both a marinade and a table sauce.

Recipe: Beef, Broccolini, and Bread Salad with Salsa Verde

Salmon sesame salad

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Salmon Sesame Salad

Crumble crunchy won tons into this twist on a traditional salmon salad for a crisp texture.

Recipe: Salmon Sesame Salad

Rainbow Carrot, Pea Shoot, and Chicken Salad

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Elaine Johnson

Rainbow Carrot, Pea Shoot, and Chicken Salad

Slicing the carrots is fastest on a classic French- or Japanese-style mandoline, but you can also use a vegetable peeler.

Recipe: Rainbow Carrot, Pea Shoot, and Chicken Salad

Grilled Steak and Vegetable Salad with Chipotle Chimichurri Dressing

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Grilled Steak and Vegetable Salad with Chipotle Chimichurri Dressing

Using both fresh and smoked jalapeños (chipotles) gives this version of chimichurri, the Argentinean steak sauce, lots of flavor without being wildly spicy.

Recipe: Grilled Steak and Vegetable Salad with Chipotle Chimichurri Dressing

Grilled Ahi Tuna Salad

Photo by Thomas J. Story; styling by Karen Shinto

Grilled Tuna Citrus Salad

Marinate albacore tuna in honey and Dijon and quickly sear it on the grill. Serve with mixed baby greens, thinly sliced sweet onion, oranges, sliced avocado, and a fresh lime dressing.

Recipe:  Grilled Albacore Citrus Salad

Thai salad recipe

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Thai-syle Jicama Salad

Crunchy green papaya is usually the main ingredient in this type of Thai salad, but it can be hard to find.

Surprisingly, jicama—a crisp, beige-skinned root—makes a great stand-in. Find it at well-stocked grocery stores and Latino markets. To serve as a main course, increase shrimp to 1 lb.

Recipe: Thai-syle Jicama Salad

Chicken Salad with Roasted Beets and Dandelion Greens

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Elaine Johnson

Chicken Salad with Roasted Beets and Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens give a bright, appealingly bitter edge to the rich chicken and the sweet beets.

Recipe: Chicken Salad with Roasted Beets and Dandelion Greens

Grilled beef and spring onion salad

Photo by Annabelle Brakey

Grilled Beef and Spring Onion Salad

To add even more delicious flavor to this salad, try eating the young leaves from your radishes instead of composting them.

Recipe: Grilled Beef and Spring Onion Salad

Updated salad Olivier

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Baby Vegetable Salad with Cornichons

This lighter version of Russian Salade Olivier replaces much of the mayonnaise used in the original with yogurt.

You can steam the vegetables and make the dressing ahead, but serve the dressed salad right away.

Recipe: Baby Vegetable Salad with Cornichons

Mango avocado shrimp salad

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Mango Avocado Shrimp Salad

Succulent shrimp, sweet mango, and creamy avocado makes a delicious meal in a bowl. Minced chiles gives the lime dressing the perfect kick.

Recipe: Mango Avocado Shrimp Salad

Chinese chicken salad

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Best-Ever Chinese Chicken Salad

This dish has all the great flavor of the original and is packed with garden-fresh ingredients.

Recipe:  Best-Ever Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken on Greens with Creamy Harissa Dressing

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Grilled Chicken on Greens with Creamy Harissa Dressing

This chicken salad gets its wow factor from a dressing spiked with harissa, a Tunisian chile sauce. Cool yogurt balances the heat.

Recipe:  Grilled Chicken on Greens with Creamy Harissa Dressing

how to make thai salad

Photo by Leo Gong; styling by Dan Becker

Thai Beef Salad

Leftover sliced beef makes this salad easy to whip up. We love its distinctive fresh herbs and crunchy peanuts.

Recipe:  Thai Beef Salad

Eggs and salad

Photo by John Clark

Eggs and Greens

Top a beautiful bowl of local salad greens with a perfectly fried egg, crisp slivers of leeks, and a fresh-thyme vinaigrette.

Recipe:  Eggs and Greens

Tomato "Bruschetta" with Tuna and Cannellini Salad

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Tomato "Bruschetta" with Tuna and Cannellini Salad

Celebrate summer with a hearty dinner of vine-ripened tomatoes topped with a savory mix of tuna, cannellini beans, green onions, and a lemony dressing.

Recipe:  Tomato "Bruschetta" with Tuna and Cannellini Salad

Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad

Fresh mint, basil, dill, parsley, and cilantro make a delicious counterpoint to crunchy fried calamari.

Recipe:  Vietnamese Calamari Herb Salad

Endive Salad recipe

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Endive Salad with Bacon, Gorgonzola, and Avocado

Endive adds crunch to this delicious mix of creamy gorgonzola, avocado, and salty crumbled bacon.

Recipe: Endive Salad with Bacon, Gorgonzola, and Avocado

flank steak salad

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Hot Flank Steak Salad with Chinese Black Bean Dressing

We've updated the classic steak salad with a sweet and salty dressing of soy sauce, black beans, sherry, ginger, vinegar, and brown sugar.

Recipe:  Hot Flank Steak Salad with Chinese Black Bean Dressing

Low fat shrimp and pasta salad

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Shrimp, Lemon, and Spinach Whole-grain Pasta Salad

Pasta salad goes main-dish with the addition of succulent shrimp, baby spinach, mint, onion, and a light and lemony yogurt dressing.

Recipe: Shrimp, Lemon, and Spinach Whole-grain Pasta Salad

Chicken, Corn, and Tomato Pasta Salad

Photo by Sunset

Chicken, Corn, and Tomato Pasta Salad

Toss together shredded chicken with orzo pasta, sweet corn, chopped red onion, and basil. Add a ricotta-lemon dressing. Dinner's ready.

Recipe:  Chicken, Corn, and Tomato Pasta Salad 

Green Bean and Whole-grain Penne Salad

Photo by Leo Gong; Styling: Dan Becker

Green Bean and Whole-grain Penne Salad

Flavor and texture contrasts give this salad extra appeal: Nutty pasta mingles with crisp green beans, strewn with bits of crunchy bacon and creamy Roquefort.

Recipe:  Green Bean and Whole-grain Penne Salad

Mediterranean tuna salad

Photo by Jennifer Martine; styling by Karen Shinto

Greek Tuna Salad

It's surprising how light and fresh this vinaigrette-dressed salad tastes, given that most of the ingredients come from the pantry. Here it's served as an entrée, but it also works as an appetizer or sandwich filling.

Recipe: Greek Tuna Salad

Panzanella salad

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Chickpea Panzanella with Capers

Toss this hearty salad in a bit of olive oil and red-wine vinegar and you've got a light but satisfying dinner in 25 minutes.

Recipe:  Chickpea Panzanella with Capers 

Moroccan lamb salad recipe

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Harissa Lamb with Lemon Mint Chickpea Salad

We cut the lamb into smaller pieces so it cooks quickly and each one has some of the flavorful harissa crust.

Recipe: Harissa Lamb with Lemon Mint Chickpea Salad

Sesame Chinese Chicken Salad with Asian Greens

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Elaine Johnson

Sesame Chinese Chicken Salad with Asian Greens

Mizuna and mustard greens add bite and a healthy base to this zesty salad.

Recipe: Sesame Chinese Chicken Salad with Asian Greens

Grilled Chicken, Corn, and Spinach Salad with Smoky Paprika Dressing

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Elaine Johnson

Grilled Chicken, Corn, and Spinach Salad with Smoky Paprika Dressing

The paprika delivers great smoky flavor in this main-dish salad.

Recipe: Grilled Chicken, Corn, and Spinach Salad with Smoky Paprika Dressing

Easy Grilled Chicken Salad recipe

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Grilled Chicken Pita Salad

All the best flavors of the Mediterranean, tossed in a lovely salad. We prefer the chicken grilled and sliced, but if you're pressed for time, you can easily substitute 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken from the deli.

Recipe:  Grilled Chicken Pita Salad

 

Steak and mushroom salad recipe

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Grilled Horseradish Steak with Mushroom Salad

The spicy flavor of horseradish is a nice contrast to the richness of grilled steak. Grilling whole gourmet mushrooms as an accompaniment is a good way to keep all the cooking outside.

Recipe:  Grilled Horseradish Steak with Mushroom Salad

Smoked Trout and Veggie Salad

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; Styling by Basil Friedman

Smoked Trout and Veggie Salad

For a great cool dinner, toss yellow tomatoes, potatoes, and squash in an herb dressing and top with flaked smoked trout.

Recipe:  Smoked Trout and Veggie Salad

Fava green, grapefruit, and flower salad

Photo by Annabelle Brakey

Fava Green, Grapefruit, and Flower Salad

Since the greens are eaten raw in this garden salad, be sure they're very tender.

Recipe: Fava Green, Grapefruit, and Flower Salad

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