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Main Course Salads are easy, delicious, and filling enough for a full meal! Try making one of our wholesome salads for dinner to mix up and make your own. I’m excited to share my favorite salads with you today! Not only are they filling, they are also so incredibly delicious.
I love making salad as a meal. Hearty salads are some of my favorite dinners to make for my family! My favorite healthy salad for dinner is my Strawberry Chicken Salad, but there are so many different ways you can make delicious and easy salad recipes for dinner.
Main Course Salad Characteristics
To make the best salad recipes for dinner, mix up your ingredients! Here are some tips on what you can use to make the most filling salads:
- Lettuce: Romaine and Spring Mix are excellent choices for salads. You can also use baby lettuce, spinach, or even kale.
- Whole grains: Instead of lettuce, you can use whole grains like brown rice or quinoa.
- Protein: Rotisserie chicken, steak, shrimp, salmon, or tuna are great choices for protein in main course salads.
- Vegetables: Try tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, or even veggies like summer squash, jicama, crisp blanched green beans, carrots, peas, and corn. Pickled and roasted vegetables are great choices too!
- Fruit: Cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, and clementines are all delicious in a salad.
- Nuts: Nuts are awesome in any main or separate-course salad recipe! Try pecans, walnuts, and sliced almonds.
- Cheese: Shredded hard cheeses like Parmesan, or the softest cheeses like goat cheese, feta, and blue cheese all work well.
Best Homemade Salad Dressings
- Blue Cheese Salad Dressing
- Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Honey Balsamic Dressing
- Buttermilk Ranch
- Vietnamese Salad Dressing
- Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
- Horseradish Sauce
Main Course Salad Recipes
This arugula burrata appetizer is one of the best accompaniment salads. Serve it as a separate course salad for an appetizer, along with your meal, or as a dish on its own.
Main Course Salads + Grilled Chicken Salad
- A grill or grill pan
- Serving bowl
- Cutting board
- Meat thermometer (optional but recommended)
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- ¼ red onion sliced
- 1 bell pepper any color, sliced or diced
- ½ medium cucumber sliced or diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
- 1 avocado sliced
See our Cooking Conversions Chart for help converting measurements!
- Combine olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano in a medium bowl. Place chicken breasts in bowl and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.1 pound boneless, 2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Heat a grill to medium-high heat and brush with more olive oil. When ready, add chicken and cook about 5 minutes on each side, until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove chicken to a cutting board and let rest while you prepare the rest of the salad.2 Tablespoons olive oil
- In a large salad bowl or serving plate, add spinach and veggies.3 cups fresh baby spinach, ¼ red onion, 1 bell pepper, ½ medium cucumber, 1 cup grape tomatoes, 1 avocado
- Slice the chicken and toss with the salad.
- Top with homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, or your salad dressing of choice. Serve and enjoy!
To make homemade buttermilk ranch dressing
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a large mason jar and stir together. Close lid tightly and shake well to finish mixing.1 cup buttermilk, ½ cup Greek yogurt, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 2 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, 1 Tablespoon Dill, 1 Tablespoon Chives, 1 Tablespoon Parsley, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness before marinating to ensure even cooking
- Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Chicken should be cooked to 165°F to ensure doneness. Don’t over-cook it!
- Allow grilled chicken to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing
- Customize your salad by using your favorite salad veggies and salad greens, if what is listed here doesn’t suit your tastes. Add-ins like crumbled cheese or croutons or seeds are great additions, if desired.