Throughout the fall and winter, I crave nothing more than warming soups, grounding stews, and indulgent mains to fill me up. But when spring comes around, I join the masses storing our stockpots and spending less time in the kitchen. With things heating up, one of my favorite ways to ensure I get a delicious, nutrient-dense meal on the table is by leveling up my salads. And salad recipes for dinner are the easiest one-and-done meals that make the most of all the tasty, seasonal produce that’s up for grabs.
The satisfying salad recipes below combine crisp leafy greens with plenty of protein, grains, and healthy fats for a well-rounded spring meal. Could there be a better warm-weather main? When you opt for salad recipes for dinner, you’re streamlining the nutritional quality of your meal and weaving in flavor with colorful veggies, flavorful dressings, and plenty of protein, nuts, and seeds for added texture and crunch.
That’s my short and sweet case for prioritizing salad recipes for dinner. Need a little more convincing? Scroll the 15 recipes below—they’re all the proof you need that your next meal could use a standout salad.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
15 Salad Recipes for Dinner That Won’t Leave You Hungry
Mediterranean Grain Bowl
Why We Love It: Camille’s latest salad masterpiece of the moment. I love a grain bowl when I’m craving something light but energizing. Fluffy golden quinoa is the perfect nutty base for all the fresh Mediterranean flavors. I’m talking black olives, mint, parsley, basil, and feta. Enough said.
Hero Ingredient: Don’t knock adding something sweet to your salad. Crunchy red or black grapes curb the olives’ briny bite and play up their fruity flavor to perfection.
Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey-Shallot Vinaigrette
Why We Love It: This chopped salad is all about color and crunch. Chickpeas are my favorite legume, lending body and creaminess to this otherwise crisp salad. Aesthetically pleasing, satiating, and refreshing? Say less.
Hero Ingredient: Let me pen a love letter to this honey-shallot vinaigrette. She’s sweet, she’s perfectly pungent (garlic!), and she incorporates gut-boosting ACV seamlessly.
Feta Salad With White Beans and Lemon Relish
Why We Love It: Panzanella is just one of Italy’s many brilliant contributions to the world of salads. (Caprese, antipasto, fennel and citrus salads… ) It’s a genius way to both use up stale leftover bread and, well… eat bread and call it a salad. This recipe includes a laundry list of textural faves—from crunchy cucumbers to creamy white beans to salty feta. In this salad, every ingredient counts.
Hero Ingredient: More about that bread. I like to toss all of my ingredients together and let them sit for at least 30 minutes. That way, the bread can soak up every bit of your lemon relish.
Spring Rice Salad
Why We Love It: I knew this salad was a winner even before taking a peek at the recipe. The layers of green from cucumbers, peas, avocado, and herbs galore are a vibrant delight for the eyes. Toss all of that together with perfectly-cooked basmati rice and you have the ideal spring/summer meal. I also love that a fried egg or two on top makes it all the more filling.
Hero Ingredient: Please, please, please start stocking your fridge with pickled shallots at all times. They’re an easy, instant flavor boost.
Cumin Chickpea Salad with Mint Chutney
Why We Love It: This salad is a vehicle for the fresh, flavorful, and herb-filled mint chutney. It brings a nice cooling element to this made-for-summer salad. Serve it with a side of naan for a dinner that keeps for a few nights in a row. (That’s right, you’ll want this on repeat.)
Hero Ingredient: Toasting freshly ground spices is an elite move—and one that shouldn’t be skipped.
Masala Corn Salad (Bhutta)
Why We Love It: The shift to warmer weather is my calling card to start eating corn on repeat. My favorite way to do it (besides on the cob, slathered in butter)? This salad. While my top corn choice is a classic, this salad elevates the veg to perfection. Garam masala, jalapeño, and chaat masala are just a few of the flavor boosters that give corn the star treatment in this salad.
Hero Ingredient: Queso fresco may be optional, but you can bet I’m always opting for a creamier salad—and cheese is always my go-to solution.
Charlie Bird Farro Salad
Why We Love It: This salad comes courtesy of Jessie De Lowe who served it up at her Santa Barbara dinner party last spring. I love the farro’s nutty bite mixed with the spicy arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and crisp radish. Sprinkle on a handful of fresh herbs (parsley, basil, and mint work well here), and add crusty bread with salty butter on the side. It’s the perfect light summer meal.
Hero Ingredient: Farro is the most underrated grain. Not only is it a delicious base for any salad, but it’s also full of fiber, protein, and other key nutrients (hello magnesium and zinc!).
Malibu Farm Rainbow Vegan Chop Salad
Why We Love It: Rainbow is right. We love a good chopped salad around here, and this recipe does the name justice. Generous slices of avocado combine with cubes of roasted butternut squash and get mixed with marinated roasted beets for a fresh salad that doesn’t lack flavor—or variety, for that matter.
Hero Ingredient: Watermelon radishes are the prettiest veggie we all need to be using more of.
Clarksville Kale Crunch Salad from Swedish Hill
Why We Love It: This is not your run-of-the-mill kale salad. Austin-favorite Swedish Hill shared the secrets behind this best-ever kale salad (yep, I said it). A seed mix comprised of flax seed, pumpkin seed, and everything bagel seasoning weaves crunch and flavor throughout. Drizzle on as much dressing as you please for added creaminess and a kick of heat thanks to the cayenne.
Hero Ingredient: I will never turn down a dressing that utilizes tahini as its base. Brilliant.
Buffalo Cauliflower Chopped Salad
Why We Love It: I love when my favorite flavors get the lightened-up treatment as a salad. While I’ll always say yes to a buffalo chicken wrap, there’s something about enjoying the spicy-sweet flavor combo aside plenty of fresh veggies that just makes me feel better about… everything.
Hero Ingredient: Buffalo cauliflower? Chef’s kiss.
Hummus, Greens, & Avo Bowl
Why We Love It: This has been one of my favorite Camille Styles recipes forever. I make it at least five times a month—it’s an essential in my weekly routine. Whereas most folks will use hummus as a dip, this recipe instructs you to smear a generous spoonful of the spread in each dish before adding your other salad ingredients. Genius. The bowl is inspired by our all-time favorite coffee shop, Two Hands (and it’s not just because of the attractive Aussie baristas… although that might play a role in our review.)
Hero Ingredient: I won’t say the greens are just a vehicle for getting as much of the hummus as I can… but I also won’t confirm that they’re not.
Thai Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
Why We Love It: This Thai chicken salad is pure tropical, beachy vibes. Not only is it light and healthy, but it’s also a quick, protein-packed meal thanks to the use of rotisserie chicken. And all that color from the mango, carrots, avocado, and cabbage? Bring on the dopamine.
Hero Ingredient: Keep sprinkling on the roasted peanuts—the more crunch, the better.
Chipotle Lentil Taco Salad
Why We Love It: This salad’s name comes from the chipotle powder that flavors the lentils to perfection. But honestly, I read it as a homemade substitute for the famed brand’s burrito bowls. If it’s fast food and fresh flavor you crave, this salad has Chipotle beat. Combine smoky, spicy lentils with light pico de gallo and a spicy lime chipotle dressing and you have a dinner you’ll go to bed dreaming about.
Hero Ingredient: I’ll be adding these lentils to everything.
BLT Salad with 8-Minute Eggs & Avocado
Why We Love It: My favorite sandwich in salad form? Sign me up. This recipe makes the most of all the classic components: crunchy croutons, avocado, crispy bacon, tomatoes, and fresh bibb lettuce. Sprinkle on the sea salt with a heavy hand—it brings out the flavor in everything.
Hero Ingredient: The honey-dijon vinaigrette is the only way to make this salad all the better.
Sunshine Detox Salad
Why We Love It: Whether you’re resetting after an indulgent weekend or not, any salad with “sunshine” in the name is always the answer. Personally, I love using cabbage in my salads. It’s a brilliant way to add heft and crunch while still keeping things light. Add a rainbow of veg and herbs plus a vinaigrette you’ll want to double up on and you have a crave-worthy dinner solution.
Hero Ingredient: Clearly, I’m all about the crunch—and sunflower seeds are one of my favorite ways to make it happen.