5-Ingredient Salads

Using ingredients you likely have on hand already, these entrée salads are easy, quick, and delicious. Many of these recipes call for homemade dressings that push the ingredient list over five items, but you can use a bottled dressing with similar flavors instead to save time and effort.

Chicken and Spring Greens with Aai Dressing

Oxmoor House

Chicken and Spring Greens with Açai Dressing

This salad is a model of nutrition. The greens and onion provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, the pecans add healthy fats, and the chicken is a great source of lean protein, all with less than 300 calories per serving. Açai dressing is rich in antioxidants, but so is any bottled berry dressing.

Pantry Checklist:
 

  • Mixed baby salad greens
  • Cooked chicken breast
  • Red onion
  • Toasted pecans
Prep: 6 minutes

View Recipe: Chicken and Spring Greens with Açai Dressing

Salmon, Asparagus, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Oxmoor House

Salmon, Asparagus, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

With orzo pasta as a base, this salad makes for a hearty, filling meal that highlights the fresh flavors of asparagus and raw onion. If you use a bottled dressing, add a little dried dill to it, as the flavor is great with salmon.

Pantry Checklist:
 

  • Asparagus
  • Orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • Skinless salmon fillet
  • Red onion
Prep: 3 minutes
 Cook: 18 minutes

View Recipe: Salmon, Asparagus, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Chicken Caesar Salad

Oxmoor House

Chicken Caesar Salad

It doesn't get any more classic (or easier) than this salad. Bottled Caesar dressing is easy to find, but homemade is something everyone should try at least once. It's used here as both dressing and basting sauce for the chicken.

Pantry Checklist:
 

  • Caesar Dressing
  • Chicken cutlets
  • Romaine salad mix
  • Tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese
Prep: 3 minutes
 Cook: 4 minutes

View Recipe: Chicken Caesar Salad

Roast Beef, Beet, and Arugula Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Oxmoor House

Roast Beef, Beet, and Arugula Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

A mix of tastes and textures is key to this salad; it has sweet beets, crunchy pine nuts, bitter arugula, meaty roast beef, and creamy-and-tangy goat cheese. There's so much flavor in the salad that a quick toss with plain olive oil can replace the dressing easily.

Pantry Checklist:
 

  • Beets
  • Arugula
  • Deli roast beef
  • Goat cheese
  • Pine nuts
Prep: 8 minutes
 Cook: 8 minutes

View Recipe: Roast Beef, Beet, and Arugula Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Summer Pea, Watermelon, and Farro Salad Recipe

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Summer Pea, Watermelon, and Farro Salad

This unusual yet delicious combination of flavors makes a good substitute for traditional pasta salad at your next cookout.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Watermelon
  • Farro
  • Parsley
  • Green Peas
  • Pecorino Romano Cheese
View Recipe: Summer Pea, Watermelon and Farro Salad

Chicken BLT Salad with Creamy Avocado–Horned Melon Dressing

Oxmoor House

Chicken BLT Salad with Creamy Avocado–Horned Melon Dressing

The salad itself couldn't be much simpler―chicken (use leftovers if you've got 'em), lettuce, tomato, and bacon―but it yields tons of flavor. The unique and exotic dressing is worth the effort, but bottled ranch or blue cheese are fine too.

Pantry Checklist:
 

  • Cooked chicken breast
  • Tomato
  • Romaine salad mix
  • Center-cut bacon
Prep: 7 minutes

View Recipe: Chicken BLT Salad with Creamy Avocado–Horned Melon Dressing

Spinach Salad with Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Nectarines

Oxmoor House

Spinach Salad with Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Nectarines

Most stone fruits pair well with pork, so if you have peaches, plums, or apricots on hand, use them instead of the nectarines. The sweet-and-sour flavor of balsamic vinaigrette matches the fruit well, while the salty bits of feta provide contrast.

Pantry Checklist:
 

  • Peppercorn-flavored pork tenderloin
  • Nectarines
  • Baby spinach
  • Light balsamic vinaigrette
  • Feta cheese
Prep: 6 minutes
 Cook: 10 minutes
Other: 10 minutes

View Recipe: Spinach Salad with Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Nectarines

Steak Salad with Creamy Horseradish Dressing

Oxmoor House

Steak Salad with Creamy Horseradish Dressing

This dish combines the best parts of a steak house dinner―the simple salad with creamy dressing and the steak―into one easy meal. Since the beef will be served relatively unadorned, use the highest quality you can and don't cook it beyond medium.

Pantry Checklist:
 

  • Beef tenderloin steaks
  • Sweet butter lettuce blend
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • English cucumber
Prep: 6 minutes
 Cook: 10 minutes
 Other: 10 minutes

View Recipe: Steak Salad with Creamy Horseradish Dressing

Chicken, Bean, and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Oxmoor House

Chicken, Bean, and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Leftover chicken, pasta, or any cooked green vegetable can go into this salad, making it a great fridge-clearer. Pungent blue cheese breathes new life into the rest of the ingredients. But even if you start from scratch, it's superfast and supereasy to make.

Pantry Checklist:
 

  • Rotini (corkscrew pasta)
  • Green beans
  • Cooked chicken breast
  • Blue cheese
Prep: 6 minutes
 Cook: 10 minutes

View Recipe: Chicken, Bean, and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Grilled Salmon and Grapefruit Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Oxmoor House

Grilled Salmon and Grapefruit Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

The tart-and-sweet flavor combination in grapefruit matches the tender salmon's sweetness and elevates its flavor. Blood orange juice gives the dressing intense orange flavor, but any citrusy vinaigrette will do.

Pantry Checklist:
 

  • Salmon fillets
  • Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • Mixed baby salad greens
  • Jarred red grapefruit sections
Prep: 11 minutes
 Cook: 10 minutes

View Recipe: Grilled Salmon and Grapefruit Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

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