Dinner Salads with Poultry and Meats
Baby Kale, Butternut, and Chicken Salad
Precut vegetables, rotisserie chicken, and chopped pecans save time when throwing together a quick lunch before school or work. A homemade dressing of molasses, olive oil, cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard keeps added sugar and calories in check. One of the healthiest and nutritious vegetables, butternut squash is full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Winter Salad with Easy Herbed Pork Tenderloin
Kale and spinach provide a hearty salad base for herb-seasoned pork tenderloin, tangy feta, sweet grapes, and a bright olive oil dressing. If packing your lunch for the office, assemble greens, cheese, and grapes in a large plastic container. When ready to heat, add warmed pork and dressing, and shake salad with top on to evenly distribute dressing and ingredients. Dairy-free option: Use 2 teaspoons toasted chopped walnuts instead of feta cheese.
Black and Blue Steak Salad
The black and blue salad, a combination of spice-rubbed, blackened chicken or steak and crumbled blue cheese, is a staple of the American gastropub menu. Unfortunately, the “salad” interpretation is a bit loose—the lettuce merely a bed for a Flinstone-sized protein serving, the butter-yellow croutons, tons of cheese, and creamy dressing blanketing all. We kept the chargrilled steak, blue cheese, and crisp croutons you love, then topped off with good-for-you avocado and a vinaigrette that complements the vegetables rather than disguise them. A little meat goes a long way: just 12 ounces is plenty to serve 4.
Kale, Apple, and Almond Chicken Salad
A simple lemon vinaigrette doubles as a marinade. Make sure to pat the chicken dry before searing, or the excess liquid will keep the meat from browning. Crisp, sweet-tart varieties (Fuji, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady) add freshness and crunch—or a juicy, sweet contrast to seared or roasted meats.
Burger Patty Salad
We love the richness that a little ground lamb offers, but you can use all beef or even ground turkey instead.
Grilled Balsamic Chicken Salad With Spiced Pecans
You'll want to double the sweet and spicy sautéed pecans for snacking during the week. Sub fresh summer fruit like blueberries or nectarines for the raspberries. Grill the chicken and make the spiced pecans in advance. Change up the greens, fruit, and dressing for fast lunches.
Flank Steak Panzanella Salad
This salad is even better at room temperature once the bread has absorbed some of the dressing. Swap the steak for chicken or shrimp, or omit for a side salad.
Vietnamese Pork Salad
Think of this impressive salad as a deconstructed version of a spring roll. Rice noodles cook in just 2 minutes; be sure to drain and rinse promptly with cold water so they don't overcook.
Strawberry-Chicken Salad With Pecans
This main-dish salad features juicy strawberries at their seasonal peak.
Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad
If watermelon wedges are a mainstay at your summer cookouts, try dicing for this instant, gorgeous salad. The sweetness of the fruit pairs beautifully with the smoky rotisserie chicken and fresh mint to create a summertime staple that will keep the family asking for seconds.
The Cheeseburger Salad
Classic burger elements become a fast, fun salad for the entire family—a deconstructed take on a diner favorite. Instead of four burger patties, we cook just two, then chop and sprinkle them over the top. A handful of crushed potato chips adds crunch. Kick up the dressing with a pinch of ground red pepper.
Grilled Chicken Salad With Strawberries and Feta
Simple, beautiful, fast. The oil and vinegar in the marinade double as the base for a simple vinaigrette. Tame the bite of fresh red onion slices by soaking them in ice cold water for 10 minutes.
California Steak Salad
This salad is ideal for cold grilled steak, as reheating may overcook the meat or cause the basil and arugula to wilt. Grilling the red onion adds another layer of char and a bit of sweetness to counter the tartness of the vinaigrette.
Chicken Salad with Bok Choy, Almonds, and Apricots
Combined with sliced radishes, baby bok choy, and dried apricots, the remaining meat from Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff forms an Asian salad with fresh flavor.
Tuscan Steak Salad
Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad With Spicy Pineapple Dressing
Chicken with kick, paired with a spicy pineapple dressing, makes this Cooking Light main-dish salad recipe one to add to your repertoire.
Thai Steak Salad
A combination of fresh herbs—mint, cilantro, and basil—impart delicious fresh flavor. This salad would also be delicious with grilled chicken or lamb.
Chicken and Glass Noodle Salad
Spice up that leftover rotisserie chicken with this fresh and light noodle dish. To ensure the noodles get soft, soak them in the hottest water you can get from your tap. The salad is moderately spicy; reduce the chile paste by 1 teaspoon or omit it for a milder dish.
Arugula Salad with Chicken and Apricots
This main course salad is an ideal lunch or light supper option. Plums would be a delicious substitute for the apricots.
Easy Grilled Chicken Salad
Serve this main-dish salad over fresh spinach. Regular spinach is the least expensive option, but you'll have to remove the stems. If time is your main concern, buy baby spinach.
Chicken and Strawberry Salad
Pair this simple, no-cook meal with toasted buttery baguette slices.
Chicken Dinner Salad
This hearty combination won’t leave your stomach rumbling. Yogurt in the marinade tempers the heat from the Sriracha and keeps this dish family-friendly.
Creamy Chicken Salad
If you have longed for the perfect low-fat chicken salad recipe, look no further. Poaching the chicken keeps it moist and succulent, so you'll need less dressing to bind the salad.
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
You can enjoy this crunchy classic without having to worry about the hight-fat in its dressing. This lighter salad dressing mimics the flavor of a typical Caesar but in a vinaigrette form.
Roast Chicken Salad with Peaches, Goat Cheese, and Pecans
Fresh peaches and goat cheese headline this simple no-cook salad recipe. The 8-ingredient vinaigrette, made with pantry staples, takes minutes to make and is a delicious complement to the other ingredients in the salad. Use a store-bought rotisserie chicken to save time in the kitchen. Serve with herbed bread.
Southwestern Cobb Salad
This version of a Cobb salad combines south-of-the-border flavors with the turkey and bacon that are traditionally in a Cobb.
Teriyaki Mushroom, Spinach, and Chicken Salad
Once thought to be a delicacy, shitake mushrooms offer a smoky taste to any dish. Sautéing them with grilled chicken is a great idea for this stir-fry salad.
Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing
Consider this a tropical version of a creamy chicken salad: The dressing is a warm, decadent mix of coconut milk and peanut butter.
Turkey and Romaine Salad
Deli meats help turn a salad into a main dish with minimal effort.
Pork and Noodle Salad
Pork cooks quickly in the broiler, making this meal a clear choice for busy weeknight dinners.
Pork, Pineapple, and Anaheim Chile Salad with Avocado
Pork has a natural affinity for fruit, and grilling the pineapple intensifies its sweet flavor.
Pork Tenderloin, Pear, and Cranberry Salad
Enjoy fall flavors with this salad. The sweetness of the pear and the tang from the cranberries and cranberry juice complement each other nicely.
Prosciutto, Peach, and Sweet Lettuce Salad
Serve this light main-course salad with a hunk of crusty baguette and a glass of chilled Riesling. Choose ripe, juicy peaches, and leave the peel on for more texture. Ricotta salata is a milky, mild, slightly salty cheese that’s easy to crumble; you can substitute feta or goat cheese.
Spinach Salad with Spiced Pork and Ginger Dressing
Crisp flatbread can round out this satisfying salad supper. You can also serve the seasoned pork as an entrée without the salad, if you wish.
Ginger Beef Salad with Miso Vinaigrette
Skip the grated cheese and croutons and serve an Asian-inspired salad with homemade seven-ingredient vinaigrette. Serve with soba noodles, followed by dessert.
Fresh mint and cilantro balance out the spicy red pepper in this Asian-fusion salad.
Warm Spinach Salad with Pork and Pears
A loaf of whole-grain or sesame seed bread completes the dinner. Blue cheese balances the sweetness of the pears and raisins; choose a premium variety such as Maytag for more intensity.
Barbecue Sirloin and Blue Cheese Salad
Lean sirloin steak sits atop a bed of fresh veggies for an easy weeknight main-dish salad. Top with crumbles of rich blue cheese to bring out the bold flavors in the homemade vinaigrette.