Healthy Main Dish Salad Recipes

Find healthy, delicious main dish salad recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Chopped Power Salad with Chicken

Rating: 5 stars 3
Enjoy this filling and colorful salad for lunch or dinner. The dressing gets made in the same bowl that the salad is tossed in, so the greens absorb every bit of flavor.
By Carolyn Casner

White Bean & Veggie Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 10
This meatless main-dish salad combines creamy, satisfying white beans and avocado. Try mixing it up with different seasonal vegetables.
Katie Webster
By Katie Webster

Winter Greens Bowl

Rating: 3 stars 1
This one-pan meal packs in lots of plant-based protein and flavor thanks to beans and quinoa, while a creamy lemon-garlic dressing completes the dish. 
Mila Clarke
By Mila Clarke

Cranberry Chicken Salad

This healthy chicken salad recipe with cranberries, toasty pecans and crunchy vegetables is slathered in a combo of mayonnaise and yogurt which keeps the dressing light and tangy. Serve it open-face on toasted bread or scoop it on top of fresh salad greens.
By Julia Levy

Spinach & Strawberry Meal-Prep Salad

Rating: 5 stars 4
One of our most popular salad recipes, Spinach-Strawberry Salad with Feta & Walnuts, gets a makeover in these simple yet totally satisfying meal-prep spinach salad bowls. They require minimal prep and can be customized to your taste. Swap in roasted salmon for the chicken thighs, and almonds or pecans for the walnuts, and use any fresh berry that looks good at your market.
By Carolyn A Hodges, RD

Sesame Kohlrabi & Chicken Salad

Rating: 5 stars 3
Kohlrabi (a bulbous vegetable related to broccoli and Brussels sprouts but with a milder, sweet flavor) and almonds add crunch to this crowd-pleasing salad. Baked tofu or shrimp can be used instead of the chicken.
headshot of Laura Kanya in a blue shirt against a pink background
By Laura Kanya

Composed Salad with Pickled Beets & Smoked Tofu

Rating: 4 stars 9
This composed salad is an artful arrangement of greens, hard-boiled egg, smoked tofu, beets and snap peas drizzled with a cool, creamy dill dressing. It's as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate. We like smoked tofu, but any flavored baked tofu would work well in this recipe. Serve with iced tea.
Eating Well Bio Page
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas

Rating: 5 stars 2
In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss cheese and chickpea salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. The extra dressing is delicious served with grilled vegetables.
Eating Well Bio Page
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Classic Sesame Noodles with Chicken

Rating: 3.5 stars 7
Sesame noodles become a satisfying meal with lean chicken and tons of veggies in this quick, healthy noodle recipe. Be sure to rinse the spaghetti until it's cold, then give it a good shake in the colander until it's well drained. Are you a spiralizing pro? Swap 5 cups of raw zucchini, carrot or other veggie "noodles" for the cooked pasta.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Superfood Chopped Salad with Salmon & Creamy Garlic Dressing

Rating: 4.5 stars 4
Curly kale forms the base of this salad, but you could use chard or spinach. To the greens, add a multitude of chopped veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage and carrots. Finish with rich salmon for protein and a drizzle of creamy yogurt dressing to bring it all together.
By Carolyn Casner

No-Cook Black Bean Salad

Rating: 5 stars 9
A classic black bean salad is a must for picnics and potlucks. This vegan version gets its creaminess from blended avocado. Any mix of salad greens will work well, but try arugula if you want to give this hearty salad a peppery kick.
Hilary Meyer
By Hilary Meyer

Sweet Potato, Kale & Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

Rating: 5 stars 1
These hearty kale salads hold up well for 4 days, making them perfect for meal-prep lunches. To keep the ingredients from getting soggy, dress this salad and top it with peanuts just before serving. For a delicious vegan option, swap in roasted tofu for the chicken breast (see Associated Recipes).
By Carolyn A Hodges, RD
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Inspiration and Ideas

How to Make Shrimp Pad Thai Salad
Slash calories, not flavor and turn pad thai into this healthy salad recipe by swapping sliced cabbage "noodles" for traditional rice noodles.
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps
Grilling romaine lettuce and chicken breast adds smoky flavor to this chicken Caesar salad recipe. Toss with an easy Caesar salad dressing and wrap it all up for a delicious lunch or easy dinner.
Green Salad with Edamame & Beets
Rating: 3 stars 9

This big salad is a feast for the eyes and an everyday way to incorporate nutrient-rich beets and plant-based protein from edamame (green soybeans). If you're not a fan of cilantro, mix in freshly chopped basil or dill instead.