Raise your hand if your body is essentially made up of cookies at this point. And champagne. And more cookies. Umm yeah, us too. Now that the endless holiday parties are over, and Whole 30/Dry January/just trying to be a little bit healthier is the name of the game, we could all use a few more salads in our lives. We rounded up nine dinner salads that go way beyond a boring bed of greens—these filling dishes taste great, have tons of protein, carbs, and healthy fats, and aren’t a pain to make. This year is tasting better already.
Photo: Foodie Crush
Something about spinach salads practically screams strawberries and feta. This classic combo is sweet and savory, and includes grilled chicken marinated in balsamic dressing, red onions, sliced almonds, and avocado. The marinade also doubles as the salad dressing, so you’ll be ready to eat in no time.
Photo: Wendy Polisi
Don’t be overwhelmed by the long ingredient list; there are several repeats, and most you already have in your cabinet. This grain-based spinach salad is topped with crispy quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, apple, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds. We recommend making a big batch… you’ll want to eat this one all week.
Photo: Le Creme De La Crumb
Take a lighter approach to a gyro with this Mediterranean-inspired salad. Bonus—it even includes pita! Grilled chicken, red peppers, onions, and a Greek yogurt-based tzatziki dressing are just as good in salad form and won’t leave you as sluggish as a giant pocket of bread.
Photo: Cafe Delites
Cilantro lime marinade on crispy chicken thighs equals big flavor. Juicy mango, creamy avocado, and char-grilled red pepper slices make this salad even more amazing; take our word for it, this is one you’d even make for a dinner party.
Photo: Eat Yourself Skinny
In a time crunch? Canned tuna is one of the quickest ways to add protein to your dinner with very minimal effort. We’re talking open the can, and you’re good to go. Mix with chickpeas, chopped onion, and tomatoes, and add some fresh flavor with olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, and mint. Adios, mayo! We won’t miss you.
Photo: Kristine's Kitchen
Another super-easy salad, this recipe starts with kale and adds cooked quinoa, chickpeas, blueberries, crumbled goat cheese, avocado, and sliced almonds. The tangy goat cheese tastes great with sweet berries, and quinoa adds a little protein to this vegetarian dinner.
Photo: Damn Delicious
Warm salads in winter are kind of life-changing, and this one definitely doesn’t disappoint. Zucchini, asparagus, shrimp, and orzo get a major flavor boost with an easy lemon-Dijon vinaigrette, while the crumbled feta adds some creaminess. If you’re cutting back on carbs for now, swap out the orzo for your favorite green.
Photo: Betsy Life
Build a better-for-you taco salad with this vegetarian recipe, which uses sweet potatoes, black beans, tomatoes, and avocado. Go easy on the chips and queso fresco to keep it post-dessert-overdose friendly.
Pinch of Yum
If there’s one easy guideline to remember, it’s the more color, the better. Edamame, carrots, red and yellow peppers, and green onions make this salad a winner in that department. Cashews and a sesame-garlic dressing make this dinner salad taste almost like your fave Thai noodle dish. Hey, we’ll take it.