26 Delicious Main-dish Salad Recipes

Fresh ideas for light and easy weeknight dinners.

Poached Salmon NiçoisePoached Salmon Niçoise
Poached Salmon Niçoise
This reinvented version of Salade Niçoise uses wild Western salmon instead of tuna and anchovies, and adds watercress-because we love greens.

2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
10 black peppercorns
2 cups white wine
2 pounds skin-on wild salmon fillet pieces (1 to 1 1/2 in. thick)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
5 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped basil
Sea salt to taste
2 large bunches watercress, root ends trimmed, leaving stems intact
10 small yellow-skinned new potatoes, boiled until tender and cut in half
4 hard-cooked eggs, cut into quarters
1/4 pound haricots verts (French green beans) or regular green beans, trimmed and boiled until tender-crisp
1/2 cup pitted Niçoise olives
3 Roma tomatoes, cut into lengthwise wedges

1. To a large roasting pan, add bay leaves, kosher salt, peppercorns, and wine. Add salmon and enough water to cover.
2. Remove salmon and set aside; bring liquid to a boil, covered. Reduce to a simmer, then gently slide salmon into liquid and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, covered, until salmon is just opaque.
3. While salmon is cooking, make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, mustard, and vinegar. Gradually whisk in oil until dressing is emulsified. Whisk in herbs and season with sea salt.
4. Using 2 spatulas, remove salmon, place on a cooling rack set on a sheet pan, and chill 10 minutes, loosely covered with foil. Discard poaching liquid.
5. Remove salmon from refrigerator and break into large pieces, discarding skin. On a very large serving platter, top watercress with pieces of fish, potatoes, eggs, green beans, olives, and tomatoes. Drizzle dressing over everything and serve immediately, accompanied by crusty bread.

Champagne Chicken SaladChampagne Chicken Salad
Champagne Chicken Salad
One of the tastiest parts of this upgraded chicken salad are the young carrots. If you can't find young carrots, cut regular ones into 1/2-in. sticks instead.
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Grilled Beef and Spring Onion SaladGrilled Beef and Spring Onion Salad
Grilled Beef and Spring Onion Salad
To add even more delicious flavor to this salad, try eating the young leaves from your radishes instead of composting them.
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Salmon Sesame SaladSalmon Sesame Salad
Salmon Sesame Salad
Crumble crunchy won tons into this twist on a traditional salmon salad for a crisp textur.
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Baby Vegetable Salad with CornichonsBaby Vegetable Salad with Cornichons
Baby Vegetable Salad with Cornichons
This lighter version of Russian Salade Olivier replaces much of the mayonnaise used in the original with yogurt.

You can steam the vegetables and make the dressing ahead, but serve the dressed salad right away.
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Thai-style Jicame SaladThai-style Jicame Salad
Thai-syle Jicama Salad
Crunchy green papaya is usually the main ingredient in this type of Thai salad, but it can be hard to find.

Surprisingly, jicama-a crisp, beige-skinned root-makes a great stand-in. Find it at well-stocked grocery stores and Latino markets. To serve as a main course, increase shrimp to 1 lb.
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Best-Ever Chinese Chicken SaladBest-Ever Chinese Chicken Salad
Best-Ever Chinese Chicken Salad
This dish has all the great flavor of the original and is packed with garden-fresh ingredients.
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Grilled Chicken on Greens with Creamy Harissa DressingGrilled Chicken on Greens with Creamy Harissa Dressing
Grilled Chicken on Greens with Creamy Harissa Dressing
This chicken salad gets its wow factor from a dressing spiked with harissa, a Tunisian chile sauce. Cool yogurt balances the heat.
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Grilled Tuna Citrus SaladGrilled Tuna Citrus Salad
Grilled Tuna Citrus Salad
Marinate albacore tuna in honey and Dijon and quickly sear it on the grill. Serve with mixed baby greens, thinly sliced sweet onion, oranges, sliced avocado, and a fresh lime dressing.
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Thai Beef SaladThai Beef Salad
Thai Beef Salad
Leftover sliced beef makes this salad easy to whip up. We love its distinctive fresh herbs and crunchy peanuts.
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Eggs and GreensEggs and Greens
Eggs and Greens
Top a beautiful bowl of local salad greens with a perfectly fried egg, crisp slivers of leeks, and a fresh-thyme vinaigrette.
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Tomato Tomato
Tomato "Bruschetta" with Tuna and Cannellini Salad
Celebrate summer with a hearty dinner of vine-ripened tomatoes topped with a savory mix of tuna, cannellini beans, green onions, and a lemony dressing.
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Mango Avocado Shrimp SaladMango Avocado Shrimp Salad
Mango Avocado Shrimp Salad
Succulent shrimp, sweet mango, and creamy avocado makes a delicious meal in a bowl. Minced chiles gives the lime dressing the perfect kick.
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Related: 10 tasty salads with chicken