These main course salad recipes are hearty and substantial. If you want a salad for dinner that will fill you up and be healthy then this is the place to come!
If you read this blog regularly you'll know that I love salads but I love substantial salads. After all, if I eat a main meal salad I want it to fill me up. I want to feel as satisfied as if I'd eaten pizza or a bowl of pasta, just a little healthier!
And why shouldn't dinner salad recipes be filling?
Why not indeed! I'm going to share with you lots of my favourite recipes for healthy filling salads that will keep you going as well as make you really excited to start enjoying salad for dinner.
The great thing about eating salads for dinner?
- It's easy to eat a lot of your 5-a-day if you have a salad. Ok, not all salads, but most of them!
- Lots of salads are great for preparing in advance. You can make a huge salad and it can last a few days meaning less time spent preparing food overall.
- They are usually quick to prepare and who doesn't love an easy midweek meal?
How to make a great main course salad
For a great main meal salad I think you need at least 3 things:
1. Something to make it filling
This could be carbs, protein or both. Carbohydrates that are great in salads include pasta, rice, grains and bread. Protein options could be meat, cheese, fish, beans or nuts. I have to admit that I usually have both carbs and protein in my salad!
2. Vegetables (or fruit!)
The options are endless.
3. Something to make it taste great
In this category I'm thinking of dressings, herbs and spices.
My favourite main course salad recipes
I have been sharing main salads for a long time. I have a huge selection of easy salad recipes that are perfect for lunches and dinners. There are chicken salads, fish salads, meat salads, vegetarian salads, vegan salads and a few salads that just need some bread on the side to become a perfect main meal!
Main Meal Chicken salads
I think some of my most popular recipes have to be these chicken salads.
Harissa Chicken Salad
I am a huge fan of harissa and I use it every week at least. It's probably my favourite spice paste so it's no surprise I've picked this harissa chicken salad as my first main meal salad.
Vietnamese Chicken Salad
Another favourite dinner salad recipe of ours is this Vietnamese chicken salad with rice. It is full of fresh herbs as well as having a gorgeous soy, lime and sesame oil dressing.
This healthy main course salad is a great recipe to make with leftover roast chicken. It's delicious as well as easy and perfect for putting in a packed lunch box as well as for eating at home for dinner!
More Chicken Salad Recipes
I've also got a delicious peach and basil chicken salad, Jamie Oliver's chicken, broccoli and bulgur wheat salad as well as a chicken, green bean and hazelnut salad.
Main Course Salad Recipes with Fish
Fish is such a great salad ingredient. Why not top a salad with freshly grilled fish, prawns or use tinned fish?
Healthy Couscous Sardine Salad
If you have never tried fresh sardines then try to! They are so good and absolutely delicious grilled. As they are quite small they cook very quickly and the skin crisps up beautifully. I'm sure you could use tinned fish for this recipe but using fresh sardines makes this couscous sardine salad hard to resist.
Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna
This cannellini bean tuna salad is a super hearty salad recipe that is really filling. It's so quick and easy to make and very versatile too!
Tinned Mackerel Potato Salad
This easy tinned mackerel salad is brilliant as a light healthy and filling meal. The dressing uses the oil from the tin which then flavours the whole salad.
Main Course Salad Recipes with Meat
I also love lamb, beef and pork in salads and they can still be super healthy.
This BLT salad is packed with healthy vegetables plus bacon! It's delicious and makes a lovely light meal or add some fresh bread on the side to make it more substantial.
Harissa Marinated Lamb Salad
My harissa marinated lamb salad is absolutely delicious although I really need to update the photos to show just how good it can be!
If you're a bacon lover I've also got a delicious roasted butternut squash, cauliflower and bacon salad with caramelised pecans!
Vegetarian Main Course Salad Recipes
A lot of the salads we eat are vegetarian and here are just some of them!
Mexican Halloumi Salad
This salad inspired by Mexican flavours is absolutely delicious. To make it a little more substantial then I like to eat a pitta bread with it.
Couscous Beetroot and Feta Salad
This delicious couscous beetroot and feta salad needs nothing more to make it into hearty main meal salad. It's also great for picnics and packed lunches.
I love caprese salad but it's a little light for a main meal. Add spelt and lentils though and it becomes hearty and satisfying!
Buckwheat Salad with Roasted Vegetables
I think grains are brilliant as a base for a hearty dinner salad such as this buckwheat salad with roasted vegetables. If you don't have buckwheat then bulgur wheat is a great substitute.
More Vegetarian Main Course salad Recipes you might like
Vegan Main Course Salads
Lots of my salads are vegan and they're just as good for a hearty main meal as any other salad!
Roast Chickpea Salad
If you haven't tried roasted chickpeas then you need to! They are delicious in this spiced roast chickpea salad recipe.
Spanish Bean Salad with Red Peppers
You could just eat this Spanish bean salad as a side dish but I love beans enough to want to eat it as a main meal!
Curried Pearl Barley Salad
This curried pearl barley salad is another vegan salad recipe that could just be a side dish but I love to eat as a main meal!
More Vegan salads
Pin these main course salad recipes for later!
Did you find a main meal salad you like?
I hope I've inspired you to eat more salads and that you've found a few recipes you'd love to try. These are just a few of my salad recipes there are even more if you look through the salads in my recipe index!
If you do make one of my recipes then please let me know. I love to get feedback from readers.
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More of my recipe round ups
If you liked these salad recipe then you might also like my homemade soups recipe collection.