Summer is the season for salads! Nothing highlights my garden bounty like crisp, crunchy vegetables tossed together for quick, healthy weeknight dinners.
I love salads packed with vegetables, but I need to make sure they are filling too. Making a salad into a complete meal can sometimes be a challenge, especially for my growing tweens. While a light plate for lunch will suffice, by the end of the day, we need a hearty dinner! We’ve worked hard and played hard and we are hungry.
If you're looking for bold, robust salads you're in luck! Pick from any of the recipes below and you are certain to have a healthy, filling, and utterly delicious weeknight dinner.
Robin Shreeves joins Claudia in compiling this list.
This is my first go-to because I always have the ingredients on hand. You could also easily do a serve-yourself-salad-bar. Set all the ingredients out on the table and let everyone build their salad to their heart’s content!
Easy Steak Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
We started with arugula in this salad because its strong peppery flavor is balanced out by the steak and lemony vinaigrette. If you want to save on time, make the steak beforehand!
BLT Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Love BLTs? Then we think you’ll love this salad. It’s a deconstructed version of BLTs and uses generous amounts of that garden bounty. If you want some more protein added in, try some grilled chicken!
Shrimp, Arugula, White Bean, Cherry Tomato Salad
Easy, healthy, and quick is the name of this salad’s game. It’s on the table in 20 minutes and has bold Mediterranean flavor!Continue to 5 of 21 below.
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
A simple Caesar salad transforms into a hearty meal thanks to some lean grilled chicken. Toss in some croutons and dinner is served.
Asian Tuna Salad
No need to turn on the oven for this Asian-inspired salad! Canned tuna is the star of the show and is surrounded with the flavors of radishes, green onion, and shredded carrots.
Fish Taco Salad Bowl
Enjoy the same fresh flavors of fish tacos in salad form! Served with fresh veggies and crunchy tortillas, this is sure to become your new go-to for Taco Tuesdays.
Farmers' Market Salad with Peaches, Goat Cheese, and Basil
Juicy, ripe peaches and aromatic basil never looked better than on this salad. It only takes 10 minutes to whip up, just make sure to have extra on hand. You’ll definitely want seconds.Continue to 9 of 21 below.
Turkey Taco Salad
The best part about this salad? The meat can be made in advance, which saves you time when the dinner hangries strike. Feel free to serve it warm or cold!
Chicken Pozole Salad
All the delightful fixings of chicken pozole are in this salad. Chili rubbed chicken breasts are served with hominy, shredded cabbage, and romaine and topped with avocados, radishes, cilantro, and cotija cheese. It all comes together in perfect harmony thanks to the lime infused vinaigrette!
A Cobb salad is great if you are really wanting something substantial, but if you’re in the market for a meal that is on the lighter side, try this Un-Cobb Salad. Fresh fruits like mangos and apples are served with avocados and dried cranberries.
Strawberry Arugula Quinoa Salad
Strawberries are juicy, tart, and sweet, and they make a playful addition to salads of all kinds, including a quinoa salad!Continue to 13 of 21 below.
Shrimp Cobb Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing
Switching out the chicken with shrimp gives cobb salad a new twist while keeping the protein that helps you feel full longer. This version is light and refreshing and gets a tropical flair from mangoes and the salty bite of cotija cheese.
Lentil Salad with Summer Vegetables
Lentils are a great, plant-based source of protein and fiber. Added to an arugula-based salad with other fresh summer veggies, lentils make it a whole meal. Whisk together a lemony dressing and dinner is fresh and ready.
Chicken Panzanella Salad
Use up any stale bread you have with this fun salad. Make things even easier on yourself by snagging a rotisserie chicken at the store.
Classic Chicken Salad
This chicken salad is really the best there is. You can serve it on a sandwich, in pitas, or over a bed of lettuce (so it really can be a salad)! It has a sweet and tangy flavor that’ll drive your taste buds wild.Continue to 17 of 21 below.
Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing
Roasted fresh corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, red pepper, romaine, scallions... so much of summer's bounty goes into this chopped salad. Seasoned chicken adds protein and tortilla chips add some extra crunch. Topped with Cotija cheese and drizzled with a cilantro lime dressing, it's one hearty salad.
Chow Mein Noodle Chicken Salad
This is a great make-ahead salad if you keep the dressing separate from the rest of it. It's a colorful and tasty way to use up some leftover chicken and makes for a quick and easy light lunch or dinner. Chow mein noodles give it a fantastic crunch.
Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce
Fresh, colorful, and tossed in a peanut dressing so good you could drink it. Make this one to take along to work or a picnic.
Curried Chicken Salad with Mango
Packed with nutrition and flavor, this salad is definitely a meal in and of itself. Full of late summer goodness like apples and celery plus grapes and mango, this is a fun spin on classic chicken salad. Add a little or a lot of the curry-seasoned dressing depending on your preference.Continue to 21 of 21 below.
Chicken Salad with Tahini Dressing
With a refreshing crunch and savory sesame flavor, this salad uses leftover or rotisserie chicken so it's ready in less than a half hour. Dress cucumbers, radishes, romaine, and scallions in a ginger-tahini-based dressing then top with sesame seeds. Dinner is done.