13 Main Dish Salad Recipes

A main dish salad makes a fabulous meal on a warm summer day or evening. Many of these salads don't require cooking, and they are all hearty and delicious. Prepare one of these salads for a luncheon or dinner, or take one along to a potluck or picnic.

  • 01 of 13

    Lobster and Macaroni Salad

    Lobster and Macaroni Salad
    Diana Rattray

    This salad takes freshly boiled lobster to another level. The lobster and macaroni salad is extraordinary and will definitely stand out at your next potluck. It's an excellent choice for a hot summer evening.

  • 02 of 13

    BLT Macaroni Salad

    BLT Macaroni Salad
    Diana Rattray

    The combination of bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes stands out in this delicious BLT macaroni salad. Hard-boiled eggs and chopped red onions add to the flavor and texture, along with a seasoned mayonnaise dressing.

  • 03 of 13

    Chopped Salad With Ham and Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Salad on the Table
    Michelle Tran / EyeEm / Getty Images

    This interesting and versatile salad is made with a variety of ingredients: beans, cheese, nuts, ham, tomatoes, cucumbers, and romaine lettuce are a few worth noting. Serve this hearty chopped salad with ham and balsamic vinaigrette on tortilla chips and dress with the homemade vinaigrette or your own favorite.

  • 04 of 13

    Glazed Salmon Salad

    Caramelized Salmon Salad

    The Spruce Eats / Elaine Lemm

    Ready in 30 minutes, this glazed salmon salad recipe is as delicious as it is quick. The caramelized fish is cooked quickly in a frying pan, then added to the salad of bean sprouts, lightly crushed peanuts, mixed salad greens, mint, cilantro, and lime.

    Continue to 5 of 13 below.
  • 05 of 13

    Tuna Salad With Dijon Dressing

    Tuna Salad Nicoise
    Diana Rattray

    This Nicoise-style tuna salad with dijon dressing is finished with a tangy Dijon dressing. The combination of tuna with vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, and olives is classic. We love this salad with fresh grilled tuna, but premium packaged cooked tuna or good quality canned tuna may be used.

  • 06 of 13

    Grilled Shrimp Salad

    grilled shrimp salad

     Leah Maroney

    Cook an entire salad on the grill—including the lettuce. Grilling the Romaine gives it a nutty flavor, which complements the grilled shrimp and charred corn beautifully. The salad is drizzled with a homemade avocado lime dressing and sprinkled with cotija cheese.

  • 07 of 13

    Tarragon Chicken Salad

    Tarragon Chicken Salad

    The Spruce Eats / Anita Schecter 

    Serve this tarragon chicken salad in a sandwich or on a bed of greens and you'll have a delicious, light meal. The recipe combines shredded chicken with a creamy homemade dressing seasoned with celery, Dijon mustard, lemon, onion, and tarragon. While you can roast chicken specifically for it, the salad is a perfect use for leftover chicken, too.

  • 08 of 13

    Taco Salad With Dressing

    Taco Salad
    Diana Rattray

    This taco salad with dressing starts with seasoned, browned ground beef. The beef is arranged on plates with lettuce leaves and tortilla chips along with fresh vegetables, olives, and a homemade Southwestern-style dressing. The tortilla chips can be homemade or store-bought. Either way, the salad will be a big hit with your family!

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  • 09 of 13

    Shrimp Salad With Rice

    Shrimp Salad With Rice
    Photo: Diana Rattray

    This easy shrimp salad with rice is a full meal in one cool dish. The rice, peas, and shrimp are the perfect combination of flavors, all brought together with a simple mayonnaise dressing.

  • 10 of 13

    Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

    Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
    Anita Schecter

    A balanced combination of chickpeas, crisp fresh veggies, feta cheese, and lemon dressing, this Mediterranean chickpea salad is vegetarian but filling. 

  • 11 of 13

    Lobster Salad

    Boiled lobster salad recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    This classic lobster salad is great for a special occasion when you want to treat yourself or your family. Serve the lobster salad on a bed of lettuce with slices of avocado or fresh tomato wedges.

  • 12 of 13

    Turkey Salad With Red Grapes

    Turkey salad with grapes recipe

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

    Serve this extraordinary turkey salad with red grapes on mixed greens with fresh sliced vegetables for a cool and delicious supper salad. We love this salad with slices of avocado and tomato wedges.

    Continue to 13 of 13 below.
  • 13 of 13

    Macaroni Salad With Cheese and Ham

    Macaroni Salad with Ham and Peas. Diana Rattray

    Asparagus and/or peas would make a great addition to this delicious macaroni salad with cheese and ham.