60+ Best Salad Recipes That Aren't Boring

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Main course salads are EVERYTHING. They're a great way to use up the fresh produce in season, and you can load them up with really whatever you have in your fridge or pantry. I've rounded up over 60 of my favorite salad recipes that are anything but boring, as well as my top 4 salad dressings you'll want to batch so you'll never run out.

Salad Dressing Recipes

Simple Basil Vinaigrette

Knock Off Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinaigrette from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Because you can't have an amazing salad without a salad dressing that's equally as good! These are some of my absolute favorites, from herby vinaigrettes to a creamy caesar dressing.

Basil Vinaigrette
Knock Off Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinaigrette
Cilantro Vinaigrette
Tahini Vegan Caesar Dressing
The Perfect French Dijon Vinaigrette

Big Green Salads

McCarthy Chopped Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Ginger Soy Herb Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

I live for a big green salad loaded with all of the fresh colorful produce. Serve it up with some grilled fish, shrimp, steak, or chicken, and it’s a meal in itself!

McCarthy Chopped Salad
Ginger Soy Herb Salad
The New Go-To Kale Salad
Avocado Kale Caesar
What’s Gaby Cooking House Salad
Loaded Power Salad

Fruit Salad

Watermelon Peach Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Vibrant fruit salad recipes for every season. Bring on all the pomegranate and citrus salads during the winter, then come summer, watermelon and peach salads will most definitely be on repeat.

Watermelon Peach Salad
Pomegranate Citrus Salad
Melon and Prosciutto Salad
Citrus Avocado Salad
Fig Salad with Fresh Mozzarella
Melon Halloumi Salad
Cherry and Peach Panzanella

Chicken Salads

Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad with Hummus from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Looking for a quick and easy protein-packed lunch or dinner? These chicken salads are for you.

Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken
Asian Chicken Slaw
Grilled Chicken with Avocado Tomato Salad
Taco Salad

Salmon Salads

Loaded Sesame Ginger Salmon Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Salmon Salad Bowl with Stone Fruit Salsa from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

These salmon salads are far from average. They're also a great way for you to give that leftover salmon sitting in your fridge a facelift.

Salmon Salad Bowl with Stone Fruit Salsa
BLT Salmon Salad + Cilantro Dressing
Salmon Shawarma Salad
Salmon Nicoise
Loaded Sesame Ginger Salmon Salad

Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Feta Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Watermelon Cucumber Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Light and refreshing cucumber salads like this viral cucumber salad recipe are a great side dish for just about anything.

Cucumber Feta Salad
Watermelon Cucumber Salad
Cucumber Avocado Ahi Ceviche
Cucumber Tomato Salad with Garlic Herb Grilled Naan

Cobb Salads

Chicken Fajita Cobb from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Mexican Cobb Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

I'm a big fan of Cobb salads and have been putting a Californian spin on them for a while. Here's the deal I love a loaded salad (with all of the avocado, of course) dressed in a delicious homemade dressing, but hard boiled eggs in my salad. NO thank you. Creamy thick dressings… hard pass. I want a healthy, gorgeous, colorful, and light Cobb salad, and that's exactly what these recipes are!

Chicken Fajita Cobb
Mexican Cobb Salad
California Cobb Salad
Grilled Summer Cobb Salad

Greek Salads

Greek Salad with Salmon from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Herby Marinated Tomato and Feta Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Light and refreshing greek salads that are so good they'll make you feel like you’re sitting beachside in Greece. These would make a showstopper side-dish or a great weeknight meal! And this oregano vinaigrette is hands-down the best Greek Salad dressing.

Greek Salad with Salmon
Heirloom Tomato and Feta Salad
Loaded Greek Salad
Greek Chicken Salad
Herb Caprese Salad

Pasta Salad

Tomato Confit Pasta Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Castelvetrano Greek Pasta Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

A pasta salad is always a hit! It's easy to make ahead and comes together in no time. You can eat pasta salad at room temp, warm, cold, you name it! It’s great as the main course and also wonderful as a side dish!

Tomato Confit Pasta Salad
Pesto Pasta Salad
Basil Vinaigrette Pasta Salad
Castelvetrano Greek Pasta Salad
Sesame Noodle Salad
Rice Noodle Salad with Steak

Grain Salad

Deconstructed Falafel Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Summer Grain Bowl with Green Goddess Feta Dressing from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Like a pasta salad, these grain salads are great to prep in advance. They take grains you probably already have in your pantry like quinoa and farro and turn them into something truly incredible.

Deconstructed Falafel Salad
Summer Grain Bowl with Green Goddess Feta Dressing
BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad
Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad
Farro Delicata Squash Salad

Potato Salad

German Potato Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Greek Potato Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Delicious potato salad recipes you'll want to bring to all of your summer BBQs and pool parties. From my Omi's German Potato Salad, a family recipe passed down for over 100 years, to a creamy greek potato salad loaded with all of the herbs. 

German Potato Salad
Greek Potato Salad
Sweetpotato, Corn and Feta Salad

Fall & Winter Salads

Winter Greens Salad with Pecorino Dressing from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Wholesome and comforting salads for the fall and winter. Loaded with all of the seasonal produce like kale, radicchio, Brussels sprouts, squash, pomegranates, and persimmons. From harvest salads to butternut squash salads, this list has got you covered.

Winter Greens Salad with Pecorino Dressing
Brussels Sprouts Salad with Persimmons
Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
Fall Farmers Market Salad
Delicata Squash Salad
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Spring Salads

Spring Pea Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Toasted Quinoa Spring Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Bright and light salads to celebrate the start of spring. Think baby gem lettuce, radishes, spring peas, asparagus, and the other good produce that comes with the change of seasons.

Crispy Quinoa Spring Salad
Green Monster Salad
Spring Pea Salad
Loaded Nicoise Salad
Blueberry and Grilled Asparagus Salad

Summer Salads

Loaded Steak Salad Bowl with Yogurt Green Goddess from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Grilled Chicken Summer Power Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Summer is the most abundant time of the year for produce, and we're taking advantage of all the fruits and veggies we can get our hands on for these summer salads. These salads are loaded with peaches, berries, stone fruit, sweet corn, tomatoes, basil, and more.

Avocado Peach Summer Salad
Summer Stone Fruit Salad
Raw Summer Salad
Loaded Grilled Steak Salad
Avocado Corn Salad
Summer Grilled Chicken Power Salad
Loaded Steak Salad Bowl with Yogurt Green Goddess
McCarthy Chopped Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

McCarthy Chopped Salad

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 1 vote
If you've ever been to the Beverly Hills Hotel, you know it's all about the McCarthy Cobb. It's incredible. Knife skills on display! But if you're not really wanting to drop $40 on a salad... here's how to make it at home.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad, Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people


For the Salad:

  • 2 cups romaine chopped
  • ½ cup grilled chicken diced
  • ¼ cup baby cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup red beets diced (totally allowed to buy them pre-roasted at TJ’s, Whole Foods etc)
  • ½ cup cucumbers diced
  • ½ cup chickpeas
  • ¼ cup bacon diced
  • ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese diced
  • 1 avocado diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic roasted
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


For the Salad:

  • Chop everything, make it into a pretty salad, and serve.

For the Dressing:

  • For the dressing, whisk everything together to combine, breaking up the roasted clove of garlic so it's evenly incorporated.


This is a great recipe for using up leftovers like chicken from dinner. Is leftover bacon even a thing??

Nutrition Information

Calories: 688kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 33g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 359mg | Potassium: 1086mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4545IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 3mg
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