Main Course Salads That Don't Need a Side of Anything

Plus, these keep well for lunch the next day (and the next)

When we hear "salad," we often subconsciously tack on "side." Except for these 22 salads aren't your average vinaigrette– and crouton–topped piles of mixed greens. While some are paired with meats like grilled skirt steak or octopus, others rely on vegetarian proteins, like eggs or halloumi cheese, for their bulk. Ultimately, these are salads that are a meal on their own, a one-bowl lunch or dinner, and most importantly, a way to eat a whole lot of vegetables and feel fully satisfied.

Chickpea Tofu Salad (Burmese Salad with Shan Tofu)

Burmese vegetarian chickpea tofu salad recipe
This traditional Burmese salad is a refreshing mix of silky, turmeric-infused chickpea tofu mixed with crunchy fried garlic and onions and tamarind ginger dressing. Get the recipe for Chickpea Tofu Salad (Burmese Salad with Shan Tofu) »Matt Taylor-Gross

Lentil Salad with Pork

Lentil Salad with Pork
Chef Daniel Boulud's take on a classic Lyonnaise pairing of pork and lentils. Make sure the lentils are fully cooked , says Boulud, "otherwise, they don't absorb the seasoning." Make sure to taste a few minutes before they are drained: They should be creamy with just a slight bite. Get the recipe for Lentil Salad with Pork »Matt Taylor-Gross

Cannellini Bean Salad with Radicchio and Celery

Cannellini Bean Salad with Radicchio and Celery
For this winter bean salad, a zippy vinaigrette adds brightness to crisp radicchio and celery. Get the recipe for Cannellini Bean Salad with Radicchio and Celery »Ryan Liebe

Seaweed Salad with Orange and Macadamia Nuts

Seaweed Salad with Orange and Macadamia Nuts
Chef Josita Hartanto of Berlin's Lucky Leek mixes three marinated seaweeds with sweet caramelized mushrooms, steamed vinegary rice, and crisp toasted nori in this vegan rice bowl. All of the seaweeds used here can be found online so search them out, as they each contribute a different texture and taste to this salad. Get the recipe for Seaweed Salad with Orange and Macadamia Nuts »Matt Taylor-Gross

Farmer's Salad with Beet Vinaigrette

Farmer's Salad with Beet Vinaigrette
This salad is topped with a bright thick sweet-tart pickled beet dressing. Get the recipe for Farmer's Salad with Beet Vinaigrette »James Oseland

Chicken, Olive, and Eggplant Salad

Chicken with Eggplant Salad
Brighten up any day with this simple roast chicken and fresh eggplant and herb salad. Get the recipe for Chicken, Olive, and Eggplant Salad »Farideh Sadeghin

Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad

Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad
This grilled chicken dish is the Holy Trinity of weeknight cooking: delicious, quick, and made from easy-to-find ingredients. Get the recipe for Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad »Farideh Sadeghin

Charred Asparagus and Egg Salad

Charred Asparagus and Egg Salad
Super easy and fresh, this is a perfect dish for spring, but also translates well to outdoor cooking in the summer. Get the recipe for Charred Asparagus and Egg Salad »Farideh Sadeghin

Smoked Trout, Rutabaga, and Microgreen Salad

Smoked Trout, Rutabaga, and Microgreen Salad, Late Winter Feast
Mix flaky chunks of smoked trout and roasted golden rutabaga with your choice of microgreens to add a fresh hint of early spring to this rustic salad. Get the recipe for Smoked Trout, Rutabaga, and Microgreen Salad »Bill Phelps

Grilled Watermelon, Avocado, and Shrimp Salad

Grilled Watermelon, Avocado, and Shrimp Salad
Grilling makes everything better—watermelons get even sweeter from the flames, shrimp gets crisp and plump, and avocado turns deliciously smoky. Get the recipe for Grilled Watermelon, Avocado, and Shrimp Salad »Farideh Sadeghin

Grilled Skirt Steak with Herb Salad

Grilled Skirt Steak with Herb Salad
This steak is seasoned simply with salt and pepper and served with a light herb salad with a whole grain mustard and honey dressing. Get the recipe for Grilled Skirt Steak with Herb Salad »Farideh Sadeghin

Grilled Halloumi and Cherry Salad

Simple Weeknight Meal, Grilled Halloumi and Cherry Salad
The sweetness of cherries balances the saltiness of halloumi in this simple summer salad, perfect for a side or a main dish. Get the recipe for Grilled Halloumi and Cherry Salad »Farideh Sadeghin

Soba Noodle Salad with Miso and Grilled Prawns

Soba Noodle Salad with Miso and Grilled Prawns
A miso marinade doubles as a dressing for a flavorful salad composed of watercress, scallions, and soba noodles. Get the recipe for Soba Noodle Salad with Miso and Grilled Prawns »Farideh Sadeghin

Cilantro and Lime Chicken with Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad

Cilantro and Lime Chicken with Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad
A simple and fresh black bean salad with grilled corns pairs perfectly with a quick marinated and grilled chicken. Get the recipe for Cilantro and Lime Chicken with Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad »Farideh Sadeghin

Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad

Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad
Pasta salads are essential summer food: they travel well; they're easy to adapt to whatever produce you have on-hand; and they're simple to make in large portions, making them perfect dishes to carry to parties, picnics, and barbecues. Get the recipe for Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad »Farideh Sadeghin

Escarole with Confit Duck Gizzards, Comté, and Walnuts

Escarole with Confit Duck Gizzards, Comté, and Walnuts
Winemakers Alice and Olivier de Moor use confit duck gizzards in this simple winter salad, but confit duck legs make a fine substitute. Get the recipe for Escarole with Confit Duck Gizzards, Comté, and Walnuts »William Hereford

Sautéed Crab with Avocado, Grapefruit and Herb Salad

Sautéed Crab with Avocado, Grapefruit and Herb Salad
Crabmeat is rubbed with a smoky chile paste, then sautéed and tossed in a refreshing salad of creamy avocado, tart grapefruit, and herbs. Get the recipe for Sautéed Crab with Avocado, Grapefruit and Herb Salad »Penny De Los Santos

Sweet and Sour Vegetables with Poached Egg

Sweet and Sour Vegetables with Poached Egg
Ginger, lemongrass, and maple vinegar add a warm base note to this dish, which is packed with root vegetables, and topped with a crisp greens and a poached egg. Get the recipe for Sweet and Sour Vegetables with Poached Egg »Romulo Yanes

Exceptional Salmon

Exceptional Salmon
Easy and delicious, this quick-to-make recipe is typical of Nigella Lawson's no-nonsense, breezy approach to food. Get the recipe for Exceptional Salmon »Farideh Sadeghin

Breakfast Salad

Breakfast Salad
Bacon and eggs get the salad treatment complete with a zingy espresso vinaigrette and toasty croutons for crunch. Get the recipe for Breakfast Salad »Farideh Sadeghin

Grilled Octopus with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Anchovy Vinaigrette

Grilled Octopus with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Anchovy Vinaigrette
Tacolicious owner Sara Deseran first discovered this smoky salad, from Neil Fraser of LA's Redbird, while cooking at the annual Sabores San Miguel festival in Mexico. The trick to getting tender, flavorful octopus is boiling it first, then marinating and grilling it. Get the recipe for Grilled Octopus with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Anchovy Vinaigrette »Farideh Sadeghin

Farro Grain Bowl

Farro Grain Bowl
A simple grain bowl is the perfect easy meal: quick, nourishing, and plenty satisfying. Feel free to adapt the ingredients in this recipe to whatever's in your fridge and pantry; grain bowls love leftovers. Get the recipe for Farro Grain Bowl »Farideh Sadeghin