15 Main Dish Salads for Dinner

Call them bowl meals, power bowls, or whatever you like! These main dish salads for dinner are healthy, delicious, and filling enough for a meal.

Salads for dinner

Maybe you call them bowl meals. Meals in a bowl? Power bowls? There are lots of names for eating salad for dinner: and it’s a lot more delicious than it’s ever been. Growing up, salad for dinner meant…well, taco salad. But today, there are all sorts of ways to make healthy, delicious and filling salads that turn into dinner.

You may have seen them on Instagram, because this way of eating is quite the rage these days. But for good reason! Bowl meals make it easy to eat a wide variety of healthy whole grains and vegetables.

Salads for dinner: the anatomy of a bowl

To be able to eat a salad for dinner as a main dish, it’s got to be filling! As you’ll see in the recipes below, dinner salads are loaded with filling ingredients to make sure you stay full for hours afterwards. Here the components of a great dinner salad:

  • Whole grains: Whole grains keep the salad filling: you’ll see brown rice, quinoa, farro, freekah, and bulgur wheat
  • Leafy greens: Often you’ll see leafy greens as the base of the salad
  • Roasted or raw vegetables: A mix of textures of roasted and raw vegetables adds contrast
  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are important for plant based protein and to add a crunch
  • Eggs and dairy: Hard boiled eggs and cheese add filling protein and savory flavor to dinner salads
  • Sauces: Sauces are where the salads for dinner shine! The sauce brings it all together.

And now…our best salads for dinner!

More main dish salads

Looking for more dinner salads? Here are some more ideas:

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Mediterranean Couscous Recipe

Mediterranean Couscous Dinner Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.78 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This Mediterranean couscous dinner salad is done in less than 30 minutes! It features quick-cooking couscous with chickpeas and a creamy tahini sauce.


Scale

Ingredients

For the chickpeas (or substitute Seasoned Lentils)

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the couscous

  • 1 cup couscous (or sub quinoa for gluten-free)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

For the bowl

  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 8 cups salad greens
  • 1 recipe Best Tahini Sauce

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a medium bowl, stir them together with the olive oil, cumin, and kosher salt.
  2. In a medium pot, bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil. Add the couscous and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. When done, stir in the olive oil, another 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and the parsley.
  3. Make the Best Tahini Sauce
  4. Peel and chop the cucumber. Slice the tomatoes in half.
  5. In a large shallow bowl, place the greens, then top with couscous, chickpeas, cucumber, and tomatoes. Drizzle with tahini dressing (about 2 tablespoons per bowl). Serve immediately. Leftovers stay in the refrigerator for a few days: keep all components separate for maximum freshness.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Salads for Dinner, Dinner Salad

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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