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Hearty dinner salads

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Main course salads

Contrary to what you may think, salads can be a hearty and filling dinner option, especially when you're in a rush or want to stay healthy. By adding some protein and plenty of vegetables, you can enjoy a delicious salad and still be satisfied.

Main course salads

Watermelon and feta salad

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 8 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 4 cups watermelon, seeded and cubed
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. Whisk vinegar with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary.
  2. Place spinach in a bowl, and top with onions. Drizzle dressing over the mixture and gently toss.
  3. Top with watermelon and feta.

Mozzarella salad with caramelized onion dressing recipe

Serves 4 


  • 2 cups toasted pine nuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into thick slices
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 8 cups fresh radicchio


  1. Add pine nuts, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup flour to a blender or food processor. Process until well combined and the mixture is coarse. Place in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup flour with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk the egg and milk together.
  2. Dip cheese slices into flour mixture, then into egg mixture, then into pine nut mixture. Place on a plate.
  3. Meanwhile, sauté onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil until softened and caramelized. Add shallots and garlic, and cook until just golden. Whisk 1/2 cup olive oil, vinegar, and honey into the pan, then remove from the heat. Set aside.
  4. In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and quickly pan-fry cheese, 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Let drain on paper towels.
  5. Add spinach to a large bowl, and toss with onion dressing. Top with cheese slices.

More salad recipes

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Crunchy Asian-style chicken salad

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