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.

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Watermelon and feta salad

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

Holiday salad recipes
Curried chicken salad
Crunchy Asian-style chicken salad

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Comments on "Hearty dinner salads"

Ashley December 10, 2012 | 2:34 PM

My kids won't eat salmon, but this recipe looks awesome! I'll have to try it some night when the kids aren't home ;) They do love quinoa in salad and it's a great way to add yummy protein. I toss ours with balsamic, coconut oil, and I little mustard and add greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, edemame, and feta. Good stuff!

Kendra November 29, 2012 | 9:59 AM

The salmon and citrus salad sounds so good. Thanks for the recipe. Totally agree that salads should have tons of fruits and veggies, and meats, to make them more filling and more of a meal.

Hannah November 27, 2012 | 12:35 PM

I agree that protein is key to making a healthy salad. Plus, it's more filling that way and then the salad can be just the meal, instead of an app to the meal.

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