The incredible combination of vegetables and various kinds of protein will give us so much nutrition at the same time. When there’s a bounty of fresh veggies on hand, nothing beats a big salad for dinner. But just because it’s called a salad doesn’t mean it has to leave you looking for a dinner menu an hour later. These are great protein and salad combinations!
Chopped Salad with Ham
Chopped salads are popular for good reason. Dicing the ingredients to the same size helps mix them evenly, so you don’t end up with all of the good stuff sinks to the bottom of the bowl. This giant salad with ham radish, lettuce, pepper, roasted nuts, chickpeas, and cheese also lends itself well to experimentation. Add other veggies or subtract the ones you don’t like, for your perfect meal.
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
A warm bacon dressing gives this wilted spinach salad a meaty flavor that makes it feel like a complete meal. Extra crumbled bacon, perfectly hardboiled eggs, and peppery radishes bring it all together. Add sliced mushrooms, dried cranberries or raisins, chopped nuts, or a little cheese for extra oomph if you’re feeling creative.
Glazed Salmon Salad
Glazed salmon salad is a quick and delicious recipe that you’ll want to make frequently. It begins by quickly frying the salmon in a sauce that adds a wonderful caramelized crust. That’s then added to the salad of bean sprouts, cilantro, mint, lightly crushed peanuts, and a mix of salad greens. Serve it with lime wedges to give it a bright finish. It also works with grilled salmon and, to make it a little heartier, rice is an excellent addition.
Grilled Shrimp Salad
A perfect recipe in the heat of summer, most of this salad is cooked on the grill—including the lettuce, which gives it a nutty taste, creating layers of flavors. The ingredients are layered and drizzled with a homemade avocado lime dressing and sprinkled with cotija cheese.
A mixed green salad or Ensalada Mixta almost always makes an appearance on Spanish tables, but you’ll recognize the elements from American menus, too. The addition of flaky tuna brings it from an appetizer standard to a full meal that’s especially good when the temperatures start to rise.
California Grilled Chicken Salad
In this simple and delicious grilled chicken salad, the dressing is also the marinade. That ensures the flavors meld beautifully, and it cuts down on the ingredients you need, too. Marinate the chicken for a couple of hours before it hits the grill, to give it a delicious flavor and tender texture. Creamy avocados, salty olives, bacon, and crumbled blue cheese complete the package.
These salads are hearty, healthy, and ultra flavorful so will satisfy without weighing you down. Feel free to add extra ingredients you enjoy, but avoid strong flavors like onion or bell pepper, which could upstage the delicate richness of the protein source.