For many of us, salad is what’s for dinner. It’s not a side dish that goes with something heavier, it’s the actual meal itself. Just start with your basic green leaf, add some protein, toss with dressing and you have an instant, filling dinner.

Thankfully having a salad for dinner is not something you can easily get bored of, and that’s because there are so many different types of salads, salad recipes, and salad dressing recipes to try.

They don’t all have to be light salads either – when you’re in the mood for a carb load, salads can also fit the bill. Plan your week around a few of these main course salad recipes. You’ll be surprised how salads can fit the bill on any evening:

Waldorf Salad

If you’re into everything vintage, you can’t get more old school than the Waldorf Salad. Created in the late 1800’s at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, this salad recipe from the Food Network blends walnuts, celery, and apples for a filling lunch or lighter dinner.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced (or a 1/4 cup of raisins)
1 sweet apple, cored and chopped
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise (or yogurt) and the lemon juice. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper. Mix in the apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts. Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce.





Macaroni Salad

This is a type of salad that might be better known as a buffet item than a main course, but the kick you get from the pimento peppers makes this one macaroni salad you’ll skip the rest of the line for. From

Ingredients: 4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons prepared yellow
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup grated carrot (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped pimento peppers


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain.

In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the onion, celery, green pepper, carrot, pimentos and macaroni. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, but preferably overnight.






Roast Potato Salad

A classic salad recipe from Canadian Living, this Roast Potato Salad is great when you’re craving carbs for dinner.

Ingredients: 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, (about 2 lb/1 kg)
3 sweet potatoes, (about 2 lb/1 kg)
3 tbsp (45 mL) vegetable oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
3/4 cup (175 mL) frozen corn kernels or canned corn kernels
1 sweet red pepper, diced
2 green onions, finely chopped
Salad Dressing
3/4 cup (175 mL) light mayonnaise
1/3 cup (75 mL) buttermilk
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh coriander or fresh parsley
2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
2 tbsp (30 mL) minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper


Peel and cut Yukon gold and sweet potatoes into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes; place in large bowl. Add oil and salt ; toss to coat. Spread on large greased rimmed baking sheet; roast in 425°F (220°C) oven, stirring once, until tender and golden, 60 to 65 minutes. Let cool on sheet.




Dressing: Meanwhile, in bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, coriander, lime juice, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, cumin, salt and pepper.

In large bowl, combine potatoes, corn, red pepper and green onions. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate potato mixture and dressing in separate airtight containers for up to 2 days.) Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat.

Choosing salad for dinner makes your evening meal simple. For more salad recipes check out my past posts on quiona salad recipes and greek salad recipes, and don’t forget to check out these kitchen tools to make quick work of creating salads:

The OXO Good Grips Julienne Peeler will help you peel those potatoes in no time flat. These types of peelers are also great for thinly slicing cheese.

Every thought about making your own macaroni? You can with the Roma Electric Pasta Maker

Serve up your salad in the Brilliant Sunshine Salad Bowl and add some spring time to your table.
Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag