19 Filling Dinner Salads You'll Actually Want to Eat

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Change the Way You Think About Lettuce

Side salads are great, but dinner salads should not be slept on. You might have some preconceived notions that salad for dinner won't fill you up, but if you make use of the right ingredients (especially proteins), there are plenty of delicious salads to explore. We've rounded up 19 of our favorite recipes below but trust us, they're only the tip of the iceberg (see what we did there?). 

Salad with beef teriyaki

1. Thai Beef Salad

This salad is exploding with flavor and it all starts with the spicy-sweet skirt steak marinade. Bold bites of green onion, peanuts, mint, and cucumbers kick things up another notch, and the marinade doubles as the dressing, delivering a full-circle moment.

Recipe: Dinner Then Dessert

Related: A Guide to the Best Thai Restaurants in America

Southwestern Chicken Chopped Salad

2. Spicy Southwest Salad

We love a good southwest salad, and it opens the door to play around with toppings. From Santa Fe-style tortilla strips to pico de gallo, there are so many bold flavors that beautifully complement this recipe.

Recipe: The Oregan Dietitian

Healthy Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

3. Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Caesar salad is a classic. To maximize the "filling" aspect, grilled chicken is an ideal companion, and the homemade croutons are a must. Shred some fresh parmesan and top with a creamy, homemade dressing and you can't go wrong.

Recipe: Damn Delicious

Bacon Double Cheeseburger Salad Bowl

4. Big Mac Salad

Big Macs don't need the bun to be filling. This recipe embraces all the ingredients you'd find between the buns and offers up one tasty and unique salad. We love a good "think outside the box" recipe.

Recipe: BellyFull

beef taco salad

5. Taco Salad

Who doesn't love taco salad? This stuff is so filling that you almost forget it's a salad at all. Topped with taco meat, chips, cheese, and any other taco toppings that tickle your fancy, this recipe hits every single time. Bonus points for tortilla bowls or Doritos in place of tortilla chips.

Recipe: The Cozy Cook

Chefs Salad with Roast Turkey and Black Forest Ham

6. Chef Salad

Protein-rich meats and hard-boiled eggs help chef salad be one of the more filling options out there in the world of lettuce-based dishes. Cheese, bacon, a handful of veggies, and a tasty dressing do the trick, too.

Recipe: Jo Cooks

Crispy Chicken Breast Salad

7. Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

The avocado, chicken, and corn add some good substance to this salad, providing a nice punch of protein and fat. With added sweetness from the strawberries and honey mustard dressing, this recipe doesn't leave much left to be desired.

Recipe: Damn Delicious

Salad of vegetables and lettuce leaves with slices of medium-well steak on a plate with a fork - rustic style
Stanislav Ostranitsa/istockphoto

8. Warm Fajita Steak Salad

There's something about sauteed peppers on a salad. They just do something completely different than raw peppers, and we are totally here for it. Add warm spicy-seasoned steak to the mix and we are all the way sold. This salad is a "yes, please" with no tortillas necessary.

Recipe: The Kitchn

Italian Grinder Salad combines all the ingredients of an famous sub sandwich closeup on the plate. Horizontal
Grilled shrimp salad with avocado, mango, lettuce and pistachios, dressed with lime. Healthy food. Ketogenic diet. Top view.

10. Honey Lime Shrimp Salad

Shrimp is simply delectable when combined with the flavors of honey and lime. This salad gives us that among other tasty ingredients like queso fresco, charred corn, and cilantro. 

Recipe: Recipe Runner

Avocado, tomato, cucumber salad with mozzarella cheese in white bowl on wooden table

11. Antipasto Salad

Salami, pepperoni, artichoke, mozzarella pearls, pickled peppers ... we are practically salivating over this one. The homemade Italian vinaigrette is definitely necessary. 

Recipe: 40 Aprons 

A plate of barbecue chicken mixed with vegetables
Salmon over watercress salad

13. Salmon Avocado Salad

Salmon and avocado are fan-favorite ingredients these days and they provide the promise of a filling meal, so they make perfect sense as the main characters to bulk up a salad. With simple companions like tomato and cucumber, this one is fresh and simple.

Recipe: Downshiftology 

Delicious Healthy Asian Chicken Salad

14. Chinese Chicken Salad

There's just something about wonton strips. They're the perfect topping for this cabbage and lettuce combo salad, which is made complete with other Asian salad staples like shredded carrots, green onion, and sesame seeds.

Recipe: Confetti & Bliss

Creamy Ranch BLT Wedge Salad
Buffalo WIng Chicken Salad
Asian Style Salad

17. Spring Roll Salad

Turning spring roll fixings into a salad is nothing short of genius. The spicy ginger dressing that comes along with this recipe sounds like a deal-sealer if we've ever heard one.

Recipe: Whole and Heavenly Oven

Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad

18. Cajun Shrimp Caesar Salad

If there was going to be a salad we mentioned twice, you knew it had to be Caesar. This one skips the chicken and instead uses cajun-seasoned shrimp. Not mad at that one teeny tiny bit.

Recipe: Wholesome Yum

Food Photos - Various Entrees, Appetizers, Deserts, Etc.

19. Greek Salad with Chicken

We love a good Greek salad and adding chicken to it is the perfect way to create a more filling dish. Plus, you can marinate the chicken to punch up those Mediterranean flavors. 

Recipe: Foodie Crush

Up next: Delicious Greek Recipes Made Cheaper at Home