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20 Salads Hearty Enough for Tonight’s Dinner

By Angie McGowan and Erin Lebar |

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We love to make big salads for dinner at our house. The salad that I make most frequently is a taco salad. It’s one of my comfort foods. But I also make lots of other different varieties, including rice and pasta salads.  Including meat, beans, or whole grains is a great way to add more substance to a salad. I also like to sometimes include a nice cheese in place of a meat and add lots of nuts or seeds. Salads like the ones I have in the slide show below are hearty enough to make your whole family happy, but if you’re worried they won’t be quite enough, you can easily supplement with fresh crusty bread and grilled chicken breasts (or tofu) if the salad is vegetarian.

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20 Salads Hearty Enough for Tonight's Dinner

Paella Rice Salad

For a cool summer take on this typically warm dish, keep the veggies raw and just cook the rice! You can also mix it up by using shrimp instead of chicken, or take out the meat entirely for a vegetarian option.

Make paella rice salad

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About Angie McGowan and Erin Lebar

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Angie McGowan and Erin Lebar

Launched in December 2006, Babble has a National Magazine Award nomination for Best Overall Website (opposite Slate.com) and a Folio magazine award for Best Online Magazine (beating out everyone but Time.com). Time magazine named it one of the Top 50 websites of 2010. Babble was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in November, 2011.

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10 thoughts on “20 Salads Hearty Enough for Tonight’s Dinner

  1. mary mannes says:

    One of my favorite salads is blueberries, sliced peaches, green grapes, & sometimes melon balls, mixed together & dressed with sour cream and brown sugar. You can mix and match fruit on this to your liking. I never measure this, I just mix, and it is gone… ; )

  2. Tessa says:

    What other salads do you have. Can these be divided into mason jars

  3. Cheryl @ www.easyfreesantaletter.com says:

    Thanks so much for this! I never can get excited about salad, and perpetually feel guilty about not getting enough variety of greens into my family. This provided some yummy looking ideas that have me actually excited to get a salad on the table, in spite of the wintry weather!

  4. ro says:

    One of our favorite salads is so simple, mixed fruits. Any reasonable amt of naval oranges, grapefruit, apples, grapes, bananas cut as large/small as you like. Then pour marashino cherries (halve if desired) and juice. Mix all together. Include kiwi and any other fruit you have.

  5. Sue Stillman says:

    Please send recipe on top salad pictured with layers of avocado, egg…saw it on Pinterest, but no recipe…

  6. The Blissful Baker says:

    These all look great! Thanks for all the ideas :)

    Check out my latest recipe @ bakingblissful.blogspot.com

  7. Sherie Alohilani Ibarra says:

    Aloha,
    Just seen this post on facebook and love these salads..in Hawaiian we say “ono”…declious…I would love to get the recipe for the chicken, mix vegetable salad (top/first picture)..and please put me on your mailing list for your salad recipes..and others too…one of my passions is cooking..Our Lord gave me the anointing for creative cooking…PTL and God Bless!<3

  8. Sherie Alohilani Ibarra says:

    Aloha,
    Just seen this post on facebook and love these salads..in Hawaiian we say “ono”…delicious…I would love to get the recipe for the chicken, mix vegetable salad (top/first picture)..and please put me on your mailing list for your salad recipes..and others too…one of my passions is cooking..Our Lord gave me the anointing for creative cooking…PTL and God Bless!<3

  9. Mary Brady says:

    Please send recipe for beautiful Taco Salad

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