Main-Course Salads

Peppery Greens Salad with Avocado, Chicken and Tortilla Croutons
Photo: Greg DuPree

Hearty and satisfying main-course salads, from Caesar salad with crispy tofu croutons to a spicy lobster-noodle salad.

01 of 13

Butter Bean, Tuna and Celery Salad

Butter Bean, Tuna and Celery Salad
© Antonis Achilleos

Big, creamy butter beans give a tuna and celery salad terrific heartiness. The salad would also be delicious spooned over slices of warm grilled country bread.

02 of 13

Juicy Steak-and-Tomato Salad

Juicy Steak-and-Tomato Salad
Con Poulos

This summery salad from Food & Wine's Justin Chapple is quick and easy to pull together, and a total crowd-pleaser. It's ideal served with his Grilled and Chilled Beef, but any leftover steak will be delicious here.

03 of 13

Black-Eyed Pea and Watercress Salad with Corn Bread Croutons

Black-Eyed Pea and Watercress Salad with Corn Bread Croutons

Chef Sean Brock seasons his black-eyed peas with hot sauce, lemon juice and vinaigrette before tossing them with crackling corn bread and peppery watercress for a Southern main-course salad.

04 of 13

Warm Escarole Salad with Snow Peas and Sausage

Warm Escarole Salad with Snow Peas and Sausage
© Stephanie Foley

This savory main-course salad is as satisfying as it is restorative. "According to Thai belief, both peas and pea shoots are revitalizing, as well as good for digestion," Su-Mei Yu says. "And escarole strengthens muscles and bones."

05 of 13

Grilled Chinese Chicken Salad

Grilled Chinese Chicken Salad
© Tina Rupp

Nothing says main-course like grilled chicken. The slivered vegetables offset the heaviness of the meat.

06 of 13

King Crab Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado

King Crab Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado
© Fredrika Stjärne

This lovely seafood salad was an improvisation. "I made it with what I had in the house," Piero Incisa della Rocchetta recalls. "Scarcity breeds creativity." He uses grapefruit juice both to glaze the crab and to make the sweet-tangy salad dressing.

07 of 13

Chicken Salad with Zucchini, Lemon and Pine Nuts

Chicken Salad with Zucchini, Lemon and Pine Nuts
© Tina Rupp

Armand Arnal uses ingredients from his restaurant's enormous organic garden to create seasonal Provençal dishes like this salad of chicken tossed with pine nuts and lemon-marinated zucchini.

08 of 13

Caesar Salad with Meatballs

Caesar Salad with Meatballs
© Tina Rupp

A whole new spectrum of flavor is added by swapping croutons for meatballs.

09 of 13

Asian Shrimp and Cabbage Salad

Asian Shrimp and Cabbage Salad

An appealing combination of shrimp, carrots, cucumbers, peanuts and cilantro in a spicy Asian dressing makes this salad fresh-tasting and even slightly addictive.

10 of 13

Caesar Salad with Crispy Tofu Croutons

Caesar Salad with Crispy Tofu Croutons

In this creative remix of a classic Caesar, Melissa Rubel Jacobson pan-fries tofu cubes until they become crisp and crouton-like. Plus, she blends soft tofu with olive oil, lemon juice and an anchovy to make a terrific Caesar-style dressing without the standard raw egg yolks.

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Spicy Lobster-Noodle Salad

Spicy Lobster-Noodle Salad
© Cedric Angeles

This cellophane-noodle salad, with creamy avocados, crunchy peanuts and a chile-honey dressing, is an excellent showcase for Caribbean spiny lobsters. Also known as rock lobsters, they are sweet but can be slightly dense. This recipe uses Maine lobsters; they're more tender than spiny lobsters—and just as delicious.

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Chile-Lime Crab Salad with Tomato and Avocado

Chile-Lime Crab Salad with Tomato and Avocado

The mix of fresh crab, avocado and juicy heirloom tomatoes here is a classic combination. But Sue Zemanick makes it seem new by tossing the salad with a vibrant, spicy dressing spiked with jalapeño.

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Peppery Greens Salad with Avocado, Chicken, and Tortilla Croutons

Peppery Greens Salad with Avocado, Chicken and Tortilla Croutons
Greg DuPree

Crispy, pimentón-dusted tortillas stand in for the flatbread traditionally found in the Lebanese bread salad fattoush. Make this recipe with easy homemade Tex-Mex Tortillas or use your favorite store-bought version.

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