Our Favorite and Most Filling Salad Recipes

All salads are not created equally; unfortunately, “good” salads are often full of ingredients that aren’t really good for us. But salads can be nutritious and delicious, and we’re here to prove it! Here are five healthy and filling salad recipes that don’t suck.

Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing

(image via pinch of yum)

Think: fresh spinach topped with spicy shrimp, crisp cucumber, creamy avocado, and miso dressing. Is your mouth watering yet? This salad from Pinch of Yum tastes like a perfect California day; it has lots of greens, is packed with protein, and is full of flavor.


For the salad:

  1. 1 tsp minced garlic
  2. ½ pound raw shrimp, tails removed
  3. ½ tsp butter
  4. ½ tsp chili powder
  5. ½ tsp cayenne
  6. 1½ cups sliced avocados
  7. 1 cucumber, diced
  8. 4 cups spinach or baby kale, chopped
  9. Fresh cilantro, chopped, for topping
  10. Peanuts for topping
  11. Fried wonton strips (optional)

For the dressing:

  • One 1-inch piece fresh peeled ginger
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice (more to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1½ Tbsp white miso (it’s a paste you can buy at many grocery stores)
  • ½ tsp garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt


  1. Heat butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shrimp; sprinkle with chili powder and cayenne. Sauté for a few minutes on each side until shrimp are no longer clear and have a nice golden color.
  2. Arrange all salad veggies in a bowl with shrimp.
  3. Purée dressing ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Toss salad with dressing and top with fresh cilantro and peanuts for crunch.

Cobb Salad with Herb Vinaigrette

(image via chelsea’s messy apron)

Cobb salads are always packed to the brim with goodness. This particular recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Apron includes hard-boiled eggs, edamame, avocado, corn, and feta cheese topped with an herb vinaigrette.


For the dressing:

  • 6 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro or basil
  • 2½ Tbsp white granulated sugar
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and black pepper

For the salad:

  • 8 cups mixed green lettuce
  • 2-3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced or sliced
  • ⅓ cup crumbled center-cut bacon (6-7 slices)
  • ⅓ cup frozen shelled edamame or sweet peas
  • ⅔ cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • ½ cup corn (grilled, fire-roasted, canned, or thawed frozen)
  • ½ cup goat or feta cheese
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (optional)


  1. Add red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, parsley, cilantro, salt, pepper, and sugar to a small blender container. Blend until smooth, then add olive oil. Pulse to emulsify, being careful not to over-blend (as soon as it’s incorporated, stop blending). Transfer to a jar and refrigerate until ready to use. Shake before topping salad.
  2. Peel and dice or slice hard-boiled eggs, cook and crumble or finely dice bacon, boil edamame according to package directions and drain, halve grape tomatoes, and dice avocado. Prepare corn, then place lettuce in a large bowl or platter.
  3. Layer ingredients on lettuce. Add feta or goat cheese. Drizzle dressing right before eating. (Do not dress anything you want to keep leftover, as the dressing doesn’t sit well.)

Cherry Walnut Chicken Salad

(image via diethood)

If you’re a fan of sweet and savory in one dish, you’ll love this cherry walnut chicken salad recipe from Diethood.


  • 4 chicken breasts (about 1-pound) grilled and cut into cubes
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • 1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 5 oz dried cherries (you can also use fresh chopped cherries)
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Place spinach in a large salad bowl.
  2. Top with chicken, cheese, cherries, and walnuts.
  3. Add oil and vinegar; toss to combine. Serve.

Deconstructed Stuffed Bell Pepper Bowl

(image via joyful healthy eats)

Technically, this recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats is for a superfood bowl, but cooking is an art, which means your definition of salad can be up for interpretation.


For the beef:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tsp garlic (about 2 cloves), minced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • ½-1 tsp red pepper flakes or Italian seasoning
  • Fine sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp gluten-free Worcestershire sauce or tamari

For the bowl:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 3 cups spinach, lightly steamed
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • Handful of freshly torn cilantro
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Handful cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • Kefir yogurt cheese or sour cream (optional for topping)
  • Red pepper flakes, hot sauce, or tabasco (optional for topping)
  • Lemon slices, for garnish


  1. To make the beef, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, 7-10 minutes. Drain any extra fat. Add garlic and onion, cooking for 2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add chopped bell pepper, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, cooking for 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce; cook until bubbly, about 5 more minutes.
  5. Spoon quinoa into a large bowl, followed by spinach. Add ground beef mixture and top with sliced bell pepper, cilantro, green onion, and cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of the yogurt cheese and red pepper flakes, if desired, and garnish with sliced lemon.
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