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What to Serve with A Salad as The Main Dish? (27 Dishes)

I love salads as the main dish, but I know that some people might be unsure about what to serve with them.

So, I’ve put together a list of 27 dishes that can be served with a salad as the main dish!

I hope this gives you some ideas for your next meal.

What to Serve with A Salad as The Main Dish


What to Serve with A Salad as The Main Dish?

side dishes

When it comes to salad, I’m of the mindset that the sky’s the limit.

Whether you’re looking for a light lunch or a hearty dinner, a salad can be the perfect main dish.

And when it comes to what to serve with your salad, there are endless possibilities.

For a light meal, you might opt for some bread and cheese or a simple soup.

If you’re looking for something heartier, grilled chicken (See Also: 8 Best Herbs and Spices for Grilled Chicken) or fish, roasted potatoes, or even beans can make an excellent accompaniment to your greens.

The best part about salads is that they’re so versatile – you can really let your imagination run wild when it comes to pairing them with other dishes.

Here are 27 recipes for dishes that pair perfectly with salad as the main course:

1. Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

This recipe is simple, quick, and delicious – perfect for when you’re having a salad as the main course.

The key is to use a good quality tomato sauce.

I like to use my homemade marinara sauce, but you can also use your favorite store-bought brand.

Once you’ve got your sauce, simply cook some spaghetti according to the package directions.

Once it’s done, drain it and add it to the sauce.

Give it a good stir and serve.

That’s all there is to it!

This dish is hearty enough to stand on its own, but it also pairs well with a green salad or some garlic bread.

2. Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo is a classic Italian pasta dish that is perfect for when you’re looking for a hearty, yet healthy, main course.

The dish is made with fettuccine noodles, which are tossed in a creamy Alfredo sauce.

I like to add some extra protein to my Fettuccine Alfredo by topping it with grilled chicken or shrimp.

To complete the dish, I like to add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and some fresh parsley.

This dish is so delicious and satisfying, you’ll forget that you’re eating a salad!

3. Macaroni and Cheese

There’s something about macaroni and cheese that just screams comfort food.

Maybe it’s the creamy sauce, the gooey cheese, or the carb-laden pasta.

Whatever the reason, this dish is always a hit, especially when paired with a green salad.

The key to making a great mac and cheese is all in the sauce.

  1. Start by making a roux, then add milk and chicken broth for creaminess and body.
  2. Next, stir in some shredded cheddar cheese until it’s melted and smooth.
  3. Finally, season with salt, pepper, and a little bit of dry mustard for a bit of zing.
  4. Serve your salad with a scoop of macaroni and cheese on top, and enjoy!

4. Pizza

I am a big fan of pizza.

I mean, who isn’t?

It’s just so darn delicious.

I especially love it when it’s paired with a salad.

The combination of the two is just perfect.

The salty goodness of the pizza pairs perfectly with the freshness of the salad.

And, let’s be honest, what’s not to love about a meal that includes both pizza and salad?

It’s healthy and delicious!

So, next time you’re looking for a dish to pair with your salad, look no further than pizza.

I promise you won’t be disappointed.

5. Quiche

A quiche is the perfect main course for a salad. It is light, yet filling, and can be easily prepared ahead of time.

This recipe calls for a simple spinach and cheese filling, but feel free to experiment with other combinations of vegetables and cheeses.

The key to a good quiche is in the crust.

I prefer a flaky, buttery pastry crust, but a whole wheat or gluten-free crust will work just as well.

  1. Simply prebake the crust for a few minutes before adding the filling, and bake the quiche until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown.
  2. Serve warm or cold, with a side of salad greens and your favorite dressing.
  3. Enjoy!

6. Ratatouille

I absolutely love ratatouille, and I always get excited when I see it on a menu.

It’s such a simple dish, but it’s so flavorful and satisfying.

The combination of roasted vegetables is really delicious, and it pairs perfectly with a salad.

I typically use zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes in my ratatouille, but you can really use any vegetables that you like.

  1. I always start by roasting the vegetables in the oven until they’re nice and tender.
  2. Then, I add them to a pan with some olive oil and garlic, and I cook them until they’re nicely browned.
  3. Lastly, I add some fresh herbs, and voila!

It’s ready to enjoy.

This dish is always a hit with my friends and family, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

7. Shepherd’s Pie

When I was younger, my mom used to make shepherd’s pie quite often.

I always loved it because it was so hearty and filling.

The perfect comfort food for a cold winter night.

Nowadays, I still enjoy shepherd’s pie on occasion, but I like to lighten it up by having it as a side dish alongside a salad.

The combination of the two is surprisingly satisfying and makes for a well-rounded meal.

Plus, it’s an easy way to get some extra vegetables into my diet!

If you’re looking for a new side dish to try, I highly recommend giving shepherd’s pie a go.

It’s sure to become a new favorite in no time.

8. Chili

Chili is the perfect side dish for a salad. It’s flavorful, filling, and pairs well with a variety of toppings.

I like to top my chili with shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, and green onions.

But you can also add sour cream, jalapenos, or corn chips.

The possibilities are endless!

Chili is also a great way to use up leftover vegetables.

So if you have some carrots, celery, or potatoes that need to be used up, chop them up and add them to the chili pot.

You can also add ground beef, turkey, or sausage for a heartier dish.

9. Soup

I love having soup on the side when I’m having a salad as the main course.

It’s such a perfect pairing!

The soup gives me something hot and hearty to enjoy, while the salad provides a variety of fresh, crunchy vegetables.

And if I’m feeling particularly hungry, I can always add some bread to the mix.

There’s just something about soup and salad that makes them a perfect match.

They’re both so simple and uncomplicated, yet they come together to create a meal that is both nutritious and delicious.

10. Stew

One of my favorite things to eat is stew.

I grew up eating it and it always makes me feel cozy and warm inside.

Stew is also a great side dish to have when you’re having a salad as your main course.

The two go together perfectly.

The warmth of the stew compliments the freshness of the salad, and the stew is also a great way to add some extra protein to your meal.

So next time you’re looking for a satisfying side dish to go with your salad, give stew a try.

I guarantee you’ll be happy you did.

11. Risotto

I absolutely love risotto.

To me, it’s the perfect side dish because it’s so versatile.

It can be made with just about any type of cheese, vegetable, or protein.

Plus, it’s really easy to make.

I usually make my risotto with chicken, peas, and Parmesan cheese.

But you could just as easily make it with shrimp, asparagus, and Gorgonzola cheese.

Or whatever else you’re in the mood for!

The great thing about risotto is that it pairs perfectly with a salad.

So if you’re looking for a light meal, but don’t want to skimp on flavor or nutrition, risotto is the perfect option.

Plus, it’s sure to impress your dinner guests!

12. Paella

Paella is a dish that is native to Spain.

It is traditionally made with white rice, chicken, seafood, and vegetables.

Paella is a very versatile dish and can be made with different types of meats and vegetables.

I like to make paella with chicken, shrimp, and chorizo.

I also add desalted cod fish for an authentic flavor.

  1. The first step is to brown the chicken in a large skillet.
  2. Then, I add the rice and cook it until it is slightly crispy.
  3. Next, I add the shrimp and cook them until they are pink.
  4. Finally, I add the chorizo and cod fish.

I like to serve paella with a side of green beans.

13. Jambalaya

I’m a big fan of salads.

I like that they’re usually packed with nutrients and relatively low in calories.

And I really enjoy the variety of flavors and textures that you can find in a good salad.

But sometimes, I find myself wanting a little something more substantial than just a salad for dinner.

That’s where jambalaya comes in.

Jambalaya is a rice-based dish that originates from Louisiana.

It’s usually made with a combination of meat (chicken, sausage, or shrimp are all common choices), vegetables, and spices.

And it’s absolutely delicious.

The next time you’re looking for a heartier option to pair with your salad, give jambalaya a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

14. Curry Rice

A lot of times, we think of rice as something that should be relegated to the side of the plate.

But I’m here to tell you that rice can be a star player, too – especially when it’s infused with the rich flavor of curry.

This recipe is incredibly easy to make, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to a simple salad.

The rice is cooked in coconut milk, which gives it a beautiful creaminess.

And the addition of curry powder lends just the right amount of spice.

If you’re looking for a versatile side dish that will elevate your next meal, give this curry rice a try.

I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

15. Fried Rice

I love having a big salad as a main meal, especially during the summer when it’s too hot to cook.

But sometimes a salad just doesn’t feel like enough.

That’s when I turn to this easy fried rice recipe.

It’s packed with veggies, so it’s still light and refreshing, but the rice and eggs make it filling enough to be a meal on its own.

Plus, it only takes about 15 minutes to make, so it’s perfect for those nights when I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

Whether you’re looking for a quick dinner or a healthy side dish, this fried rice is sure to hit the spot.

16. Grilled Cheese Sandwich

A grilled cheese sandwich is another awesome side dish for when you’re having a salad as the main course.

The bread is nice and crispy, and the cheese is melted and gooey.

Plus, it’s easy to make.

Just put some cheese on a slice of bread, put another slice of bread on top, and grill it until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown.


A grilled cheese sandwich is also a great side dish for when you’re having soup as the main course.

The warm bread and cheesy goodness help to offset the coolness of the soup, and they taste great together.

17. Grilled Chicken Breast

Grilled chicken is packed with protein and will help to fill you up without weighing you down.

And when paired with the right salad ingredients, grilled chicken can be truly delicious.

So next time you’re looking for a light but filling meal, try pairing grilled chicken with your favorite salad recipe for a dish that’s sure to please.

18. Grilled Fish

Not only is grilled fish quick and easy to make, but it also pairs perfectly with salads.

See Also: 18 Easy Sauces for Tilapia I Can’t Resist

I like to use a simple marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs, then grill the fish for just a few minutes until it’s cooked through.

The result is a flavorful and healthy dish that’s perfect for a light summer meal.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can always experiment with different herbs and spices to create your own unique flavor profile.

19. Hamburgers

I often like to have a big, juicy burger on the side when I’m having salad as my main course.

The burger adds a much-needed element of heartiness to the meal, and its rich flavor pairs perfectly with the freshness of the salad.

Plus, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as sinking your teeth into a juicy burger after eating a few bites of leafy greens.

20. Hot Dogs

There is nothing better on a hot summer day than a crisp salad, cold drink, and a juicy hot dog fresh off the grill.

This classic combination is the perfect mix of salty, sweet, and savory, and it is sure to leave you satisfied.

The best part about this dish is that it is so easy to prepare.

Simply fire up the grill, cook your hot dogs to perfection, and then top them with your favorite salad ingredients.

You can even get creative and experiment with different flavors and textures.

21. Tacos

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

Tacos as a side dish?

Isn’t that just a little…odd?

But trust me on this one.

These tacos are the perfect complement to a healthy salad.

The best part is, they’re really easy to make.

Simply start with a base of your favorite greens, then add in some black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese.

For the taco filling, I like to use a combination of ground beef and sausage.

But you could also use chicken or turkey if you prefer.

Once everything is assembled, just pop it in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

And that’s it!

22. Burritos

Ah, the burrito.

A Mexican staple that has become a fast food favorite all over the world.

There are endless ways to enjoy a burrito, but my personal favorite is when it’s paired with a salad as the main course.

The combination of fresh vegetables, crispy lettuce, and juicy meat all wrapped up in a warm tortilla is irresistible.

And the best part is that you can customize your burrito to include whatever ingredients you like.

So whether you’re craving a hearty steak burrito or a veggie-packed wrap, this dish is sure to satisfy.

23. Enchiladas

Enchiladas are hearty and filling, but won’t weigh you down.

Enchiladas are also a great way to get your vegetables in.

You can pack them full of spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions.

And, of course, they’re delicious.

The combination of warm tortillas, melted cheese, and flavorful sauce is hard to beat.

24. Potato Soup

I also often like to have a hearty soup on hand to pair with my salad.

And one of my absolute favorite soups to make is potato soup.

See Also: What to Serve with Potato Soup? 30 Best Side Dishes

It’s filling but not too heavy, and the creamy texture goes perfectly with the crispness of the salad.

Plus, it’s super easy to make!

Simply simmer some potatoes in chicken broth until they’re soft, then add in some chopped celery, onion, and garlic.

Once the vegetables are cooked through, puree the soup until it’s smooth and creamy.

Season it with salt and pepper to taste, and you’re done!

Serve your potato soup alongside your salad, and enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal.

25. Tomato Soup

One of my favorite things to eat during the summer is a big, juicy tomato.

But sometimes, I get tired of eating them plain.

That’s when I turn to this delicious and easy recipe for Tomato Soup.

See Also: 13 Best Tomatoes for Tomato Soup

It’s the perfect side dish for when you’re having a salad as the main course.

The best part is that it only takes a few minutes to make.

  1. Simply dice up a few tomatoes and add them to a pot of boiling water.
  2. Then, add some chopped onions and garlic.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes, then ladle into bowls and enjoy.

The next time you’re looking for a tasty way to spruce up your tomatoes, give this recipe a try.

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how delicious and satisfying it is.

26. Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is awesome with greens.

See Also: What Vegetables Go in Chicken Noodle Soup?

The broth is light and flavorful, and the noodles add a hearty component to the dish.

The soup also has a variety of vegetables, which provide important nutrients.

In addition, chicken noodle soup is easy to make and can be made in advance.

This makes it an ideal dish for busy weeknights.

Simply reheat the soup and serve it with a salad.

You’ll have a delicious and healthy meal that is sure to please everyone at the table.

27. Fritters

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy-to-make side dish to accompany your salad, look no further than fritters!

I love to make fritters using whatever vegetables I have on hand – zucchini and corn are my personal favorites, but you can really use any vegetable you like.

Simply shred or chop the vegetables into small pieces, add some flour and an egg to bind them together, and then fry them in a little oil until they’re golden brown and crispy.

Serve them hot out of the pan with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and you’ve got yourself a delicious and satisfying meal.


What to Serve with A Salad as The Main Dish? (27 Dishes)

I love eating salads, and I often find myself having them as the main course.
While a salad can be a delicious and satisfying meal on its own, I think that it can be even better when paired with a complementary side dish. One of my favorite combinations is a simple green salad with roasted potatoes.
The contrast of colors and textures is really pleasing, and the flavors work together perfectly.
Another great option is a grain salad with roasted vegetables. The heartiness of the grains balances out the lightness of the greens, and the roasted veggies add a nice touch of sweetness.
Whether you're looking for a light lunch or a hearty dinner, pairing your salad with a side dish is a great way to enhance your experience.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 400 kcal


  • Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce
  • Fettuccine Alfredo
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Pizza
  • Quiche
  • Ratatouille
  • Shepherd's Pie
  • Chili
  • Soup
  • Stew
  • Risotto
  • Paella
  • Jambalaya
  • Curry Rice
  • Fried Rice
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Grilled Chicken Breast
  • Grilled Fish
  • Hamburgers
  • Hot Dogs
  • Tacos
  • Burritos
  • Enchiladas
  • Potato Soup
  • Tomato Soup
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Fritters


  • Pick your favorite recipe from this list to serve with your meal.
  • Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
  • Enjoy in no time!
Keyword What to Serve with A Salad as The Main Dish
CEO at Happy Muncher | | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.