Most people think of salads as just the opening act of dinner, or maybe a side served alongside a protein. But why shouldn't you be able to enjoy salad as the main course? By adding some great mix-ins or toppings like grilled steak, poached chicken, boiled eggs or shrimp you can take any salad and turn it into a meal. Moreover, salad doesn't always have to be about leafy greens either -- we have ones that are made with grains like quinoa, bulgur, barley and farro. Beyond that you'll learn you can vary a salad's flavor just by switching the dressing or vinaigrette -- for example, use some soy sauce for an Asian twist.

See our recipe slideshow below to get all the great ideas for making a salad for dinner starting tonight!

Loading Slideshow...
  • New-Style Greek Salad

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/new-style-greek-salad_n_1057601.html" target="_hplink">New-Style Greek Salad recipe</a></strong> This re-imagined Greek salad has all the familiar ingredients of the classic, like cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and olives, but what puts it over the top are the feta fritters.

  • The Modern Caesar Salad

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/the-modern-caesar_n_1057560.html" target="_hplink">Modern Caesar Salad recipe</a></strong> This modern take on Caesar salad starts with a very flavorful salsa verde, which coats the salad greens as well as the pan-fried shrimp. The salad also includes French bread croutons and boiled eggs.

  • Warm Farro Salad With Braised Radishes

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/warm-farro-salad-with-bra_n_1058779.html" target="_hplink">Warm Farro Salad with Braised Radishes recipe</a></strong> Braising radishes in raspberry vinegar not only fixes their color a beautiful pink, it also makes them tangy and delicious. The braising liquid also becomes the dressing that tops this farro grain salad.

  • Grilled Lamb Salad With Cumin Vinaigrette

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/grilled-lamb-salad-with-c_n_1058452.html" target="_hplink">Grilled Lamb Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette recipe</a></strong> This Chinese-Indian fusion salad starts with a base of sliced romaine with julienned jicama, carrot and cucumber plus shredded basil and jalapeños. Tender grilled leg of lamb goes on top. It's all dressing with a honey, mustard and cumin vinaigrette.

  • Barley And Grilled Vegetable Salad

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/barley-and-grilled-vegeta_n_1058222.html" target="_hplink">Barley and Grilled Vegetable Salad recipe</a></strong> Use your favorite leftover grilled vegetables (or follow our <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/vegetables-with-walnut-dr_n_1058772.html" target="_hplink">recipe</a>) to make this healthy and filling barley salad. A bit of lemon juice, chives and pecorino cheese are all you need to finish it off.

  • Thai Crab And Green Mango Salad

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/thai-crab-and-green-mango_n_1058743.html" target="_hplink">Thai Crab and Green Mango Salad recipe</a></strong> This refreshing crab salad has all the flavors of Thai cuisine covered -- salty, sour, sweet, bitter and spicy. The salad is packed with pungent flavors from watercress and herbs like cilantro, basil and mint. Cucumbers and green mango add a nice crunch.

  • Quinoa Salad With Sugar Snap Peas

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/quinoa-salad-with-sugar-s_n_1058636.html" target="_hplink">Quinoa Salad with Sugar Snap Peas recipe</a></strong> Protein-packed quinoa cooks up exceptionally fast, making it perfect for the weeknight. Here it's combined with blanched sugar snap peas, toasted pumpkin seeds and chives for a refreshing salad that works well as a main or side dish.

  • Grilled Flank Steak With Corn, Tomato And Asparagus Salad

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/grilled-flank-steak-with-_n_1058442.html" target="_hplink">Grilled Flank Steak with Corn, Tomato and Asparagus Salad recipe</a></strong> A summer salad of cherry tomatoes, sweet onion, asparagus and corn makes a nice pairing with grilled marinated flank steak and sauteed mushrooms. A honey and cider vinegar dressing brings all the flavors together.

  • Barley And Spinach Salad With Tofu Dressing

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/barley-and-spinach-salad-_n_1058223.html" target="_hplink">Barley and Spinach Salad with Tofu Dressing recipe</a></strong> Crumbled tofu in the sherry vinaigrette adds extra texture and protein to this salad. The fiber-rich barley is cooked in chicken stock for additional flavor and served warm with sauteed mushrooms and wilted spinach.

  • Chicken Salad With Zucchini, Lemon And Pine Nuts

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/chicken-salad-with-zucchi_n_1058297.html" target="_hplink">Chicken Salad with Zucchini, Lemon and Pine Nuts</a></strong> This unique salad features lemon-marinated seared chicken served with arugula and raw marinated zucchini. Dried currants and preserved lemon slivers add unique bursts of flavor.

  • Spinach And Shrimp Salad With Chile Dressing

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/spinach-and-shrimp-salad-_n_1058714.html" target="_hplink">Spinach and Shrimp Salad recipe</a></strong> This healthy salad of baby spinach, peas and tomatoes features a warm dressing of caramelized onion, chile, ginger, cumin and turmeric. Top it with cooked shrimp to complete your dinner.

  • Warm Flank Steak Salad With Mint And Cilantro

    Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/warm-flank-steak-salad-wi_n_1058780.html" target="_hplink">Warm Flank Steak Salad with Mint and Cilantro recipe</a> This salad is all about the steak and pungent herbs. First you start by grilling the marinated flank steak and then stir-fry the slices with the herbs so they crispen up. The special ingredient of roasted rice powder (a Thai condiment) gives it a unique crunch.

  • Cobb Salad

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/cobb-salad_n_1061224.html" target="_hplink">Cobb Salad recipe</a></strong> This classic Cobb salad features poached chicken, crisp bacon, tomato, watercress, hard-boiled egg, avocado and blue cheese. For a unique twist serve it all stacked up.

  • Warm Lamb Salad With Fresh Herbs, Feta And Artichokes

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/warm-lamb-salad-with-fres_n_1058781.html" target="_hplink">Warm Lamb Salad with Fresh Herbs, Feta and Artichokes recipe</a></strong> This Mediterranean melange of flavors will have you imagining yourself in Greece. Leftover grilled lamb tops a mix of Bibb lettuce, cucumber, artichoke, cherry tomatoes, red onion, olives and feta.

  • Caesar Salad With Crispy Tofu Croutons

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/caesar-salad-with-crispy-_n_1058265.html" target="_hplink">Caesar Salad with Crispy Tofu Croutons recipe</a></strong> This Caesar salad has tofu in two forms: silken for the creamy dressing and firm for the croutons, which are fried until crispy. You still have the classic flavors of Caesar just with a healthier twist.

  • Grilled Green Bean Salad With Lentil Vinaigrette

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/grilled-green-bean-salad-_n_1058446.html" target="_hplink">Grilled Green Bean Salad with Lentil Vinaigrette recipe</a></strong> Forget about steaming or boiling your green beans -- grill them for better flavor. In this salad they combine with arugula, pattypan squash, crisp pancetta and a flavorful black lentil vinaigrette

  • Ham And Egg Salad

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/ham-and-egg-salad_n_1057476.html" target="_hplink">Ham and Egg Salad recipe</a></strong> Feel like breakfast for dinner? Make this ham and egg salad with runny soft-boiled eggs and crisp ham slivers, served over tender lettuce and basil leaves. Drizzle with a lemon and butter dressing.

  • Lemony Bulgur Salad With Shrimp And Spinach

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/lemony-bulgur-salad-with-_n_1058523.html" target="_hplink">Lemony Bulgur Salad with Shrimp and Spinach recipe</a></strong> Buy cooked shrimp from the supermarket to make this recipe come together more quickly. The salad includes bulgur, baby spinach, sliced radishes and a dill-and-lemon dressing.

  • Warm Chicken And Rice Noodle Salad

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/warm-chicken-and-rice-noo_n_1057527.html" target="_hplink">Warm Chicken and Rice Noodle Salad recipe</a></strong> Tender poached chicken tops this Asian-inspired salad of baby spinach, broccoli and scallion. A savory soy and balsamic vinegar dressing ties it all together.

  • Ginger Beef Salad

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/ginger-beef-salad_n_1058406.html" target="_hplink">Ginger Beef Salad recipe</a></strong> Use any leftover roast beef or deli beef to make this salad in a hurry. Mixed greens, cilantro, mint and radishes combine with crisp chow mein noodles and a tangy Asian dressing to create this salad supper.

  • WATCH: How To Make A Poached Egg Salad

    P. Allen Smith shows how to prepare a poached egg salad.