When it comes to easy lunches that don't need to be reheated, the salad reigns supreme. But a salad in this case doesn't need to be just carrots and greens — a rabbit salad, as they say. No, a true lunch salad can be far more filling and satisfying. From a pasta salad with feta and broccoli, to a grain salad with dried fruit and nuts, to my very, very favorite chicken salad, here are 15 salads that are just fabulous for the lunchbox. When filling my lunchbox, I usually look for salads that have a little meat or fish, like chicken or tuna salad, or salads that incorporate hearty grains, or beans or pasta. Here are five salads from each of those categories — have you tried any of these yet?
Salads with Meat or Fish
• 1 Crisp Tuna-Cabbage Salad - Tuna salad, packed with shredded cabbage for lightness and crunch.
• 2 Dill and Yogurt Chicken Salad - One of my all-time favorite recipes. A simple chicken salad with the fresh, light tanginess of yogurt and plenty of fresh herbs.
• 3 Italian Chicken Salad Sandwiches - A fresh take on chicken salad.
• 4 Chicken (or Tofu!) & Wild Rice Salad - Chicken and wild rice, a classic. Can be made with tofu, too!
• 5 Barbecue Chicken and Macaroni Salad - A saucy chicken and pasta dish.
• 6 Winter Wheat Berry Salad with Figs and Red Onion - A beautiful salad with sweet figs, savory red onion, and lots of crunchy nuts. Filling and delicious.
• 7 Quinoa Salad with Spring Radishes and Greens - Crunchy radishes, fresh greens, and superfood quinoa!
• 8 Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Fontina - This is a lunch salad that is really good for dinner as well.
• 9 Meyer Lemon Grain Salad with Asparagus, Almonds and Goat Cheese - A great recipe for spring.
• 10 Couscous Salad with Winter Squash and Cranberries - Delicious and satisfying.
Pasta and Bean Salads
• 11 Chickpea of the Sea - A vegetarian take on the classic tuna salad.
• 12 Black-Eyed Pea Salad - Dixie caviar itself!
• 13 Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad - A favorite in my family. Green broccoli and salty, savory feta.
• 14 Tortellini and Spring Vegetable Salad - Tortellini tossed with spring vegetables — gorgeous and so delicious!
• 15 Roasted Garlic, Olive and Tomato Pasta Salad - A tender, creamy pasta salad with the flavor of fresh garlic and sun-ripened tomatoes and olives. A million miles away from old-fashioned, too-greasy pasta salads.
Do you have a favorite salad that you like to pack for lunch?
Related: Twelve Steps To a Better Pasta Salad
(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)