Chicken, Tuna, Pasta: 15 Fresh & Filling Lunch Salads

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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.

Grain Salads
• 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?

(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)