Sunday Night Salads: 5 Recipes to Make Ahead and Eat All Week

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Christine Han)

What’s more satisfying than looking into the fridge and having a solid understanding of what you’re going to eat for the week? Prepping meals ahead of time answers the “What’s for dinner?” question we face every day.

These five salads, which have been designed with storage in mind, can be made on a Sunday night for eating throughout the week. While they all make excellent dinner options, lunch is where they prove their worth, making the ho-hum midday meal instantly more appealing.

What’s a Sunday Night Salad?

This is the salad you put together when you’re meal prepping for the week. Each recipe in this series makes four entree-sized portions, which you can pack up for a week’s worth of work salads or just dinner throughout the week.

Because we wanted these salads to last, all the major elements — the salad base, the topper, and the mix-ins — can be stored in the fridge anywhere from three to five days or longer without showing signs of fatigue.

Meet the Bases

At the rate we’re going, you’d think we don’t like lettuce at all — that’s not true by any means, but we’ve recognized it as something better enjoyed right after prepped and handled. Besides, there’s a whole wide, colorful world of salad bases waiting in line to be the bed of your salad.

From a seriously grown-up combination of kale and radicchio to what we’re calling “the new green salad” (a mix of green apple slices, mustard greens, and shredded Brussels sprouts), these salad bases alone are meant to make the salad interesting. And because making these salads needs to be efficient, don’t hesitate to reach for the blessed broccoli slaw. That bag of shredded veggies is delicious sorcery in its own right.

Meet the Toppers

Here’s where things start to get even more interesting. A tasty salad base is essential, but what good is it without a topper that fills you up? When we talk about salad as an entree at The Kitchn, we’re taking into account the things that make a meal satisfying. For us, that means there’s some form of protein included.

From slow-cooker carnitas to baked tofu, no matter your dietary preferences there’s a topper to add to your salad to give it some heft. These five do double duty, lasting anywhere between three to five days in the fridge, so you only have to prep them once to reap the benefits of adding them to your salads all week.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Meet the Mix-Ins

This is where you jazz these salads up. In some cases it’s a crouton that makes your salad take like a bowl of pasta or a platter of wings; in others, it’s an elegant round of breaded goat cheese. As with the criteria we’ve held fast to in regards to the bases and toppers, these mix-ins know they have a job to do and will stay fresh in the fridge for around three to five days.

Get the Recipes:

Make Your Salad Taste Like Pizza, Taco, or Buffalo Chicken Wings With These Croutons