What to Serve With a Salad as the Main Dish? [FAQs]

Salads can make a simple, nutritious meal that’s packed with flavor. But depending on what kind of salad you’re making, you may need some accompaniments to round it out.

Here are five popular side dishes to serve with a salad when it’s the main dish. From classic options to something different and unique, there’s something for everyone here!

In a hurry? Here’s the short answer:

The best side dishes to serve alongside salads are roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, quinoa, croutons, focaccia bread, and hummus.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Roasted Potatoes

Roasted potatoes are excellent because they cook quickly and bring a hearty texture to any salad. The key is in the seasoning: try garlic powder or paprika for extra flavor.

Plus, you can cook them in one pan on the same tray as your protein (like chicken or steak). Prep time is fast, and cleanup is easy!

Grilled Vegetables

Grilled vegetables go incredibly well with salads since proteins like chicken and steak pair nicely with dressings. Try using julienned zucchini or bell peppers for color, then sprinkle on some Italian seasoning for extra herby goodness.

You could also change things by adding corn-on-the-cob (but watch out—those kernel strings like to pop!).


Quinoa is always great if you want to add more protein to your meal without adding too much fat or calories. It stays flavorless while letting other flavors shine in your salad dressing and toppings. Plus, it cooks up in just 20 minutes!

Croutons or Focaccia Bread

Carb lovers rejoice—here comes crunchy croutons and fresh focaccia bread! Both of these sides pair exceptionally well with most types of salads while adding depth of flavor thanks to ingredients like sesame seeds, olive oil, and rosemary.

They also double as delicious snack food between servings so that no one will be disappointed at mealtime!


Hummus has been gaining traction lately due to its versatility and the many ways it can be prepared. This Middle Eastern dip adds heartiness and creaminess all at once without overpowering other flavors because its naturally mild taste suits most flavors, from cumin to garlic.

So why not add this vegan powerhouse as part of an accompaniment platter that includes chips, carrots, and more? Go ahead…add some hummus next time you make it with a salad as your main dish–you won’t regret it!


For some added protein and heart-healthy fat along with your salad greens, try serving salmon on the side. It cooks quickly and won’t keep you in the kitchen all night.

If you don’t want to cook it fresh, plenty of pre-cooked options at your local grocery store will save time.

And if you want to truly explore its flavor potential marinating salmon in flavors like ginger miso gives this seafood staple an extra punch of umami that certainly doesn’t go unnoticed at the dinner table!

Grilled Chicken

Grilled or roasted chicken provides a low-fat protein source alongside your salad main course and accompanies everything else on your plate!

Grill up some large breasts so everyone gets their fill of juicy poultry goodness – some of our favorite seasonings include garlic salt and Italian seasoning, but feel free to get creative here according to personal tastes!


Grains like couscous, quinoa, brown rice, or even freekeh are perfect additions to any meal which includes salad as the highlight attraction – not only do they offer texture, but they add substance (especially important if members of your family aren’t fans of healthful eating), easy preparation (perfect if the cooking time is limited!)and nutrition too – ensure no one needs gluten-free dishes before diving in headfirst here!


Excellent sources of low-calorie protein and fiber-packed carbohydrates make lentils absolute stars among plant-based eaters who appreciate hearty meals without meat!

Lentils come with autumn bean varieties too, so there’s something for almost anyone – give them each their twist by adding spices from near and far, like cumin, oregano, garlic powder, turmeric, etc. Every pantry has its vast array waiting to be discovered!

Roasted Vegetables

There’s nothing like roasted vegetables for either brightening up whatever’s being served next door on over at another domain — think brussels sprouts, peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, cauliflower, onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, regular potatoes, green beans, etc. Since each veggie varies in size, shape, color density, etcetera – resulting in thrills once everything looks amazingly placed together!

Some people prefer softer vegetables while others prefer crispier ones – Whatever you choose, it’ll provide incredible flavor and good looks, plus accessorize accordingly.


Bread is a staple in many cultures and can be served with salads. Whether you choose traditional French baguette, focaccia, ciabatta, or sourdough, the crunchy texture of bread pairs well with the softness of salad greens. You can add other elements, such as herbs, garlic, and olive oil, to make it even more delicious.

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