Home / Food Bites & Articles / Janet's Notebook

Easy Salad Recipes for a Light and Delicious Dinner

Spring Salad With Fruit, Feta, and Pecans

When the weather gets warmer, some nights I like to lighten up my dinner menu and salads are a great option. I’m not talking about any ordinary lettuce side salads, though. I’m talking large, hearty salads filled with tons of goodies.

“This delightful salad is excellent for large gatherings,” says Tammi Preston (Pilot Rock, OR) of the Spring Salad with Orange Dressing she shared with Just A Pinch. The textures in this salad are amazing – from the crunch of the pine nuts and the sugared almonds to the dried apricots and Craisins.

Tammi suggests adding any fruit you like, so I opted for peaches and kiwis and they were great. The salad is dressed with a rice vinegar and orange juice dressing that is bursting with flavor. The variety of the greens and fruits will be a fresh addition to your table.

Peggi Anne Tebben (Granbury, TX) uses a combination of Montreal seasoning and garlic to season the chicken for her Grilled Chicken Salad, Restaurant Style recipe. The result is wonderfully flavored chicken.

“I used to make this in two different steakhouse-type restaurants I cooked in,” reveals Peggi Anne. “It started out, I made them one day for myself and another worker for lunch when doing prep work. It was so well liked, we had people ordering it and I put it on the menu.”

Grilled chicken takes center stage with this salad. The key is to not drown everything in dressing and let the flavors shine brightly. This is one satisfying salad.

“The ingredients might sound strange for a salad, but they work wonderfully together,” shares Sher Bird (Bellevue, WA). “This Awesome Maple-Balsamic Blue Cheese Pear Salad is soooo good!”

I really love the dressing for this salad. You have a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup balanced out by the acidity from the white balsamic. There are so many textures in this salad your taste buds will be so happy – crunch from the candied pecans, sweetness from the pears, chewy dried cranberries, and creamy blue cheese. This salad really is awesome.

Susan Cutler’s (Anchorage, AK) Chicken and Strawberry Salad is light and fresh. Susan marinates the chicken in soy sauce, green onions, orange juice, and garlic – talk about big flavors. With just the right mixture of fruit and spinach, it’s perfect smaller dinner. The dressing is sweet with a slight tang from the lemon juice, but the salty chicken balances it out.

“Sometimes I just want a light and delicious salad with fruit and mixed greens,” explains Angela Derby (Charlotte, NC). “I love this one because it has feta and pecans, along with the fruit.”

Angela’s Spring Salad With Fruit, Feta, and Pecans is fresh and fruity! It’s beautiful, colorful and so yummy. The strawberries and mandarin oranges are just sweet enough to mix with the savory feta cheese. The nuttiness of the pecans is a great addition. What really brings this all together is the homemade raspberry vinaigrette. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness from the balsamic. The vinaigrette is so good you might want to double the recipe if you love dressing.

If you’re motivated to prepare an easy salad for dinner too, check out our salad recipes for inspiration. You’ll also find recipes for pasta, fruit, gelatin, and pretty much every type of salad there is that may come in handy. Happy Pinching!