A Dozen Additions to Make a Salad a Meal!

Make Salad a Meal

My local Save-a-Lot recently had bagged salad on sale for $.69 — a nice stock up price, if I do say so myself. We frequently have salad during dinner and we use lettuce on sandwiches and in wraps, so I’m not worried about it going bad. I also sometimes make salad a meal in and of itself.

Since I need a quick and easy meal after the kids’ martial arts class tomorrow and I have tons of bagged salad, it looks like it will be salad for dinner! Of course, a bag of lettuce does not a meal make, so I’ll definitely be dressing it up a bit.

I’m not sure which option I’ll choose tomorrow, but here are some of our favorite additions to make a salad a meal!


  1. Vegetables and Fruits. It goes without saying, but the base of your salad should include vegetables but fruit on a salad is tasty too! I like to start with iceberg or romaine lettuce and add as many vegetables that I have on hand. My salads can contain spinach, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, corn, grapes, apples, pineapple, oranges, berries, or whatever other produce is on sale that week. Except for avacado…I hate avacado.
  2. Leftovers. When I’m looking to make a salad a meal instead of a side, my first choice is to look in the refrigerator for any tasty leftovers that might make a nice addition. I can usually find some sort of leftover meat or chicken to top the salad and make it more satisfying.
  3. Beef. Leftover steak is an awesome way to make a salad a meal! You can add it cold or reheat it. Season it with taco or fajita seasoning and serve with salsa and sour cream to make a tasty Tex-Mex salad.
  4. Chicken. Shredded or sliced cooked chicken can make any salad a meal. It really needs no extra seasoning, but a little extra flavor never hurts.
  5. Seafood. Yum! Jumbo and mini shrimp both make excellent additions to salads. You can also add real or imitation crab meat, tuna fish, or cooked flaked fish, like whitefish or salmon.
  6. Lunch Meat. If you don’t have any leftover meat of chicken, you can also add some lunch meat and cheese to make a chef’s salad.
  7. Bacon. Add bacon and cheese to make a hearty BLT salad! Who doesn’t like bacon?
  8. Eggs. Adding a hard boiled egg to your salad is not exactly a new idea. But, did you know that you can also top your salad with a fried or poached egg? It’s actually quite delicious and the yolk acts as a dressing!
  9. Pasta. Change your perception of the idea of “pasta salad” by topping your greens with cold pasta and salad dressing. This is a great way to use leftover pasta, and it makes a pretty filling meal.
  10. Nuts. While it may not make a complete meal, salad topped with nuts is much more filling.
  11. Beans. Garbonzo beans, or chick peas, are almost always added when I’m trying to make a salad a meal. They’re a great source of protein and fiber, and they’re filling. You can also add black beans, or even raw green or yellow beans.
  12. Potatoes. Fried potatoes or home fries are an amazing addition to salads. Potatoes are also very filling, so this is a great addition when you’re trying to make salad a meal in and of itself. It’s also not uncommon for people to add French fries to salads in my area, which is also rather tasty!

What do you add to make a salad a meal?