Almond, Berry and Chicken Spinach Salad cover

I am not sure when it happened exactly, but at some point, in kitchens across the country, big bowl salads became normal dinner fare. I honestly love the trend—like love it. I reside in a household of boys who uniformly dig in their heels if “salad” is served for dinner. “Where’s the meat? And potatoes?” They have softened a bit, however.

As images of these big bowl salads emerged into our food culture—many with meat and many without—my family has simultaneously made leaps and bounds accepting a big ol’ salad bowl as their main meal.

Now, when I throw blueberries and raspberries in a big salad with chicken, no one freaks out. It’s trendy…I guess. Is that what makes teenagers more accepting? They could care less how good it is for them. I think it goes back to the old, well-known adage that “we eat with our eyes first”. It makes sense because these salads are pretty. Like, so pretty. And it’s simple to pack them full of seasonal goodies bursting with flavor and color.

Texture is also very important in this newer salad trend. Without the crunch, I feel like my salad is missing an ingredient. I want sliced almonds, croutons, pretzels, candied walnuts or sunflower seeds; something to tie it all together. Let’s not forget the cheese though! A really pungent Gorgonzola can knock a salad out of the park, but sometimes a good smoked cheddar is all you need. Whatever you choose, these 20 big bowl salads are going to change your life! Click the “Launch Gallery” button above or below to check them all out.

20 Big Bowl Salads that will change your life and have you in the kitchen making dinner.20 Big Bowl Salads that will change your life and have you in the kitchen making dinner.
Cathy Pollak founded the popular recipe blog in 2008 while waiting for her first vintage wine to be ready for sale. Her Oregon winery, Noble Pig and blog under the same name keep her busy throughout the year. If she’s not in the vineyard you can guarantee she’s in the kitchen creating her next recipe.