What Goes with a Salad: 18 Pairings for All Courses

What Goes with a Salad

Salad is the greatest invention in the cooking area. You throw some vegetables in a bowl, season, and have a pair for whatever you eat. However, in that vast field of opportunities, you are bound to make a salad mistake that will cost you the pleasure of your meal, as not all salads go with all dishes. So what goes with a salad? 

Salad can be paired with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast requires a fresh vegetable or fruit salad, as you need to energize and oxygenize your body. Creamy pasta, dressed, and meaty salads go great with salad for lunch. Dinner calls for light and nutritious salads so as not to overeat before bed. 

If you intend to pair your meal with a salad, it is very important to consider what dish you are pairing it with and in which part of the day. Fresh salad is suitable for any meal, but there is a whole sea of salads to explore, so restricting yourself only to one salad type just because you lack information would be sad. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, I will give you some ideas for salads for each meal of the day. 

What Goes With Salad for Breakfast?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that’s the time when we need energy the most, as we have yet to wake up properly. You need to hydrate your body and oxygenize it to start your day correctly. So, if we eat a salad with our breakfast, we need something fresh. 

Fried Eggs 

A plate of fried eggs is the classic of breakfasts. Sunny side up, scrambled, or as an omelet, eggs are one of the most frequent visitors in your kitchen in the morning. Eggs are packed with protein and fats you will probably spend during the day, so having something fresh and crunchy with them is always a good idea. 

Fried eggs go great with fresh lettuce and arugula salad seasoned with balsamic cream. They also pair excellently with fresh tomato and pepper salad or cucumber stripes seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil. 

English Muffins and Breakfast Sausages  

The English muffin and breakfast sausage combination is a high-caloric breakfast that will set you up for the remainder of the day. After this breakfast, you will burst with energy, as you will have consumed protein, fat, fiber, and carbs. 

This breakfast pairs with fresh cabbage salad, kimchi, fresh bell peppers, onion rings, fresh lettuce, and cucumber salad. This meal also pairs excellently with pickle and olive salad. 


If we leave out pancakes, the golden breakfast standard, we can’t discuss breakfast. Pancakes go with a fruit salad, so I would recommend mixing a big bowl of mixed fruits, such as orange slices, banana circles, and apple slices. You can, of course, use another type of seasonal fruit such as strawberries, melon, watermelon, papaya, or whatever you have available. 

Another salad you can try with breakfast pancakes is nut salad. Throw some nuts, almonds, and hazelnuts, roasted or fresh, in a saucer and pour some honey on them. The honey will caramelize the nuts and give you lots of energy for the day ahead of you. 


There’s nothing saying breakfast like the good old bagel. Bagels can be paired with a number of salads available in different flavors for a nice day. Bagels go great with meaty salads, in addition to fresh salads. 

Tuna salad is a great idea to pair with a bagel. Chicken salad is also an excellent bagel pair. You can also try fresh cucumber salad or fresh carrot and cabbage salad, seasoned with lemon and salt. 

Toasted Bread and Cheese 

The toasted bread has become synonymous with breakfast and crunchy and buttery. The half-melted cheese over the buttered and warm toasted bread slice will instantly improve your mood. Pairing this breakfast with ham and cucumber salad is a great idea to add some meaty freshness to your meal. 

Another good idea is to pair your toasted bread and cheese with lettuce and boiled eggs salad, seasoned with balsamic vinegar and parsley. 

Baked Tortillas With Eggs and Cheese 

The melted cheese and egg-covered tortilla is a genuine breakfast delicacy you will undoubtedly enjoy. This breakfast becomes even better when paired with a fresh salad.

Have it with spinach, olives, mozzarella salad, or mixed vegetables salad, such as grated cabbage, lettuce, radish, and grated carrots. 

What Goes With Salad for Lunch?

Lunch is the meal in the middle of the day when our energy is at its peak. Hours have passed since we have woken up; we have to do errands, go to work, and maybe do some workout, so we are now all set for another meal, preferably an energy booster to set us up for the second half of the day. 

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Lunch usually consists of meat and vegetables prepared in a certain way and is typically greasier and fattier than breakfast. Therefore, here we also need something fresh to balance things up. However, many types of lunch go also with cooked ingredients, as the main dish allows for that combination, but also the time is on our side, as there’s no need to rush through the door, as is most mornings.

Roasted Pork With Potatoes

Roasted pork with potatoes is a fatty and greasy meal that really calls for something fresh. Here you can make some fresh mixed vegetable salad, including scallions, lettuce, beetroot, grated carrots, and diced peppers. Season with salt, oil, and vinegar, and enjoy a well-balanced meal. 

You can also mix things up with some kimchi, as it goes perfectly with this meal, also pickles and sauerkraut, or any type of pickled vegetables you might have around. 

Grilled Fish With Roasted Carrots

Fish and carrots are excellent for those who like to eat healthily yet have a tasty and satisfying meal. When grilled, fish becomes buttery and crunchy simultaneously, and the roasted carrots are a delicacy in themselves. 

Here you will need something garlicky to spruce things up. I’d recommend grilled zucchini and eggplant with minced garlic and sour cream. Shred the zucchini and the eggplant and mix them nicely with the garlic and sour cream; add parsley for extra edge. 

Another salad that goes amazingly here is potato cream salad. The boiled potatoes combined with pickles and onion rings covered in sour cream and mayo dressing will enhance your meal experience in ways you could not have imagined. 

What Goes with a Salad

Roasted Chicken Breast With Mushrooms and Cheese 

The soft and tender chicken breast covered in mushrooms and melted cheese is one of the best lunch ideas you could ever have. The flavors are so compatible and flatter each other on so many levels- texture, consistency, and character. 

This lunch calls for something zesty and edgy, as the meal itself is best described as creamy and buttery and needs something to give it some zing. So the best salad for this meal would be baked green peppers mixed with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and parsley. 

The garlic and parsley are excellent and are usually used as natural flavor makers. The baked pepper will add a smoky dimension to the salad as the skin of the pepper slightly burns when baking. 


Jambalaya is a Southern dish coming from Louisiana and managing to spread around the world, whereby many cultures have made their own jambalaya versions. Jambalaya contains rice, vegetables, and meat and is stir-fried on the stove. It is a great lunch idea as it contains members of all food groups and is a well-balanced, satisfying, and satiating dish. 

Jambalaya goes with various salads, but you can never go wrong with a fresh vegetable salad or a creamy vegetable salad. Whether creamy or fresh, you can use the same ingredients, tomato slices, cucumber strips, carrot strips, mashed avocado, and onion rings. 

If you make the creamy version, dress the salad in mayo, sour cream, and powdered garlic dressing. Cesar salad is also an option here, so if you don’t mind the extra meat in it, go for it. 

Crawfish Etouffee 

Crawfish are very cheap and a viable lunch option in season, especially if you want a satisfying yet cheap meal. Since crawfish etouffee contains vegetables and a very rich gravy, I’d recommend a salad that offers crunch. 

The best salad would be grated cabbage salad with minced garlic and diced fresh cucumbers. Instead of seasoning with vinegar, season with lemon, and don’t be stingy on salt. Add a few drops of olive oil and enjoy the wonderful crunch mixed with the buttery creaminess of the meal. 

Grilled Chicken and Fries 

Grilled chicken and fries are a must on this list, as they are among the most frequent lunches in many households. The crispy fries, mixed with the soft chicken with crispy skin, makes your mouth water even when thinking about it. 

This meal goes with both creamy and fresh salads. The best creamy salad to combine it with is mushroom and garlic salad garnished with parsley. Add some cream cheese to the dressing, and heaven is on a plate. 

Another excellent salad idea here would be fresh lettuce with grated tomatoes and olive slices. Season with balsamic cream and enjoy your vitamin bowl’s crunchy yet soft texture. 

What Goes With Salad for Dinner?

Dinner usually takes place in the evening, and it’s a meal many consider their favorite, as it is the time of the day when you unwind and just enjoy your free time. It isn’t recommended for dinner to be heavy and fatty as a few hours later, you will be going to bed, and fatty food will leave you tossing and turning all night. Dinner is the reward for a day well spent, so here you usually have a pie, some light pastry, or some pasta. 

Meat Pie

Meat pie is one of the best ways to round up your day and reward yourself at the end of the day. It is delicious, easy to make, and not as heavy as you think. Still, if you had a heavy lunch, it is best to skip the meat pie. 

Pair the meat pie with a delicious fresh salad. I recommend green peppers, lettuce, and cucumbers seasoned with balsamic vinegar. Meat pie also goes great with potato salad, so go ahead if you don’t mind making it. 

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is more of a soulful experience than just dinner. Since it is abundant in flavors, combining cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice with the recognizable earthy pumpkin flavor. It is an excellent way to set yourself off to bed. 

This dinner meal goes perfectly with fruit salads combining papaya, melon, and banana. You can top the fruit chunks in honey and enjoy your dinner. 

Cauliflower Risotto

Light, simple, and healthy, this meal is one of the best ways to send off the day. The creamy cauliflower and the grainy rice will produce an excellent, almost cottage cheese-like texture you will immensely enjoy. 

Pair this meal with lettuce and cucumber slices or a creamy vegetable salad. You can also mix corn, peas, and carrots and season with vinaigrette for some extra edge to an otherwise gentle flavor.

Mushroom and Cheese Pasta

You can never go wrong with mushroom and cheese pasta. This dinner is an excellent choice: Creamy and flavorful, easy and light. 

Olive, bell pepper and mozzarella salad go best with this meal as the olives will pick things up a notch, the mozzarella will add texture, and the pepper will give you a much-needed crunchiness. 

Chicken Breast Chickpeas and Spinach Balls 

Blended together, balled up, and baked, these three ingredients can do wonders for your taste buds. This meal is not only delicious but incredibly healthy and bursting with nutrients.

A spinach and red beans salad goes amazingly with this dinner meal. Season the ingredients with balsamic cream and add a few peanuts and nuts to crunch things up.

Chicken Noodle Soup

No dinner list is complete without the good old chicken noodle soup. This soup is the most sentimental dinner idea, as it always reminds us of simpler times. 

The best salad here would be chicken salad or tuna salad. Although it isn’t traditional to mix tuna salad and chicken noodle soup, it does work and is definitely worth a try. 

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!