25 Meal Ideas For When You Just Can't Eat Another Salad (Gallery)

Maybe you're trying to ramp up your downtrodden New Year's resolutions. Or maybe you've just chowed down on one too many Big Macs and are trying to revamp your diet. No matter the reason for your new health-focused intentions, eating healthy is easier said than done.

People's immediate default is always to start eating salad. You're out to lunch. What do you order? Salad. You're grabbing pizza. What do you ask for? Salad.

Salad, salad, salad. Ugh. You were almost happy when health officials started warning against romaine because of an E. coli contamination — anything so long as it means you can stop eating lettuce.

If you can't stomach the idea of another leaf of kale crunching unsatisfyingly between your teeth, it's time to switch it up a bit. News flash: There are healthy meals out there that aren't salad. With these recipes, you can give America's favorite diet food a break and bring some light back into your life — without sacrificing your vegetables. Get all the vegetable servings you need with these 25 unique meal ideas.

African Sweet Potato Stew

This cozy, warm dish is the ultimate addition to your winter menu. You get a couple servings of vegetables and some fruit tucked in this soup's creamy base.

African Sweet Potato Stew recipe

Apple Butter Barbecue Jackfruit ‘Pulled Pork’ Sandwiches

Jackfruit is one of the biggest health trends to come out this past year. Have you tried it yet? Proponents swear it tastes just like pulled pork or chicken. Slathered in this lip-smacking barbecue sauce, how could it be bad?

Apple Butter Barbecue Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Sandwiches recipe

Cabbage Rolls in Tomato and Sumac

Hey, cabbage. We like the way you roll. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, alongside more than 10 other important nutrients. But even better than that, it works perfectly to hold together a nourishing, delightful blend of spices, rice, and lamb.

Cabbage Rolls in Tomato and Sumac recipe

Chicken Tikka Masala

Break out your slow-cooker. Indian food is absolutely packed with metabolism-boosting herbs and spices, and this dish is no exception.

Chicken Tikka Masala recipe

Cozy Winter Soup With Fennel Sausage, Leeks, White Beans, and Rapini

Ramping up your immune system for flu season is easy when it tastes this good. This soup might even have more vegetables than a salad — while sparing you the cold, disappointing crunch.

Cozy Winter Soup With Fennel Sausage, Leeks, White Beans, and Rapini recipe

Cuban Pulled Pork With Jicama Slaw

If you want pulled pork but you don't want the bun from a barbecue slider, this dish is for you. Jicama is a crunchy vegetable you need to make into a slaw — not a salad. Pair that with your tender, juicy pork and you've got dinner.

Cuban Pulled Pork With Jicama Slaw recipe

Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

This recipe whips up a hearty grain pilaf tucked inside a perfectly servable vegetable. Ground turkey adds some lean protein to this cheesy meal, making it a healthy dinner the whole family will love!

Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers recipe

Hoisin Eggplant, Spicy Brussels Sprouts, and Tofu

Haven't you heard? Korean gochujang is the next sriracha — and this recipe is the perfect one to introduce it to your table. With the sauce's powerful flavor, you'll forget all about the fact you're eating something healthy!

Hoisin Eggplant, Spicy Brussels Sprouts, and Tofu recipe

Honey Mustard Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs

Who said grilled chicken had to be boring? Put it on a stick with some button mushrooms and other vegetables, lather it in this delectable sauce, and dig in. Served over a bed of rice, you can't go wrong.

Honey Mustard Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs recipe

Mandarin Chicken With Giant Couscous and Charred Broccoli

Sheet pans are basically the holy grail of weeknight meals. Throw a bunch of marinated chicken and vegetables in the oven, toss in a few spices and oils, and bam. You've got an incredibly healthy and delicious compliment to your couscous boiling on the side.

Mandarin Chicken With Giant Couscous and Charred Broccoli recipe

Mini Turkey Meatloaf With Ranch Potatoes and Broccoli

A healthier take on meatloaf, this is the perfect comforting meal when you're craving your mom's homemade cooking.

Mini Turkey Meatloaf With Ranch Potatoes and Broccoli recipe

Pumpkin Sage 'Alfredo' Sauce With Kale Pesto

Pumpkin season doesn't have to end when fall does. Pumpkin and butternut squash are sold year-round, and those are all you need for this creamy, dreamy sauce. The extra vegetables in the sauce add a heaping helping of fiber to this pasta dish, keeping it balanced and nutritious. Plus, pesto is the best-o. Everyone knows that!

Pumpkin Sage 'Alfredo' Sauce With Kale Pesto recipe

Quinoa Salad With Goat’s Cheese, Basil, and Crispy Prosciutto

We know it's called a salad, but we promise it isn't one. The base of this diverse medley is a nutty grain, quinoa — not lettuce. Goat cheese and prosciutto make this simple lunch taste gourmet — perfect for adding some pizzazz to your office lunch rotation.

Quinoa Salad With Goat's Cheese, Basil, and Crispy Prosciutto recipe

Rice Salad Caprese

Forget caprese salad. Add some carbs to that meal. Rice — especially brown rice — is a great ingredient for providing lasting energy, keeping you full until your next meal. Add mouthwatering mozzarella and voila! Dinner is served.

Rice Salad Caprese recipe

Roasted Vegetables With Walnuts, Basil, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Hey, salad — you just got roasted. Literally. Because this dish is essentially all the usual suspects of your boring old salad, but oven-roasted to soft perfection. A little crispy on the outside. Soft and palatable on the inside. Doused in a flavorful, oily vinaigrette... Sign us up.

Roasted Vegetables With Walnuts, Basil, and Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe

Salmon Pasta With Kale

Can't stand the taste of kale? Here's the best way to mask it: Hide it between noodles of pasta. Using only one pan, you can create this delicious, balanced meal filled with a light sauce, luscious linguine, and healthy fat-filled salmon.

Salmon Pasta With Kale recipe


A classic Middle-Eastern dish, shakshuka is the perfect flavorful dish for any time of the day. Breakfast, brunch, brinner, it doesn't matter. You've got your eggs, your sauce, and heaps of softly cooked vegetables to top things off.

Shakshuka recipe

Simmered Kale With Bacon and White Beans Recipe

Kale gets a bad rap, but give it a chance. Once you cook it like this, you'll forget you ever dreaded eating the vegetable. Plus, it has bacon. What could go wrong?

Simmered Kale with Bacon and White Beans recipe

Skillet Vegetable Lasagna With Herbed Cheese

Making lasagna just got 10 times easier. Throw more vegetables than you thought you could fit between the gushing layers of pasta and cheese to create this family-friendly dish.

Skillet Vegetable Lasagna With Herbed Cheese recipe

Soba Noodle Salad

This Asian-inspired dish is perfect for a simple, meatless meal. Five different types of vegetables are mixed in with this noodle medley — you won't even realize you're crunching on something healthy.

Soba Noodle Salad recipe

Stuffed Mushrooms

Mushrooms are pretty much the perfect topping for any pizza, but they might be even better stuffed with cheese. These delectable stuffed vegetables are filled to the brim with protein, carbs, and, above all, flavor.

Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms recipe

Tofu Avocado Bowl

This five-minute meal is a college student's best friend. The main ingredient is ramen — but don't click away just yet. This meal still manages to be healthy, simply by omitting the sodium-rich packet and adding some nourishing protein.

Tofu Avocado Bowl recipe

Two Potato, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato Hash With a Fried Egg

When in doubt, put an egg on it. Cauliflower and sweet potato act as the base of this hash, but kale, diced red peppers, and a fried egg make it a filling meal. Eat it for breakfast, lunch, or any other time you want to eat something egg-cellent.

Two Potato, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato Hash With a Fried Egg recipe

White Chicken Chili

Whether it's game day or just any day, this lean bowl of chili won't disappoint. Topped with a few slices of healthy avocado, this zesty chili recipe is one of our weeknight favorites.

White Chicken Chili recipe

Zucchini Pasta With Almond Pesto

If you're craving pasta, then by all means, make pasta. But if you're in the mood for something a little lighter, whip up some of these zucchini noodles to get your fix. If zucchini just won't cut it, here are our 20 absolute best pasta recipes.

Zucchini Pasta With Almond Pesto recipe