21 High-Protein Salad Recipes That Are Crisp and Refreshing (but Still Satisfying)
You know what sounds like delicious lunch? A big salad. But is it just us, or do they always leave us wanting more two hours later? Since a bunch of lettuce just won’t cut it, try adding a boost of protein to your next bowl. Aside from keeping you satisfied longer, it’s essential to muscle-building, hormone production and energy (and you can get it from grains, vegetables and fruits in addition to the usual meat or tofu). From citrus-shrimp quinoa salad to corn and peach caprese, these high-protein salad recipes are hearty and sure to please.
2. Lemon-Herb Chicken and Avocado Salad (54g protein)
The toppings are always the best part. (No offense, lettuce.)
3. Shrimp Fajita Salad with Avocado Cilantro Dressing (41g protein)
This dressing is a choose-your-own-adventure situation: Use olive oil instead of yogurt to make it dairy-free, swap in basil for the cilantro or try a mix of herbs for a homemade version of green goddess.
5. Citrus, Shrimp and Quinoa Salad with Feta (15g protein)
This hearty grain salad takes just 20 minutes to make and keeps for two days in the fridge—genius.
6. Aran Goyoaga’s Niçoise Salad (20g protein)
One of the perks of a Niçoise salad is that you can rely on canned tuna, so there’s no fussing or cooking the protein in advance.
7. Roasted Squash Salad with White Beans, Breadcrumbs and Preserved Lemon (14g protein)
Whoever decided salad needs to include lettuce had never tasted this bean-filled beauty.
8. Corn Fritter Caprese with Peaches and Tomatoes (28g protein)
The whole thing looks really impressive, but most of the effort goes into cooking the corn fritters. The rest is just assembly (and eating).
9. Family Style Chicken Caesar Salad (34g protein)
If you’ve sworn off Caesar dressing because of the—gasp—anchovies, this version is made with Worcestershire sauce and olives for that signature sweet-salty flavor.
10. Make-Ahead Farro and Brussels Sprout Salad (12g protein)
Admittedly, salads can involve a fair amount of prep work, so when one comes along that’s make-ahead friendly, we’re all ears.
11. Lemon-Tahini Salad with Lentils, Beets and Carrots (22g protein)
To shortcut the recipe, seek out precooked lentils and vacuum-packed cooked beets at the grocery store (we won’t tell).
13. Quick Guacamole Quinoa Salad (15g protein)
It might seem like a bowl of guac masquerading as a salad, but it’s also packed with black beans and quinoa, which are both protein all-stars.
15. Radicchio, Lentil and Apple Salad with Vegan Cashew Dressing (15g protein)
The lemon-cashew dressing is so luscious and creamy, you won’t believe it’s plant-based.
17. Sweet Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Grain Salad with Peach-Dijon Vinaigrette (12g protein)
This gorgeous salad takes just 15 minutes to toss together—bonus points if you add edible flowers.
18. Joanna Gaines’s Peach Caprese Salad (14g protein)
Ripe summer peaches need little adornment, and this sweet-and-savory number requires just eight ingredients.
19. Strawberry Cobb Salad with Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing (18g protein)
Have you ever seen a prettier plate of greens?
20. Prosciutto and Fig Salad Board (14g protein)
The trouble with bowls is that all the toppings sink to the bottom. The solution? Spread your salad onto a platter and turn it into a work of art.
21. Veggie Niçoise Salad with Red Curry Green Beans (11g protein)
Olives, potatoes and green beans, oh my. We’ll see you later, lettuce.