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.

34 High-Protein Lunches That Are Simple, Satisfying and Scrumptious

high protein salad recipes grilled peach and halloumi salad with lemon pesto dressing recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

1. Grilled Peach And Halloumi Salad With Lemon-pesto Dressing (11g Protein)

The secret to making lunch the highlight of your day is to serve yourself halloumi cheese.

high protein salad recipes grilled lemon herb chicken and avocado salad recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

2. Lemon-herb Chicken And Avocado Salad (54g Protein)

The toppings are always the best part. (No offense, lettuce.)

high protein salad recipes shrimp fajita salad avocado cilantro dressing recipe
Just Married

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.

high protein salad recipes salmon fennel dinner salad recipe
A New Way to Food

4. Salmon And Fennel Dinner Salad (32g Protein)

The salmon offers richness, the couscous adds heft and chewiness, and the creamy yogurt dressing feels indulgent even though it’s not.

high protein salad recipes citrus shrimp and quinoa salad with feta recipe
Allison Day/Modern Lunch

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.

high protein salad recipes aran goyoaga nicoise salad recipe
Aran Goyoaga/Cannelle et Vanille

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.

high protein salad recipes roasted squash salad white beans breadcrumbs preserved lemon recipe
Aran Goyoaga/Cannelle et Vanille

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.

high protein salad recipes corn fritter caprese recipe
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

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).

high protein salad recipes family style chicken caesar salad recipe
The Minimalist Kitchen

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.

high protein salad recipes make ahead farro brussels sprouts salad recipe hero
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

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.

high protein salad recipes lemon tahini salad with lentils beets and carrots recipe
Aubrie Pick/Great Tastes

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).

high protein salad recipes burrata salad with stone fruit and asparagus recipe
Photo: Jon Cospito/Styling: Heath Goldman

12. 20-minute Burrata Salad With Stone Fruit And Asparagus (18g Protein)

You had us at burrata. And again at peaches, plums and cherries.

high protein salad recipes avocado quinoa salad recipe
Power Plates

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.

high protein salad recipes steak blue cheese salad recipe
Dana Carpender/The Keto for One Cookbook

14. Keto Steak And Blue Cheese Salad For One (24g Protein)

Leftover steak has met its match.

high protein salad recipes radicchio lentil apple salad with vegan cashew dressing recipe
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Aran Goyoaga

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.

high protein salad recipes indian salad bowl crunch chickpeas recipe
Antonio Nascimento/Radiant: The Cookbook

16. Indian Salad Bowl With Crunchy Chickpeas (14g Protein)

The chickpeas are seasoned with cumin, curry powder and coconut, and if you’re not careful, you’ll eat them all before they make it to your bowl.

high protein salad recipes sweet corn tomato zucchini grain salad with peach dijon vinaigrette recipe
Healthfully Ever After

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.

high protein salad recipes joanna gaines peach caprese recipe
Amy Neunsinger/Magnolia Table

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.

high protein salad recipes strawberry cobb salad dairy free ranch dressing recipe
Coconuts and Kettlebells

19. Strawberry Cobb Salad With Dairy-free Ranch Dressing (18g Protein)

Have you ever seen a prettier plate of greens?

high protein salad recipes prosciutto board recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

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.

high protein salad recipes veggie nicoise salad with red curry green beans recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

21. Veggie Niçoise Salad With Red Curry Green Beans (11g Protein)

Olives, potatoes and green beans, oh my. We’ll see you later, lettuce.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...