10 Healthy Proteins for Salads That Add Staying Power

When it comes to categories of protein for salads, there are plenty of options. From vegan proteins for salads like beans or tofu, to simple sliced turkey breast, we have the protein ideas for salads for you! Make your lunch or dinner salads more filling and flavorful with these healthy proteins.

chicken caprese pasta salad in glass food storage container

Salads are a great way to eat more veggies, but greens alone do not necessarily make a satisfying meal. To make your salad more filling, use these healthy proteins to easily power up any healthy lunch or dinner. Protein-rich foods like chicken, eggs and chickpeas can beef up even the simplest base of leafy greens. Protein helps to build muscles and keeps you fueled and energized for longer than carbohydrates alone. Research has shown that incorporating protein into your eating pattern is associated with fullness and satisfaction, and, if you're trying lose weight, helps your body maintain lean muscle.

Pictured recipe: Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad Bowls

Use this list of healthy high-protein salad toppers as a guide for how much protein to add to your salad. If you find you like adding cooked shrimp to your salad, you may want to consider canned tuna or salmon for your next salad. If you like sprinkling on some tasty cheddar, you may want to try some other high-protein cheeses like parmesan or Swiss. If you prefer vegan options, go beyond beans or tofu and try tempeh or seitan. If you love legumes like chickpeas in your salad, you may also love lentils, nuts, seeds or whole grains like farro or quinoa as additions. Tired of chicken but like to include an animal protein? Try crumbling on some bacon or tossing on some left over slices of steak. Get creative! This list is an excellent place to start.

Salads with Staying Power: High-Protein Salad Recipes

1. Cooked Chicken Breast


3 ounces = 26 grams of protein

2. Chickpeas


1/2 cup = 7 grams of protein

3. Black Beans


1/2 cup = 7 grams of protein

4. Sliced Turkey


3 ounces = 19 grams of protein

5. Cooked Egg


1 large egg = 6 grams of protein

6. Cooked Shrimp


4 ounces = 23 grams of protein

7. Tofu


2 ounces = 10 grams of protein

8. Shredded Cheddar


1/3 cup shredded cheese = 6 grams of protein

10. Salad Dressing

Don't forget the dressing! You can make your own vinaigrette or buy a store-bought dressing with a short ingredient list. Using ingredients like yogurt, tahini, seeds or nut butter can help increase the protein in your salad dressing.

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