I'm a Dietitian & These Are My Favorite High-Protein Salad Recipes to Feel Full & Refreshed

Salmon Caesar Salad

After a long and festive holiday season, I tend to crave simple yet nourishing meals. My taste buds are ready for crunchy, crisp vegetables, flavorful proteins and luscious sauce or dressing—and these recipes have all that and more. These are some of my favorite high-protein salads for when I want to eat something that helps me feel my best. With at least 15 grams of protein per serving, these salads are super satisfying meals that can help you stay nourished and energized for the start of a new year. Taco Salad and Salmon Caesar Salad firmly fall in the comfort-food category for me. And unique recipes like our Cheesesteak Salad and Breakfast Salad with Egg & Salsa Verde Vinaigrette help keep it interesting. Not to mention, a tuna salad might be my most-made lunch of all time. There's a protein-packed salad for every occasion and every palate on this list. For more beginner- and budget-friendly tips and recipes, check out Thrifty.

01 of 13

Salmon Caesar Salad


This easy Caesar salad subs creamy Greek yogurt and buttermilk for the traditional egg yolks and olive oil and mixes in mildly bitter radicchio in addition to classic romaine. Using just a small amount of flavorful Parmigiano-Reggiano shaves calories and sodium too.

02 of 13

Sesame Kohlrabi & Chicken Salad

Sesame Kohlrabi & Chicken Salad
Charlotte & Johnny Autry

Kohlrabi (a bulbous vegetable related to broccoli and Brussels sprouts but with a milder, sweet flavor) and almonds add crunch to this crowd-pleasing salad. Baked tofu or shrimp can be used instead of the chicken.

03 of 13

Taco Salad


A super-quick blend of sour cream and salsa serves double duty as salad dressing and seasoning for the meat in our updated version of Tex-Mex taco salad. Depending on the type of salsa you use, the salad will vary in heat. We keep this version light with lean turkey, but lean ground beef (about 95%-lean) would also keep the nutrition marks reasonable. Just hold the deep-fried tortilla bowl and instead serve this salad with baked tortilla chips and wedges of fresh lime.

04 of 13

Chili-Rubbed Flank Steak Salad


Transform steak into a nutritious meal by serving it atop this lively Southwest-inspired salad recipe. If you make the dressing when you marinate the steak, this meal comes together quickly.

05 of 13

Roasted Chicken & Vegetable Quinoa Salad


Mushrooms, carrots and onions are roasted with garlic and fennel seeds in this roast chicken and quinoa salad. Preparing the quinoa with a little less water than is typical makes it cook more quickly and keeps it fluffier' perfect for soaking up the sherry-vinegar dressing in this salad. Serve with garlic-rubbed toast.

06 of 13

Salad Primavera with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette

Salad Primavera with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette
Eva Kolenko

This is a salad where the vegetables really shine and the lettuce plays a supporting role. It requires a bit of work up front to blanch all the veg, but the results are impressive.

07 of 13

Cheesesteak Salad

Cheesesteak Salad
Photography / Greg DuPree, Styling / Ali Ramee / Christine Keely

Inspired by the Philly cheesesteak, this salad features the flavors of the East Coast classic without the hoagie roll. Adding Worcestershire sauce and the steak drippings to the dressing gives it even more umami.

08 of 13

Superfood Chopped Salad with Salmon & Creamy Garlic Dressing

superfood chopped salmon salad

Curly kale forms the base of this salad, but you could use chard or spinach. To the greens, add a multitude of chopped veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage and carrots. Finish with rich salmon for protein and a drizzle of creamy yogurt dressing to bring it all together.

09 of 13

Chickpea Tuna Salad

Chickpea Tuna Salad
Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling / Ruth Blackburn

This chickpea tuna salad with capers, feta and cucumber makes for the perfect lunch to pack for work or school. You can prep the salad the night before (just be sure to keep the spinach separate and dress the salad right before serving).

10 of 13

Breakfast Salad with Egg & Salsa Verde Vinaigrette

Breakfast Salad with Egg & Salsa Verde Vinaigrette

Salad for breakfast? Don't knock it until you've tried it. We love how this meal gives you 3 whole cups of vegetables to start your day.

11 of 13

Caesar Salad with Grilled Steak

Caesar Salad with Grilled Steak
Jason Donnelly

Traditional Caesar salad dressing uses egg yolk to make it creamy. Here we use mayo instead for the same rich results without the raw egg.

12 of 13

Tuna & White Bean Salad


The time-honored Italian pairing of canned tuna and cannellini beans makes a super-simple, satisfying lunch. Serve over salad greens, on grilled whole-wheat country bread or tucked in a whole-wheat pita pocket.

13 of 13

Falafel Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing


Deep-fried falafel can be a total grease bomb. But these pan-seared falafel still get crispy in just a few tablespoons of oil with equally satisfying results. Be sure to use dried, instead of canned, chickpeas in this healthy recipe—canned chickpeas add too much moisture.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles