A salad is the perfect meal, at least in theory. Packed with vitamins and minerals, opting for a salad for lunch or dinner is a choice you can feel good about — at least until you’re hungry again an hour after eating it. Can salads be filling? Absolutely, but to find a truly hearty salad you have to think outside the box, and go beyond mixed greens and vinaigrette. Here are 10 satisfying, protein-packed salad recipes that will keep you full and energized long after the last bite.
1French Lentil Salad With Goat Cheese And Walnuts
Hearty lentils form the base of this French-inspired salad, which gets an extra hit of protein (and flavor) from chopped walnuts and goat cheese. It keeps well and is easy to prepare ahead of time, making it a great option for weekday lunches — make a big batch on Sunday and portion out for the week.
2Skinny Chicken And Avocado Caesar Salad
Most health-conscious people have learned to steer clear of caesar salad, since it’s usually loaded with fat and sodium. Thanks to clever swaps like hard boiled eggs and dressing made with greek yogurt, this healthier version keeps the rich flavor but amps up the protein and ditches much of the unnecessary fat.
3Thai Grilled Steak Salad
Steak will give you energy and keep you full for hours, which makes it a wonderful addition to simple salads. This surprisingly light summer salad combines the ideal serving of grilled steak with healthy greens and bold Thai flavors guaranteed to satisfy.
4Sweet Potato And Chickpea Salad
Who says a vegan, gluten-free salad can’t be flavorful and filling? Try this sweet potato and chickpea salad, packed with protein and healthy starches, as a main course or a side dish. Either way, you’ll find yourself licking your plate clean.
5Shrimp Salad With Hominy, Arugula, And Lime
Shrimp is another surprisingly satiating source of protein, with a flavor and texture that works well in many different types of salads. This recipe combines juicy shrimp with creative, southwestern-inspired flavors (hominy and lime? Yes, please!) that will keep your taste buds happy and your stomach full.
6Vegan Curry Tempeh Salad
Here’s a meatless option that’s just as filling as its carnivore-friendly counterparts. With ingredients like tempeh, pumpkin seeds, and tahini, this salad doesn’t skimp on flavor or protein.
READ MORE: 6 Steps To Make The Perfect Kale Salad
7Healthy Cobb Salad
Standard cobb salads excel in the protein department but aren’t exactly a healthy option, thanks to copious amounts of salty meats, cheeses, and dressing. That’s why this 370-calorie cobb salad recipe is such a welcome alternative. Chicken, turkey bacon, and hard boiled egg make it a satisfying meal for lunch or dinner.
8Spicy Kale, Quinoa, And Black Bean Salad
This salad is not only vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free, every one of its main ingredients — kale, quinoa, and black beans — delivers a generous amount of protein. If that wasn’t enough, the spicy Tex-Mex can be described as a healthy version of a Chipotle salad bowl. Is your mouth watering yet?
9Tuscan Tuna And White Bean Salad
For days when you’re starving but it’s too hot to turn on the oven, throw together this tuna and white bean salad, which is as delicious as it is filling. Enjoy with a glass of white wine, close your eyes, and pretend you’re at a villa in Italy overlooking the Mediterranean.
10Ginger Sesame Chicken Chopped Salad
Tired of the same old mixed greens? Change things up with this chopped salad, which combines cabbage, carrots, almonds, and grilled chicken with a bold array of Asian flavors. The result? Anything but your average lunch.
READ MORE: How To Order A Stunning Salad