10 Protein-Rich Salads for a Heartier Summertime Meal

10 Protein-Rich Salads for a Heartier Summertime Meal


Summertime means salad.  Farmer’s Markets and backyard gardens are starting to burst with produce all destined for big fresh meals.  Sometimes, salads are all you can bear on a hot day.  Anything that doesn’t involve leaning over a hot stovetop.

Salads are a wonderful summertime go-to, but it is all too easy to get stuck in a rut of the ‘common-or-garden’ garden salad.  Sure, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber are amazing foods, but you can have something a lot more inspiring than just those for your summer’s day salad.

There are plenty of ways to make your salad a whole meal in itself, ensuring that you get lots of veggies, nutrients, flavor, and protein. You can fill up on a balanced salad without feeling overwhelmed and heavy.

Have a look at these satisfying and filling protein-rich salads, and make summer day dinners a breeze.

1.  Buffalo Tempeh Quinoa Salad

Buffalo Tempeh Quinoa Salad [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Source:  Buffalo Tempeh Quinoa Salad/One Green Planet

This is a wonderfully filling and flavorful salad by Ashely Smyczek.  This Buffalo Tempeh Quinoa Salad is a feast of flavors and textures from the crunchy cabbage, to the nutty and protein-rich tempeh, to the spice of the buffalo hot sauce. A vegan blue cheese dip keeps things cool on a hot day.

2. Gado Gado Salad With Nut-Free Sauce

healthy salads

Source:  Gado Gado Salad With Nut-Free Sauce/One Green Planet

This Gado Gado Salad With Nut-Free Sauce by Daphne Goh is like a rainbow in a bowl.  The cool, crisp, and colorful veggies are tossed together with roasted potatoes and fried tofu to make for a filling and protein-filled Indonesian-style salad.

3.  Greek Salad With Homemade Feta Cheese

Vegan Greek Salad With Homemade Feta Cheese

Source:  Greek Salad With Homemade Feta Cheese/One Green Planet

Here, a simple salad is a protein powered by a homemade vegan feta cheese made from chickpea flour.  This Greek Salad With Homemade Feta Cheese by Yana Chistyakova compiles all the classic Mediterranean ingredients such as olives, ripe tomatoes, and traditional seasonings.

4.  Quinoa Pear Salad

Vegan Quinoa Pear Salad

Source:  Quinoa Pear Salad/One Green Planet

This is a Quinoa Pear Salad by Medha Swaminathan offers a variety of flavors and textures.  Your protein boost comes from the quinoa while the juicy and succulent pears offer a bite and a little sweetness.  Chopped walnuts give a little crunch and extra protein, and fresh basil gives you that classic taste of summer.

5.  Chickpea Salad Stuffed Avocados

Chickpea Salad Stuffed Avocados

Source:  Chickpea Salad Stuffed Avocados/One Green Planet

This Chickpea Salad Stuffed Avocados by Kat Condon is a vegan twist on the traditional egg salad.  It calls for all of those familiar flavors such as dill, celery, and onions.  However, instead of mayo, this recipe uses the creaminess of the avocados to get the same smooth texture.  Of course, your protein power is coming from the chickpeas.

6.  Eggplant, Zucchini, and Walnut Salad

Eggplant, Zucchini, and Walnut Salad [Vegan]

Source: Eggplant, Zucchini, and Walnut Salad/One Green Planet

This is a gorgeous salad full of texture, healthful ingredients, and color. Stefani Weiss‘ Eggplant, Zucchini, and Walnut Salad has all the flavors of seasonal veg, walnuts for protein, freshly chopped coriander for greenery, and a Dijon mustard-based dressing. This salad makes a satisfying dish to have all on its own.

7.  Crunchy Cashew Asian Cauliflower Rice Salad

Crunchy Cashew Asian Cauliflower Rice Salad [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Source: Crunchy Cashew Asian Cauliflower Rice Salad/One Green Planet

This recipe for Crunchy Cashew Asian Cauliflower Rice Salad by Annabelle Randles is a meal that is packed with big flavors from ginger, cumin, and lime to colorful carrots, peppers, and red onions.  You get a protein double whammy with this one from the cashews and edamame beans.

8.  Edamame Seaweed Salad

Edamame Seaweed Salad

Source: Edamame Seaweed Salad/One Green Planet

Edamame protein power comes to the rescue again in this Edamame Seaweed Salad by Melissa Tedesco.  Rather than the obvious salad greens, this recipe turns to cool and nutritious wakame seaweed.  A ginger dressing and a crunchy sesame seed garnish help to make this a perfectly light, yet energizing salad.

9.  Protein-Packed Chickpea and Kale Caesar Salad

Protein-Packed Chickpea and Kale Caesar Salad

Source: Protein-Packed Chickpea and Kale Caesar Salad/One Green Planet

It’s right there in the title! This Protein-Packed Chickpea and Kale Caesar Salad by Ally McLaughlin is a wonderfully filling salad that takes the classic Caesar and flips it vegan.  Toasted chickpeas set the scene for a protein-rich salad.  Then, comes the cashew-based Caesar dressing to finish things off for sure.

10.  Barbecue Chickpea Ranch Salad

Barbecue Chickpea Salad With Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

Source: Barbecue Chickpea Ranch Salad/One Green Planet

Here is another vegan take on a traditional salad dressing.  This Barbecue Chickpea Ranch Salad by Meredith Youngson is a great addition to a garden or porch party.  The spicy and sticky barbecue chickpeas are balanced by the cool bite of the lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and avocado.  Then, the creamy protein-rich tahini ranch dressing pulls everything together.

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!

Vegan Potato Salad

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

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