Any one who has chosen to lose weight has been faced with the prospect of a weight loss salad recipe made up of lettuce, low-fat dressing and very little flavour.
The thing is, those sad salads won’t help you reach your weight loss goals! To have sustainable weight loss, you need to eat food that keeps you full and satisfied, otherwise you won’t stick to the healthy salads.
That’s why we’ve rounded up the best weight loss salad recipes from our own blog (and others). We’ve found great recipes for salads with protein that don’t have too much fat or too many carbs.
If you’re looking for more recipes for vegetarian weight loss, you can try our 7 day meal plan!
But isn’t every salad a weight loss salad?
Sure, pretty much any salad can be a part of a weight loss meal plan, since most salads are low calorie salads, especially if it’s just a bowl of greens.
But if you’re looking for a salad for lunch or dinner, it needs to have the right ingredients to keep you going.
What should I look for in a weight loss salad recipe?
According to our resident professional nutritionist (thanks James!), there are a few key characteristics for a weight loss salad:
- 15g of protein or more
- Whole grain carb sources (eg. brown rice, pasta, buckwheat, quinoa) or starchy vegetables (eg. sweet potatoes, potatoes)
- Less than 600 calories
- At least 5g+ of fibre
- Less than 25g of fat (less than 8g of saturated fat)
If a recipe doesn’t at least match these conditions, it doesn’t make our list. Simple!
Why are these the requirements, exactly?
You can tell we really listened to James because all the recipes on this list hit the requirements.
And with good reason, because protein and fibre rich ingredients will create filling salads that mean you don’t get hungry an hour after lunch.
Naturally occurring fat, like the kind you find in avocados, is also an important part of staying full and satisfied – and it’s actually great for our health! Carbs are important to keep us full too!
There’s obviously a pattern here, and if you’ve done a little research into weight loss (or read our Vegetarian for Weight Loss ebook?) you’ll know why.
Eating too little will leave you grumpy, craving more food, or low on energy, which makes you significantly less likely to stick to your weight loss goals. Of course, everyone knows that eating too much won’t help you stick to your weight loss goals either.
So if you want to lose weight in a sustainable way (or you’re just bored of your generic salad recipes), try our weight loss salad recipes below!
Vegan Chickpea Summer Salad – Ready in 15 minsCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: simple, light and packed with protein
398 calories per serving
An animal-friendly, fresh, and tangy summer salad with some serious health benefits. It’s fresh and new, but still prepped within 15 minutes – awesome!
Arugula Lentil Salad From HeavenCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: Fresh, nutty and easy
529 calories per serving
High protein, iron and fibre in exotic Arugula and Lentil Salad that’s healthy and vegan. Only 12 minutes to make with easy to find ingredients
Summer Blackberry Salad with Cashew RicottaCheck out the recipe here
Ready in: 30 minutes
Recipe by: HealthyMyLifestyle
Bonus: exciting and full of new flavours
420 calories per serving
This easy summer salad is both healthy and delicious, mixed with quinoa, blackberries, a tangy balsamic vinaigrette, topped with pumpkin seeds, and a vegan cashew ricotta.
High Protein Black Bean and Corn Summer SaladCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: Protein packed and totally vegan
561 calories per serving
High Protein Black Bean and Corn Summer Salad. Simple recipe ready in just 10 minutes, bursting with summer-y flavours, protein, fiber and iron.
Sweetheart Cabbage Salad with Gyoza Chickpeas and ParmesanCheck out the recipe here
Ready in: 35 minutes
Recipe by: AlwaysUseButter
Bonus: crispy and different
315 calories per serving
Spinach, sweetheart cabbage and the most flavorful chickpeas are topped with a good amount of Parmesan cheese to turn this salad into a feast – healthy, delicious and easy to make.
Note: Most parmesan contains animal rennet, which isn’t vegetarian. Stick to rennet-free parmesan cheese to keep this recipe vegetarian!
Fitness Lentil Bean Salad (25 Min, Vegan)Check out the recipe here
Bonus: the perfect post-workout meal
369 calories per serving
Fitness Lentil Bean Salad. Ridiculously high in protein post-workout salad. 40g per bowl. Ready in 7 minutes. Tasty and effective.
Falafel Salad with Tahini DressingCheck out the recipe here
Ready in: 30 minutes
Recipe by: MountainBerryEats
Bonus: full of medditeranean flavours
319 calories per serving
This Falafel Salad recipe is naturally gluten free and vegan and full of protein! Pan cooking the Falafel keeps this dish light and fresh, and you can prep ingredients ahead of time to make this a quick week-night dinner.
Turkish Lentil SaladCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: full of flavour and protein
444 calories per serving
Turkish Lentil Salad with a honey mustard dressing. Easy and quick, ready in 7 minutes. Full of fiber, protein and vitamin K.
Crunchy Quinoa SaladCheck out the recipe here
Ready in: 27 minutes
Recipe by: DebraKlein
Bonus: crunchy, crispy, creamy
339 calories per serving
When you’re craving crunchy, tasty, satisfying and you know you’ll feel your best if you load up on energizing greens and veggies….this salad straddles both worlds brilliantly.
Supercharging Avocado Chickpea Salad (5 Min, Vegetarian)Check out the recipe here
Bonus: colourful and full of flavour
458 calories per serving
Avocado Chickpea Salad. Supercharge Your Lunch: High in protein, fiber and put together in 5 minutes before you go to work. Easy and tasty.
Mediterranean White Bean SaladCheck out the recipe here
Ready in: 15 minutes
Recipe by: SaltAndLavender
Bonus: creamy, and flavourful
269 calories per serving
This Mediterranean white bean salad recipe is healthy, simple to make, and packed with veggies and a light vinaigrette dressing.
Vegan Lentil and Potato SaladCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: hearty and healthy
420 calories per serving
This protein-packed vegan lentil and potato salad is a perfect weight loss recipe. It’s filling, healthy and nutritious, while still tasting amazing!
The Best Crunchy Lentil SaladCheck out the recipe here
Ready in: 30 minutes
Recipe by: ASimplePalate
Bonus: crunchy and colourful
367 calories per serving
The most delicious crunchy lentil salad! Packed with veggies, sweet grapes, and roasted hazelnuts – then topped with a simple yet flavorful lemony herb dressing. It is filled with a balanced taste, crunchy texture, and is packed with plant-based protein!
Crazy Quick White Bean SaladCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: crunchy, healthy and summery
354 calories per serving
High Protein White Bean Salad that’s healthy and vegan. High in fiber, vitamins A, C, E, B2 and B6 as well as iron and calcium. Takes less than 10 minutes.
- 2 slices wholemeal bread
- Wash the beans and let water drain.
- Dice onion into small pieces.
- Wash bell pepper, cut into small pieces as well.
- Add parsley and cilantro.
- Cut the dried tomatoes in small strips.
- Throw everything into a big bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice and finish it off with some salt and pepper.
- Add some toasted wholemeal bread.
I hope that this list walks the right balance between high protein salads and low carb salads to help you meet all your weight loss goals. Hopefully, these healthy salad recipes for weight loss show that weight loss meals don’t have to taste boring.
Feel free to check out our other recipes for healthy vegetarian salads! They aren’t all aimed at weight loss but they’re still pretty good!