These filling salads for lunch are packed with protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and colorful vegetables to fuel you through your day… and they are anything but boring!
To probably no surprise, I love a salad for lunch. But I’m not talking about plain romaine lettuce soaked in dressing and topped with with dry croutons.
For me, a salad can be a hearty lunch on its own, but I have a few requirements. It must have all three macronutrients: complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats, plus plenty of colorful vegetables (gotta get those antioxidants!). This simple “formula” allows for a variety of textures of flavors and leaves room for creativity in the kitchen.
Whether it’s a cobb salad, chicken salad, or Instant Pot egg salad, the possibilities for filling salads are endless.
During the colder winter months, I gravitate toward heavier salads with dark leafy greens, cheeses, and roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Come spring and summer, I crave cold pasta salads and tropical bean salads with fresh herbs and lighter dressings.
Today, I’m sharing a roundup of healthy, delicious and filling salads that are perfect for lunch.
10 Filling Salads For Lunch
1. Greek Salad with Quinoa
This Greek Salad with Quinoa combines all your favorite Greek ingredients – cucumbers, feta, and olives – into a hearty vegetarian salad perfect for a picnic. The chickpeas and quinoa provide a hefty dose of plant-protein. I love drizzling with extra virgin olive oil before serving. It also packs well for lunch on the go!
2. Herby Lentil Salad
I’m always full after a lunchtime meal with lentils. This fresh lentil salad with herbs and arugula is perfect for the spring and summer months. Tip: serve with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
3. Chop Chop Mediterranean Salad
This chopped salad with bell peppers, artichoke hearts, olives, and cheese is crunchy, salty and so satisfying! I throw all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then store in the fridge and let marinate – the flavors get better throughout the week!
4. Citrus Curry Farro Salad
This citrus curry farro salad is a great lunch staple to make on prep day. Orange zest, currants, and roasted pistachios combine with hearty farro, curry-spiced sweet potatoes and fresh herbs for a mix of flavors you won’t be able to forget!
5. Thai Crunch Mason Jar Salad
This Thai crunch mason jar salad combines hearty noodles with crunchy vegetables and peanuts, plus an amazing peanut dressing that you’ll want to eat on its own. Make this salad on prep day and enjoy it hot or cold when hunger calls.
6. Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
This lightened up Dill Pickle Pasta Salad is for all the pickle lovers out there! With plenty of summer veggies, fresh dill, and a yogurt-based dressing, this salad brings a satisfying crunch!
7. Pesto Tuscan Kale Salad
This salad is made with Tuscan kale massaged with pesto and topped with chicken, blue cheese, and parmesan. It makes a quick lunch and will hold up in the fridge for a second meal.
- This hearty Prep Day Kale Salad can also stand up to your fridge. Unlike delicate lettuces, kale will not wilt next to a cucumber or beans.
8. Moroccan Salad with Tahini Dressing
This Moroccan Salad combines raisins and crunchy almonds with quinoa, chickpeas, spinach, capers, and a creamy tahini dressing.
9. Lemon Feta Couscous Salad
This simple pearl couscous salad features lemon zest, feta cheese, parsley, and vegetables, and makes a delicious lunchtime meal with grilled shrimp or chicken on top.
10. Every Herb Canned Salmon Salad
This canned salmon salad blends my favorite herbs with yogurt, olive oil and lemon juice perfect for mixing with salmon and dipping! Serve on top of a bed of fresh greens, or dip with your favorite crackers, chips, or carrot sticks.
Do you have a favorite filling lunchtime salad recipe?
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