How To Make A Satisfying Salad

May 14, 2024

Salads should be nutritious, filling, tasty and interesting. They are ideal for a packed workday lunch, a side dish for dinner, or a plate to share with friends. They most certainly should not be a sad, tasteless and unsatisfying excuse for a meal that only aims to contains as little calories as possible (like diet culture might have lead you to believe).

Heres the 5 things needed to make a satisfying salad:

1. Fresh Base

Your salad base is usually leafy greens (lettuce, finely sliced cabbage etc). But leafy greens are not essential!  A variety of chopped veg or steamed greens can make a tip top base too. Aiming for variety is the goal. 

  • Leafy Greens 
  • Chopped salad veg
  • Steamed and chilled greens
  • Chopped roast veggies
  • Ready-made salad bags


2. Protein

Meeting your protein requirements is best achieved by spreading it out throughout the day. Adding a high protein food like meat, fish, eggs or tofu to salad is another way to make them more filling too.

  • Shredded chicken
  • Sliced leftover meat
  • Canned tuna and salmon
  • Boiled egg
  • Tofu (marinated and lightly fried)
  • Meatballs


3. Carbohydrate

Adding carbs to salad is one of the easiest ways to make them more satisfying, or keep you full until your next meal. Stave away afternoon brain fog and keep your energy up by adding some leftover grains or roast veg or meal prep some options at the beginning of the week. Convenience options like microwave rice or canned legumes are nutritions options too.

  • Roasted potatoes, sweet potato, carrot
  • Grains like rice, quinoa, pasta, croutons
  • Canned or cooked chickpeas, lentils, blackbeans etc. (look for canned chickpeas that come ready-dressed!)


4. Fats

Don’t be afraid of adding fat to salad. As well as being filling, foods high in good fats are essential in our diet and add flavour and interest too. Don’t be scared to add a high fat food to a salad or salad dressing!

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Feta 
  • Parmesan
  • Extra virgin olive oil


5. Flavour Bombs

The final step to saying no to sad salads is by adding flavour bombs! Take them to the next level by adding something sweet, salty or crunchy.. 

  • Sweet: sliced strawberries, grated apple, canned peaches, sultantas, dried cranberries
  • Salty: olives, feta, Parmesan, nori sheets
  • Savoury: fresh herbs, garlic, chilli, sundried tomatoes
  • Crunchy: dry roasted nuts or seeds, croutons, tortilla chips
  • Dressing: balsamic & olive oil, vinaigrette, mayonnaise, creamy yoghurt 
  • TOP TIP: Keep crunchy foods and dressings separate until you’re ready to eat


Isn’t loading up a salad with dressings and additions like croutons taking away the benefits?!

Not necessarily. Of course it’s possible to take things to the extreme by only using one vegetable, like potato and adding too much bacon, croutons and high fat dressing… but adding small amounts to an already nutritious salad is only going to help those flavours sing and, most importantly, your enjoyment of the food!

. . . . . . . 

This blog article was written by our RESIDENT NUTRITIONIST Sarah Moore.


You May Also Like…

5 Books I Recommend Reading

5 Books I Recommend Reading

This article was written by guest blogger and Say Yes Trainer Francesca DaRui.Francesca is a fur-baby Mumma to Leo,...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.