5 Filling Salads That Are Great for Weight Loss

Salads often get a bad rap for being unsatisfying (if they’re lean and mean) or unhealthy (if they’re not lean and mean). The substantial middle ground is less talked about, but it’s exactly where you’ll find the salads that may fuel weight loss. They’re a delicious and nutritious combination of protein, veggies, healthy fat, and starch (yes, you can and should include carbs in your salad). We pulled together some tasty recipes that fit the bill and added their approximate nutritional values (just in case you didn’t believe us). 

Scroll through to see five filling salads that are great for weight loss.


Detox Rainbow Salad

The Skinny: The fresh raw veggies in this salad deliver plenty of fiber, while the avocado and nuts provide healthy fats that allow for better absorption of key nutrients. Just go light on the olive oil so you don’t overdo it with the fats. (Find the whole recipe at DetoxDIY.)

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 300

Fat: 15 g

Sugar: 3 g

Protein: 10 g



Red cabbage

Red onion



Chia seeds


Extra-virgin olive oil

Lemon juice

The Secret Ingredient

Basil Balsamic Tuna Salad

The Skinny: The combination of lean protein, a variety of colorful veggies, and healthy, plant-based fat (olive oil) make this tuna salad the perfect lunch. Serve it on a bed of dark, leafy greens to up the nutritional bang. (See the full recipe at The Secret Ingredient.)

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 350

Protein: 25 g

Fiber: 8 g

Sugars: 3 g


Canned tuna

Roma tomato

Red onion

Yellow bell pepper


Balsamic vinegar

Lemon juice




Protein Power Salad

The Skinny: On top of being loaded with protein and fiber, this salad is super-low in calories. And there are plenty of flavorful ingredients to keep things interesting. (Find the recipe on Prevention.com; just be sure to cut the sugar wherever you can to keep it lean.)

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 310

Fat: 10 g

Fiber: 5 g

Protein: 23 g







Grape tomato


Skinless chicken breast

Extra-virgin olive oil

The Hungry Hounds

Greek Salad

The Skinny: With several low-cal veggies bringing the fiber, and nuts and chicken or fish bringing the protein, this salad has everything you need. And if you’re going to eat cheese on your salad, feta is one of your best bets. (Read the whole recipe at Prevention.com.)

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 395

Fat: 34 g 

Fiber: 7 g

Protein: 8 g


Romaine lettuce

Green pepper



Red onion

Kalamata olive

Pine nuts

Feta cheese

Skinless chicken or fish

Half Baked Harvest

Herb and Chickpea Chopped Salad

The Skinny: Believe it or not, your salad could actually benefit from a little starch in the form of a nutrient-rich whole food like corn—it works together with protein to help keep you full. The spice in this salad will also give your metabolism a little boost. (See the recipe at Half Baked Harvest.)

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 450

Fat: 17 g

Fiber: 8 g

Protein: 15 g


Butter lettuce



Red pepper

Blackberries or blueberries




Pumpkin seeds

Walnuts and pistachios


Goat cheese 

Extra-virgin olive oil

Apple cider vinegar

Lemon juice



And for more salad inspiration, check out Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season ($31) by Patricia Wells.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. National Institute on Aging. Important nutrients to know: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Updated April 29, 2019.

  2. Cleveland Clinic. Cutting carbs? don't say 'no' to these starchy foods. Updated July 25, 2018.

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