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Written by Ripe London on January 21, 2020

Healthy Vegan Salads with Protein  

The month of Veganuary has turned our attention to healthy vegan recipes. With more people than ever giving veganism a go, there’s no better time to join in. If you’re a fruit and veg lover, give it a try! 

From testing out the best vegan restaurants in your area to learning how to cook without meat-based products; there are so many ways you can get involved. Plus, you don’t necessarily have to take a purist approach. There are many people out there who dip their toes in, experiment with recipes, or commit to a few days a week. It’s not always realistic to make a complete transition in one attempt, especially if you’ve always enjoyed meat. Veganism can be a gradual change, so you can build confidence in your cooking and learn more about different ingredients and nutrients.

Protein is often one of the biggest concerns for vegan newbies. But it’s actually very easy for a vegan diet to reach the recommended amount of protein without meat sources. If you need inspiration, here are some tasty vegan salads with protein aplenty! 

Vegan salad with protein-packed tofu


  • Baked tofu (with soy and garlic powder)
  • Tempeh (marinated with balsamic vinegar, soy and garlic)
  • Chickpeas
  • Hemp seeds
  • Arugula (also known as rocket)
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado

(Typical serving size is around 150g of tofu)


Homemade Tahini

  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • Pinch of salt

This is one of the best vegan salads with protein for those who miss their meat. Tofu can be a superb meat-like replacement. Although it doesn’t share the same taste, there are some similarities in terms of texture, depending on how it’s cooked. If you don’t mind the extra calorie intake, fried tofu can be extremely satisfying for the carnivore’s palate. But tofu cooked in any way (steamed, roasted or boiled) is pretty tasty. 

In terms of the best vegan salad protein source, the tofu, tempeh, hemp seeds and chickpeas all play their part. For every 100g of tofu, you’ll get 8g of protein. For the same amount of tempeh, you’ll get a whopping 19g of protein (and the same with chickpeas too - also 19g). With hemp seeds, which are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, there’s around 11g of protein for every 2-3 tablespoons - that’s basically the same as meat when you measure it by weight. 

Black lentil salad with lime dressing 


  • Green or brown lentils
  • Black beans
  • Red bell pepper
  • Red onion
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Coriander leaves

(Typical serving size is 1 cup of lentils with as much salad as you like)


  • One lime (juiced)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • A pinch of chipotle powder or chilli powder

Protein-packed black beans and lentils make this a must for curbing hunger when you’re in the office. It’s also a taste explosion that will keep you coming back for more. But the secret with the delectable dish is all in the dressing. The other ingredients on their own may not inspire you to become a devout vegan, but the exciting fusion of lime juice, spices and coriander will set your taste buds alight. 

Typically, you’ll get around 32g of protein per serving, which is around 600 calories. Or if you prefer to make a lighter meal, there’s about 7.6g of protein for every 100 grams. If you’re after healthy, hearty and filling vegan salads with protein packed in, this is ideal. Which is why it makes a great lunchtime treat, keeping you full until dinner time. 

Quick and easy to make, it’s a fantastic option for those who don’t have a whole lot of time to prep meals in advance. And if you use canned lentils instead of making your own, it will take you as little as ten minutes to rustle up. 

Quinoa and black bean salad


  • Dry quinoa
  • Red bell pepper
  • Red onion
  • Green onion
  • Black beans
  • Coriander

(Typical serving size is ½ cup of quinoa with as much salad as you like)


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • A pinch of paprika
  • A squeeze of fresh lime juice

Quinoa is one of the best vegan salad protein sources out there, because it is incredibly versatile. With all the different vegetables, herbs and dressings you can use, it’s unlikely you’ll get bored of it. It’s also the perfect replacement for dishes served with rice.

Additionally, black beans are protein powerhouses, with 7g of protein in a small half cup serving. They add depth and flavour to your quinoa and go great with Asian soy dressings or oil based dressings.

This dish is quick and easy to make, and it’s suitable for your lunchbox or for enjoying at dinner time. Stored correctly and your homemade quinoa salad could last about 4+ days in the fridge. So you can batch-make it if you’re meal prepping for lunch.

Curried seitan and red cabbage salad


  • Seitan (chopped)
  • Mild curry powder
  • Garlic (minced)
  • Shredded red cabbage
  • Green onion
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Olive oil

(Typical serving size is 100-150g of seitan and as much salad as you like)


  • 1/3 cup mango chutney
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter

Seitan is another vegan salad protein ingredient that can be used to substitute meat. In this case, it’s curried (just like you would chicken or fish), and it can be served warm or cold. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t do well in chilly weather, a warm veggie salad could be the ultimate comfort food. 

A high-protein wheat gluten product, seitan can be similar to a soft pot roast or even a firm steak, depending on how it’s been made. There’s about 370 calories per every 100g, and a whopping 75g of protein. 

Seitan mix isn’t always easy to find, but specialists health shops or vegan retailers may stock it. If you can’t find it at a supermarket near you, there are many recipes online that can help you make your own. If you’re worried about time, go ahead and make a big batch. It stays edible for up to ten days in the fridge, and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. 

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