Eleven Ways to Make Your Salad More Satisfying

Salads can be boring, but they don’t have to be! By adding a few key ingredients, you can kick your salad up a notch and create a satisfying meal. Salads are a great opportunity to get creative and mix up some unique and tasty combinations as well as utilize any leftovers that may be lurking in your fridge. Here are 11 ingredients to make your salad more satisfying.


Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), black beans, kidney beans, white beans, or edamame are all great options with lots of fiber to keep you satiated for longer. Try roasted chickpeas or edamame for some extra crunch!


Wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, millet, or farro add texture and whole grains to your salad.

Fresh Fruit

Depending on the season, options include berries, watermelon, apples, pears, peaches, grapes, cantaloupe, mango, or pomegranate arils.

Leftover Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, butternut squash, baby red potatoes, sweet potatoes, or asparagus are delicious on a salad. Try serving them warm or cold for different flavors.

Nuts or Seeds

Like the crunch but want to avoid croutons? Try your favorite nuts and seeds such as pistachios, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cashews, almonds, or pecans. Limit portion size to 1 to 2 tbsp. as nuts are high in calories.

Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, parsley, chives, tarragon, and mint add a flavorful boost.

Homemade Vinaigrette

Skip the store-bought salad dressing and make your own! The easiest recipe is to mix the juice of a lemon with 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper to taste.


Hard-boiled or sunny side up, you can’t go wrong with adding a protein-rich egg to your salad!

Olives or Capers

These will add a salty and savory component to your salad.


For a creamy texture, add ¼ to ⅓ of a medium avocado.

Switch up Your Greens or Skip the Greens Altogether

Instead of your standard romaine or iceberg lettuce, give kale, spinach, cabbage, broccoli slaw, arugula, Swiss chard, or bok choy a go. Or try diced asparagus or ribbons of zucchini or carrots. Just because it’s a salad doesn’t mean it has to include lettuce.

The next time you’re preparing a salad, get out of your romaine rut, get creative, and choose some ingredients from this list to perk up your salad by adding a variety of different textures and flavors.