Fundamentals of a good vegan salad

It’s a widely known misconception that vegans only eat salad. I personally believe as a vegan, you’ve gotta have decent salad game, although there is much more to a vegan lifestyle than salads alone. 

This post is going to go through how to make the ideal salad, the food groups and examples to use the next time you want to make a filling salad as a meal.

How to build a healthy vegan salad

The key components of a healthy, filling salad in general is a combination of greenery, veggies, protein, complex carbs and fats; more on each in a moment. 

I think we can all agree that salads are typically lack luster – we’re trying to change that narrative so that people like you can make more healthy choices for themselves, in an easier way.

Let’s go through each part now. 


The base of the salad, if you will, you want a good balance of roughage in there to carry the rest of the goodness. Greens are rich in vitamin K, a source of iron, and according to studies, green leafy veggies may help slow cognitive decline that comes with age. 

Some example of green leafy greens you can incorporate include:


Lettuce (Iceberg, Romaine, Little gem, etc)

Mustard greens

Red cabbage



Swiss chard

These can either be used by themselves or combined to make a solid salad base. I love me some romaine lettuce and rocket. 


The bulk of the salad, the extra tasty crunch to boost the overall texture – These can be cooked or raw.

Eating veggies have been reported to help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as other studies reporting a reduced risk of stroke, dementia and cognitive decline with long-term consumption. 

Some examples of tasty veggies to include in your next salad:


Bell pepper







Snap peas (mange tout)


I personally like a bit of thinly cut onion, bell pepper, cucumber & tomatoes, as a go-to.



For your protein source you can go for something more lean, or more carb-based such as beans or legumes. It’s important to include protein in most main meals , essential for the body’s ability to grow and repair.

Below are a few examples of protein sources you can add to your vegan salad:

Black beans

Black eyed peas


Lentils (green, brown and black are best)




Soy pieces

My go-to tends to be lentils or chickpeas, when I’m eating salad as a meal. 

chickpea mushroom wraps

Complex carbs

These are key for slow release of energy, and to add more to the filling factor. Great for weight control, and maintenance of blood sugar balance.

Some example complex carbs to add to a salad include:


Brown rice

Bulgur wheat

Butternut squash

Cous cous

Croutons (wholewheat)



Sweet potatoes

We recommend adding one carb source to each salad, considering they’re pretty filling!

plant based chickpea quinoa


Fat sources are great for two reasons, they’re tasty, and help with your intake of nutrients. A study shows that fat sources added to salads, in this case with salad dressing, actually improves the absorption of carotenoids.

Carotenoids work as an antioxidant, essentially improving the healing effect veggies have on the body. 

Examples of some fats that can be used in salads:


Avocado (or oil)

Ground flax seeds

Hemp seeds (or oil)

Olives (and extra virgin olive oil)

Pumpkin seeds

Sesame seeds (or oil)

Sunflower seeds

Vegan mayo

Vegan salad dressings


Be easy on the fats to start out as you don’t want to be counterproductive. A little bit goes a long way, especially if you use more than one of these. 

Personally I prefer extra virgin olive oil with some type of seed, sometimes I have avocado and olives too, I try not to have both at once though!

avo toast

…Also vinaigrette/citrus

I usually try to make my salads with either lemon juice, apple cider or balsamic vinegar. I personally do it for the taste, but you’d also be glad to know there’s health benefits in this small addition. When you consume vitamin C, it helps the uptake of iron. 

Some examples of ingredients to add a little acidity to the mix:

Apple cider vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

Lemon juice

Lime juice

Malt vinegar

Rice vinegar

White wine vinegar

Hopefully these tips can help you as a new (or seasoned) vegan build a banging salad, to help keep you full and satisfied.

Don’t forget to season your salad with spices and herbs such as cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, pepper, salt, etc. It’s still gotta taste good!

Do vegans just eat salads?

It’s commonly thought that vegans only eat salads, in reality this just simply isn’t true. Vegans have a wide variety of food options within the respective plant-based category, as well as many veganised “regular” foods commonly eaten by omnivores.

avocado salad recipe

In short, we don’t just eat salads lol. 

We hope you enjoyed this post on building the ultimate, healthy vegan salad. Feel free to bookmark this page for future reference, drop a comment with your thoughts and share with a friend, it means the world to us!