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Vegan Salad Recipes Guide: 5 Steps to a Filling Vegan Salad | Soul in the RawThe ultimate way to nourish your body is with a huge, delicious bowl of vegan salad.


Sound boring?

I’m here to tell you that a vegan salad can be an incredible, filling meal. You just have to know how to prepare it correctly.

Vegan salads can also be extremely flavorful – you just have to add the right spices and fats to make them melt in your mouth.

The purpose of this blog post is to make you excited about your salads. You will know exactly how to make very filling and delicious salads and never feel like eating salad is boring after you read this.

In this blog post, you’ll learn 5 great tips for making a delicious, filling vegan salad, and a simple step-by-step guide for creating your filling salads daily.

Download your Vegan Salads Guide Printable PDF

Vegan Salad Recipes Guide: 5 Steps to a Filling Vegan Salad | Soul in the Raw

Download the awesome printable you can put on your fridge for easy access to the steps required to making the perfect vegan salad, with examples and recipes!

Easy Vegan Mediterranean Farro Salad with Vegan Feta | Soul in the Raw

Before diving into the tips and step-by-step guide, it’s important to understand some myths about vegan salads.

Vegan Salad Myths

I’m sure you’ve heard (and perhaps even thought) that vegan food is rabbit food. Rabbits are pretty cute, so I personally wouldn’t mind eating what they eat.

However, it’s important to dispel the general myth that vegan food is not filling and very boring.

It’s fascinating to examine where the misconception that vegan food is unsatisfying comes from in the first place. This misconception is strongly entangled in the belief that veganism is emasculating, and that eating animal protein is the way to provide vital calories and strength for the body.

While I’m not an expert in the history of animal protein consumption, the incredible work of Dr. Will Tuttle explores this question. Dr. Tuttle argues that women were the original gatherers and that the exploitation of women was intrinsically tied to the exploitation of animals.

I have yet to read Dr. Tuttle’s “The World Peace Diet”, but this is what my Mater’s degree in Gender Studies has taught me: throughout the ages, women were identified an seen as closer to nature, and men longed to “overcome” nature using culture and were symbolically identified with culture. (Read more about this here)

Men were seen as associated with the concept of culture. For example, cooking was women’s work, as it was closer to nature, but being a chef was a man’s job as it involved a “cultured” prestigious way of being a cook.

With this logic in mind, it makes sense that hunting is associated with manliness, and is conceptualized as superior to gathering, which was traditionally women’s work. And therefore, eating vegan is seen as inferior to eating animal protein.

With this theoretical knowledge in mind, it’s easy to see that vegan salads (or any vegan dish) not being filing is a myth, with historical origins that are quite outdated.

Making a satisfying vegan meal is easy, fun, and delicious!

5 Tips for a Filling Vegan Salad

1. Increase your portions

One of the biggest mistakes on a vegan diet is not eating enough, because plant foods contain a lot more water than animal foods. Thus, they are dilute in calories, as compared to animal foods.

In order to get all the calories you need, you must consume larger portions than you did on an animal-based diet.

If you are filling unsatisfied with your vegan salad meal (or with any vegan meal, for that matter), make sure to slightly increase your portion size. You will feel a lot more satisfied immediately.

As an example, my typical salad includes 1 head of lettuce as the base, or two very large handfuls of mixed greens (in addition to many more components, which I will discuss at the bottom of this post).

2. Don’t skip the fats

Flax Seeds a Top Healthiest Food

Fats are very important to include in a plant-based meal because not only will they keep you fuller for longer, they will also aid in the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients from the greens and vegetables you eat.

Be sure to include whole food fats in your vegan salads. These include things like nuts and seeds, coconut, olives, and avocado. These are perfect to include in a dressing or sprinkled on top of your salad.

However, you’ll want to avoid oils in your salads. This is because oils (even extra virgin, cold-pressed, and organic), are refined foods, and their processing makes them unhealthy. Oils do not contain as many nutrients as the original foods from which they are extracted – so it is much wiser and healthier to stick to the whole food sources.

3. Add beans and whole grains

While completely optional, adding whole grains and beans into a salad takes it over the top. It makes it even more fulfilling and satisfying and provides extra nutrition.

If you’re eating your salad for lunch, you can keep it light and exclude the beans and grains. But if you’re looking for a more comforting and filling option, adding these foods will definitely assure greater satisfaction.

In the second part of this post, you will learn how to incorporate beans and grains into your salads.

4. Make it flavorful

Flavor is an important, often forgotten, component of the sense of satiation from a meal.

In order to make your vegan salad flavorful, be sure to add your favorite seasonings, sprinkled on top. Some ideas include chili powder, chophouse seasoning, and Cajun seasoning. Try to think of your vegan salad as a culturally-themed meal, and pick a spice blend based on this.

In addition, the dressing is the best place to make sure your salad has flavor. A great salad dressing will bring your salad to life and will make literally any vegetable taste great.

Download 3 Delicious, Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing Recipes

These salad dressing will make any vegetables taste great!

Vegan Meal Prep | Chipotle Cilantro Cashew Cream | Soul in the Raw

5. Don’t forget the texture

Adding a mixture of creamy and crunchy in your vegan salad will make it a lot more filling and appealing to you.

Adding avocado, and nut and seed butters are a great way to add creaminess. While this can be done through the dressing, you can also simply pour some cashew nut butter on top of your salad (this is my favorite cashew nut butter).

In addition, juxtaposing the creaminess with crunchiness provides for an amazing eating experience. While the fresh vegetables will surely do the trick, adding things like oil-free baked crunchy tortilla chips is also delicious (get my Caesar salad recipe, with tortilla chip croutons here).

You can also add a variety of textures by using a variety of cooking methods. Adding both cooked and raw vegetables into your salad makes it even more interesting, and as a result, more filling too.

5 Steps to the Ultimate Vegan Salad

Follow these 5 simple steps for a delicious, filling and satisfying vegan salad meal.

Download your Vegan Salads Guide Printable PDF

Vegan Salad Recipes Guide: 5 Steps to a Filling Vegan Salad | Soul in the Raw

Download the awesome printable you can put on your fridge for easy access to the steps required to making the perfect vegan salad, with examples and recipes!

Easy Vegan Mediterranean Farro Salad with Vegan Feta | Soul in the Raw

Step #1: Greens

Pick a delicious and healthy base of greens. If you’re short on time, using pre-washed greens like spinach and mixed greens is a great option. Otherwise, you can choose from kale, chard, romaine, arugula, and so many more.

This base is not only extremely nutritious but will also provide volume and fiber to your salad – keeping you full.

You can also add delicious herbs that are no less nutritious than leafy greens. These include basil, parsley, cilantro, and more.

Step #2: Vegetables

Add chopped vegetables on top of your greens. These can be cooked or raw. Some ideas for vegetables are cucumber, tomato, onion, bell pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and oil-free baked sweet potato.

Step #3: Dressing

The most important part of the salad, flavor-wise, is the dressing. Prepare a delicious and nutrient-dense oil-free salad dressing. The easiest way to do this is by blending several ingredients in a high-powered blender, or by whisking them together like in this recipe.

Be sure to download 3 of my favorite oil-free vegan dressings here.

Step #4: Fresh and Dried Spices

While you will definitely include spices in your dressing, you can also top your salad with more spices for extra antioxidants and flavor.

In addition to dried seasonings and spices, you can also use fresh spices like ground ginger, garlic, and onion. These will provide anti-inflammatory benefits, along with incredible flavor.

I also recommend adding nutritional yeast to your salad. While it’s not really a spice, it acts like one in most meals. It will make a great fake and healthy parmesan to top your salad with.

Remember to also add seaweeds to your vegan salad in order to get an important nutrient into your diet that is often skipped over: iodine. Some great sources include dulse flakes, chopped up nori sheets, and dried wakame.

Step #5: Salad Toppers

While optional, you can also add some soaked and dehydrated nuts and seeds to top your salad with. These will provide extra crunch and fun.

My favorite pre-made salad toppers is this Super Salad Sprinkle, which actually also includes spices and seasonings in it. It livens up the salad and gives it a lot of extra flavor.

You can also easily make your own salad toppers by mixing nuts with different spices and seasonings and dehydrating them.

Bonus Step #6 for an extra filling salad: Beans and Whole Grains

While optional, adding beans and grains will add even more flavor and health benefits to an extra filling vegan salad.

You can soak and cook your fresh beans and whole grains, or even make your dressing using beans, like this incredibly delicious edamame hummus recipe, or this oil-free hummus recipe.

10 of My Favorite Vegan Salad and Salad Dressings Recipes

Here are some of my favorite vegan salad and salad dressing recipes from the blog. Get started with this, and you will quickly learn to make your own:

 Caesar Salad with Tortilla Croutons

vegan work lunch recipe: Kale Caesar Salad with Oil-Free Croutons

 Mediterranean Farro Salad with Vegan Feta

 Massaged Kale Salad

 Raw Vegan Caesar Salad

 Mock Egg Salad

 Coconut Turmeric Salad Dressing

Turmeric Recipes: 3 Delicious Vegan Recipes with Turmeric | Soul in the Raw

 Sauerkraut Massaged Salad

 Whisked Cashew Butter Salad Dressing

 Warm Mushroom Parmesan Salad

 Mediterranean Cucumber Tomato Salad

What are your favorite foods to include in a vegan salad to make it extra flavorful? Comment below and share with the Raw Souls community! 

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Marina Yanay-Triner is a wellness coach and recipe developer through Soul in the Raw. Marina creates easy and delicious vegan recipes and writes about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, focusing on evidence-based nutrition information. She loves to help clients go and stick to plant based eating through her powerful coaching program, combining nutrition and cooking education along with transformational mindset work. Marina adopted a whole food, plant based lifestyle over 7 years ago, inspired by her mother's incredible healing story of reversing a crippling bladder disease. She has reversed PMS symptoms and encourage emotional healing from trauma as a result of this transition. Marina is incredibly passionate about the vegan diet for human health, animal welfare, and the well-being of our planet, all of which she envisions as co-dependent.