Loaded with flaky salmon, spinach, feta, and almonds, this high-protein and keto salmon salad has it all! It's big on flavor and texture and serves as a filling lunch or quick weeknight dinner.
We had no idea how much we'd love this salmon salad until we devoured it! It's the combination of flavors and textures that take this salad to the next level. Ingredients include fresh spinach, baked salmon, crumbled feta, toasted almonds, sliced red onions, and a light dressing made with lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. It's such a delicious and satisfying meal!
But, just as important, this salmon salad is a nutritional powerhouse. It serves as an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins A, B and C.
Plus, this high-protein salad is one heck of an easy meal to prepare, and it's done in just 20 minutes. You simply bake the salmon in the oven for roughly 15 minutes. And while salmon bakes, you toss the salad ingredients together, which takes about 5 or so minutes. After the salmon is done baking, you combine it with the salad and you're done!
Another reason to love this salmon salad: you can prep this meal ahead of time for a future dinner or a grab-and-go lunch (see instructions below).
This salmon salad is 7.9 net carbs and 38% protein per serving.
What is a high protein meal?
We love high-protein meals since they help keep you full for longer periods of times. Therefore, you’re less likely to overeat or snack between meals.
So, what is considered a high-protein meal? The first thing to know is you can't determine if a meal is high protein simply from total grams of protein otherwise you could just eat ton of donuts until you hit your target protein grams. Instead you need to determine the percentage of total calories that come from protein and this means you'll need to do a little extra math. A single gram of protein is 4 calories so to find the protein percentage of a meal multiply the grams of protein in a meal by 4 and then divide by the total calories. For example, Fage 0% Yogurt has 18g of protein and 90 total calories per serving. Multiplying 18 times 4 and then divided 90 gives 0.8 or a whopping 80% protein.
There is some variation in what percentage is considered "high protein" but generally 20% to 40% can be considered high. For example, Wikipedia defines a high protein diet as more than 20% of calories from protein while DietDoctor uses 25% go 35% of calories. By comparison, the typical American consumes 16% of their calories from protein.
If all that math seems like a lot of work, an amazingly useful protein hack from Dr. Ted Naiman is to multiply the grams of protein by 10 and compare it to the total calories. If the grams of protein times 10 is greater than the total calories you know the food is at least 40% protein.
Another criteria to keep in mind is that experts like Dr Gabrielle Lyon recommend a minimum of 30g of protein per meal in order to trigger muscle protein synthesis.
For more about high protein, DietDoctor has an extensive guide to high protein diets.
How To Meal Prep This Salmon Salad
To meal prep this salmon salad ahead of time for a dinner or grab and go lunch, you'll do the following:
- Bake the salmon as directed in recipe instructions. Let cool to room temperature
- In a larger container, combine spinach, sliced onions, feta and almonds. Then, place cooled salmon on top. Cover and refrigerate.
- In a small, separate container, combine the salad dressing components including the olive oil, lemon juice and and salt and pepper. Store dressing alongside salad container.
- When you’re ready to eat the salad, vigorously shake container with salad dressing (to mix dressing) and pour on top of prepared salad. Gently toss salad ingredients together and enjoy! Serve prepared salad within in 2 days of preparing.
Other Salad Toppings
Of course you can add other delicious toppings to this salad, such as chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, or even steamed edamame.
Just be aware that too many low-protein toppings will lower the protein percentage of the meal, while other toppings will increase it. For example, the low-fat feta, salmon, and spinach all are high in protein, so replacing the feta with another cheese or the spinach with different greens is likely to lower the protein percentage. Likewise increasing the amount of onions is likely to lower the protein percentage as well.
More Low Carb, High Protein Meals
Here are more low-carb, high-protein meals you may enjoy:
- Crispy, Air-Fryer Keto Chicken Tenders: To make the best keto chicken tenders, we use crushed pork rinds, a sticky egg-wash batter, and an air fryer to bake to perfection.
- Keto Spicy Soy Salmon: This 30-minute, ultra-flavorful keto spicy soy salmon needs be on your weeknight menu! It's so tasty, incredibly simple to make, and hard to screw up!
- Grilled Chipotle Lime Shrimp Salad: This grilled chipotle lime shrimp salad is a simple and delicious grill recipe that's healthy, full of flavor, and quick and easy to make. The grilled shrimp are spicy, smoky, tangy and a little sweet since they're covered with minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, garlic and fresh lime juice before serving.
High-Protein, Keto Salmon Salad with Spinach, Feta & Almonds
- 8 ounce skinless salmon fillet
- Salt and pepper to season for salmon and dressing
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice for salmon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice for dressing
- 3 ounces fresh organic spinach
- ¼ cup crumbled feta
- ⅛ cup toasted slivered almonds
- ¼ cup red onion thinly sliced and soaked in ice water for about 10 minutes (to remove bite -- optional)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Bake Salmon: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place salmon on parchment paper and generously season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle one teaspoon lemon juice over the top. Bake for roughly 15 minutes, or until salmon reads 145 degrees on thermometer.
- Prepare salad and dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, one teaspoon lemon juice, and salt and pepper (lightly season). In a large serving bowl, combine spinach, feta, sliced red onions and almonds.
- Combine and serve: When done, remove salmon from oven. Break salmon into large chunks and spread on top of salad. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.