4 Delicious and Gut Friendly Protein Salad Recipes}

4 Delicious and Gut Friendly Protein Salad Recipes

A healthy gut is essential for overall wellness and what you eat can have a major impact on gut health. Recent science has emphasized that both the quality and quantity of the protein you eat may affect gut health and microbiome diversity more than we ever knew.

Protein is a macro nutrient, and part of almost every meal we eat. So, we thought to give you four of our favorite high protein salad recipes to inspire you! These protein salad recipes are an easy way to increase your protein intake. And because they're all made with probiotic and fermented foods, they're also gut friendly salad recipes. Let's go!

high protein salad recipes

Our 4 favorite high protein salad recipes

1. Olive My Pickle Chicken Salad 

This chicken salad is loaded with flavor and easy to make. It can be served on a bed of greens or on gluten free bread or crackers.

First, combine all ingredients except chicken together to make the dressing, then add chicken and mix well.

  • 2 tsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup better mayo (avocado oil based)
  • 3 tbsp LiveBrine Probiotic Pickle Juice - Kosher Dill
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 3 Kosher Dill Fermented Pickles - chopped
  • ½ onion - chopped (red or sweet onion work well here)
  • 3 cups shredded cooked and cooled chicken

Combine and refrigerate between 1 hour - overnight for best flavor. Great with Simple Mills grain free crackers. 

turkey salad

2. Harvest Time Turkey Salad with Apple & Rosemary

This delicious protein salad is similar to a Waldorf, it combines the savory flavors of turkey and rosemary with the sweetness of apples for a balanced and vibrant combination.

This salad is a perfect solution after Thanksgiving when there's lots of leftover turkey breast meat which can be quite dry. Creating satisfying protein packed salads with your leftovers will help curb the tendency to grab less healthy foods.

  • 1 cup turkey - chopped or shredded
  • 2 TBSP better mayo (avocado oil based) or Greek yogurt
  • 2 TBSP LiveBrine Pickle Juice
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary or 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple (one small apple)
  • 2 TBSP walnuts - chopped
  • 1/2 stalk celery - chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion - optional
  • 1/2 cup sliced red grapes - optional
  • black pepper to taste

First, mix rosemary, LiveBrine Pickle Juice and mayo together to hydrate herbs for a few minutes.  Mix in turkey and fixings.  Serve on a bed of greens, next to a soup and salad, or on gluten free bread or in a wrap. A lettuce wrap works too.

 sardine salad_olive my pickle high protein salad recipes

3. Sardine Salad - a healthier option than tuna

Yes & Here's why:

We all know that tuna is packed with protein and omega-3s and is a widespread go-to fish choice for a protein salad or sandwich. But did you know that overfishing has decimated tuna populations, and many commercial fishing practices are contributing to the further decline of these majestic creatures.

The other problem with tuna? It is a big game fish and contains high levels of mercury. For this reason, even the FDA website recommends that children and pregnant women limit their intake of tuna. Albacore tuna contains three times the mercury as other types and should be completely avoided.

At Olive My Pickle, we are huge fans of sardines! The taste of sardines is similar to tuna, so it's already a flavor you're familiar with. These little fish are not only a sustainable choice, they're high in protein. Sardine salad makes a great addition to green salads and grain bowls. So ditch the tuna and give sardines a try, get them skinless and boneless if you're new to them.

 

Health benefits of Sardines:

  • Sardines are small fish that eat plankton and have a negligible amount of mercury.

  • Sardines are a heart-healthy food with a high concentration of omega-3s, 1700 mg per serving. (Trader Joe's and Season Brand)

  • Sardines have 22 grams of protein per serving.

  • Sardines contain 15% of the RDA of vitamin D.

  • Sardines are also more economical than tuna coming at about $3 per meal

OMP Lunch Idea: Sardine Salad Recipe

Our recipe contains a lot of acid to neutralize that fish taste, including lemon juice, onions and pickles. If this recipe is too acidic, reduce the amount of any of these ingredients.

  • 1 can of sardines in olive oil (our preferred brands are Season Brand or Trader Joe's brand. Be sure to buy boneless and skinless.)
  • Juice of about half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup of chopped sweet onion (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Olive My Pickle's Kosher Dill Fermented Pickles.
  • One tablespoon better mayo (avocado oil based)
  • No extra salt is necessary, the pickles add enough.
  • Black pepper to taste.

For a spicy version, simply swap:

 sardine salad on gluten free bread

4. Probiotic Egg Salad, a classic protein salad

A classic for a reason, this simple yet delicious egg salad is perfect for days when you're short on time but don't want to sacrifice flavor or nutrition. When you have eggs prepped in advance you really are ready for a healthy lunch at any given moment.

We eat lots of eggs here at OMP! There isn't enough room here to list all the health benefits of eggs, but here are our top 3: 

  1. Vitamins & Nutrients: Egg yolks contain nearly every vitamin and nutrient the body needs including vitamin A, vitamin B 12, vitamin E, selenium, zinc and others.   

  2. Valuable Fats: Egg yolks contain many valuable fats  that are vulnerable to oxidation at high heat levels, therefore  its recommended that you enjoy your yolks slightly runny or custard like. Cook to a medium-boiled level; avoid hard boiling them.

  3. Eggs-cellent Source of Protein: A single large egg containing 6 grams. They contain all the essential amino acids in the right ratios, so your body is well-equipped to make full use of the protein in them.

Hard Boiled Eggs by cooking time

How to make perfect medium boiled eggs:

  1. Place eggs in water and set to high heat.
  2. When boil is fast, remove from heat, cover and set timer for 5-6 minutes. See chart above for the perfect boil time.
  3. You will get a medium-boiled egg which is much more moist and delicious than a hard boiled egg. No green yolks here. 
  4. Rinse with cold water and place in the freezer for ~15 minutes, or give then an ice water bath for 2 mins. Eggs peel easier when cold.
  5. Roughly chop up the eggs for salad.

egg salad with olives and cucumbers

Probiotic Egg Salad Recipe:

  • 1/4 diced small sweet Vidalia onion
  • 1 Kosher Dill or The Garlic Fermented Pickle, chopped
  • 2 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil 
  • Pepper and spice to taste: paprika, cumin, curry are all great choices

For a spicy version, simply swap:

Pro Tip

Make it Probiotic: Use LiveBrine pickle juice in replacement of salt, to taste (or about 1 Tablespoon). The fermented pickle and LiveBrine in this egg salad contain over 20 billion CFUs (colony forming units) of lactobacillus--good guy bacteria.   

For a Keto-Friendly option: Make wraps by serving on a leaf of romaine lettuce.

Creative ways to serve up your protein salads

Oh, the wonderful world of probiotic high protein salads! Some creative ways to serve them include:

  • Serving probiotic protein salads on a bed of greens is a great way to get your protein fix and your greens all at once.

  • Serve with a nutrient dense soup with a bone broth base.

  • Not hungry for a full meal, just a snack? Try a wrap, whether you're using lettuce or gluten free tortillas.

  • And if you're really looking for a no-fuss probiotic option, just grab a fork and enjoy your probiotic protein salad as is.

No matter how you enjoy them, these protein salad recipes are gut friendly, healthy, nutritious ways to get your probiotics and protein at one time.

Still Getting Used to the Strong Flavors of Fermented Foods?

Protein salads can also be a great way to introduce probiotic and fermented foods into your diet. We hear from many first time customers who've received their first order but aren't sure how to enjoy these new fermented foods. Some people even complain that the flavors aren't for them and are too strong. Fermented food can take some getting used to, particularly is your palate is used to more mild or savory foods.

In these cases we recombined NOT eating the fermented foods straight, but rather working them into recipes. Protein salads are PERFECT for this as they can tone down and disguise the strong flavors of fermented pickles.

Remember why you started:

You came here for the gut health benefits of fermented foods. Give them a chance to work their magic.

Keep learning! Our related articles explore the benefits of probiotics and fermented foods for gut health:

Creative ways to add fermented foods is an article taking a deep dive to your everyday meals and ways to add fermented foods to them, easily.

Learn about the health benefits of fermented foods and 9 ways to improve your gut health.

Want more recipes? Check out or 5 Quick and Easy and Healthy Ideas For Lunch for a Happy Gut.