Protein Packed Green Apple, Salmon & Lentil Salad

Protein Packed: King Salmon, Green Apple, Lentil Salad

a wooden bowl with salad tongs surrounded by a green salad filled with pears, salmon and onions

Why this Protein Packed Salad is so special:

  • This salad is anything but boring- sweet pears, tart green apples, two kinds of nuts, chickpeas, red onions, fresh crisp greens and protein rich lentils make up the exciting ingredient list.
  • King salmon is one of the most healthy proteins you can eat.
  • The ingredients in this recipe hit every part of your taste buds- sweet pears, sharp onions, savory cauliflower and more.
  • I roast everything on a single sheet pan in batches to keep clean up to a minimum.
a speed of ingredients for a salmon salad
King Salmon is preferred but any wild caught salmon will work in the salad

The Health Benefits of King Salmon:

  • A 3.5 oz serving of King salmon has 25 grams of protein
  • Salmon is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease. See a Washington State healthy eating guide HERE.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are good for brain function. Moreover, Studies show consuming salmon can improve mood, memory and cognitive function. Eat fish. Be happy.
  • It is low in calories- the protein can reduce appetite and create a satisfied feeling.
  • King Salmon is rich in Vitamin D- essential for a healthy immune system
  • King Salmon is also bursting with Vitamin B12 and potassium
  • Antioxidants like astaxanthin are found in king salmon which prevent neurodegenerative, cardiovasular and inflammatory diseases.
a router top filled with butternut squash, greens, chickpeas, salmon, lentils, nuts, cauliflower and spices

This gorgeous salad came together when we had an abundance of late summer fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. It is practically a “kitchen sink” recipe, because I threw everything but the kitchen sink into this recipe.

How to make protein packed king salmon, green apple, lentil salad:

  • Cook the lentils in boiling water until just barely tender. Add drained chickpeas and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.
  • Mix all the spices together in a small bowl.
  • Peel butternut squash, trim cauliflower. Coat the veggies with the spices and olive oil. Roast the squash and cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet at 400 degrees.
  • Coat the salmon with olive oil and more of the spice mix. Roast the salmon on the same baking sheet.
  • Toast the nuts in a pan with a bit of butter and remaining spice mix. Set aside to cool.
  • Assemble all the ingredients- pears, apples, lentils and chickpeas, onion, dried fruit, roasted vegetables, salmon and greens in a large salad bowl, adding the goat cheese, dressing and nuts last.

a small round plate with a pile of pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries dn walnuts
Healthy nuts rich in omega 3 fats are in this salad

Other salmon recipes to try:

a grey plate with salt , pepper, turmeric, smoked paprika and cumin piled on it

Substitutions for this recipe:

  • steelhead trout
  • arctic char
  • rainbow trout
  • For tree nut allergies, substitute the walnuts for roasted chicken peas, or roasted sunflower seeds.
a small white bowl of canned chickpeas

a pan with pumpkins seeds and walnut being sautéed in butter and honey
toasting the nuts adds a bit of crunch and smokiness
a wooden bowl with salad tongs surrounded by a green salad filled with pears, salmon and onions

Protein Packed Green Apple, Salmon & Lentil Salad

This nutrient rich uber hearty salad requires only one sheet pan to roast the vegetables and salmon. This will soon be your favorite fall salad.
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Course: Healthy, Main Course, Recent Posts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: high protein salmon and lentil salad
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 443kcal


  • 4-5 cups fresh salad greens
  • 8 oz salmon fillets , skin removed & deboned
  • 1 head cauliflower – I used purple for the color
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • ½ cup olive oil , divided
  • 1 cup lentils uncooked
  • 1 cup chickpeas , drained & rinsed
  • ½ cup walnut halves
  • ½ cup pepitas
  • ¼ cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 1 cup red onion , sliced into rings
  • 1 green apple – cored, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pear , cored, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese -optional
  • 1 TBSP freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Cook lentils in 4-5 cup boiling water until fork tender. Drain. Add chickpeas to lentils. Drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil . Set aside, covered, into a small bowl. Chill.
  • In another small bowl, mix all the dry spices together- turmeric, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Set aside. Peel butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, remove seeds and fibers and dice into 2” squares. Trim cauliflower into bite size pieces. On a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper, place squash. Sprinkle 1 tsp of the spice mix over the squash and drizzle with olive oil. Toss well to coat the squash. Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes. Remove from oven, rotate the squash for even browning. Add the cauliflower, 2 more teaspoons of the spice mix and toss all veggies with more olive oil and bake until the cauliflower is just brown on the tips. About 8-9 minutes more.
  • Remove and place in a large salad bowl to cool. Do not clean pan or parchment paper.
  • Cut salmon into 2” bites. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of the spice mix and drizzle with olive oil. On the same pan that you roasted the veggies, place the seasoned salmon and roast until the edges are just crispy- about 8-10 minutes.

Make the apple cider vinegrette and add the ginger to the dressing before blending.

  • Recipe here:
  • Add 1 TBSP butter & 1 TBSP olive oil to a skillet over low heat. Add in any remaining spice mix. Toss in walnuts and pepitas and toast for 2-3 minutes on low heat until fragrant. Do not overcook or the nuts will turn bitter. Stir nuts constantly to coat well with spices and oils. Set aside to cool.
  • To Assemble:
  • In a large salad bowl add the greens, lentils, chickpeas, nuts and dried fruit. Toss gently to mix well. Arrange on top the roasted squash, cauliflower and salmon. Add the sliced apple, pear and red onion. Sprinkle with goat cheese.
  • Serve with Apple Cider Vinaigrette on the side.


  • I prefer to cook my lentils the day before serving. Toss in the chickpeas and let them hang out in the the olive oil for a day to super charge their flavor.
  • Serve the dressing on the side so the veggies and salmon do not “sog out”. Better for leftovers the next day.
  • Nutrition

    Calories: 443kcal

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