Quick and Easy Salads on Atkins

Salads are an excellent option for lunches on Atkins and can be very quick and easy too. Of course, salads don’t need to be anything fancy – you can just take whatever ingredients you have in the fridge and add a tablespoon of full fat mayonnaise or another dressing. For instance you could choose from the following:

  • meat such as chicken, ham, turkey, pork – meat left over from foods you have cooked would be better as cooked meat you buy in packets tends  (unbelievably!) to have sugar added as well as other additives. It’s not very much but worth keeping in mind when making dinner so you can cook some extra meat for dinner so you can have it with your salad the next day.
  • tinned fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines or fish such as prawns or smoked salmon
  • cheese such feta, brie, cheddar, mozzarella, swiss cheese, goats cheese – and these are all acceptable in phase one
  • vegetables such as red, green or yellow bell peppers, lettuce, avocado, cucumber, radish, mushroom, olives, onion, spinach etc.

There are also some recipes for some delicious salad dressings and vinaigrettes at the back of the New Atkins New You book that are also quick to make.

Mexican Avocado Salad

This recipe is from ‘The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook‘ by Colette Heimowitz. Marinating the tomatoes enhances their flavor, but if you want to get this dish onto your plate quickly, skip step one. You can also substitute Irish Butterhead lettuce instead of Iceberg lettuce – apparently it is a more nutritious lettuce. You can buy avocados in most supermarkets – Aldi, Lidl, Supervalu, Tescos – just be sure they are ripe – they will feel soft and have a brown color. The ready-to-eat ones are usually ripe more expensive but it you buy them unripe and leave them in a fruit bowl they will ripen in a few days.

Ingredients – serves 2

Mexican Salad

  • Iceberg lettuce, cut into ½-inch ribbons
  • 1 ripe avocado, seeded, peeled, and chopped
  • ¼ medium yellow or white onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Carbs: 7g approx per serving
Phase: Suitable for all phases

Preparation Instructions

  1. Combine tomatoes, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Add onion, jalapeño and cilantro, if using; toss well.
  3. Arrange lettuce on a platter and top with avocado.
  4. Spoon tomato mixture on top and serve.

Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado salad

This delicious recipe is courtesy of greenvalleykitchen.com. With this recipe, for presentation reasons it is best to cut all the ingredients the same size. A tip given on this website is to soak the onion in a little water for a few minutes to remove some of the raw onion taste. Also if you are making it in advance, wait until just before serving to add the avocado as it does not refrigerate well.

Ingredients – serves 2

Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado salad

  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 ripe avocado – diced
  • 125g feta cheese – cubed
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 handful parsley – minced – about 2 tbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • some black pepper

Carbs:  7.5g approx per serving
Phase: Suitable for all phases

Preparation Instruction

  1. Chop tomatoes in half. Add to a bowl.
  2. Dice one cucumber. Add to bowl.
  3. Cut avocado in half, remove pit and remove from peel with a spoon. Dice the avocado. Add to bowl.
  4. Cube feta and add to bowl.
  5. Add minced red onion and minced parsley to bowl.
  6. Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar and black pepper – pour over salad.
  7. Toss gently so the feta and avocado don’t break up. Serve immediately.
  8. If refrigerating – keep the avocado aside and add before severing


Pecan, Cucumber, Fig and Avocado Salad

This salad is from Clean and Lean Warrior by James Duigan. It is relatively high in carbs although if you leave out the figs it is lower and would be suitable for all phases.

Carbs:  11.5g approx per serving (or 7.7g if fits omitted)
Phase: Suitable for phases 3, 4 (or for all phases if figs omitted)

Ingredients – serves 2

Pecan, Cucumber, Fig and Avocado Salad

  • 1 cucumber, roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado, cut into cubes
  • 80g pecan halves
  • 2 fresh figs, cut into quarters (optional)
  • small bunch mint, roughly chopped
  • juice half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation Instructions

  1. Mix the ingredients in a bowl.

More Atkins Friendly Salad Recipes

The following recipes are all suitable for phase one onwards except for the first one. For more ideas check out the UK Atkins meal-planner – just enter Salad and Phase 1 for instance to get lots of recipes for salads. Here are a few we’ve picked that are quick and easy salads to make that use ingredients you can easily find in Irish supermarkets:

  • Atkins Spinach Salad with hot Bacon VinagaretteSpinach Salad with Hot Bacon Vinaigrette – this delicious salad from the Atkins Chef recipes site is suitable from phase 2 onwards and has just 6g carbs per serving.
  • Chopped Greek SaladChopped Greek Salad – you just need some olives, feta, avocado and spinach for this very quick salad. It’s suitable for all phases and has just 4.5g carbs.
  • Tuna SaladTuna Salad – here is another very quick salad. Ingredients include Tuna, cherry tomatoes, radishes, salad leaves and mayonnaise (full fat of course!)
  • Caprese SaladCaprese Salad – Tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese and Basil are the main ingredients with this simple salad. Just 4.6g carbs.
  • Pesto and Mozzarella SaladPesto and Mozzarella Salad – this salad takes just 5 minutes to prepare and requires Tomato, Pesto, Mozzarella and Rocket leaves. 3.9g carbs per serving.
  • Salad NicoiseSalad Nicoise – this one takes a little longer to prepare. You will need tuna, hard boiled eggs, green beans, red onion and some olives. 4.9g carbs per serving.
  • Smoked Salmon WrapsSmoked Salmon Wraps – the ingredients for this healthy lunch are are smoked salmon, prawns and cream cheese and some salad leaves.


Please tell us your favourite salads in the comments below!

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