Greek-inspired salad with a lot of extra protein. Try this cottage cheese salad for an easy, healthy, lunch or dinner. For more simple and balanced meals, try my quinoa edamame salad, Italian grinder bean salad, and chicken pesto pasta salad.

Greek-inspired cottage cheese salad on a white plate with a gold fork

This post may contain affiliate links.

It’s time I tell you about the best hack for adding protein to salads: cottage cheese.

You might have a moment of hesitation or perhaps I just gave you the “ick”. But the truth is, cottage cheese is one of the most delicious ways to add protein to salads without using meat. And as a dietitian, I appreciate that it’s calorie-conscious, meat-free, and super filling, too.

Don’t believe me? Try this incredible cottage cheese salad for yourself and report back. It’s got all the flavor of your usual Greek salad but with an extra protein twist. It’s guaranteed to leave you full and satisfied for hours after you eat it.

Why you’ll love cottage cheese salad

Creamy and delicious: We swapped feta for cottage cheese, which is surprisingly tasty and satisfying.

High protein: This filling salad contains 26 grams of protein to keep you full, support weight loss, and help your muscles grow.

Vegetarian: Whether you’re vegetarian or simply trying to eat fewer animal products, you won’t miss meat in this Mediterranean-inspired cottage cheese salad.

High fiber: Dietary fiber is good for your heart, your gut, and for keeping you full longer. We added chickpeas to this salad so you’re getting a high fiber boost.

Gluten-free: If you’re sensitive to gluten or wheat, fear not! This simple recipe does not contain either.

Half-eaten greek salad with cottage cheese on a white plate with a gold fork

Ingredients and swaps

Here’s what you’ll need to make this Greek-inspired cottage cheese salad.

Sliced vegetables: Cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, and red onion. This salad recipe with cottage cheese uses the same vegetables you’d find in a traditional Greek salad. I used cherry tomatoes instead of full-sized because they’re easier to prep, but feel free to use what you have. Red onions can be omitted if you want to keep your breath fresh midday.

Canned chickpeas: These add some extra plant-based protein and fiber. Feel free to swap the chickpeas in this cottage cheese salad for canned lentils, black beans, white beans, or red kidney beans. Make sure you drain and rinse whatever you’re using to prevent digestive upset that sometimes comes with eating beans.

Olives: Use whatever pitted olives you enjoy in this recipe! They add a delicious salty bite.

Dressing: I recommend dressing this salad in a simple mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive brine, and dried oregano. I didn’t use exact measurements for many of these ingredients, because you don’t have to be precise to make a delicious salad.

Cottage cheese: And of course, the star of the show! Cottage cheese adds filling protein and a creamy texture to this yummy salad. I used 2% cottage cheese because I prefer its texture and nutritional profile, but feel free to use any cottage cheese you like.

Ingredients for cottage cheese salad in bowls on a white marble counter

How to make cottage cheese salad

  1. To a medium bowl, add cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, chickpeas, and olives. Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, olive brine, salt, and pepper. Stir with a spoon until all the vegetables are well-coated. Set aside.
  2. Add cottage cheese to a medium serving bowl or rimmed plate. Use the back of a spoon to spread the cottage cheese across the bottom of the bowl/plate.
  3. Scoop salad over cottage cheese. Add a sprinkle of dried oregano if desired.
  4. Serve with pita chips or fresh pita bread. Enjoy!

Optional add-ins

Try these extra ingredients:

  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Fresh basil, parsley, or dill
  • Chopped pepperoncini peppers
  • Crushed pita chips
  • Feta cheese
  • Green onion
  • Hemp hearts
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Fresh lemon juice

How to serve

My favorite way to eat this protein-rich salad is with pita chips. Use pita chips to scoop the cottage cheese and salad mixture into your mouth. The crunch and saltiness of the pita chips is incredibly satisfying!

You could also use crackers, tortilla chips, or fresh pita bread to scoop this salad.

Or, mix it all up in a bowl and eat like a regular salad with a fork.

Photo of a mixed cottage cheese Greek salad on a white plate with a gold spoon

Meal prep instructions

To make this cottage cheese Greek salad in advance, simply store your cottage cheese and salad separately until you’re ready to eat.

Mix the salad with your dressings as instructed, and store in a leak-proof food container. Store your cottage cheese in a separate food container. When you’re ready to eat, combine the two containers and serve with pita chips.

If you store your cottage cheese and salad together, the cottage cheese will separate.

Top tip

The yummier your cottage cheese, the yummier your cottage cheese salad! Choose a brand of cottage cheese you enjoy.

Here in Canada, I love the Nordica 2% cottage cheese best. It has a creamy texture and a nice balance of salt. If you’re located in the United States, I recommend Good Culture cottage cheese. It has a unique texture and excellent flavor that can’t be beat!

More healthy lunch recipes

High protein salad
Pesto egg salad
Tunacado sandwich
Air fryer tortilla pizza
Turkey bacon ranch chicken salad
Quinoa arugula salad
High protein pasta salad

Did you try this recipe?

Leave your rating and review below! And don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, and tag me @real.life.nutritionist.

Greek-inspired cottage cheese salad on a white plate with a gold fork
5 from 2 votes

The Best Cottage Cheese Salad

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Greek-inspired salad with a lot of extra protein. Try this cottage cheese salad for an easy, healthy, lunch or dinner.

Ingredients
 

  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 medium bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/8 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green olives, more as desired
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • splash red wine vinegar
  • splash olive brine
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup cottage cheese, I use 2%
  • sprinkle dried oregano, optional
  • pita chips or fresh pita bread, to serve

Instructions
 

  • To a medium bowl, add cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, chickpeas, and olives. Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, olive brine, salt, and pepper. Stir with a spoon until all the vegetables are well-coated. Set aside.
  • Add cottage cheese to a medium serving bowl or rimmed plate. Use the back of a spoon to spread the cottage cheese across the bottom of the bowl/plate.
  • Scoop salad over cottage cheese. Add a sprinkle of dried oregano if desired.
  • Serve with pita chips or fresh pita bread. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition information calculated without pita chips or pita bread.
Calories: 359kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 1102mg, Potassium: 630mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 2416IU, Vitamin C: 96mg, Calcium: 156mg, Iron: 2mg
Cuisine: American, Greek, Mediterranean
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Salad, Snack