High-Protein Romesco Salad

Author: Sarah Cobacho | Posted: December 12, 2023

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A bowl of vibrant, healthy Zucchini and butter bean salad on a Romanesco-inspired sauce

This High-Protein Romesco Salad is perfect for any season. It’s nourishing and delicious, with 27 g of protein per serving, and you don’t even need to turn on the stove. The sauce is the star of the show and is inspired by a Romesco sauce, a delicious Catalan dish. We’ve given it a unique twist by substituting some of the almonds with tofu. This not only maintains its creamy texture but also enhances the protein content, boosting it to an impressive 27 g per serving.

It comes together so easily, and it’s only made better by enjoying it with a slice of toasted bread. I paired it with our fermented gluten-free one-ingredient buckwheat bread, and it was just perfect.

Why This Recipe Works

Effortlessly Delicious: Perfect for summer days, this salad is a refreshing blend of flavors without any cooking required.
Nutrition-Packed: Loaded with vegetables and plant-based proteins, it’s a nourishing choice for any meal.
Protein-Rich: With tofu and butterbeans, this dish boasts an impressive 27g of protein per serving.
Flavorful and Versatile: The Romesco-inspired sauce adds a unique and delicious twist.
Easy to Prepare: Simple, straightforward steps make this recipe accessible to everyone.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Combine lemon zest, juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large container. Peel zucchinis into ribbons and mix with the marinade, then refrigerate for 1.5 hours. Separate the zucchini from the marinade, reserving the liquid. Blend the sauce ingredients, including part of the marinade, until smooth. Assemble the salad by layering sauce, butterbeans, zucchini ribbons, pinenuts, feta, and basil.

Ingredient Notes

Zucchinis: Fresh and full of fiber, zucchinis make a perfect base for this salad. Swap with cucumber for a different texture.
Butterbean: A great source of plant-based protein and fiber. Cannellini beans can be used as a substitute.
Plant-Based Feta: Adds a creamy, tangy element. If unavailable, use any soft vegan cheese, or omit.
Tofu: Extra firm tofu maintains its texture in the sauce. A vital source of protein and minerals.
Lemon: Fresh lemon juice is key for its vitamin C and vibrant flavor.


  • Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes, it’s naturally gluten-free.
  • Can I use canned butterbeans? Absolutely, just ensure they are drained and rinsed well.
  • Is there a nut-free alternative for the sauce? Yes, you can use seeds like sunflower instead of almonds.
  • How long does this salad keep? It’s best enjoyed fresh, but can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  • Can I add more vegetables? Certainly, feel free to include veggies like spinach or arugula.

Variations and Tips

Make It Hearty: Include quinoa or farro for a more filling salad.
Storage Tip: Keep the sauce and salad components separate until serving for freshness.
Prep Ahead: Zucchini ribbons can be marinated a day ahead.
Serving Suggestion: Pair with crusty bread or a side of quinoa for a complete meal.
Meal Prep: If you like this salad, you will love our vibrant Meal Prep Romesco Pasta Salad!

Why You’ll Love This High-Protein Romesco Salad

  • Refreshing
  • Nutrient-Dense
  • Protein-Packed
  • Versatile
  • Simple to Make
  • Absolutely Yummy

High-Protein Romesco Salad

5 from 5 votes
A bowl of vibrant, healthy Zucchini and butter bean salad on a Romanesco-inspired sauce
Prep Time15 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
A refreshing summer salad with zucchini ribbons, butterbeans, and a protein-rich Romesco inspired sauce.
By Sarah Cobacho (plantbaes.com)


Servings 2



  • 3 small zucchinis
  • 1.5 lemon (juice + zest (approx 1/4 cup))
  • 1 pinch salt & pepper
  • 1 garlic (minced)
  • 1.5 cups cooked butter beans
  • 20 g plant-based feta (crumbled)
  • 1.5 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 handful fresh basil (chopped)

Romesco-Inspired Sauce

  • 2 jarred capsicum
  • 2 tbsp sundried tomato
  • 150 g extra firm tofu
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • juice (from the marinade)
  • 1 pinch salt & pepper


  • In a large container, combine the lemon zest, juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to create the marinade.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, create zucchini ribbons. Combine with the marinade and set in the fridge for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Separate the liquid and zucchinis, reserving the liquid for later use.
  • To prepare the Romesco inspired sauce, blend the capsicum, sundried tomatoes, tofu, almonds, olive oil, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and half of the reserved marinade liquid. Use more liquid if needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  • To assemble the salad, layer the sauce, butterbeans, zucchini ribbons, pinenuts, crumbled feta, and chopped basil. Enjoy your refreshing and nourishing meal!
Per Serving
Calories 517kcalCarbohydrates 55gProtein 27gFat 25gSodium 280mgFiber 14gVitamin A 333IUVitamin C 252mgCalcium 408mgIron 7mg
CUISINE Mediterranean-Inspired
KEYWORDS easy summer meal, gluten-free, High Protein, refreshing taste
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  1. Hi Sarah, I just made this recipe and wanted to tell you how lovely it is! It’s refreshing and light but totally satisfying which surprised me as I thought it might be too light – but you’ve nailed it with the ingredient combo. I omitted the olive oil as my sundried tomatoes had a lot of oil on them.

    I will definitely make this again. I would even make the courgette/zucchini part as a side dish in other recipes.5 stars

    1. Hey lovely, thank you so much for the lovely feedback! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, and I think you’re right it would make a lovely side dish too 💕

  2. Made this without the feta and ended up omitting the basil too because I was out of that.

    Absolutely delicious and will make again.
    It is fresh and tangy and a perfect summer meal, BUT … this is definitely more of a 4 person portion. It was way too much for the two of us (which is why I left out the cheese).5 stars

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