How many calories are in a Mediterranean crunch salad?

Quick Answer

The number of calories in a Mediterranean crunch salad can vary depending on the specific ingredients and amounts used. However, a typical Mediterranean crunch salad contains around 300-400 calories per serving. The main sources of calories come from olive oil, nuts, cheese, and any protein ingredients like chicken or tuna. Using light olive oil and going easy on high-calorie ingredients like cheese and nuts can help keep the calorie count lower.

Calories in Common Mediterranean Crunch Salad Ingredients

Here is a breakdown of the approximate calories per serving for common Mediterranean crunch salad ingredients:

Ingredient Calories
Romaine lettuce (1 cup chopped) 8
Spinach (1 cup) 7
Arugula (1 cup) 5
Grape tomatoes (1 cup) 30
Cucumber (1 cup chopped) 16
Bell pepper (1 cup chopped) 30
Red onion (1/4 cup chopped) 15
Kalamata olives (10 olives) 40
Feta cheese (1 oz) 75
Extra virgin olive oil (1 Tbsp) 119
Walnuts (1 oz) 185
Dried cranberries (2 Tbsp) 70
Grilled chicken breast (3 oz) 140
Tuna (3 oz) 120
Balsamic vinegar (1 Tbsp) 15

As you can see, ingredients like olive oil, nuts, cheese, and protein sources add the most calories to a Mediterranean salad. Going light on those ingredients can help keep the calorie count down.

Nutrition Facts for a Typical Mediterranean Crunch Salad

Here are the nutrition facts for a typical Mediterranean crunch salad with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onion, olives, feta cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and grilled chicken:

Serving Size 1 salad (about 3 cups)
Calories 396
Total Fat 28g
Saturated Fat 4g
Unsaturated Fat 22g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 55mg
Sodium 581mg
Carbohydrates 16g
Fiber 5g
Sugars 8g
Protein 27g

As you can see, the majority of calories come from the fat content, especially unsaturated fats from the olive oil. There are also contributions from protein and carbs. The fiber, vitamins, minerals from the vegetables make this a nutritious choice despite the higher calorie count.

Ways to Reduce Calories in a Mediterranean Crunch Salad

If you’re looking to lighten up this salad, here are some easy ways to reduce the calories:

– Use less olive oil or switch to a lighter option like avocado oil
– Go easy on high-calorie ingredients like cheese, nuts, and dried fruit
– Opt for grilled, roasted or broiled protein instead of fried
– Use a light balsamic vinaigrette instead of oil-based dressing
– Increase the ratio of non-starchy vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers
– Add more fiber-rich veggies like artichokes, carrots, broccoli
– Skip the starchy ingredients like pasta, couscous, or quinoa
– Use lean protein options like chicken breast, tuna, or shrimp

Making these simple substitutions and tweaks can easily shave off 100 or more calories from your salad, while still keeping it tasting delicious and Mediterranean-inspired.

Low-Calorie Mediterranean Crunch Salad Recipe

Here is an example recipe for a lower-calorie Mediterranean crunch salad that still packs lots of flavor:


– 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
– 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
– 1 cup chopped cucumber
– 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
– 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
– 10 kalamata olives, pitted and halved
– 1 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
– 3 oz grilled shrimp
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tbsp lemon juice
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
– Pinch of salt


1. In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, olives, and feta cheese.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper.
3. Pour dressing over salad and toss until evenly coated.
4. Divide salad between 2 plates and top with grilled shrimp.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

– Calories: 238
– Total Fat: 12g
– Carbs: 14g
– Protein: 18g

This lighter version cuts about 150 calories by using just 1 tbsp of olive oil, going easy on high-calorie toppings, and using lean shrimp. You still get great Mediterranean flavor from the olives, onion, oregano, and feta.

Health Benefits of Mediterranean Crunch Salads

While higher in calories than a plain green salad, Mediterranean crunch salads provide some excellent health benefits:

Heart Healthy Fats – From olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. These provide monounsaturated and omega-3 fats which are good for cholesterol and heart health.

Disease Fighting Compounds – Vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, onions, and greens contain antioxidants like lycopene and vitamins C, E, and A. These help reduce inflammation and oxidative damage.

Fiber – Ingredients like veggies, beans, whole grains provide insoluble and soluble fiber for digestive and heart health.

Lean Protein – Chicken, seafood, chickpeas, etc. help sustain energy levels and muscle.

Probiotics – Feta cheese contains active, beneficial cultures for gut and immune health.

So while higher in calories and fat than a regular salad, the nutritional profile of a Mediterranean crunch salad is very balanced overall. If eaten in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, it can provide great benefits.

Helpful Tips for Building a Lower Calorie Mediterranean Crunch Salad

Here are some helpful tips if you want to enjoy these tasty salads while controlling calories:

– Use a light balsamic vinaigrette instead of oil-based dressing to save calories. Or limit oil to 1 Tbsp per serving.

– Load up on non-starchy veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers. They add nutrients and volume with minimal calories.

– Go easy on high-calorie toppings like cheese, nuts, olives, and dried fruit – a little goes a long way.

– Grill, broil, roast or poach proteins instead of frying to cut fat and calories.

– Include some type of lean protein like chicken, seafood, beans or lentils to keep you full.

– Skip starchy grains like pasta, couscous, or quinoa to remove those extra carbs and calories.

– Add fiber-rich veggies like artichoke hearts, carrots, broccoli, and greens.

– Use fresh herbs, spices, garlic, shallots, lemon for big flavor without the calories.

– Make a large batch of dressing and just use 1-2 Tbsp per serving to control portions.

Following these tips will allow you to create flavorful, satisfying Mediterranean salads that still clock in at under 400 calories per serving.

Common Questions about Mediterranean Crunch Salads

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Mediterranean crunch salads:

Are Mediterranean salads healthy?

Yes, Mediterranean salads contain many nutritious ingredients like vegetables, healthy fats, lean protein, probiotics, and fiber. They provide antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated fats for heart health.

Are Mediterranean salads high in calories?

They can be higher in calories than a plain garden salad due to ingredients like olive oil, cheese, nuts, and grains. But you can modify them to make lighter versions. Watch your portions of high-calorie toppings.

What makes a salad Mediterranean style?

Mediterranean salads often include veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, greens, as well as olives, feta cheese, olive oil, herbs like oregano, and a protein like tuna or chicken.

What kind of dressing is best for Mediterranean salads?

An olive oil and lemon or red wine vinegar dressing is a classic Mediterranean choice. But you can also use a light balsamic vinaigrette. Limit oil to 1-2 Tbsp per serving.

Can you add grains or pasta to a Mediterranean salad?

Yes, ingredients like cooked quinoa, couscous, orzo or whole grain pasta are great Mediterranean salad additions. Just watch your portion size to keep calories in check.


Mediterranean crunch salads typically contain around 300-400 calories per serving. Ingredients like olive oil, nuts, cheese, and protein additions drive up the calorie count. But the salads provide many nutritional benefits thanks to the healthy fats, vegetables, lean protein, and probiotics. You can easily make lighter versions by modifying your ingredient choices and portions. Watch your olive oil, limit high-calorie toppings, use lighter cooking methods for protein, and load up on fiber-rich veggies. With some simple tweaks, you can enjoy delicious Mediterranean flavor for under 400 calories per salad serving.

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