Looking for salad topping ideas? Here are lots of simple, easy salad toppings. Use them to add nutrients and flavor and to make your meals more exciting!
*Originally published April 2012*
Hi friends –
When in comes to what to put in a salad, I feel like there are two kinds of people – those who love the greens and those who love the salad toppings. This post was inspired by a salad I ate almost 8 years ago. We were out celebrating after I matched to my dietetic internship and I got a salad. It wasn’t super fancy. It was made with a bed of mixed greens, topped with asparagus, corn, hard-boiled egg, bacon, red onions, tomatoes, and feta. I ate it. I went home. And I couldn’t get it out of my head. When I started to dive into why I liked it so much, I decided it was because the toppings were out of the ordinary for me. I tend to fall into a pattern with my salad toppings. I always add carrots, red peppers, red onion, and tomato. In the summers, I tend to add more fruits- like strawberries and apples. If I’m feeling especially crazy, I add roasted sweet potatoes and some quinoa.
I can’t think of a single time I ever put asparagus on my salad. I rarely add corn. And even though I love hard-boiled eggs…I rarely put them on my salad. Since I enjoyed this salad so much, I started thinking about how other people might fall into a salad rut similar to mine.
What To Put In A Salad
What it really comes down to then is what to put in salad, right? The good news for you salad lovers is that there are hundreds of healthy salad toppings. You can really put almost anything over a bed of leafy greens and call it a salad. Of course there are traditional salad toppers like veggies, grilled meat and cheese. But what about things like fruit, beans, seeds and fresh herbs? Have you tried them?
To help break you out of your boring salad rut, I made a list of salad toppings…some traditional…and some you might not have thought of! Maybe it will inspire you to spice up your salad!
Salad Topping Ideas
Asparagus, Beets, Artichoke hearts, Cucumbers, Peppers, Carrots, Broccoli,
Peas, Red onion, Celery, Mushrooms, Sweet potato, Radishes, Olives, Corn
-Try your vegetables roasted, grilled, marinated, raw or pickled for variety-
Hard-boiled, Poached, Soft-boiled
Couscous, Farro, Quinoa, Barley, Rice
Pepitas, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds
Cranberries, Cherries, Raisins, Mango, Blueberries
Kidney beans, Black beans, Garbanzo beans,
Great northern beans, Edamame, Tofu
Tuna, Salmon, Crab Cakes, Shrimp, Scallops
Chicken, Turkey, Steak, Ham, Bacon
-A great way to use up leftovers!-
Pears, Grapes, Mandarin oranges, Apples, Avocado,
Strawberries, Tomatoes, Pomegranate Arils
-Thinly sliced, segmented, or in dressings-
Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Peanuts, Pine nuts
-Try them toasted, sliced, slivered, raw or candied-
Goat cheese, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Feta, Gorgonzola
-Crumbled, grated, sliced-
Basil, Mint, Chives, Dill, Parsley
Salsa, hummus, guacamole, pureed fruit
Croutons, Crispy noodles, Water chesnuts
This is by no means an exhaustive list, because really- you can put pretty much anything on a salad…it’s just meant to spark your creativity!
Need more salad topping ideas? Check out these posts:
- 7 Easy Salads for Summer
- 19 Salad Recipes for Lunch or Dinner
- Strawberry Chicken Power Salad
- Steak Cobb Salad
And if you typically pack salads for lunch and want some new ideas, here are 50 Packable Lunch Ideas!
What are your favorite salad toppings?? Anything missing from my list?