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52 Best Salad Topping Ideas

52 Best Salad Topping Ideas

Having a salad party? We’ve put together an epic list of fun and flavorful salad toppings you’re sure to love. 

From creative and savory options to sweet and popular additions, these 52 salad topping ideas will be a hit!

When it comes to salad, I consider myself an expert. 

My fondness for the dish led me to create various salad recipes like watergate salad, german cucumber salad, red potato salad, greek yogurt-based fruit salad, rotisserie chicken salad, ranch-based pasta salad, grilled peach salad, and many more!

Though salad itself is already fun and delicious, you shouldn’t stop there.

Adding salad toppers will take your favorite recipe up a notch! 

From green salad to pasta salad and beyond, these 52 nifty salad toppings are sure to bring extra fun and flavors to your favorite salad dishes.

Adding #31 is a great way to incorporate some sweetness and crunch into your favorite salad dish, so remember to check it out!

The first on the list is Spinach. 

The mild and slightly sweet flavor profile of the raw young spinach leaves can add refreshment to your salad. 

At the same time, its taste becomes robust when it’s cooked.

If you only have the older leaves, it’s advisable to cook them before tossing them into the salad. 

You might probably be thinking about the extra time and effort of cooking it; no worries! 

Spinach has one of the shortest cooking times of all veggies.

Bacon Bits are made from textured soy flour to copy the flavor profile and texture of real bacon. 

Aside from green salad, they’re also best as toppings for soups, baked potatoes, and pasta dishes as it adds that hint of bacon flavor and crunchy texture to them. 

If you aren’t confident with processed food, real bacon will do! 

Cook the bacon in the oven, and chop them into small pieces before tossing the bits into the salad.

The versatility of cucumber makes them a great addition to your green salads. 

They’re crispy, cool, and refreshing to eat raw and then feature a mild, slightly sweet flavor. 

It goes well with other vegetables such as almonds, basil, cumin, dill, and parsley.

Feta Cheese is a good choice as a topper if you want to add something tangy flavor and rich aroma.

My favorite choice is the fried Greek feta, which brings a sharp, tangy taste and fine texture to your favorite salad recipes.

Another way to make your salad more interesting and enjoyable to consume is to add tomatoes at the end of the preparation. 

It has a complex combination of flavors. 

It features sweet, sour, and savory variations, resulting in a burst of flavor when added to a salad dish.

You can slice it, dice it, or leave it whole—it all depends on your preference. 

If you want to enhance the flavor, you can sprinkle some salt and pepper, or drizzle lemon juice or balsamic vinegar on top.

If you want to get that extra crunch to your salad, the best way to do that is to add fresh broccoli

It adds color and provides that earthy flavor to the dish too.

Cauliflower is a superfood that’s loved by many, including me! 

They’re a perfect topper candidate for salads as it offers a crunchy texture and mild taste that blends perfectly with other dishes. 

If you’re a cauliflower fan, then consider adding this sauteed cauliflower and sticky sesame cauliflower to your collection. 

Nothing is more enjoyable than a salad loaded with creamy ranch dressing. 

It never disappoints!

Making one is easy and requires a handful of ingredients such as sour cream, mayonnaise, buttermilk, various herbs, and spices.

If you love everything about avocado, then this Grilled Avocado recipe as toppings is an excellent choice. 

It features a creamy texture and buttery flavor that goes well with any salad. 

Love to hear more about avocado recipes? 

Then you shouldn’t miss this Shrimp Stuffed Avocado recipe, Avocado Deviled Eggs, and Baked Avocado Fries.

If you enjoy plenty of meat in your salad, try adding salmon.

Its succulent taste aside, salmon is different from any other fish. 

It’s rich, meaty, and satisfying enough to convince non-fish lovers to avoid their chicken-beef-pork routine. 

Plus, salmon isn’t just good for salad; it’s a great addition to your tartare, burgers, and pasta dishes. 

Check out these air fryer salmon recipes we have on hand.

If you haven’t tried adding ripe olives on top of your salad, you’re missing out!

Putting them creates that fresh, slightly fruity taste and has a unique and enjoyable flavor that blends perfectly with other ingredients, especially garlic, cheese, capers, and anchovies.

There’s a reason why I love making grilled chicken in large batches—for SALAD TOPPINGS! 

Incorporating grilled chicken into the salad adds a nice smoky flavor that’s so irresistible.

If you cooked too many pieces of grilled chicken last night, you could repurpose these leftovers by adding them to your favorite salad.

If you’re still wondering what to put in a salad, this entry will probably make up your mind—ALMONDS!

Adding sweet and spicy almonds brings that extra crunchy and delicious nutty flavor to any of your favorite salad recipes.

Though it’s more expensive than peanuts, almonds are totally worth it as you can do a lot of fantastic things with them.

Who needs fancy toppings when you’ve got eggs? 

It may sound pretty bland, but hey, they’re quite the deal, especially in a salad. 

The biggest challenge you might face when boiling eggs is overcooking them. 

Overcooked eggs have a dark green hue around their yolk and a sulphuric aftertaste. 

To elevate the experience, pair cooked eggs alongside bacon or ham.

Your dried mango’s flavor gets more pronounced when it’s topped on a salad. 

This dried delight is versatile and works quite well alongside kale, goat cheese, dried cranberries, and roasted pistachios. 

Though you can purchase a bag of dried mango at the grocery store, I recommend you make one at home as it’s more economical.

Crab cakes are one of the most common toppings for salad, apart from chicken and turkey. 

These crispy and juicy little cakes add sweet and slightly creamy seafood feel that takes the flavors of meat and vegetables up a notch. 

And whether you toss them into a refreshing salad, slaw, or soups, the crab cake is a dream topping.

A crowd-pleaser, guacamole contributes its flavor profile to salad, and the nutty taste and creamy feel of the dish enhance the flavors of other surrounding ingredients. 

Any recipes go well with guacamole——burgers, chicken dishes, hot dogs——name it!

If you want to infuse more creaminess into your salad, parmesan cheese is your very best bet. 

This cheese variety features a hint of nutty and fruity taste that enhances the flavor of your salad ingredients. 

Just a handful of parmesan cheese crisps is more than enough to make your entree extremely tasty.

We are fanatical about fresh berries and salad. 

Our favorite combination is sliced strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.

When making a salad with fresh berries I love to use a champagne dressing

It really enhances the flavor of the berries.

This may sound like an odd combo for a salad, but it is actually so oddly delicious.

Crumble up the bacon pieces and sauté the pears in your cast iron skillet with said bacon pieces.

I also recommend adding a dash of honey right at the end.

If you want to add some crunch to your salad, add Roasted Chickpeas.

They are super yummy and have the perfect crunch. 

Also, they are quite versatile, so you can pair them with other options listed above such as hard-boiled eggs.

Add a Southwestern flair to your salad and make it a meal. 

When you add pulled pork and avocado to your salad, you have a full meal in a bowl.

Watermelon and feta are a match made at a Farmer’s market, and everyone went home happy.

When you combine these two atop a salad, your tastebuds will thank you. 

I like adding a bit of cracked pepper on top just for that extra flair.

I love to buy rotisserie chicken and then use it over and over again in various ways. 

Shred up some rotisserie chicken and toss it with dried cranberries.

Add this to a spinach salad, and you have a treat for lunch or dinner.

Grab a fresh apple, and wash and dry it. 

Then slice it thin and add it to your salad.

Crumble up some goat cheese and mix it in. 

I prefer this combo with green apples, but that is up to you and your taste preferences.

Add some heat to your salad with this Spicy Garlic Tofu!

I like adding a bit of gochujang to my tofu for extra spice.

Gojuchang is a Korean chili paste that is a little sweet, smoky, and very spicy.

Of course, they’re not for everybody, so you can use any sauce or seasoning you like. 

As a tip, don’t forget to drain the tofu before cooking to eliminate excess water.

This recipe is a classic flavor combo that works great on salads. 

I usually stir-fry the garlic, shrimp, and mushrooms for a quick and easy topping.

But sometimes, the mood calls for something a little fancier.

In that case, I’ll use this garlic shrimp and mushroom recipe. 

It’s satiating and full of umami flavors.

Tip: It’s much easier to buy deveined and peeled shrimp to save time and effort.

You can eat salad for dinner, and these Asian Turkey Meatballs make it a complete meal.

They’re flavorful and go great with a sweet chili sauce.

I like to use ground turkey breast for leaner meatballs, but you can use any ground meat you want.

Although this recipe calls for cooking the meatballs on a large skillet, you can also bake them in the oven.

Serve these savory balls over a bed of greens, and you’ve got a delicious, fully-satisfying dish.

Tuna Patties are a fun and easy way to add protein to your salad.

They’re perfect for a light lunch or dinner. 

I usually make a big batch and pop them in the freezer, so I have some on hand for busy weeknights.

You can bake them in the oven, on the stove, or even in an air fryer.

Serve with some lemon wedges, and enjoy!

These Tuna Patties are a hit for both kids and adults.

Munching on Garlic Edamame is a great way to get your protein and greens in one go!

I like to add a bit of spice with some chili flakes, but you can keep it simple with just salt and pepper.

Vidalia onions are sweet onions with a mild and delicate flavor.

Caramelizing these on their own would make for a great topping, but I like to add some bacon and roast garlic for extra flavor.

This is a genius way of using up any leftover bacon you have.

The outcome is a sweet and savory side that takes your delicious mix of greens to the next level.

I just love how smooth and velvety Roasted Butternut Squash is.

Plus, the flavor pairs so well with other savory ingredients.

Nutty with a touch of sweetness, roasted butternut squash is a great way to add some taste and texture to the greens in your vegetable mix.

I like to roast mine with some rosemary for extra flavor.

But you can keep the taste a bit more tamed with just salt and pepper if you prefer.

Either way, using butternut squash is a great way to bulk up your salad and make it more filling.

Yes, you can have raw and finely grated beets as a topping to your salad, but roasted beets are much better.

They have a lovely sweetness that pairs well with the tanginess of balsamic vinegar.

Balsamic Roasted Beets are easy to make and can be used as a side to many different dishes.

I like to use baby beets for this recipe because they’re easier to roast, but you can use any type of beet you want.

Just make sure to slice them thinly, so they cook evenly.

Bell peppers are a great way to add sweetness and color to mixed greens.

I like to mix red, yellow, and orange for a pretty rainbow effect.

It takes about 15 minutes to saute the peppers, so this is a great way to use any leftover veggies.

This, plus some garlic, is all you need to make a delicious and addicting topping.

Sometimes, some quick Chinese-style bean sprout stir fry hits the spot.

I like to drizzle this with a bit of oyster sauce for extra flavor and some chopped scallions for a bit of a crunch.

You can use any type of bean sprout you like, but I prefer the longer ones for this dish.

You can always use broccoli or Brussels sprouts if you can’t find them in your local store.

These are just as good, and you can use the same cooking method.

Tangy and creamy, this apple carrot slaw is a great way to add some sweetness and crunch to your veggies.

I like to mix both green and red apples for pretty color contrast.

You can make the slaw ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to a week.

The best part is that these can be eaten as standalone snacks too!

This sweet and sticky Dried Apricots Jam is a great way to add candied texture to your food. 

I like to use it as a dressing for coating my mixed greens.

It’s also great on toast or oatmeal.

Whichever way you enjoy it, this jam makes a simple dish feel luxurious.

This Orange Marmalade Dressing lends sweetness and a hint of acidity to just about any salad.

It’s a quick 2-step process that only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish.

Just whisk the marmalade, vinegar, and oil together until emulsified.

You can even toss everything in a blender if you want a smooth dressing.

A food processor works just as well.

Whatever mixing route you choose, just make sure to give it a taste and adjust the sugar level to your liking.

These Crispy Garlic Croutons are a great way to add even more crunch to your hopefully already crunchy greens. 

And to add to the flavor, I like to toss them in a bit of garlic powder.

You can make these on the weekends and store them in an airtight container for up to a week.

I love how useful these make-ahead croutons add satiety to my meals.

The best part is that they’re as crunchy and good as the store-bought ones, if not better.

If you are on the hunt for a creamy but not too starchy complement to your food, sweet potatoes are a great option.

I like roasting mine with maple syrup and cinnamon for extra flavor.

But if you’re pressed for time, this microwaved sweet potato recipe is just as good.

Microwaving the sweet potato is the most efficient way to cook it. 

It’s quick, and it still comes out nice and creamy.

Let’s take a break from all the veggies and talk about grains for a sec.

This Lemon Israeli Couscous is such an elegant and flavorful way to add some heartiness to your salad.

There are peas, some lemon zest, mint, and parsley—a flavorful combo that will brighten up any dish.

Sometimes, all you have is a few minutes to whip up a satiating topping for your greens.

And surprisingly—that’s more than enough time to prepare Candied Walnuts.

You can snack on them on their own, give them away as gifts, or sprinkle them over salads like what I love to do.

The options are endless!

If you’re looking for a smooth but not too heavy topping, Sunflower Butter is a great option.

Peanut butter is, of course, a classic choice.

But Sunflower Butter is a tasty alternative if you have a peanut allergy or want to change things up.

It pairs surprisingly well with just about any type of food.

Fruits, sandwiches, and greens—every spoonful is a delight.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it—Mango Salsa is beautiful.

So it makes sense that I also love to add them to my salads.

Although they’re not my favorite fruit, I love how they add a touch of sweetness and acidity to any dish.

They are pretty versatile as well.

You can use them in both sweet dishes and savory meals.

If you are in the mood for fresh and zesty flavors, this Cilantro Sauce can add some pizazz to your salad.

It’s quick and painless to make, and you can store it in the fridge for up to a week.

I like to use it as a dressing or a sauce for my greens.

But sandwiches, soup, and tacos are all great options too.

This Honey Mustard dressing gives the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

I like to keep a jar of it in my fridge handy because you never know when a salad craving will hit.

It’s great on its own, or you can use it as a base for other dressings and sauces.

These also go particularly well with chicken, fish, and other proteins.

47. Tahini

Tahini is a versatile and delicious ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. 

It’s made from ground sesame seeds and has a nutty but not too overwhelming flavor.

Just think of it as a flavor enhancer!

You can add it to your meals to boost flavor and creaminess.

But it’s also great in sauces, dips, and desserts.

Just try it with a bag of chips, and you’ll see what I mean.

A Balsamic Vinaigrette doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. 

But it’s still a classic sauce for a reason.

This dressing is simple but so flavorful and goes well with just about any type of salad.

I like to make my balsamic vinaigrette at home because it’s straightforward, and you can control the ingredients.

But if you’re in a pinch, the store-bought version can be a good option too.

Although it’s not as personalized to your taste, it’s still a delicious dressing.

Slightly salty and perfectly crunchy, pita chips are a great way to add some chomp to your vegetable dish.

They’re also an excellent vehicle for other toppings and dressings.

I like to use them as dippers, or I’ll crumble them on top of my greens for some extra texture.

Just cut up some pita bread into bite-sized pieces, and toss them in the oven for a few minutes.

They’re not for everybody, but I love raisins in my salads.

I like the sweetness they add, and they pair well with other fruits and nuts.

Of course, you can buy raisins from the store.

But if you want to get a little fancier, you can try making your own.

Just bake some grapes in the oven, and let them dry until they’re slightly shriveled.

They’ll have a deeper flavor and a chewy texture that’s perfect for your greens.

Got some leftover tahini from item #47?

Why not put it to good use and whip up a batch of hummus?

This Spicy Hummus is a great way to add flavor to your meal.

It’s also perfect for dipping, so feel free to double the recipe and have some on hand for snacking.

And if we’ve gone down the path of reusing ingredients from the same list, you could also crumble up some baked pita chips on top of your salad.

See how complementary these items can be?

This might seem like a strange choice, but bear with me! 

A dollop of this Strawberry Puree can be a great way to add some sweetness and color to your food.

Just blend up some strawberries in a food processor, and voila!

You’ve got homemade strawberry puree.

Use it as a dressing, or top your salad with it and enjoy the sweetness.

The bottom line

There are many good add-ons to put in a salad. 

However, choosing salad toppings should align with your purpose and cravings—whether you’re looking for something sweet, tangy, nutty, or you want an extra crunch to your salad.

From spinach to bacon bits to grilled chicken, down to strawberry puree, I hope you’ll consider adding this slew of salad toppings to your next salad party. 

Have fun!

Best Salad Topping Ideas

Best Salad Topping Ideas

Having a salad party? We've put together an epic list of flavorful and fun salad toppings you're sure to love—check out #31!


  • Spinach
  • Bacon Bits
  • Cucumber
  • Feta Cheese
  • Marinated Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Sticky Sesame Cauliflower
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Grilled Avocado
  • Honey Garlic Salmon
  • Marinated Black Olives
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Sweet & Spicy Almonds
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Dried Mango
  • Crab Cakes
  • Guacamole
  • Parmesan Cheese Crisps
  • Berries
  • Bacon & Pears
  • Roasted Chickpeas
  • Pulled Pork & Avocado
  • Watermelon & Feta
  • Dried Cranberries + Shredded Chicken
  • Apple & Goat Cheese
  • Spicy Garlic Tofu
  • Garlic Shrimp & Mushroom
  • Asian Turkey Meatballs
  • Tuna Patties
  • Garlic Edamame
  • Vidalia Onions With Bacon & Roast Garlic
  • Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Balsamic Roasted Beets
  • Sauteed Bell Peppers
  • Bean Sprout Stir Fry
  • Apple Carrot Slaw
  • Dried Apricots Jam
  • Orange Marmalade Dressing
  • Crispy Garlic Croutons
  • Sweet Potato
  • Lemon Israeli Couscous
  • Candied Walnuts
  • Sunflower Butter
  • Mango Salsa
  • Cilantro Sauce
  • Honey Mustard
  • Tahini
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Pita Chips
  • Raisins
  • Spicy Hummus
  • Strawberry Puree


  1. Look at the variety of ingredients from each recipe in our Salad Topping Ideas list.
  2. Choose the topping you like the most.
  3. Create a new favorite salad you can enjoy!
  4. Have fun and tell us what you think on our Facebook page.

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Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

OMG every one of your salads look so scrumptious! I especially love smoked salmon and avocado either together or in different salads. What great ideas and the display is gorgeous.

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