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18 salad topping ideas to take your salad game up a notch!

When it comes to salad, I consider myself an expert. My fondness for the dish led me to create various salad recipes like watergate saladgerman cucumber saladred potato saladgreek yogurt-based fruit saladrotisserie chicken saladranch-based pasta saladgrilled 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 thirteen nifty salad toppings are sure to bring extra fun and flavors to your favorite salad dishes.

1. Spinach

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 the veggies. 

2. Bacon bits

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

3. Cucumber

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 almondsbasilcumindill, and parsley


4. Feta cheese

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 Greek feta, as it brings a sharp, tangy taste and fine texture to salads, sandwiches, and cold soups. It can also be used as a garnish for pizza, meat dishes, and cooked veggies too!

5. Tomatoes

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.

6. Broccoli

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. If you love everything about this veggie, you’re going to love this blackened broccoli recipe.

7. Cauliflower

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

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

If you’re a cauliflower fan, then consider adding this sauteed cauliflower to your recipe box!

8. Ranch dressing

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. 

Aside from salads, it’s delicious as a dip for fresh vegetables, pizza, and chicken poppers.

9. Avocado

If you’re on a keto diet and loves salad, including avocado 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? Then you shouldn’t miss this shrimp stuffed avocado recipeavocado deviled eggs, and bake avocado fries!

10. Salmon

If you enjoy plenty of meat in your salad, then try adding some grilled 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!

11. Black olives

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 garliccheesecapers, and anchovies.

12. Grilled chicken

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

Incorporating grilled chicken to the salad adds a nice smoky flavor that’s so irresistible!

In case you cooked too many pieces of grilled chicken last night, you can repurpose these leftovers by topping them to your favorite salad!

13. Almonds

If you’re still wondering what to put in a salad, then the last entry in the compilation will probably make up your mind. ALMONDS!

The addition of toasted 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.

14. Eggs

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.

Learn how to boil eggs perfectly here.

15. Dried mango

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.

Learn how to dry mango here.

16. Crab cakes

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 to a refreshing salad, slaw, or soups, the crab cake is a dream topping!

Learn more about crab cakes here.

17. Guacamole

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!

18. Parmesan cheese

If you want to infuse more creaminess to 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 is more than enough to make your entree extremely tasty.

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 almonds, I hope you’ll consider adding this slew of salad toppings to your next salad party. Have fun!

Salad topping ideas

Salad topping ideas

Here's a compilation of salad toppings that are sure to bring extra fun and flavors to your favorite salad dishes.

Ingredients

  • Spinach
  • Bacon bits
  • Cucumber
  • Feta cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Ranch dressing
  • Avocado
  • Salmon
  • Black olives
  • Grilled chicken
  • Almonds
  • Eggs
  • Dried mango
  • Crab cakes
  • Guacamole
  • Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Pick a few salad toppings to try
  2. Add them to your recipe box
  3. Make one for your next salad party

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