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Unlock Endless Salad Ideas With This Genius Mix & Match Cheat Sheet

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Stuck in a salad rut? We’ve all been there – romaine and croutons on repeat. Or if you grew up in my family it was iceberg lettuce! Salads deserve to feel vibrant and craveable; not boring!

With a few simple fix-ins, you can transform your salad from sad to TikTok-worthy! Best of all, I have these salad ideas all summed up in a free salad ideas printable that you can print and place on your fridge.

You can use this every day for lunch salad ideas and dinner salad ideas. Maybe your kids will finally start eating salad!

This salad cheat sheet is also perfect for making the best salad bar for a party.

A wooden bowl with a kale salad and a large salad fork.
Photo credit: Pexels/Valeria Ushakova

Salad Base Ideas

Every salad begins with a base. Lighter salad greens are great for a spring or summer salad, while heartier greens like shredded Brussels sprouts and cabbage are great for fall & winter salads.

  • Arugula
  • Beet Greens
  • Boston
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Endive Leaves
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Shredded Brussels Sprouts
  • Shredded Cabbage
  • Spinach

Salad Veggie Ideas

Add as many vegetables as you want. Consider cutting carrots, radishes, and cherry tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.

  • Artichoke
  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Edamame
  • Kimchi
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Onion
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Pickled Peppers
  • Sweet Potatoes
A white bowl with a peach salad, some cheese, and a bowl of salad dressing.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Caroline Green

Salad Fruit Ideas

With fruit, you can either add more of a sweet flavor or a sour flavor. For example, a Red Delicious apple will add sweetness but a green apple will add the perfect amount of sourness.

  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Mango
  • Oranges
  • Peach
  • Pomegranate
  • Raisins
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
A white bowl with a strawberry salad and dressing in a jar with a spoon.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Dovile Ramoskaite

Salad Cheese Ideas

Cheese is my favorite thing to add to salads. If you love cheese, pair it with what protein you are adding. Blue cheese is great with steak, mozzarella is great with pepperoni, use feta if you are craving Mediterranean, etc.

  • Asiago
  • Blue
  • Bocconcini
  • Cheddar
  • Feta
  • Halloumi
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Swiss
A bowl of salad with chickpeas, lettuce, and black olives.
Photo credit: Pexels/Alesia Kozik

Salad Texture Ideas

Since I eat gluten-free, I love adding chickpeas in place of croutons. They’re crunchy and fun and you can toast them if you want to.

  • Chickpeas
  • Croutons
  • Farro
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Brown Rice
  • White Rice
  • Wild Rice
A bowl of salad with a boiled egg sliced in half, lettuce, chickpeas, onions, and tuna.
Photo credit: Pexels/Alesia Kozik

Salad Protein Ideas

I love using leftover steak and chicken in my salads.

  • Bacon
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Egg (fried, boiled, poached..)
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Tuna

Salad Topping Ideas

These toppings add an extra crunchiness to your salad. Have fun experimenting with different toppings.

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Fried Onions
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Walnuts
Thousand Island dressing in a jar with a cutting board.
Photo credit: Ditch the Wheat – image of Thousand Island Dressing

Salad Dressing Ideas

Are you more of a light dressing or a creamy dressing? I switch between balsamic vinaigrette and Caesar dressing!

  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Caesar
  • Cilantro Lime
  • Greek
  • Green Goddess
  • Honey Mustard
  • Italian
  • Lemon Tahini
  • Ranch
  • Sesame Ginger
  • Thousand Island
A salad cheat sheet
Downloadable printable below

Tips for a Better Salad

Add more flavor to your salad by mixing the fresh veggies with pickled veggies. Don’t just add some nuts, amp up the flavor by toasting them first! I love textured salads because they feel comforting and filling. So consider adding lots of texture for a hearty salad. Most importantly, please do not add the salad dressing until you are ready to serve it.

Salad Recipe Ideas PDF

More Salad Dressing Recipes to try

I also have a printable that you can print and put on your fridge that has 8 Salad Dressing Recipes.

DISCLOSURE: Not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader. Ditch the Wheat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I only endorse products that I believe in.

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Carol Lovett is the founder of Ditch the Wheat and a Globe and Mail bestselling author of the cookbook, Ditch the Wheat. She has been eating gluten free since 2010. She loves all things food, natural living, and spiritual. She's also a reiki master and crystal healer.

Gluten Free Resources

Do you need help with gluten free meals?
I recommend this meal-planning app. It makes cooking gluten free dinners extremely easy and family-friendly.
What gluten free snacks can I eat?
Lots! I have a ton of practical gluten free snack recipes in my cookbook.
How can I eat dessert on a gluten free diet?
You can 100% eat dessert while eating gluten free. Try my dessert cookbook for easy gluten free dessert recipes.
How do I know what is gluten free and what isn’t?
I have a whole section is it gluten free?
How do I make substitutions?
If you need substitution advice I created a ton of resources here.

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