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DIY Salad Bar

This recipe gives a range of quantities for salad bar ingredients. This is to take into account whether you have little or big appetites in your house, what you happen to have in the fridge, and your personal preferences for what goes into a salad. Feel free to tinker with the amounts to make the salad bar your very own.


  • 4 to 6 generous handfuls of greens , such as lettuce, spinach, dark leafies, and/or chicories
  • 1 1/2 to 3 cups raw vegetables or leftover cooked vegetables
  • 1/2 to 1 cup fresh fruit , such as chopped apples or pears, berries, or sectioned citrus fruits
  • 1 to 2 cups beans , legumes, and/or grains
  • 1 to 2 cups other protein-rich foods , such as cooked chicken, turkey, hard boiled egg, tuna, salmon, beef, tofu, pork, ham, or lamb
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded , crumbled, or cubed cheese, such as feta, Cheddar, Swiss, blue, or goat cheese
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup nuts and/or seeds , such as almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup fruit such as raisins , dried cranberries, chopped apricot, chopped dried plums
  • Croutons
  • Favorite dressings


  1. Start by portioning out all of your ingredients into little bowls or ramekins and set them on the table. Grab the kids to help with this one.
  2. Make a salad dressing and/or pull out whatever bottled options you have on hand. It's a plus to offer a choice, even if it's just a bottle of olive oil and vinegar.
  3. Set one big bowl on the table with a pair of salad tongs and a stack of serving plates.
  4. Let each family member fill a plate with all their favorite salad fixings, put it into the big bowl, drizzle on some dressing, and toss each salad individually. The kids like doing this on their own.
  5. Any leftovers can be tossed together for lunch box salads for the next day.