Salad Bar Ideas

by Monica Patrick

Salad bars are fresh buffets that offer diners a wide variety of vegetables and often some fruits. You'll find salad bars at restaurants and at private party events. Salad bars require some preparation, but cooking is not necessary. Health-conscious people enjoy eating at a salad bar that has fresh foods, sneeze guards and adequate utensils.

Tex-Mex Salad Bar

Tex-Mex foods are smoky, spicy and flavorful. A Tex-Mex salad bar should be loaded with fresh greens tossed with a little Tex-Mex spice. For toppings add tomatoes, chopped onions, black beans, corn and mixed cheeses. For a little grilled flavor, cook some boneless skinless chicken breasts. Place them on your salad bar in a warm bowl. You might also want to add some grilled steak strips. Besides the typical dressings like Ranch and Italian include a lime vinaigrette. For some extra Tex-Mex flair add some multicolored corn tortillas, salsa and sour cream.

Italian Salad Bar

An Italian-inspired salad bar should have luscious greens and some pasta side dishes. Use Romaine lettuce and spinach for greens. For toppings include the usual vegetables like tomatoes and onions. Also include different types of olives and some smoked meats. Prosciutto, pepperoni and salami go wonderfully on an Italian-inspired salad. Bread sticks make a nice touch and can be substituted for the usual crackers. Include some some antipasti.

Southern Salad Bar

Serve up a salad bar, Southern style. Use a lettuce blend for your basic greens. Then add some quartered tomatoes, red onions and sliced cucumbers. Chopped bell peppers of different colors should also be on the salad bar. You can add some fried chicken strips. Pickles and fried pickles go well on a Southern-inspired salad bar. Chopped ham, turkey and roast beef are good choices for more meats. Use real chopped bacon in this salad bar. Top it off with Ranch and Blue Cheese dressings. For side dishes on the bar include some ambrosia fruit salad and some flavored puddings.

Fruit Salad Bar

A fruit salad bar is a refreshing way to feed your guests. Start with fresh baby lettuce arranged neatly in a glass or plastic bowl. Then fill up the rest of the bar with fruits. Serve some chopped strawberries tossed in lemon juice and poppy seeds. Chopped watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple and peaches are sweet choices. To avoid endless hours prepping your fruit, buy bagged fresh-frozen or precut fruits. Include some sweet dressings for drizzling. Cottage cheese and whipped toppings are a must for this salad bar.

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About the Author

As a former senior sales director with Mary Kay and the co-owner of a renovation company, Monica Patrick has firsthand knowledge of small business operations. Besides start ups, she has extensive skills in recruiting, selling, leadership, makeup artistry and skin care.