8 Things You Should Be Adding to Your Salads That You Aren’t Already

Spice up your salads with these fun and fresh ideas that will bring much-needed texture, color and flavor to a boring bowl of greens.

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salad in jar
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Salads feeling a little lackluster lately? Why not jazz them up with fresh and surprising new ingredients that will have you looking forward to lunch every day. Think outside the box and pile your toppings high for a satisfying mix of crunchy and sweet that go way beyond lettuce.

Need a little inspiration on how to put it all together? Our 35 favorite salad recipes might do the trick.

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Roasted pumpkin seeds in a glass cup sitting on a wooden table
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With so many seeds to choose from, there are endless opportunities to jazz up your salads. From pumpkin seeds to sunflower seeds and everything in between–seeds are the perfect way to add a satisfying crunch and nutty flavor to your salads.

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Bulk up your salads by throwing your leaves onto a bed of your favorite whole grains. Ancient grains like quinoa, millet and sorghum are the perfect choice for a salad because they’ll add texture, flavor and density without over-filling you, but still give you plenty of nutritional benefits.

Photo: Shutterstock / ffolas

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Canned kidney beans
Photo: Shutterstock / ffolas


There are so many ways to use beans, and one of them is in salads! Beans provide a great source of protein in other dishes, but can also be a great way to add volume and nutrition to your salads. Pick what you like best, whether it’s black beans, chickpeas, white beans, or beyond.

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Raw cashews close-up in wooden bowl on sackcloth
Shutterstock/Elena M. Tarasova


Nuts are another way to add a crunch and texture to your salads. High in fiber and good fats, almonds and walnuts are old faithfuls, but why not switch it up and top your salads with cashews or macadamia nuts for something a little unexpected and delicious.vHere are even more ways to cook with cashews.

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Herbs on cooking board
Shutterstock / AnjelikaGr

Fresh Herbs

Herbs are a great way to add flavor and freshness to many recipes, including salads! Bring on the mint, parsley and chives! Aren’t keen on herbs in your salad? Add some to a homemade vinaigrette for full flavor that’s better than what you can find in a bottled dressing. Try growing your own herbs at home.

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Organic Healthy Assorted Dried Fruit on a Plate
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Dried Fruits

Step outside your comfort zone of dried cranberries and bring other dried fruits into the salad mix. Incorporate dates, blueberries and more into your salads for a sweet and chewy bite that you don’t need to worry about going bad. Drying your own fruits couldn’t be easier, and is a great family activity.

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A staple in Mediterranean diet recipes and a great source of monounsaturated fats, olives are rich in vitamin E and a tasty addition to your salad bowl. Whether you like them black or green, chopped or whole, just make sure they’re pitted so you don’t bite into one!

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Condiments Other Than Dressing

Dress up your salads with a drizzle or dollop of something other than your average salad dressing, like tahini or hummus for something Mediterranean-inspired, or even mustard, aioli, or whatever else tickles your fancy! Making homemade condiments is easier than you think.

Jacqueline Weiss
Jacqueline is a blogger and writer, passionate about sharing the latest in helpful tips and trends in food and cooking. In her spare time, you’ll find her trying new restaurants and experimenting in the kitchen.