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Formula to Build a Restaurant Style Salad at Home

Do you ever get tired of having amazing salads at restaurants that you just can’t recreate at home? You’re stuck with limp, wimpy salads that leave you unimpressed and starving.

I used to have the same problem but I don’t any more! I LOVE a good salad and if you’re like me, you’ll love making your own salads at home finally.

My Restaurant Style Salad Formula

I made this beauty at home following my formula and it was ah-mazing. This is the perfect example of how to make a filling and delicious salad quickly and easily at home.


First, you need a solid base of at least 2 different types of lettuces. A mixed lettuce blend will taste better than just one type. I like to buy the “Power Blend” from the store. However, I also will blend romaine and spinach. Spinach and arugula.

Several Vegetables:

There’s a reason restaurant salads taste great, they have a ton of mix-ins! The best part is you don’t have to make them all yourself and a little meal prep can go a long way towards delicious salads.

So what flavor combo’s make a great mix in? I’m so glad you asked!

You want a combination of:

  • Earthy
  • Salty
  • Crunchy
  • Flavorful/Bite-y (that’s a real word I just made up)
  • Protein

Now let’s talk about options in each category.

Beets (all colors)
Blanched green beans
Cooked potatoes (cubed)
Cooked beans

Pickled beets
Pickled okra
Bacon crumbles

Nuts of choice
Seeds of choice
Raw veggies like bell pepper, cabbage, carrots, broccoli
Roasted chickpeas

Green onions
Red onions
Roasted garlic

Protein: (cooked)
Harb boiled eggs

You are not limited to one per category. Sometimes a food will cross over into more than one category.

Don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t have to make everything from scratch. You’ll be amazed at what is already done for you out there. For example, my salad up above was super simple and oh my gosh, I had the same salad for like a week straight because I loved it so much.

The green beans I’d blanched to make weeknight cooking faster. Just reheat but also used in my salad.
Sliced up the radishes. Someone else pickled the okra and cooked the beets, then I did a tuna packet all with my greens. I topped it all with Primal Kitchen’s Ranch dressing. A vinaigrette would have been great too.

Oh, that reminds me of the dressings. Greens can be on the “bitter” side of things. Not something most of our tastebuds have been used to eating. To counter the bitter flavor, you want to use a dressing that has an acidic food in it such as vinegar or citrus juice plus salt. All store-bought salad dressings have this combo in them for this very reason. If you absolutely hate vinegar, lemon and orange juice plus an extra bit of salt with your olive oil and herbs will also get the job done.

If you’d like to make them a little extra hearty, you can add a cup of a cooked grain such as wild rice, quinoa, or even cooked pasta.

And that my friends is how you make a restaurant-style salad that sticks! What are you going to try first? Let me know!

Formula to Build a Restaurant Style Salad that Sticks



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About Us

Hi friend!

I’m Marian Mitchell, Health Coach, Chronic Illness Warrior, Mom, and Food Lover. I help you navigate the food and lifestyle side of Chronic Disease Management with coaching, meal plans, recipes, podcast, and this blog. You can thrive without eating the same 4 things every day. I’m here to show you how.

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