Top 20 Healthy Salad Toppings

Top 20 Healthy Salad Toppings

Posted in 2020-12-14 09:48:56

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

With a large variety of possible mix-ins, salads can be a staple of a balanced diet. You can add almost any food to a salad, but some toppings are more nutritious than others.

Here are the top 20 healthy salad toppings.


  1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens or arugula. However, you can also add several other raw vegetables.

Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are packed with fiber and plant compounds that offer health benefits.

One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood (1Trusted Source).

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds — such as pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and chia seeds — are highly nutritious salad toppings.

For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 5 grams of protein and close to 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. Even more, adding just 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) to a salad packs over 3 grams of fiber and several vitamins and minerals.

When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.

 

  1. Dried Fruit

Salads and dried fruit are a delicious combination.

Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

To avoid added sugars and preservatives, look for dried fruits that only have the fruit listed as an ingredient. Additionally, use this tasty treat sparingly to top off your salad.

You can also make your own by slicing your favorite fruit into thin pieces and baking them on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours.

 

  1. Whole Grains

Some popular whole grains to use as salad toppings include cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro and barley. These grains add texture and flavor to your salad.

Whole grains also provide fiber and protein that can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. For example, 1 cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of fiber.

Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels (2Trusted Source).

Cooked whole grains are available at most grocery stores. To prepare your own, combine uncooked grains with water in a 1-to-2 ratio in a pot over the stove — for example, use 1 cup of grains with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the grains are tender.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein to add to your salad.

A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of both cooked black beans and kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can use canned beans or prepare them yourself. To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for one to three hours or until they are tender.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit

Even though salads are typically thought of as a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit can be a delicious salad topping with added health benefits.

One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk (3Trusted Source).

Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries. You can also use blended fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice for homemade salad dressings.

 

  1. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla chips or pita chips add a crunchy texture and delicious taste to your salad.

Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese. On the other hand, pita chips are a good complement to salads with Mediterranean flavors.

The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar. A serving of packaged whole-wheat pita chips — ۱۱ chips or about 28 grams — has approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein (4).

To prepare homemade baked chips, slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush each triangle with olive oil and bake for 10–۱۵ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

 

  1. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Using shredded hard cheeses — including cheddar, gouda, parmesan and manchego — as a salad topping adds flavor and nutrition.

One ounce (28 grams) of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction (5Trusted Source).

Packaged shredded cheeses, as well as blocks of hard cheese that can be shredded with a hand grater, are widely available.

 

  1. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a delicious complement to raw salad greens.

Depending on the vegetable, roasting brings out different flavors and textures. Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7Trusted Source).

To make roasted vegetables, dice your chosen veggies, toss them in olive oil and seasonings and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 30–۴۰ minutes at 350°F (176°C).

You can also use leftover roasted veggies from a previous meal as a salad topping.

 

  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs can be a highly nutritious addition to your salad.

One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals for only 77 calories.

Their protein content can help you feel more full. One study in 30 overweight or obese women found that those who ate eggs at a meal consumed significantly fewer calories during the next 36 hours compared to those who ate bagels (8Trusted Source).

To make hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch (2.5 cm) of water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cool water for five minutes before peeling.

 

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