See a letter from Ellen about the donation campaign. Your help matters!

Setting Up A Salad Bar

Main dish? Side dish? Soup and salad? A salad bar can be an attractive way to serve a crowd a great cold entree or side dish with a minimum of help, or it can be an unsafe, boring disaster; it's up to you.

Safety and general set up of the service are discussed in detail in my article Self Service Food Bars and Buffets Tips for Better Salad and Sandwich Bars, Taco Bars, Potato Bars. This article deals specifically with stocking salad bars.

Your Salad Bar Backbones

Whether you are doing a side dish salad bar, an entree bar, or a themed bar, these items are fundamental:

Iceberg lettuce
Romaine lettuce
Baby spinach or mixed greens
Chopped or sliced cucumbers
Grape or cherry tomatoes or drained, diced slices
Grated carrots
Chopped broccoli and/or cauliflower
Red or green onions
Chickpeas or kidney beans
Bacon bits or ham, turkey or chicken deli meats, diced
Cottage cheese
Chopped or sliced hard boiled eggs
Shredded mild cheese (cheddar, jack, colby)
Hot sauce
Dressing selection to include one each creamy, balsamic/vinaigrette, and Asian-style dressing, one each low cal ranch and low cal or fat-free Italian.

Here is a sample salad bar with plate size portion for 100 people. For 1 cup side salad, use 1/3 less. If you are interested in other specific items, look at ELLEN'S KITCHEN SALAD BAR VEGETABLE AND GARNISH ITEMS APPROXIMATELY 100 PORTIONS:

SALAD,MIX,PRECUT, 6 pounds
PEPPERS,FRESH,SWEET,DCD,PRECUT, 3 pounds
CELERY,CHOPPED,PRECUT, 3 pounds
ONIONS,FRESH,SLICED, 3 pounds
RADISH,FRESH,SLICES, 3 pounds
TOMATOES,FRESH,CHERRY, 12-13 pounds
BROCCOLI,FRESH,FLORETS, 3 pounds
CABBAGE,RED,FRESH,SHREDDED, 3 pounds
CARROTS,FRESH,SHREDDED, 3 pounds
MUSHROOMS,FRESH,WHOLE,SLICED, 6 pounds
CHEESE,CHEDDAR,SHREDDED, 4 pounds
SALAD DRESSING,ITALIAN, 3 quarts
CHEESE,COTTAGE, 2 quarts
SALAD DRESSING,RANCH, 1 1/2 quarts
SALAD DRESSING,OTHER,PREPARED,L/C, 1 1/2 quarts
OLIVE OIL, 1 pint
VINEGAR, 1 pint
CROUTONS
BACON BITS, 1 pound OR 5 pounds shredded ham,meats, etc
CUCUMBER,FRESH,SLICED, 8 pounds
OLIVES,RIPE,PITTED,SLICED,DRAINED, 1 1/2uarts
hard-cooked eggs depends on how served, if halved, 60, if whole, 80

If you are adding things like potato or pasta salad, 2-3 gallons depending on if multiples or single item.