When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner prep, I'm all for finding creative cheats and hacks to make the process a lot easier. One tip? Make a salad bar!

Salad Bars: A Holiday Party Spread Your Guests Will Rave Over

When it comes to holiday dinner prep (Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, New Year), I’m all for finding creative cheats and hacks to make the process a lot easier. Because who wants to be stuck in the kitchen all day? One of my favorite ways to slash kitchen time is by replacing some time-consuming side dishes with a robust salad bar!

I stopped by the Fox 11 Los Angeles studios to share my secrets for creating the most amazing salad bars ever. In case you missed the live segment, check it out here:

Watch Segment

The 5 Components to an Amazing Holiday Salad Bar

When assembling your salad bar, group the following ingredients together. Have your guests start with the leafy greens for their base and work their way down the table, ending with dressings. Just think about a restaurant’s salad bar!

Leafy Greens

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Butter lettuce
  • Collard greens
  • Or any of your favorite greens

Crunchy Veggies (Cut into bite-size pieces or shredded)

  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Shredded Brussels sprouts
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Radishes
  • Bell pepper
  • Or any of your favorite raw veggies

Healthy Add-Ins (to boost flavor and texture)

  • Diced avocado
  • Cooked, cubed pumpkin
  • Cubed, baked sweet potato
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Olives
  • Dried cherries


  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Tuna salad
  • Salmon
  • Tofu
  • Hard-boiled eggs


  • Set out 3-4 dressings so your guests have options!

Make Your Salad Bar Look Good

Always remember: We eat with our eyes first. Food almost always tastes better when it looks good … don’t you agree? So, when creating your DIY salad bar, think about the color and sizes of your serveware. Use varying size bowls to create dimension and always set out serving tongs and spoons.


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