Crunchy Salad Topping Ideas

My absolute favorite part about a salad is the toppings. The right toppings can be the perfect flavor enhancer and a great way to add tasty texture. Here are some crunchy salad topping ideas!

nuts and seeds with yellow banner and black text

Crunch Salad Toppings

I love to take classic salads and add an unusual twist through different flavorful salad toppings. Experimenting with toppings takes ordinary salads to new levels. Toppings take a good salad and make it a delicious salad with little effort.

Follow along with me to learn about all the great additions you can make to your salad recipes that excite your taste buds.

What are the crunchy things on a salad bar?

There are so many easy ways to add that perfect crunch factor to your salad.

If you’ve ever seen a salad bar, at the end of the line, there are usually bowls of delicious crunchy salad toppings.

Some crunchy toppings I think are a good idea to add to your salad include:

  • Chips or crackers (tortilla chips or strips work great!)
  • Nuts and seeds. Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are my favorite!
  • Grains like toasted quinoa or crisp rice
  • Parmesan crisps
  • Store bought mixes like McCormick Crunchy & Flavorful Salad Toppings (I prefer homemade)
  • Bacon and so many more…

The great thing about these delicious, crunchy salad toppings is that they aren’t only found at a salad bar.

These flavorful toppings can be found at pretty much any of your local grocery stores.

Top view of a large white bowl filled with ramen noodle salad.

What are good toppings to put on a salad?

What makes a good salad topping is really up to you.

It’s always great to include a crunchy salad topper. I really love the satisfying crunch of sunflower seeds, croutons, and parmesan crisp bits.

Raw vegetables can also give a nice crunch. Green bell peppers, carrots, and celery all add a nice crunch.

Some toppers provide great health benefits, such as chia seeds, textured soy protein, or nutritional yeast, adding important nutrients to your salad and helping fill you up.

Salad dressing is another must have salad topper. You can make salad dressings with only a few ingredients.

My favorite simple dressing is made by mixing olive oil (you can also use vegetable oil or canola oil), sea salt, and some lemon juice together.

I would also recommend experimenting with barley malt extract for a touch of sweetness.

Looking for more leftover worthy dishes? Follow LTB on Pinterest and pin to a board!

sliced almonds on salad

How do you add texture to a salad?

There are so many ways to add texture to a salad. Classic ways of adding texture include crunchy salad toppings like sunflower seeds, croutons, bacon bits, and parmesan cheese.

To make a unique salad, one fun way of adding texture is to add crunchy ramen noodles to your salad. Just like this Asian Ramen Salad!

You can either crumble the noodles right onto the salad or if you want to add extra crunch, crumble them onto a rimmed baking sheet, then toast them in the oven until they turn a nice golden brown.

Another welcome addition to my salads is fresh fruit. Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, or watermelon add a refreshing texture and flavor.

In the summers, I love adding fruits to my salads. Pomegranates are a great choice like in this sprouts and apple salad.

Healthy fats like avocados or olive oil also add a smooth texture to balance out the crunchy toppings and raw vegetables.

wood spoon with a scoop of salad and bacon on top as a crunchy salad topping

What can I add to a salad to bulk it up?

Any food with protein will help make a salad more filling. If you eat meat, try a chicken salad or tuna salad. I love adding grilled chicken to any salad I make to bulk it up just a little bit more.

If you don’t eat meat, there are still great ways to add protein. Tofu, of course, is a super simple way to add substance to the dish.

Chickpeas are another great source of protein, as is textured soy flour. They are crunchy toppings and add nutrients too!

Adding grains like quinoa or rice into a salad can make it feel more filling. If you want a salad that has fewer vegetables and more grains, a pasta salad is another great option.

Nuts and seeds are also a great way to add more to your salad. I also love a few dried cranberries on top for a bright and tangy bite. Some toasted pecans are always yummy on my 24 hour salad.

There really isn’t any way to go wrong when it comes to salads. There are endless combinations of toppings and ingredients you can use.

I always have the best experience when I’m in the kitchen preparing a salad because I can let my creativity take over.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

seeds and nuts with white banned and text "best crunchy salad toppings"

There really are no “worst salad toppings.” With the right combination of flavors, everything and anything can be delicious. Hopefully sharing my favorite salad toppings inspire you to begin experimenting with more textures and flavors with your salads!

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