Salad For A Crowd

A few colorful toppings really enhance this simple green Salad For A Crowd. This recipe is a budget friendly way to add a healthy side dish to your party or celebration.

Fork in a cucumber with a light dressing and shredded carrots nestled in a bed of mixed greens on a white salad plate.

Green Salad For A Crowd of 50

A few types of lettuce blend with other chopped vegetables to make an easy salad that’s perfect for parties. The fresh flavors complement any main dish and add a healthy option that will appeal to most people.

Side dishes like Mac and Cheese in a roaster and Pasta Salad for a Crowd always go fast. And it’s fun to bring Dirt Cake or Banana Pudding for a Crowd.

This Green Salad for a Crowd of 50 fits perfectly in two aluminum foil pans to fit in the line-up of food at the buffet table well. This veggie pairs well our Easy Fruit Salad and any meat.

Silver tongs serving a fresh green salad topped with carrots, tomatoes, onion, cucumbers and bell peppers out of a large disposable pan.

For more party tips see our notes on making Food For A Crowd.

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Ingredients to Make A Simple Salad For A Crowd

  • Chopped Romaine Lettuce
  • Spring Mix
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Red Onion
  • Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Croutons
  • Ranch and Italian Dressing
Ingredients to make salad for a crowd are croutons, cucumber, shredded carrots, spring mix, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, yellow bell pepper and a red onion on a wooden counter top.

Avoid the temptation to get fancy. Too many options, decisions and toppings will hold up the serving line. When you feed a crowd keep it simple and fast!

We avoid tossing the salad as the heavier toppings tend to work their way to the bottom of the bowl. So starting with the heavier items in layers in the center works best for us.

How Much Salad Will People Eat?

Serving size will vary based on whether there are separate salad plates or if the salad needs to fit on your main plate. How many other food items are there to fill up the plate? More items will typically mean smaller portions of each. 

When salad needs to fit on a dinner plate the portion will be smaller than if a separate salad plate is available.

Overhead view of the best green garden salad on a white plate with a fork and the full foil pan in the background.

How To Make Salad For A Crowd

Start with two large aluminum foil pans. We use pans that are about 16 x 12 inches.

The large pans from our Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd also work if you have those on hand and can easily retrieve the pans at the end of the event.

Layer half of the chopped romaine and half of the spring mix in each pan. Toss the greens together.

Next layer the shredded carrots. Leave an inch or two around the edges so that people can easily recognize that this is a salad.

I like to mix up the colors, shapes and sizes.

Next add the cherry tomatoes that have been cut in half. Slicing in halves or quartering makes the cherries easier to get on your fork and eat and helps them go further as a salad topping.

I put the small slices of onion somewhere in the middle so they don’t turn people off. Some people love onions and others will pick them off. Include red onions, but don’t make them the center of attention in a simple salad for a crowd.

Then add the layer of sliced and quartered cucumbers followed by small strips of a yellow pepper.

Any color of bell pepper will work, I like yellow because there are already orange and red ingredients.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sprinkle croutons on top and serve with two bottles or dishes of salad dressing on the side.

We like to use ranch and Italian and find that ranch is typically the most popular.

Can This Salad Be Made Ahead Of Time?

The lettuce and other vegetables can be assembled ahead of time, covered in plastic wrap and stored in a level spot in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours ahead of the party.

The vegetables (except for tomatoes) can be chopped and prepped up to two days ahead of time. Wait until the day before or day of the party to chop the tomatoes as they purge liquid.

Before assembling make sure you have a safe, level spot in the refrigerator. Do not stack anything heavy on top of the salad or it will get smashed.

Tongs grabbing a serving of green salad with a variety of toppings out of a large pan.

Time Saving Tips

  • Look for the pre-washed salad to save time. If you want to wash again do this 2 days ahead and spin to separate excess water.
  • Only purchase very fresh chopped lettuce that isn’t starting to brown on the cut edges. I try to buy the ingredients 2 days ahead of serving and chop the veggies the day before.
  • You can add sunflower seeds, candied pecans, sliced radishes, pepperchini, olives and all kinds of fancy things, but we find that less options and fewer toppings will appeal to more people and make the buffet line go faster.
  • Chop vegetables so they are visible and easy to get on a fork. We prefer slicing cherry tomatoes into quarters instead of halves. Same with cucumbers. This will help the toppings go further when serving a crowd.
  • Leave a border along the edge so that kids and picky eaters have a place to get plain lettuce without toppings. I know it sounds wild, but there’s some of us out there that truly like a simple salad.
Close up of a green salad with a few easy veggies layered on top.

Serving Suggestions

We like to serve dressing on the side in bottles or small bowls. Make it quick to drizzle on the salad so this spot doesn’t hold up the whole line. 

Set out dressing in clear or white containers with a spoon. We take extra dressing and plan to use whatever is left later at home since we eat a lot of salad.  

Limit dressing options to ranch and Italian. Offering too many options can be confusing and slow up the food line at a party. 

Have long handled tongs ready that can grab a nice serving in one scoop using only one hand. Being able to quickly get food in one hand while holding a plate in the other hand is important to hosting a good party!

More Side Dishes For A Crowd

Black Bean Salad for a Crowd – is another colorful, fiber filled side dish with fresh ingredients.

Coleslaw For A Crowd – is another salad option with a thicker dressing that’s great eaten alone or on bbq sandwiches.

Corn and Green Beans are warm options that take 15 minutes or less to get started cooking!

Fork in a simple green salad with shredded carrots and cherry tomatoes on a salad plate.

Salad For A Crowd

Servings 50 servings
Author: Jennifer
A few colorful toppings really enhance this simple green Salad For A Crowd. This recipe is a budget friendly way to add a healthy side dish to your party or celebration.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 32 ounces chopped romaine lettuce
  • 16 ounces baby spring mix
  • 10 ounces shredded carrots
  • 16 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 5 ounces croutons
  • 2 16 ounce bottles salad dressing


  • Using two large pans that are approximately 16 x 12 inches layer half of the romaine and half of the spring mix in each pan. Toss the lettuce together.
  • Cut cherry tomatoes in halves or quarters.
    Slice cucumber and cut slices into quarters.
    Thinly slice red onions and bell pepper then cut into 1" strips.
  • Sprinkle half of the shredded carrots on top of each salad leaving a 1 to 2 inch border of lettuce uncovered.
  • Then layer tomatoes, red onion, cucumber and bell pepper on the salad.
  • Sprinkle croutons on top just before serving or place in a dish next to the salad dressings. Enjoy!


Calories: 65kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 209mgPotassium: 127mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 2.525IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

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