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Salad in a Cup – a Fun, Easy Recipe for a Large Group

Salad in a Cup

This salad-to-go is perfect for summertime events without a kitchen.  It’s a ridiculously easy, quick salad that teens and adults really enjoy.  Just stick a fork in the straw hole and you’re good to go.  It’s handy for weekday lunches too.  In a hurry?  Grab a cup and head out the door.

Salad in a cup is a fresh, easy side dish that requires no cooking and little prep.  Served by itself or with Cheesy Garlic Bubble-Up Bread, it’s a great summertime large group option to take advantage of summer’s bounty in backyard, your neighborhood or your local farmer’s market.

Salad in a Cup

Fill it with all the goodies you like in a salad – lettuce, cucumber, crunchy red, yellow and orange bell peppers for color, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, carrot slices, or radishes could all make an appearance.  Whatever’s fresh in your garden (or your neighbor’s.)  If it’s mid-summer, he’ll be looking for a home for his extra produce.  Other fun add-ins could be: celery, chopped broccoli, snow peas, cheese (crumbled or shredded), cauliflower, sunflower seeds, bacon bits, bean sprouts, or ham cubes.

Salad in a Cup

The clear beverage cups make for a fun presentation.  This recipe is sized for the 16 ounce cups.  Party City carries these in 50-count packs. Pick up the clear plastic cup lids there too.  The lid has an opening for a straw.  Instead of that, just insert a plastic fork, and they are ready to serve.  You have an easy clean up with this one as well, or they can be washed and reused several times.

If you desire a larger serving size with easier access, you could also use a clear plastic 19 ounce container and increase the lettuce by 1.5 ounces per person.

It is easy to fill a lot of these at once.  Either do it assembly line fashion (like I did with these) or combine everything in a bowl, toss and spoon into the cups.  I pack the dressing separately.   Vinaigrette dressings are a good choice with these because the thinner dressing is easier to get to the bottom of the cup. Leave a little space at the top so your guests can mix up their salad if you filled the cup in layers.

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Prep Time
30 mins
Total Time
30 mins

A fun, easy way to serve salad on the go!  Try it for your next event.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20 people
  • 2 pounds lettuce washed, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers sliced
  • 5 ounces baby carrots sliced
  • 20 hard boiled eggs
  • 10 ounces button mushrooms sliced
  • 30 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 15 ounces radishes sliced
  • 10 ounces celery 10 stalks
  • 2 bell peppers sliced
  • 20 ounces salad dressing - your choice Vinaigrette or ranch, thinned with a little milk, is a popular option!
  • 20 (16 ounce) clear plastic cups and lids
  • 20 forks
  1. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  You can either dress the salad now or provide your guests the ability to pour the dressing on at the event. (my preference so the lettuce stays fresh)

  2. Divide between the cups. And cover the cups with a lid. Transport to serving area.

  3. When ready to serve, if the salad is not already dressed, insert the fork, handle down into the opening on the lid.  Set out to serve, include dressing if not already dressed. 


Want more fun recipes for a large group ?

Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler

This lovely summer dessert combines sweet juicy peaches with a crunchy, buttery, golden brown cobbler. I served this at our Young Men and Young Women Church Camp, but it’s just as perfect for your family’s summer dinner cooked in the oven!

Marvelous Meatball Sandwiches

Want a wonderful ooey-gooey, saucy, savory Freezer Meal Sandwich Recipe? These little meatballs are baked in the oven, heated with a great time-saving spaghetti sauce, and place on a crunchy hoagie roll slathered with garlic butter and melty Provolone cheese! And you have a Fan-‘freakin’-tastic sandwich (to quote Jeff).

Easy Oven Rice for a Crowd

Don’t miss this one! Now you can make perfect rice EVERY TIME in just 30 minutes with this easy and proven recipe to cook rice in the oven. You’ll want to add this to your recipe box for sure.

Butter Pecan French Toast Breakfast Casserole

Looking for an over-the-top delicious breakfast for your family this holiday season? This wonderful overnight Butter Pecan French Toast Casserole won’t fail to delight. Nestled in between the velvety pieces of cream-soaked bread are bits of buttery, suger-y crunchy pecans. Heaven!

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd

You’ll love this Delicious Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole. They don’t get any quicker or easier than this! The great thing about this dish is that it comes together easily in 20 minutes night before and is simply the best Breakfast Casserole I’ve ever had. It’s the perfect Breakfast Casserole for your Crowd this holiday season. I’ve also included a smaller version which serves 12.


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Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

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