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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 ?

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.

Crunchy Gooey S’mors Bars

If you want all the fabulous flavors and texture of s’mores in a super easy s’mores bar, these are way better than cooking over a campfire. Great for your family as a snack over the Thanksgiving holiday or give away for Christmas gifts if they last that long.

Best Apple Cake

This amazing apple cake combines sweet juicy fresh Honey Crisp apples with brown sugar and toasted pecans for an unbelievably moist, sweet, apple-y, crunchy desert you don’t want to miss! What a great way to welcome in fall.

Asian Lettuce Wrap for a Crowd

If you’re looking for a healthy recipe for your family but are tired of salad, these Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wraps are for you. They are really easy and really fast, on the table within 30 minutes from start to finish. But the best part of all is they are REALLY good! Whip up a batch for your family this week, they’ll LOVE them.

Sausage, Egg and Cheese Sliders for a Crowd

You'll love this sweet and salty breakfast. It will have your house smelling so good your family will be waiting at the table, at least mine was! A few simple ingredients and a few minutes in the kitchen give you an extraordinary breakfast big enough to feed a crowd.

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I’m so excited you are making one of my recipes and I would love to see how it turns out!  Make sure to share the aloha on instagram and tag me@alohadreams so I can see your masterpiece!

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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.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

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