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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 ?

Hawaiian Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

Another great, super-easy make ahead recipe. 10 minutes work, overnight unattended low and slow cooking, and you’ve got mouthwateringly tender luau-style Kalua pork. Really easy. REALLY good!

Wonderful Rich Tortilla Soup

This tortilla soup is quick and easy to make. It has everything to become your new favorite: chicken, corn, and avocados. Added bonus - it freezes well.

French Apple Custard Pie with Creme Anglaise Sauce

This French Apple Custard Pie is the perfect holiday dessert! This golden, flaky pie crust is sweet and delicious with crunchy bits of sanding sugar. The tart apples are held together in a velvety-smooth custard filling with a creamy, rich sauce that really takes your pie over the top. Only YOU will know how EASY it comes together. Your family and friends will love it!

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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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