At one point or another, I’m pretty sure you’ve had to cobble together a filling but easy-to-prepare meal for those unexpected yet pleasantly welcomed visits. You rush through the pantry and see what you can whip up with your culinary magic wand. The next time you’re caught by surprise, don’t panic! There’s always a salad fit for a crowd!
You read that right: Salad for a Crowd is just as its name suggests — salad that can feed a hungry horde. Think of lasagna — minus the baking. You get layers and layers of freshly picked greens pulled together by the cool, creamy, and slightly tangy taste of buttermilk ranch dressing (reduced fat, of course!). All you need is a casserole to go with it, and you’re all set. The best part is, if you’re a home gardener, this “Salad for a Crowd” recipe is the perfect dish to showcase the fruits of your labor.
Each layer of this colorful and sumptuous dish is made from fresh baby spinach, bell pepper, celery, cherry tomatoes, peas, onion, some shredded Colby Jack cheese, and buttermilk ranch dressing. Adding some low-sodium bacon cooked to crispy perfection makes up for your protein content. The bacon also lends a crisp texture that fits perfectly with all the other ingredients.
The trio of bell peppers, onion, and celery gives this salad varying degrees of subtle spice and crunch alongside the milder baby spinach. Cherry tomatoes add some more depth with their bright, juicy, and sweet taste, which also complement your peas. Colby Jack cheese, on the other hand, brings out the best in your buttermilk ranch dressing as they both share that creamy, slightly buttery flavor.
Layer them up, and voila! Instant salad that can fill up a crowd! If you’re heading to a gathering, this salad is super travel-friendly. On the off-chance you’ve got leftovers, it’s also easy to store (and much easier to serve!).Print
Salad for a Crowd
If you’ve got a hungry horde waiting for something yummy, this Salad for a Crowd can fill their appetites while showcasing the versatility of your home garden!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: Serves 10 1x
- Category: Salads & Dressings
- 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
- 6 slices low-sodium bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)
- 1 cup reduced-fat buttermilk ranch dressing
- In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, layer half of the spinach, bell pepper, celery, tomatoes, peas, onion, Colby Jack cheese, bacon (if using), and buttermilk ranch dressing.
- Repeat the layers.
- Serve immediately or chill.
What do you make when you have unexpected company?