Learn how to build a salad in 5 steps, with step-by-step instructions.

Lots of benefits come to my mind  when I think about making & eating a salad:

  • Healthy
  • Easy to make
  • Quick
  • Nourishing (keep tuned to find out how is that possible)
  • Energising.

That is why, in this article, you will learn how to prepare a perfect and non-boring salad using what you have on hand.

You know how it is when you want to eat a salad, but it seems too boring or you don’t know how to make it taste delicious.

That is why I’ve got you covered.

In this blog post, I will show you the exact steps for making a tasty and fully nutritious vegan salad.

Also, it’s not going to be that kind of salads after which you feel hungry.

We are going to use filling ingredients, some fats and a delicious salad dressing to make the salad taste lovely.

But still, it is going to be healthy and full of nutrients

What I like about salads, is that it’s easy to make. It takes only about 20-25 minutes to make a filling meal.

But you can also use the salad as a side dish.

Now, I also want to stress the importance of salad dressing.

We are not going to use oil as a salad dressing. It’s going to be a delicious sauce with healthy ingredients.

So, you will learn what is the strategy for making an ideal sauce for your salads.

That being said, let’s dive into the steps of a perfect and nurturing salad.


How to make a salad in 5 steps

There are mainly 5 steps (or types of ingredients) of making a salad:

  1. Greens
  2. Vegetables
  3. Proteins – for nutritional value
  4. Fats
  5. Dressing

I am going to explain each step of how to make a salad and list the ingredients that you can use in each part.

1st step of how to build a salad: GREENS 

This is the base of your salad. I would fill around 25% of the plate with greens. In this category, there are quite a lot of ingredients that you could use. Generally, I would pick 1-2 of them for a salad. The best base for a salad could be:
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage – red or green
  • Kale
  • Iceberg
  • Napa cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy
  • Chard

2nd step of how to build a salad: VEGETABLES

In this part, you can create a rainbow out of vegetables. The more colors you will have – the more nutrients you will get.

This part should occupy around 25% of the space on your plate.

You can use between 2-4 different vegetables. You can choose which, based on your taste.

It doesn’t matter whether you add raw or cooked vegetables.

I would suggest using your favorite vegetables or just what you have in the fridge.

  • Bell pepper
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Beetroot

3rd step of how to build a salad: PROTEINS

This is the ‘secret ingredient’, because people usually think that a salad doesn’t come with filling ingredients.

But here you are.

This is my favourite part of the salad. That is because I love the taste of all the products listed below and they are so filling.

From the list below, choose 1-2 ingredients that you like and add them to your salad.

Proteins should fill around 25% of your plate.

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Beans – red/white
  • Quinoa
  • Potato – sweet/simple
  • Chickpeas
  • Pasta
  • Rice – wild/simple
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur

4th step of how to build a salad: FATS

I am not referring to unhealthy and processed fats.

There are also healthy fats. You can find more information about healthy fats on helpguide.org

It is essential to include this category of products in your meals. They will protect your brain, heart; but the most important benefit of fats is the energy that they pack you with.

Make sure to fill your plate with approximatively 10% of fats.

Choose 1-2 of them, depends on what you prefer*.

  • Avocado
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Olives

*In some cases, you may combine FATS with DRESSING. See below how to do that.


5th step of how to build a salad: DRESSING

Dressing for a salad is like a cherry (not tomato) on the pie. It makes the salad quite flavourful.

Around 15% of your plate should be filled with salad dressing.

In order to prepare a perfect salad dressing, add into a blender 1-2 ingredients from each section and blend until smooth.

ingredients for a perfect dressing


*when you add your source of healthy fat, make sure to also add water. The ratio should be 1:1.

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cashew
  • Sesame seeds/tahini
  • Oil – any type
  • Coconut cream
  • Peanut butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Almond butter
  • Avocado


  • Soya sauce
  • Salt
  • Seaweed


  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Vinegar – any type


-Spicy (optional)

  • Pepper
  • Chili flakes
  • Mustard
  • Sriracha/other hot sauce.

*As you can see, you can add the sunflower seeds or avocado directly into the salad dressing -just if you wish so. If not, you can add fats in both steps.

**A good combination to try is mixing tahini or other nut butter with soy sauce.

To make it more clear for you, I will make my salad following the instructions listed above.

How to build a salad?

Ingredients for the salad

  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Bell pepper
  • Red beans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Salt
  • Lemon
  • Maple syrup
  • Pepper
  • Garlic clove*

*garlic combines so well with this dressing. Even if I didn’t mention it above, you can definitely add extra ingredients that you love.

Instructions on how to make a salad

  1. Into a large bowl, add the spinach, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper and red beans.
  2. Add into the food processor: sunflower seeds, salt, lemon, maple syrup, garlic and pepper. Blend everything until smooth.
  3. Add the salad dressing into the bowl and mix everything together.

Please note that I may earn a small commission from Amazon and iHerb in case you decide to buy products from these sites. 

If you liked the recipe, share the result in the comment section below, I would be glad to see the result and you may help others as well doing so.

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