I love salad. Bold statement, I know, but I’ll eat them for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner! I like salad so much that I embarrass myself with how many times I ask the salad shop near my job to “add a little more” of every ingredient as they’re making my bowl.
I’m shameless in my salad destruction. I’m so into them, get this — I make my own dressings. I’m an unchained wild man, I know. Please, forgive me if this much honesty is too forward for you this early in the article. Sometimes though, I want to scratch the salad itch, but I don’t have a lot of time on my hands.
Enter bagged salad mixes. I tried a slew of popular options you can find at the grocery store and am sharing my top picks below.
Best bagged salad mixes to up your salad game
Fresh Express Caesar Supreme Kit
I don’t know who invented Caesar salad — okay, that’s a lie, his name was Caesar Cardini, and he was a restauranteur in Mexico and the U.S. who invented the salad out of necessity, in 1924. Anyhoo, Mr. Cardini is a genius, and his eponymous salad is glorious.
Unfortunately, Caesar Cardini is no longer with us to make his salad, so Fresh Express stepped in to fill the void. And I’m glad they did. While nothing beats a fresh Caesar, this mix is a solid option.
The dressing is a bit heavy on creaminess, but I’ve found adding some fresh pepper to it goes a long way. I also go light on the amount of dressing and cheese, which cuts down on the overly-creamy flavor.
Taylor Farms Sweet Kale Chopped Salad
Sweet is the operative word here. This is a good salad — the kale is nice and crunchy/fresh, if not a bit over-chopped. I would’ve liked more pepitas, so you may want to add more of your own. The dressing is very sweet but still tastes good.
I genuinely like this mix — it goes great with almost any sandwich for lunch. My biggest issue with this mix, though, is the ridiculous amount of plastic used in the packaging.
Bagged salad mixes surely pose a chance to any packaging designer, but a solution that doesn’t involve a barrel’s worth of crude oil for plastic must exist.
Little Salad Bar Garden Salad
This mix can be found at Aldi, the discount grocery store chain. Aldi has some surprisingly good items and some that are…well, boring, to be honest. This salad mix falls into the latter category.
That said, I get them often. They’re iceberg heavy, with carrots flecks the size of salt grains and…I think that’s red cabbage. But they’re cheap, they use far less plastic in their packaging than the other mixes, and most importantly, they easily add bulk to a homemade salad.
Can’t stop, won’t stop salading
I enjoy salads for taste reasons but also health reasons. If you have a mix that could be healthier, feel free to sub ingredients — or don’t use all the dressing provided.
These are simple tricks, but they add up. When you’re short on time but don’t want to just grab a handful of chips, a salad (bagged or homemade) can be a great, healthy option.
I love three things in this world: my wife, my daughter, and salads. Okay, all right, you caught me, that’s a bit extreme — but you catch my drift. From pasta to fruit to potato — salads are my jam. So I’m always looking for new mixes and new recipes to try.
Drop a comment below with your thoughts on the mixes above or if you’ve got a hot (or cold) new salad to talk about!