A deconstructed salad, is simply one whose ingredients have been taken apart then served in a composed way, instead of tossing them all together. The Salad Nicoise (ni-suaz), that perfect and timeless French salad of olives, capers, french beans, tuna and hard-boiled eggs, is technically not a deconstructed salad (nor is the Caprese), because there was never a plan to serve the salad tossed together in the first place. I know right? Deep stuff.

But other classic salads and some new inventions can surely benefit from deconstructing. I think it is one of the easiest ways to make your old favorite new again. Here are a few tips and some great recipes…


Study the ingredients instead, and cut them up in larger pieces, or in different ways. You can also leave the smaller items whole, like leaves or snap peas. To make it easier to eat and serve however, I would shred things like cabbage or lettuce.


Fresh Caprese Salad with a Twist from The Pretty Blog (photo by Andrea van der Spuy)

Compose your salad in a way that Julia Child, Pablo Picasso, and David Bowie would be proud. But if you think that’s a bit much, no pressure. All there is to it is picking the freshest ingredients with vibrant colors, and everything will deconstruct nicely. Note: Vegetables are incredibly photogenic. So is cheese.


Leftover Salad Nicoise from Martha Stewart

There’s something so inviting about a platter bursting with food. It also makes far more sense than having to use several different plates to serve a dish like a deconstructed salad. All you need is a great recipe and a big plate, and you’ve got a feast.

Vietnamese Chicken, Avocado + Lemongrass Spring Roll Salad with Hoisin Crackers by Half Baked Harvest


Deconstructed Vegan Sushi Bowl from Hello Glow

Deconstructed salads, especially Asian fare, fit perfectly in bowls (not to mention look great). When I see a gorgeous bowl recipe, to me it is essentially a deconstructed salad. Just add rice, quinoa, or noodles, and you’ve got yourself a meal.

Deconstructed Sushi Bowl with Cauliflower Rice and Ginger Miso Dressing from Honestly Nourished


15 Minute Avocado Chicken Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette from Joyful Healthy Eats

Yes I know. I still love Cobb, Caesar and Caprese. But old favorites don’t need to be boring. Add new ingredients like avocado, seeds, whole-grain croutons, or give the dressing a new twist. And of course, take the salad apart and make it new.

Skinny Chicken and Avocado Caesar Salad from Cafe Delites

Let the deconstructing begin. And thanks for reading!