Should Salad Be Served in a Bowl or a Plate?

Americans and Europeans usually fight over the ideal salad timing: before vs. after the main meal. But as it turns out, there’s an even more controversial debate about salads. Should salad be served in a bowl or a plate? 

Salad should be served in a bowl if you’re eating a large serving. The bowl’s high sides help to keep the ingredients inside. Salads should be served on a plate if you’re eating a smaller salad. Restaurants prefer salad plates because they’re more aesthetically pleasing. 

The decision is yours, but it’s this article’s job to pin down the differences. Therefore, let’s dive right into the details of this everlasting debate to see which option will work best for you.

Keto Diet Tip: Salads are keto friendly, especially a Cobb salad. Great News! You don’t have to give up your favorite bread, pizza or sandwiches to follow a 100% Keto diet. Find out more in the KetoBreads website by clicking here, Keto Breads.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Salads On Plates Can Be Messier

Let’s say you’re on a first or second date with someone you’ve never eaten with before. You’ve got your salad served on a plate, and you’ve already chomped most of it. What remains are a few lettuce leaves and a couple of cherry tomatoes. 

If the plate is completely flat, you’ll probably have a hard time picking the lettuce leaves since they’ll likely be stuck on the plate. Therefore, you’ll have to poke them with your finger. Your date would possibly be making faces at you by now as you try to win this war against stubborn lettuce.

It’s possible all hell may break loose when you go for the remaining tomatoes. If your fork fails to pierce the skin, the tomatoes may dash right into your date’s face. Ouch! 

Even if you manage to stab the tomatoes, you may accidentally squirt some juice on your shirt. Not so appealing, huh? 

Gourmet Salads Should Be Served On Plates

Fancy restaurants almost always serve pre dinner salads on plates. 

Why? Well, high cuisine is all about high-quality ingredients and small, meticulously decorated portions. You know, eye appeal is half the meal! 

Take a wedge salad, for example. If you serve it in a bowl, you won’t be able to showcase your artistic talent when you arrange the toppings. The lettuce wedge would just sink to the bottom, making your salad look like a typical, dull green dish. 

Now take a look at the following wedge salad. Notice how the onions, walnuts, and bacon crumbles are beautifully sprinkled on top of the blue cheese, leaving the cherry tomatoes at the bottom. That’s something you can’t do in a bowl.

If you’re looking to add some color or sophistication to your salads check out these salad plates on Amazon. In addition, you may want a holiday theme for your dinner plate sets. Amazon has them for every holiday, check them out here, holiday dinner plate sets.

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Everyday Salads Should be Served In A Bowl

If you’re eating your salad at home rather than in a fancy restaurant, a bowl would be your best bet. 

With a plate, you’ll probably have to cut down your serving to make it fit. On the other hand, bowls can take whatever you throw at them. You can even relish your salad as the main course if you put it in a large glass bowl. 

Take the classic Cobb salad, for example. It’s made of eggs, bacon, roasted chicken breasts, ham steak, crumbled blue cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Good luck arranging all those ingredients on a plate!

Poll Says That Bowls Are More Popular

BuzzFeed created an interesting poll in 2017, asking people whether they prefer a bowl or a plate for some famous foods 1 . 

Salads were placed right at the beginning of that poll. At the time of writing, 1.4M people said they eat their salads in bowls, while 364.4K voted for plates. Fruit salads garnered somewhat similar results — 1.3M picked bowls, and 172.0K chose plates.

To be honest with you, I was a bit skeptical of that poll when I came across it. More times than not, you can’t get honest answers out of these polls since some people may vote for a particular answer as some kind of a troll. 

But as I scrolled to the end of the poll, I realized that the author came up with a smart way to expose the said trolls. The last poll entry asks about soups, which would be impossible to eat on a shallow plate. Thankfully, 1.4M picked bowls, and only 52.3K went with plates.  

So, in a nutshell, if you’re serving salads at a dinner party, chances are your guests won’t care for plates. 

Why Are Bowls Better Survey

I decided to conduct my own survey and find out why bowls are better than plates for salad. I surveyed 100 people who were my clients or in a group I belong to.

Why are bowls better than salad plates? Bowls are better than salad plates for the following reasons:

  • The salad is better controlled.
  • A bowl prevents food from being spilled onto the table.
  • When there is little salad remaining, it can be picked up easier with a folk.
  • A bowl can hold more salad than a plate.


What is a salad plate? A salad plate is approximately seven inches in diameter used for individual servings of salad.

Where should the salad plate be placed? For a salad served prior to dinner, the salad plate should be placed on top of the dinner plate. If eating salad at the same time as dinner, place the salad plate to the right of the dinner plate, opposite the bread bread.

What comes first, salad or soup? The soup should be served first followed by the salad plate.

Is a dish a plate or bowl? A plate or bowl are both dishes. A dish is something food is served on or eaten from.

Caprese Salad

Eating Caprese makes you feel like you’re spending a relaxing summer night cruising in Venice — there’s nothing better to savor the Italian glamour. Depending on it’s size, serve it in a bowl or on a salad plate.

Here are the ingredients: 

  • Medium ripe tomatoes, sliced 
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (Omit if eating healthy) 
  • Basil leaves
  • Ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic glaze (you can get a Balsamic Glaze with Balsamic Vinegar on Amazon or substitute regular balsamic vinegar for a healthier choice)

Fun fact: The original Caprese salad wasn’t prepared with balsamic vinegar; it was added later when the salad became more popular across Europe. 

Even though Caprese is usually prepared with large tomato varieties, smaller ones would also work. But in that case, you may want to tear the mozzarella cheese into small pieces rather than round slices, just to fit better with the smaller tomatoes. 

Wrapping Up The Salad on a Plate or in a Bowl

Serving salad in a bowl is the most reasonable way for someone who eats like a horse. The high sides can help you finish a large serving without making a mess or embarrassing yourself. 

On the contrary, a plate would be perfect for gourmet chefs who want to impress their audience on Instagram or wow their guests at dinner parties. 

But let’s not make a big deal out of this. Just eat your salad or serve it however you like. It’s not like a salad God will take his wrath out on you if you make the wrong call! 

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  1. Buzzfeed: Do You eat These Foods on a Plate or in a Bowl?[]

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