One of the key elements of a better salad isn’t an ingredient at all; it’s a better bowl. The best salad bowls are tailored to the task at hand, from dressing a salad to serving it for dinner. As a salad enthusiast, I recommend keeping several types of bowls on hand: a big bowl for tossing, a beautiful bowl for serving, and bowls for individual portions. Though they vary in size, each kind is durable with a wide-enough opening for its step in the salad process.
Tossing bowls: Stainless steel is durable and lightweight for a mixing bowl, and it’s conveniently dishwasher safe. For a bowl to toss your salad, look for an 8-quart bowl with deep walls so ingredients don’t escape while mixing.
Serving bowls: Once your salad is dressed, a wood, glass, or ceramic bowl makes an attractive vessel for serving. Keep in mind dishwasher-safe ceramic may chip over time, and wood must be washed by hand. Glass is visually appealing for displaying an entire salad and is dishwasher-safe but it's also heavier and breakable. Serving bowls for salad are typically 8 to 12 inches wide. You can expect that each guest will eat at least 1 cup of salad, which means a serving bowl should hold at least 1 quart for four people — ideally more to accommodate refills or additional guests.
Individual salad bowls: Silicone or plastic is ideal for an affordable and portable bowl and its utilitarian nature is more suited to single lunches than serving as part of a spread. For serving salad portions as part of a course at your table, wood or ceramic is a solid bet. Either way, individual-size bowls are at least 7 inches in diameter.
Serving bowls sometimes come with matching utensils, and portable salad bowls may also include reusable forks. For taking a lunch salad on the go, choose one with a tight-fitting lid that snaps on.
With all this in mind, ahead are the six best salad bowls for upping your salad game.
1. An Essential Big Bowl For Preparing Salad
- Dimensions: 11.5 x 11.5 x 7 inches (length by width by height)
This stainless steel mixing bowl will quickly become the MVP of your salad-making arsenal. Its 8-quart capacity combined with deep 7-inch walls allows you to properly mix ingredients, without them flying out of the bowl, and evenly coat everything in salad dressing.
This dishwasher-safe bowl has an attractive mirror finish on the exterior, and its size also makes it an excellent all-purpose mixing bowl beyond salads.
A helpful review: “Nice and big for mixing ingredients or tossing salads. Weight is nice, too. Many modern stainless steel bowls feel light and cheap. This is a nice substantial weight. Also, I found many stainless steels bowl are wider and flatter. I wanted something with a high side. This bowl is great - sides are high, weight is great, cleans up well. We use it all the time for tossing salads.”
2. This Timeless Set Of Ceramic Serving Bowls
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 9.5 x 3.6 inches (length by width by height)
No matter your tablescape style, this set of large serving bowls fits in with any dinnerware set to display and serve salad (and more!). Vibrant greens and colorful vegetables will pop on these white ceramic bowls — they have been a go-to pick for me when styling food for photos — and you can even get individual salad bowls to match.
Each of the serving bowls in this set holds 2.8 quarts, and the chip-resistant ceramic is safe to use in the dishwasher, microwave, freezer, and oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. With a near-perfect 4.8-star rating and over 1,500 reviews on Amazon, shoppers noted they also love using these salad bowls for serving chips, popcorn, pasta, soup, noodles, and more. The bowls are also available in blue or turquoise. If you like a little more flair, check out these patterned ceramic serving bowls.
A helpful review: “These are nice big bowls, for salads or serving, or pho. I have a set of smaller bowls from the same company, we love them so I was comfortable ordering these. The smooth glaze makes them easy to clean, they survive the dishwasher fine, they are sort of heavy as would be expected with such big bowls. The white color is nice and the shape is pleasant.”
3. A Gorgeous Large Wooden Bowl For Serving Salad
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 12.5 x 5 inches (length by width by height)
A wooden serving bowl brings a natural element to your table, and this one is made of solid acacia wood, which is particularly durable and water-resistant for holding up to a salad's leafy greens. This large serving bowl also comes with a matching serving spoon and fork for doling out salad portions.
Keep in mind this bowl isn't suitable for use in the microwave, dishwasher, freezer, or oven; though, reviewers note the smooth wood washes easily by hand. A layer of food-grade oil on the wood enhances the bowl's smoothness and water resistance so it lasts longer. The manufacturer doesn't specify the quart capacity for this bowl, but one reviewer noted it holds enough salad to serve four.
A helpful review: “I've had this salad bowl and serving utensils for one year and use it at least three times a week. The set is holding up very well and still looks like new. I gently hand wash it and dry it within 4 hours of finishing the meal. The serving utensils are thin which makes scooping up the salad easier. Very attractive set.”
4. A Unique Glass Bowl For Serving Big Salads
- Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 5 inches (length by width by height)
The best glass serving bowl stands out with straight rather than curved edges, giving it the look of an elegant serving bowl that won't be confused for a glass mixing bowl. The hand-blown glass displays each layer of a carefully-prepared salad, and this large bowl holds an impressive 5.2 quarts.
Plus, this highly rated and dishwasher-safe serving bowl works beautifully for other dishes, like trifles, layered dips, or desserts.
A helpful review: “I bought two. And am glad I did. I gave one for Christmas. They love it and so do I. It is VERY thick, classy and makes your salad look divine. It is dishwasher safe and should last many years.”
5. This Portable Salad Bowl For Work That Elevates Every Lunch
- Dimensions: 8 x 7.5 x 3 inches (length by width by height)
If you're searching for a portable salad bowl that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional for toting lunch to work or wherever you need to go, this is your pick. The ceramic base feels much more luxe than standard containers, and it's wrapped in protective silicone with a matching strap that securely snaps the plastic lid on top. Keep in mind this 1-quart bowl isn't leakproof, so you'll want to keep it upright, but it is conveniently microwave- and dishwasher-safe.
This pick seriously makes my lunch salads and grain bowls look much more appealing, and I love that it can be paired with a matching set of reusable utensils and a salad dressing container. Choose from five colors, including blush and cream. It's worth mentioning again that ceramic does have noticeable weight to it, but this portable bowl is also available as a lightweight plastic reusable bowl that weighs just over a pound, costs $15 less, and comes in even more colorways.
A helpful review: “I LOVE this bowl! Using it make my lunch kit feel more 'grown up' and I’m inspired to make my own lunches more frequently. I love that it is ceramic, and not plastic or metal. I wish it were leak proof but, I have a lunch bag that allows it to remain upright and I will be using this bowl for “drier” lunches like grain bowls and salads, not for soups.”
6. A Salad Bowl Set For Each Guest At Your Table
- Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 2.4 inches (length by width by height)
Here is a set of wooden salad bowls for individual portions at your table. Each of the four bowls holds 0.6 quarts, enough for a hearty serving of salad. The natural grain and earthy shade of these acacia wood bowls bring warmth to any tablescape.
A layer of food-grade oil on each bowl enhances their durability, smoothness, and resistance to absorbing water. Keep in mind these bowls should be washed by hand and kept out of the dishwasher, microwave, freezer, or oven. For an upgrade, consider these wooden salad bowls from a different brand with a more defined wood grain; just note they're slightly smaller and rounder.
A helpful review: "Really like how these look and the shape/size of them is really nice compared to a standard bowl set that comes with most plate/bowl sets. Overall a bit larger and wider than a standard bowl. Really like them for salads. [...] Easy to clean as well."