Out Of Croutons? Add Pretzels To Your Salad For Extra Crunch

Some of the most satisfying and tempting salad recipes offer a textural combination of ingredients. While croutons remain a common go-to choice to add a bit of crunch to mixed salads, lovers of all things crunchy have other options — like pretzels. For those moments when you haven't found time to make croutons at home or have discovered that your store-bought package is nearly empty, reaching for another snack bag tucked away in your pantry can add an equally savory pop of salty crunch to your assembled bowl of chopped vegetables. 

Think of sneaking snacks into your salads like a cheat code for healthy eating. Sprinkling bits of smashed-up pretzels on top of freshly made salads can add culinary depth in both texture and taste. Whether you choose honey-toasted whole wheat pretzels or a more savory sesame-encrusted variety to spruce up your meal, the quick and easy ingredient addition has the potential to transform even a basic plate of greens. 

Transforming simple salads into flavorful dishes

To ensure that the added store-bought pretzels offer a crisp crunch to your salads, leave the sprinkling of the pretzel pieces as the last step before serving. Mixing broken pretzels into your salad too soon can result in soggy snack pieces, and the goal is to create a contrast with the other ingredients in your salad recipe. Since vegetables contain a high amount of moisture and the salad dressings you use can render pretzel pieces limp, it is best to leave the sprinkling of pretzels as the crowning jewel for your assembled plate of produce. 

Consider leaving a handful of whole pretzels off to the side so that you can dip the pieces into ranch dressing or scoop up any salad remnants left at the bottom of your bowl. You may find the crouton substitution to be so enticing that you forgo the crunchy pieces the next time you have the option — or go wild and use both croutons and pretzel pieces to adorn your next summer salads