The 20-Ingredient Spice That Levels Up Salads In Seconds

Salads can inspire strong feelings. A kid in Canada called 911 twice to tell police he hates salad. That's certainly an extreme reaction, but there's no shortage of people who won't eat some fresh veggies. According to Healthline, an aversion to fresh vegetables might not just be the result of being picky. Maybe as a result of that, cooks like to pair fresh vegetables with something most everyone enjoys, pasta. As Ethan Chlebowski explains on YouTube, pasta salad is affordable, satisfying, and versatile.

Not all pasta salads are as well thought out as those versions. For many, elevating pasta salad is simply a matter of shaking on a pre-made salad season. Search "salad seasoning" on Amazon, and it's obvious there are a lot of people taking this shortcut to add complex flavor, some crunch, and color to their salads. These blends efficiently upgrade a simple salad without grabbing a dozen different jars from your spice cabinet. 

The winner is...Salad Supreme

What separates these from a typical seasoning blend is they add ingredients to provide more substance and texture, like dried cheese, sunflower seeds, or even dried fruit. They can be labeled as a salad seasoning, salad sprinkle, or salad topper, but they all have ingredients that play well with anything from an easy Mediterranean pasta salad to an all-American macaroni salad.

One salad seasoning has inspired some intense devotion. For example, in The Takeout, comedian and writer Daniel Palumbo waxed appreciatively that "there exists a secret ingredient whose very purpose is to heighten pasta salad. It's a combination of delicious dry spicey known as Salad Supreme."

McCormick Salad Supreme is a ready-to-eat blend of spices, herbs, extracts, salt, cheese, garlic, and sesame seeds. It packs a ton of flavor into each shake of the 4.3-ounce container you can find in supermarkets. But, for folks like Daniel, the 24-ounce shaker is a must-have. It'll go fast. Aside from the obvious, this is just as tasty shaken onto cooked vegetables, chicken, fish, and leftover pizza. There's no limit to what you can 'Supreme.'

Customize your own Salad Supreme

Top Secret Recipes has a mission to create recipes that let you clone beloved restaurant or mass-market foods at home, including Salad Supreme. Their version pares down the original's long ingredient list to Romano cheese, sesame seeds, paprika, salt, poppy seeds, celery seeds, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne. 

This starting point is ideal for cooks who want to cater their version of Salad Supreme to their tastes. More cayenne for a spicy version. Skip the cheese for a vegan option. Add a fried herb you think is missing, like oregano or parsley. Go crazy. Just be sure to store this homemade version in the fridge. And maybe consider omitting the poppy seeds before a drug test.

Top Secret Recipes have even preserved a simple recipe found on older packages of Salad Supreme. Add Salad Supreme, Italian dressing, and chopped vegetables to cooked pasta. Refrigerate till chilled and serve.