Salad recipes from a cupcake maker go viral on TikTok

The chef behind Baked by Melissa is giving away all her salad secrets on TikTok

Melissa Ben-Ishay is known for her tasty, tiny cupcakes. Yet it’s her simple salad recipes that have become all the rage on social media. Ben-Ishay is known for scooping giant bites of her finely-diced salads with a tortilla chip in her recipe videos. Her take on the dish makes every salad feel more like a yummy dip than a chore. 

Melissa Ben-Ishay’s salad rules

One of the things that separate Ben-Ishay’s salads from the others is that they’re always savory and never include sweet fruits or cheeses. The chef told Today she has three guidelines when she’s making a salad. 

She always starts with a leafy base like cabbage, spinach or iceberg lettuce. Ben-Ishay then includes seasonal vegetables and finally, she adds sprouts for extra nutritional value. 

The cook is fond of finely chopped salads because you get all of the flavors in every bite. It also makes it much easier to enjoy the meal using a chip, cracker or bread. 

Ben-Ishay uses the same base she learned from her mother-in-law in all of her dressings. It includes one part lemon (or another acid), one part olive oil, salt and a clove of minced garlic. 

In one TikTok, she shared her new favorite salad with “Mediterranean vibes.” It had diced spinach, red peppers, green onions, kalamata olives, farrow, cucumber, chickpeas, artichoke and a homemade dressing. She took a bite using a cracker. The recipe racked up over 3.6 million views. 

The chef explained in a video that she started making her chopped salads because she and her friends would eat them with chips at their weekly dinner parties. 

Another hit was Ben-Ishay’s vegan Caesar salad recipe with Brussel’s sprouts and kale which earned 4.6 million views. 

Then of course there was the salad that she married her husband over. It had diced cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives and red onions with her signature four-ingredient dressing. 

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