Some days of the week, all you want is something salty, while the very next, your taste buds may crave something sweet. So, why not combine the two? There are some recipes out there that balance sweet and salty so well, you're left wondering why you didn't try them before.
Some foods just have pairs—end of story. Burgers with fries, peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs... the list is essentially never-ending. But when you manage to get something sweet and salty together, the result is, in most cases, out of this world. Scientists have actually proven time and time again that sweet and salty were meant to be. What chefs call flavor layering gives our brains a positive biological response for some reason. Research has shown that since we're omnivores, we get tired of something far more quickly than any other creature. So, if we load our bodies with sweets, we're going to need a break. Flavor layering, on the other hand, helps two different tastes work together in your mouth so you're going to get tired of it way more slowly if at all. So, here's our list of sweet and salty that just work and compliment each other amazingly.
Even if you don't agree with us and prefer your sweet and salty dishes separately, we got you covered. Here's our list of salty vs sweet options to help you pick between all those amazing possibilities.
25 Caramel And Cheese Popcorn
Whenever I went to watch a movie, I used to either go for a giant tub of caramel or a giant tub of cheese popcorn. Neither seemed to work because it always became too much of a good thing at some point or the other. Guess that study was right, huh? Caramel and cheese mixed together seemed to be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The flavors work so well together, and it makes the movie even better. So, next time you're sitting down for a Netflix session, buy two different flavors, and bring a giant bowl.
24 French Fries & Chocolate Milkshake
French fries dipped into chocolate milkshake was heaven's way of saying we're doing good. This absolutely sinful combination may be a calorie counter's nightmare, but it tastes great. The chocolaty sweetness works really well with the saltiness of the french fries. As much as you think this one's for your kids to stop their whining, it's actually you who are going to find it hard to put them down. Most restaurants or diners tend to serve milkshakes by the dozen. Some have started serving them with a side of fries, and the combination just works.
23 Sweet And Salty Cupcakes
So, we've covered pineapple and ham, and now, we're going to move on to caramel and pretzels on cupcakes. Since they worked so well with chocolate, people decided to add pretzels to their batch of cupcakes as well. Something else that works for the cupcakes is the crunch that comes with the pretzels, which taste so good with the fluffiness of the cake. These salted caramel cupcakes will leave you making batches for days, so go down to your local grocery store as fast as you can. They also look amazing at the end!
22 Bacon And Syrup
This one's an absolute classic. Who can go wrong with bacon and syrup? This traditional marriage between saltiness and sweet has carried on for generations. These banana pancakes with crispy bacon and syrup make us crave more every time. These American- style pancakes will be on your table and ready to eat in less than 40 minutes. They're super easy to make, and drizzling some syrup on top of the crispy bacon will make your day a whole lot better. Add some strawberries on the side, and you've got yourself a breakfast fit for a king.
21 Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cake
Much like our pretzel cupcakes, this salted caramel chocolate cake will knock your socks off. If you really want to impress your guests, this is the way to do it. The saltiness from the caramel, along with its crunchiness, tastes great with the chocolate icing. The salted caramel buttercream is to die for as well. It's a great way to end a night, and you're going to wish you baked two at the end. This recipe is one of our favorites, so get started. This classy cake is perfect for a birthday as well if you're running out of ideas.
20 Pineapple Wrapped In Bacon
Ever thought that pineapple pizza deserved a follow-up? Well, say hello to pineapple bits wrapped in bacon. This finger food reminds us of amazing parties where we'd have a glass of wine in our other hand. They're very simple to make, and you'll be done in less than an hour. If you need a quick appetizer for a large group of guests and are running out of time, this could be your ticket out of the situation. These work great at parties, and you can make them in the hundreds, no problem. Here's an easy recipe to get you started on your new party food.
19 Doughnut Burger
Ever wished you could merge Krispy Kreme and McDonald's? Maybe you can. The next time you buy yourself a burger, switch the buns with a doughnut sliced in half. The sweetness from the doughnut works really well with a bacon-and-beef-patty combination in particular, in case you need inspiration. Anytime you're hungry, these are a great option, and you can have them by the truckload. Try a plain doughnut to start with, but if you're feeling experimental, add some Nutella or peanut butter to the mixture.
18 Apple And Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
These amazing grilled cheese sandwiches are a combination of two of our favorite flavors. The sweetness from the apple and the savory flavor of the cheese are amazing together. It reminds us of a great apple pie but as a snack. So, if you're running out of ideas for your kids' lunchbox, this is going to excite them more than anything else. Make sure you add some mustard as well. The ingredients really bring out the sweetness of the apple, so it's a great way to add some fruit to a diet.
17 Fruit With Salt
In warmer climates, people tend to have their fruit with a dash of salt and some sauce. The salt does wonders for the fruit when it comes to bringing out flavor. It really enhances the sweetness of fruits like apples, strawberries, and pineapples. The other helpful bit is when the fruit is bitter, the salt dulls it down just enough. This combination quickly became a favorite across South East Asia. This is now done in western countries as well, and if you haven't tried it yet, you most definitely should. The most delicious combination is green mangoes with some salt and lime.
16 Pretzels And Chocolate
Pretzels and chocolate are the classic sweet-meets-salty combination. It's what took us down this road in the first place. Chocolate-covered pretzels are a traditional movie snack and the first flavor combination that seemed to work for everyone. Dipping pretzels into a tub of Nutella makes a bad day better every single time. Pretzels covered with chocolate became such a well-known combination that they're now sold by major brands around the world. Sainsbury's has them if you are in the UK, or you can Amazon them in the States. You can even make them at home!
15 Chocolate-Cookie Pizza
This pizza-meets-dessert recipe is what everyone in his or her right mind dreams of when asleep and treasures when awake. It's essentially one giant cookie, so things are looking good. The frosting for this recipe is salted caramel peanut butter and Greek yogurt. It's also gluten-free and protein-rich, so there are nutritional perks as well. Your cookie pizza will be ready for the table in 25 minutes. So, if you've always wanted a jar of Nutella to meet a pizza, here's our gift to you.
14 Apple Pie & Cheddar Cheese
Who doesn't love apple pie? It's what our grandmothers gave us and what we had after a Sunday lunch. It's the best sit-down dessert dish ever, and it just got better. Apple pie and cheddar cheese started in New England and quickly traveled the world. This cheddar cheese crust is going to be a new family favorite for you once you take a bite. This recipe is great for beginners looking to add a twist to a classic. Chef Fabio Viviani really gets the crust just right, and the two work perfectly together.
13 Citrus And Salt Ice Cream
Instead of going for the plain old chocolate ice cream at every ice cream corner you ever visit, go for something a little more adventurous. Margarita ice cream is served just like a margarita—in a salt-rimmed glass—which makes the experience that much more enjoyable. It also has a slice of lime on the side to give you the entire cocktail vibe. Salt and alcohol would normally melt the ice cream, but they're also what make a margarita. To deal with this, orange extract is used, which keeps everything together. Here's a great recipe if you want to try it at home!
12 Saltine-Style Cracker Ice Cream Sandwiches
Ice cream sandwiches have worked well for us since the time we were six, and it looks like they've just upped their game. Using saltine-style crackers in this traditional dessert snack really helps bring out the flavor of the ice cream. The added saltiness works well with just about any type of ice cream, whether you prefer a gelato or even a frozen yogurt flavoring. This recipe should make your summer days so much better! You may have to stock up on these though because they tend to run short most of the time.
11 Pomegranate And Pistachio Chocolate Fudge
This crazy combination of flavors works really well together. The saltiness from the pistachios and the sweetness from the pomegranate all wrapped up in some delicious chocolate fudge seems like heaven to us. The sweet chocolate and creamy peanut butter are perfect for someone who's leaning towards the sweet side but wants a kick of saltiness. This dish is vegan and gluten-free, and you should have your fudge on the table in no time, so get cracking! Here's our favorite recipe.
10 Ham and Pineapple
If you like pineapple pizza, you're going to love this. This dish may not work well for everyone, but for the few that love it, it quickly becomes a favorite. This combination may have started on a pizza, but it's now available in a range of different possibilities. Everything from ham and pineapple cupcakes to ham and pineapple ice cream is now a thing! If you want to test your taste buds, this one's going to be just right for you. There's an endless list to go down as well, so you can take your time. You can get started with some ham and pineapple muffins.
9 Blue Cheese and Pear
Blue cheese and pears are such a great snack if you're looking for something that's on the healthier side. The blue cheese works amazingly with the pears to give you the juiciness from the pears and a kick from the blue cheese. This roasted pears with blue cheese recipe is absolutely amazing if you're looking for something different and light. The dressing at the end really brings the dish together. This dish can look really good as well, so if you're looking to impress guests, this is your best bet.
8 Gluten-Free Salted Peanut Butter Cookies
Looking for something that's gluten-free and healthy? These fudgey sweet and salty cookies are absolutely amazing. The added saltiness is the perfect change that you need to this classic. The natural sweetness means you don't have to worry about any unnecessary calories. So, you can sit back and eat as many as you like. These gluten-free cookies will save you some carbs and are far better than the ready-made packs you get at the store. This recipe will only take you 25 minutes from start to finish, and you'll be so glad you trusted us at the end.
7 Condensed Milk and Avocados
Get out the millennial within you, and turn it up a notch because this pairing is going to make you even more addicted to avocados. The condensed milk acts as the sweet side of this sweet-salty relationship. You can even make a Vietnamese avocado shake if you're looking for options. Start your day with this healthy drink, and your energy levels are going to be great for the rest of it. The shake only takes ten minutes to make, so you don't need to wake up any earlier. Here's the recipe to get you started!
6 Chocolate Sea-Salt Energy Bites
What do you need as a reward after a workout? We think these chocolate sea-salt energy bites are absolutely perfect. They're like the light at the end of the tunnel. These little balls of joy are filled with dates, walnuts, and essentially any type of nuts that you like. Make sure that they're salted, though! This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and tasty, so we've got everything covered. These chocolate balls also have chia seeds involved, so if you're trying to pack those into your daily diet, this is perfect.
5 Bread Stuffing With Pears
Pancetta, fennel, and pears work really well together to bring out the savory and sweet flavors of the ingredients. This great stuffing can be your new idea for Thanksgiving. It takes about an hour and a half to get on the table, but it's so worth it at the end. It really does make Thanksgiving an even better holiday. Your holiday turkey is never going to be the same again! This recipe from delish will be absolutely amazing when you decide to try it out.
4 Sweet And Salty Chicken
If you love olives and are looking for something healthy, this could be it. The figs in this recipe give you the sweetness, while the olives add the savory kick. It's all pulled together by the chicken, which makes for a light and healthy dinner. This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free and will be ready in under an hour. So, if you're running out of time, this could be the answer to your problems, and it works for pretty much everyone.
3 Lentil Salad With Strawberry Dressing
This great breakfast salad combines some sweet and savory foods together perfectly. The feta cheese from the recipe gives it that creamy saltiness, while the strawberries are perfect for adding some much-needed sweetness. Working together, they taste amazing, and you'll never get tired of the dish. The lentils and chickpeas make the dish a great breakfast or lunch option for someone looking for a healthy start. This recipe is gluten-free and vegan, so that ticks off some boxes as well. It also has a strawberry dressing at the end.
2 Salmon With Rosemary Grapes
Ever wish your salmon had a sidekick? Well, rosemary grapes do just that. These sweet grapes taste amazing with some seared salmon. When you're adding the salmon to this dish, don't scrimp. Also, leave the skin on because that really adds to the tastiness. This is one of our favorite recipes to get you started. You'll be done in under 10 minutes, so it's perfect for a quick meal on a weekday when you're running out of time and energy. Try using sockeye salmon for this dish because that would be your best bet.
1 Steak With Cranberry Sauce
Missing Thanksgiving? This classic sweet-meets-salty combination is written down in the history books. The fresh cranberry sauce is the exact opposite of the soy sauce when it comes to the flavor. This means they manage to balance each other out perfectly. This recipe for venison steak and cranberry Cumberland sauce is pure heaven. It's perfect if you have a date fast approaching and want to make something special at home. This recipe was even featured in the Sainsbury's Magazine!