Uncontrolled growth of insulating lithium sulfide leads to passivation of sulfur cathodes, which limits high sulfur utilization in lithium-sulfur batteries. Sulfur utilization can be augmented in electrolytes based on solvents with high Gutmann Donor Number; however, violent lithium metal corrosion is a drawback. Here we report that particulate lithium sulfide growth can be achieved using a salt anion with a high donor number, such as bromide or triflate. The use of bromide leads to similar to 95 % sulfur utilization by suppressing electrode passivation. More importantly, the electrolytes with high-donor-number salt anions are notably compatible with lithium metal electrodes. The approach enables a high sulfur-loaded cell with areal capacity higher than 4mA h cm-2 and high sulfur utilization (> 90 %). This work offers a simple but practical strategy to modulate lithium sulfide growth, while conserving stability for high-performance lithium-sulfur batteries.