Here are all the summer salad recipes you need! These classic salads are perfect for cookouts and barbecues all season long.
Once the weather is finally warm, summer salad recipes are where it’s at! Salads are ideal for highlighting the fresh produce of season: and perfect side dishes for cookouts and barbecues. Here are a few of our very favorite summer salads for all your summery occasions. This list includes only side salads: perfect for pairing with burgers, a grilled meal, or to round out the pitch in table. Looking for main dish salads instead? Keep reading: we’ve got something for everyone!
And now…our top summer salad recipes!
Here’s a top summer salad recipe to make each season: Fresh Peach Salad! This one is a standout, pairing juicy ripe peaches with a sweet balsamic vinaigrette, punches of creamy goat cheese and nutty toasted almonds. Add pops of sweet corn and savory red onion slivers and it’s a total treat!
This strawberry summer salad accessorizes with just about every meal, and tastes incredible. It starts with a tangy and lightly sweet strawberry vinaigrette salad dressing (yum!), then spinach, strawberries, and thin sliced red onion. Top it off with a few crunchies: chopped pecans and a bit of salty feta, and you’ve got one extremely delicious side salad. We like it with pizza, with salmon, with pasta: ok it goes with just about everything!
Next up in our summer salad recipes: watermelon salad! What could be more summer? This one takes only 10 minutes to throw together and is the perfect accessory to any barbecue or cookout. It features juicy sweet watermelon and salty feta cheese, topped with a bit of chopped basil. If you haven’t had watermelon and feta before, it’s a classic combination that’s begging to be part of your summer traditions.
It’s not summer until you’ve made corn salad! This one is all about fresh flavor: sweet bursts of corn, juicy tomatoes, and herbaceous basil pair with a tangy, light vinaigrette. If you’re like us…you won’t be able to stop eating it! Top with feta cheese crumbles if you like, or keep it as a plant based salad: it’s just as good either way.
Here’s a fresh spin on that classic Bean Salad! This classic American summer salad has been gracing tables for generations, and everyone has their own take on it. Here’s our spin on that bean salad of our youth, with a little less sugar and more freshness. But don’t worry: it’s still an easy three bean salad that’s as easy as dump and stir.
Next up in our summer salads: this potato salad is truly the best potato salad we’ve had. It tastes like your favorite deli counter potato salad, but more vibrant and delicious. It’s tangy and crunchy, filled with minced dill pickle, green onion, yellow mustard, and mayo.
Also try: Favorite Potato Salad and French Potato Salad
This creamy cucumber salad is so refreshing, it’s hard to stop eating! Adding a bit of sour cream to a tangy cucumber salad makes an irresistibly creamy sauce. The silky sauce also features dill and shallots. While it has a summery vibe, this tasty salad works any time of the year. Also try: Cucumber Salad with Vinegar
Of course, no list of summer salads is complete without a good old pasta salad! This recipe is ultra versatile for picnics, barbecues, and an easy lunch idea: Tortellini Salad! The tang of the artichoke, chewy pillowy pasta, zippy tomatoes, and peppery basil come together into a symphony of flavor! Even better, it stores up to 4 days in the fridge, making it a perfect easy lunch.
Here’s a workhorse summer salad that’s fresh, delicious and ultra versatile: this deli-style Quinoa Salad! There are loads of ways to make a salad with this fluffy grain and after experimenting for years, we’ve found the one. This recipe is delightfully refreshing, a jumble of crunchy, colorful veggies, fluffy quinoa grains, and a zingy Dijon mustard vinaigrette.
What’s a more quintessential summer salad than the crunch of biting into a green bean? Here’s a salad that captures that essence: this homey Green Bean Salad! Imagine: tender blanched green beans covered in a zingy dressing, paired with tomatoes, baby arugula and the salty pop of feta crumbles. This one is ideal for pairing with a grilled meal, a trio of salads or dish for a summer potluck or pitch-in.
Here’s a fresh spin on the classic broccoli slaw! And who knew it could be so irresistibly tasty? This recipe you can make with store-bought broccoli slaw bags or fresh broccoli and carrots. It’s got a creamy dressing that’s equal parts savory, tangy, and a little sweet. Try this stunner of a broccoli recipe…you won’t be disappointed.
Here’s another classic summer salad that’s dying for you to try it: this orzo salad! Though it looks a little like rice, orzo is actually a small pasta in the shape of rice. It’s often used in Mediterranean-style recipes like Italian and Greek cuisine. Here, we’ve harnessed all the flavors of Greece for this orzo salad: salty feta cheese, red peppers, chickpeas, tangy Kalamata olives, zesty lemon, and of course, powerhouse herbs like mint and dill!
Here’s a salad recipe that’s full of big Italian flavors: antipasto salad! This combo between a pasta salad and Italian antipasti is loaded with zingy flavor: briny olives, tangy artichokes, and roasted peppers, contrasted with crunchy veggies and chewy pasta. Load it with fresh basil and there’s so much going on, you might not be able to stop eating it! Also try: Italian Vegan Pasta Salad
Here’s a surprisingly delicious summer salad recipe that deserves a spot on your plate: celery salad! The name doesn’t have quite the ring of say, potato salad. But this unique salad is so refreshing, you’ll become a convert from the first bite. Crunchy celery pairs perfectly with sweet apple, Parmesan shavings and a tangy vinaigrette. It’s bright, it’s crunchy, and it’s hydrating.
Are you ready for the best summer salad to hit your plate? Because man is this Grilled Caesar Salad tasty! It sounds a little strange, but grilling romaine lettuce infuses it with an incredible smoky flavor that is irresistible. Think about how good Caesar salad is, for a moment. OK, now imagine it GRILLED: it takes it to a whole new level! This salad combines grilled romaine lettuce with grilled avocados and our creamy homemade Caesar dressing for an over the top good summer salad.
Serve this carrot salad recipe to your friends and family, and they’ll be singing your praises! We know because after we made this at our house, it disappeared within minutes. It’s simple and refreshing, featuring strings of carrots doused in a a tangy Mediterranean-style vinaigrette.
Coleslaw is one of the most classic summer salads there is: and here’s our best recipe for a creamy coleslaw! This one features our Best Coleslaw Dressing: perfectly balanced in sweet and savory flavors. And it has a healthy spin: there’s no refined sugar and less mayo than most coleslaw recipes. When we make this one, we find ourselves going back to the fridge for seconds and thirds! Also try: Easy Cabbage Salad or Red Cabbage Slaw
This black bean salad is seriously tangy and delicious, and when we make it we can’t stop eating it! It’s perfectly seasoned and insanely easy to put together. This summer salad is a perfect easy potluck recipe to take to a barbecue or a cookout, and it doubles as a healthy lunch idea too. It’s totally plant based, vegan and gluten free, so it works for a variety of diets.
Here’s a summer salad recipe that’s about as delightful as they come: this fresh and herby Couscous Salad! It’s an ideal way to use Israeli couscous, those delightfully chewy pasta spheres. Throw it together with fresh dill and mint, garlic, lemon and a pile of vegetables, then sprinkle with salty feta. Take a bite and it’s irresistibly fresh and savory: we couldn’t stop eating it!
A favorite summer recipe over here? Elote, aka Mexican grilled corn. The smoky sweet corn kernels slathered in an creamy sauce are the epitome of delicious to us. So here’s a fabulous way to eat the same flavors: this Elote Salad! It’s absolutely irresistible, pairing grilled corn with a tangy sauce and bursts of salty cheese.
Want more summer salads?
Don’t worry: we have lots more salads where those came from! Outside of these summer salad recipes, try these main dish salad concepts that are perfect for the season. Here are a few more summer recipes we enjoy:
This peach salad recipe is irresistibly fresh! Pair the juicy fruit with cheese crumbles, toasted nuts, and a balsamic vinaigrette.
For the salad
¼ cup sliced almonds
6 to 8 cups mixed greens (we like a mix of butter lettuce and other greens)
3 small (or 2 large) ripe peaches
1 handful red onion slices
½ cup canned corn, drained (or fresh corn or grilled corn)
Toast the almonds: Place the nuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the nuts are fragrant and golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.
Prep the fresh ingredients: Slice the peaches. Thinly slice the onion.
Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, kosher salt, and several grinds of fresh ground black pepper until thick and emulsified.
Serve: To serve, top the greens with the peaches, almonds, red onion, goat cheese, and corn, then drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately.