Warm summer months call for the perfect side dish: fresh summer salads! Here, you’ll find the best of them, full of bright herbs and crisp veggies for any hot day. With leafy greens and hearty, fresh ingredients, one of these easy recipes will surely be a hit at your next barbeque, dinner party, or family meal!

​Easy Salad Recipes

With 15+ classic salad recipes, you’ll never come up short for the perfect side dish. Each one of them is simple to make with easy-to-find ingredients that come together in a matter of minutes (Bonus: so many of them can even be made ahead of time!).

Whether it’s the zesty red onion and creamy avocado in this Easy Mexican Street Corn Salad, or the protein-packed grains in Healthy Mexican Quinoa Salad with Avocado or the total versatility of this Fast 5-Minutes Fish Taco Slaw, you’ll reach for the recipes on this list for practically every occasion this summer.

Helpful Summer Salad Tips & Tricks

If there’s any one pointer I offer, it’s to make your own dressing at home. If you find that you absolutely love (and you will) our Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, Olive Garden Italian Dressing, or Honey Mustard Dressingmake them ahead of time in a mason jar to keep in your fridge to use FOR ANY salad you’re making next—whether it’s a single-serve salad for a snack or for a crowd at your next summer picnic.

Salads are also an amazing way to incorporate seasonal fruits and veggies. That’s why they’re the perfect dish for summertime, when fresh tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, bright green beans, juicy peaches, and other flavor- and nutrient-packed veggies are at their peak.

Here are a few other tips and tricks to achieving salad perfection:

  1. Completely dry greens to ensure your dressing coats everything evenly.
  2. Massage greens to distribute your dressing throughout your salad.
  3. Cut your greens, veggies, and proteins into bite-sized pieces so you can taste all the components in each forkful.
  4. Always taste the dressing before adding it to make sure you’ve dialed in the salt, sweet, and acidic levels to your liking.
  5. “Less is more” with dressing, so start with a little and add more as needed.
  6. Mix everything together before serving in a large enough bowl to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
  7. Add salt and pepper as needed once you’ve tasted your dressed salad.
  8. Roast any seeds and nuts to increase their depth of nutty flavor.
  9. Store the dressing separately from the rest of the salad if prepping ahead of time.

Best Summer Salad Recipes

Get out your apron and your favorite wooden bowl, and let’s get into some of our favorite summer salad recipes!

A white bowl is used to hold the light and refreshing avocado corn salad.

1. Easy Avocado Corn Salad

This Avocado Corn Salad recipe is a quick and easy summer side dish. Corn is mixed with chunks of avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, and lime juice for light and refreshing pops of flavor. Prepare this healthy recipe ahead of time for a picnic, BBQ, or potluck!

Avocado Corn Salad Recipe

4.88 from 8 votes
This Avocado Corn Salad recipe is a quick and easy summer side dish.  Boiled, canned, or frozen corn is mixed with chunks of avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro and lime juice for a light and refreshing taste. Prepare this healthy summer salad ahead of time for a picnic, BBQ, or potluck!
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A fork scoops out a bite of this salad with spinach and strawberries.

2. Strawberry Spinach Salad

This Strawberry Spinach Salad is so good, you’ll forget you’re eating healthy! Spinach leaves are tossed with strawberry, feta cheese, nuts, and avocado with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette drizzled on top. This easy, bright salad is the best way to enjoy fresh berries all summer long.

A fork scoops out a bite of this salad with spinach and strawberries.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

5 from 3 votes
This Strawberry Spinach Salad is so good, you'll forget you're eating healthy! Spinach leaves are tossed with strawberry, feta cheese, nuts, and avocado with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette drizzled on top.
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A quick, easy, and healthy watermelon fruit salad recipe with cucumber, feta cheese, and mint.

3. Watermelon Feta & Mint Salad

This light and refreshing Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint is the best quick and easy summer side dish! Juicy watermelon, crisp cucumbers, feta cheese, red onion, and mint are tossed together for the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Serve this healthy, cold salad at any gathering all summer long!

Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint

5 from 5 votes
This light and refreshing Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint recipe is the perfect quick and easy summer side dish! Serve this healthy cold salad at picnics, potlucks, and BBQs all season long!
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A Mexican Quinoa Salad with avocado in a clear glass bowl with a cilantro lime dressing.

4. Mexican Quinoa Salad

This picnic-worthy Mexican Quinoa Salad gets tossed in a vegan and gluten-free cilantro lime dressing and then loaded with black beans, corn, tomatoes, and avocado. You can meal prep this side or main dish ahead of time for a quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe, too!

A Mexican Quinoa Salad with avocado in a clear glass bowl with a cilantro lime dressing.

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Avocado

5 from 12 votes
This picnic-worthy Mexican Quinoa Salad gets tossed in a vegan and gluten-free cilantro lime dressing and then loaded with black beans, corn, tomatoes, and avocado.  You can meal prep this side or main dish ahead of time for a quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe, too!
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Shaved Brussels sprout salad is served in a bowl for a healthy side dish.

5. Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Thinly Shaved Brussels Sprouts are mixed together with cranberries and walnuts and then tossed in a creamy, homemade honey mustard dressing. This simple salad recipe is easy to make ahead for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners or even meal prep for weekday lunches. You can also easily make this dish gluten-free and vegetarian or vegan, too!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

5 from 1 vote
Thinly Shaved Brussels Sprouts are mixed together with cranberries and walnuts and then tossed in a creamy, homemade honey mustard dressing.  This simple salad recipe is easy to make ahead for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners or even meal prep for weekday lunches.  You can also easily make this gluten-free and vegetarian dish vegan, too!
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A bowl of summer pasta salad is shown on the counter next to pesto and corn.

6. Pesto Pasta Salad

Loaded with flavor and simple to throw together, this Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe is the best side for all your summer picnics. Bow-tie pasta, corn, peas, pine nuts, and arugula are tossed with creamy basil pesto for an easy cold dish.

A white bowl full of pesto pasta salad is placed on the counter

Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Loaded with flavor and simple to throw together, this Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe is the best side for all your summer picnics. Bow-tie pasta, corn, peas, pine nuts, and arugula are tossed with creamy basil pesto for an easy cold dish.
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An overhead view of homemade broccoli slaw.

7. Broccoli Slaw

This summer, switch up the traditional side and make this healthy Broccoli Slaw instead. Toss together shredded broccoli florets, carrots, cabbage, onions, nuts, and berries in a creamy vinaigrette dressing and you’re good to go. This is such an easy make-ahead recipe perfect for any meal.

Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Quick, easy, and tastefully Mediterranean, this Greek Pasta Salad Recipe will leave you craving more. Pasta, feta cheese, tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers combine with a zesty Greek dressing to make a delightful side.
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Pasta salad is shown in a white bowl for a gluten-free side.

8. Greek Pasta Salad

Quick, easy, and tastefully Mediterranean, this Greek Pasta Salad Recipe will leave you craving more. Pasta, Feta cheese, tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers combine with a zesty homemade Greek dressing to make a delightful side. Bring this simple dish to picnics and potlucks all summer long!

Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Quick, easy, and tastefully Mediterranean, this Greek Pasta Salad Recipe will leave you craving more. Pasta, feta cheese, tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers combine with a zesty Greek dressing to make a delightful side.
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A fork pierces a crisp cucumber slice.

9. Asian Cucumber Salad

Asian Cucumber Salad is a quick and easy recipe with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. All you need to make this Asian-style salad is cucumbers, onion, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili garlic paste, and cashews. This cold and crunchy treat will be your new go-to when you need a delicious side dish for summer dinners.

Quick Asian Cucumber Salad Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Make this quick Asian Cucumber Salad for an easy side dish in under 15 minutes tonight! Crunchy cashews combine with sliced mini seedless cucumbers, red onion, and a tangy dressing made from rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili garlic paste.
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Quinoa salad is shown in a white bowl for a summer recipe.

10. Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa Tabbouleh is a healthier spin on a Middle Eastern recipe that is secretly so quick and easy to make. Full of good-for-you ingredients like quinoa, fresh parsley, tomatoes, and cucumbers, this simple salad is the perfect side dish. Serve this vegetarian and vegan option alongside falafel or hummus for a healthy summer lunch or dinner.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Quinoa Tabbouleh is a healthier spin on a Middle Eastern recipe that is secretly so quick and easy to make. Full of good-for-you ingredients like quinoa, fresh parsley, tomatoes, and cucumbers, this simple salad is the perfect side dish.
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A big bowl of Italian dressing pasta salad is set on the counter next to fresh peppers and onions.

11. Italian Dressing Pasta Salad

Italian Dressing Pasta Salad is the perfect recipe when you need a quick and easy summer side. Rotini pasta, bell peppers, onion, spinach, and parmesan cheese are deliciously tossed with zesty Italian dressing to create the best cold pasta salad. This healthy, vegetarian dish will be your new go-to for a light, hearty side!

A big bowl of pasta salad is served

Italian Dressing Pasta Salad Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Italian Dressing Pasta Salad is the perfect recipe when you need a quick and easy summer side. Rotini pasta, bell peppers, onion, spinach, and parmesan cheese are deliciously tossed with zesty Italian dressing to create the best cold pasta salad.
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Two salad bowls full of a cold broccoli salad recipe with walnuts, cranberries, and bacon.

12. Best Broccoli Bacon Salad

The absolute BEST easy-to-make Broccoli Bacon Salad recipe is the perfect cold side dish for summer. Simple ingredients like steamed broccoli, crispy bacon, sweet cranberries, and salty nuts are tossed with a creamy dressing made from Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. The perfectly cooked bacon and bites of sweet cranberries will take your Summer side dish game up another notch!

Broccoli bacon salad with a creamy mayo and yogurt dressing with walnuts and cranberries.

Broccoli Bacon Salad Recipe

5 from 4 votes
The absolute BEST easy-to-make Broccoli Bacon Salad recipe is the perfect cold side dish for Summer. Serve this healthy salad all year long at picnics, BBQs, or even holiday dinners!
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The best Southern Coleslaw recipe that is made with vegan mayo, Paleo mustard, and a little bit of sugar.

13. Southern Homemade Coleslaw

This easy and creamy Homemade Coleslaw Salad sticks to its Southern roots and is super quick to make. Shredded cabbage and carrots are tossed with the best mayo and mustard dressing to create a low-carb side dish. This American classic is perfect for a typical summer weeknight!

Homemade Southern Coleslaw Recipe

5 from 2 votes
A creamy, easy Homemade Coleslaw Recipe that sticks to its Southern roots is super quick to make. Shredded cabbage and carrots are tossed with the best mayo and mustard dressing to create a low-carb side dish.
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A large white bowl full of kale, avocado, bell pepper, carrots, and a lemon salad dressing.

14. Massaged Kale Salad (Easy Lemon Dressing)

Massaged Kale Salad is the perfect way to enjoy this healthy veggie without the hard, bitter taste. Finely chopped kale is tossed in a lime and lemon salad dressing along with avocado, carrots, and bell peppers. This easy recipe is light, refreshing, and one of the best ways to boost your immune system with all of kale’s health benefits!

Massaged Kale Salad Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Massaged Kale Salad is the perfect way to enjoy this healthy veggie without the hard, bitter taste. Finely chopped kale is tossed in a lime and lemon salad dressing along with avocado, carrots, and bell peppers. 
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Traditional German potato salad is shown on the counter.

15. German Potato Salad (Authentic Recipe)

A warm German Potato Salad recipe is the best way to bring authentic flavors to your next summer barbecue! This easy and traditional side dish is full of tender potatoes and crispy bacon with a sweet vinegar sauce that takes it over the top. It’s exactly what your July 4th potlucks and Memorial Day picnics have been missing!

An old-fashioned German potato salad is served in a white bowl for a side dish.

Old-Fashioned German Potato Salad Recipe

4.85 from 19 votes
This old-fashioned German Potato Salad recipe has quickly stolen our family's hearts! Cubed potatoes soak up a sweet and tangy bacon drippings and vinegar dressing, topped with crispy bacon bits for incredible texture.
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A bowl full of avocado egg salad is served with a spoon.

16. Best Avocado Egg Salad (Easy Recipe!)

Try this Avocado Egg Salad for an easy and delicious twist on a classic. Combining hard-boiled eggs, avocado, mayonnaise, fresh dill, and fresh lemon juice creates the perfect low-carb picnic dish in just 20 minutes! Slather this recipe on toast, make a sandwich, or just dig right in with a spoon.

Avocado Egg Salad Recipe

4.50 from 2 votes
Try this Avocado Egg Salad recipe for an easy and delicious twist on a classic. Combining hard-boiled eggs, avocado, mayonnaise, dill, and fresh lemon juice create the perfect low-carb picnic dish in just 20 minutes!
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Chicken salad sandwich with a red toothpick on a white plate with potato chips.

17. The Best Chicken Salad with Grapes

This easy homemade Chicken Salad with Grapes works as a sandwich, a dip, or in lettuce wraps for a low-carb option. Shredded rotisserie chicken, grapes, mayo, mustard, hummus, pecans, and a few finishing touches are mixed together in this healthy gluten-free recipe. This is the great salad that every summer picnic needs!

Chicken Salad with Grapes

5 from 2 votes
This easy homemade Chicken Salad with Grapes works as a sandwich, a dip, or in lettuce wraps for a low-carb option. Shredded rotisserie chicken, grapes, mayo, mustard, hummus, pecans, and a few finishing touches are mixed together in this healthy gluten-free recipe.
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A glass Pyrex bowl full of a BLT pasta salad being mixed together with a wooden spoon.

18. BLT Pasta Salad {Ranch Dressing}

With all the flavor of the sandwich, this BLT Pasta Salad is the best, quick, and easy side dish. Simply combine Rotini pasta, crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and creamy ranch dressing and gently toss. Bring an excellent cold pasta salad to picnics and BBQs all summer long!

BLT Pasta Salad Recipe

5 from 11 votes
With all the flavor of the sandwich, this BLT Pasta Salad Recipe is the best quick and easy side dish. Simply combine Rotini pasta, crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and creamy ranch dressing and gently toss.
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Two halves of a chickpea salad sandwich are stacked on top of each other.

19. Chickpea Salad Sandwich

This Chickpea Salad Sandwich is the perfect vegan alternative to a tuna or chicken salad. Canned chickpeas are mixed with a flavorful mayo blend, smashed to your desired consistency, then added to a sandwich with all your favorite toppings. This is the best recipe when you’re prepping for a summer picnic or simply want a healthy lunch.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich Recipe

5 from 2 votes
This Chickpea Salad Sandwich is the perfect vegan alternative to a tuna or chicken salad. Canned chickpeas are mixed with a flavorful mayo blend, smashed to your desired consistency, then added to a sandwich with all your favorite toppings.
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