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Summer Salad Recipes

These refreshing summer salad recipes are perfect for showcasing your fresh fruits and vegetables this season! This list has all of your favorites from fruity summer salads to pasta salads or your favorite potluck salads.

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Refreshing Summer Salads

Summer is the peak season for many fresh fruits and vegetables, which makes it the perfect time to make a big, refreshing summer salad. It’s a quick and easy way to showcase your favorite seasonal ingredients from your garden or local farmer’s market. Not only is it a healthy dinner idea, but it’s also a great recipe to bring to a BBQ.

Fill up your summer salads with crisp greens, crunchy vegetables, juicy fruit, protein, quinoa or couscous and your favorite salad dressings. They’re super customizable and can be as hearty or as light as you’d like.

This list of summer salad ideas has everything you’re looking for this season. Whether it’s fruity summer salads, pasta salads or a classic potluck salad, you’ll find it all here. I’ve even included some tips for making the best summer salads, as well as a list of the top produce to pick this season.

Tips for Making a Summer Salad

  • Use what’s in season. Now is the time to showcase all of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season during the summer time. These ingredients will be the most juicy, ripe and have the best flavor. Check out the list below for all of the seasonal summer produce to choose from.
  • Shop local. This is the perfect time to support your local farmers! Buy produce from the nearest farmer’s market instead of the larger supermarket chain in your area. Odds are the produce is more fresh and vibrant!
  • Fresh from the garden. There’s no better way to enjoy your garden’s bounty than with a fresh summer salad. Greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and herbs are all wonderful additions!

Favorite Summer Produce

Below are some of my favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables to enjoy during the summer.

  • Fruit: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, cherries, mangoes, peaches, tomatoes
  • Vegetables: Cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, beets, kale, arugula, spinach, corn, onions, peas, radishes, rhubarb, collard greens
  • Herbs: Basil, dill, parsley, mint, oregano, rosemary, cilantro

Summer Salad Dressings

Making a homemade salad dressing is an easy way to take your salad up a notch. I love using lighter dressings in the summer so that it tastes refreshing and not too heavy. Balsamic dressing, poppy seed dressing, or an easy vinaigrette are usually my go-to’s!

Fruity Summer Salads

When I think of summer salads, I immediately think of fruit! Especially ripe, juicy berries. Fruit is the star of the show in all of these recipes below and adds the perfect sweetness to your salads. You can’t go wrong with any of these favorites!

spinach salad with fresh berries and sliced almonds
Spinach Berry Salad Recipe
A refreshing salad made with spinach, mixed berries, almonds and a red wine poppyseed vinaigrette. Delicious, healthy and easy to make!
Total Time: 10 minutes
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strawberry spinach salad
Spinach Strawberry Salad
A refreshing strawberry spinach salad is full of flavor and textures with juicy strawberries, almonds, soft feta, and fresh spinach greens tossed with a creamy poppy seed dressing.
Total Time: 10 minutes
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berry fruit salad in glass bowl
Berry Fruit Salad Recipe
This berry fruit salad is fresh, quick and delicious. Mixed berries are tossed with a honey lime dressing making this easy fruit salad perfect for any summer party!
Total Time: 10 minutes
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watermelon salad with cucumber in white bowl
Watermelon Salad with Feta
This watermelon salad is light, refreshing and full of summer flavors! It's easy to make with fresh watermelon, feta, cucumbers, mint and a delicious lime dressing.
Total Time: 10 minutes
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strawberry burrata salad on a white plate
Strawberry Burrata Salad Recipe
Strawberry, pistachio, and burrata salad with a poppyseed dressing…super fresh, flavorful and satisfying! This strawberry salad has the most perfect combination of flavors and will become your new favorite!
Total Time: 10 minutes
Rainbow Honey Lime Fruit Salad Recipe ...filled with fresh strawberries, oranges, bananas, grapes and blueberries. Topped with a honey lime glaze. This fruit salad is very easy and very tasty!
Honey Lime Fruit Salad
Rainbow honey lime fruit salad filled with fresh strawberries, oranges, bananas, grapes and blueberries. Then topped with a delicious honey lime glaze. 
Total Time: 10 minutes
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grape salad in clear bowl close up
Grape Salad
This easy grape salad is made with fresh grapes coated in a sweet cream cheese dressing then topped with crunchy pecans and brown sugar. It's always a crowd-pleaser!
Total Time: 40 minutes
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Mandarin orange salad in a white bowl.
Mandarin Orange Salad
This mandarin orange salad is fresh, sweet and loaded with flavor. It is topped with an amazing homemade orange salad dressing that you can't live without!
Total Time: 10 minutes
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chicken quinoa salad with mango, lime and cilantro
Mango Chicken Quinoa Salad
Chicken quinoa salad with juicy mango and chunks of rich avocado is the perfect light meal or side dish to make this summer.
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
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Summer Pasta Salad Recipes

Whether you’re grilling a big, juicy hamburger or your favorite chicken kabobs, any of these pasta salads would make the perfect summer side dish. Most can be made in advance, making things much easier when dinner time rolls around!

caprese pasta salad in bowl
Caprese Pasta Salad
This is the best Caprese pasta salad with classic Caprese salad flavors of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil tossed with pasta and a homemade dressing.
Total Time: 30 minutes
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southwest pasta salad in bowl
Southwest Pasta Salad
Tender penne pasta, black beans, corn, peppers, cilantro, onions and tomatoes tossed in a delicious and creamy avocado lime dressing. This southwest pasta salad is easy, healthy and full of Mexican flavors!
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Macaroni salad in a bowl.
Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe
This easy macaroni salad recipe is a classic potluck side dish made with noodles, red pepper, celery, onions and a creamy mayo dressing. It will be a staple at BBQs all summer!
Total Time: 20 minutes
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greek pasta salad in a glass bowl
Greek Pasta Salad Recipe
This Greek pasta salad is easy to make ahead with tender pasta, veggies, creamy feta and then tossed in a red wine vinaigrette. The best summer side dish!
Total Time: 30 minutes
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close up of chicken caesar pasta salad
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad Recipe
This chicken caesar pasta salad is super easy to make and comes together in just 10 minutes! Perfect for a quick dinner or to bring to a potluck. 
Total Time: 10 minutes
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Orzo salad recipe in a bowl.
Orzo Salad
Topped with a delicious homemade vinaigrette, this bright and colorful orzo salad is so fresh plus loaded with fantastic flavor. Such a healthy and filling side dish recipe or light lunch for summer!
Total Time: 30 minutes
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pesto chicken salad
Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
This chicken pesto pasta salad is light, healthy and packed with fresh basil pesto flavor! Make ahead for BBQs, summer potlucks, brunches, easy lunches & more! 
Total Time: 20 minutes
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buffalo chicken pasta salad on a white plate with fork
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
This Buffalo chicken pasta salad is perfect for summer! Made with the spicy flavor of Buffalo sauce mixed with chicken, noodles and veggies, this easy pasta salad is a favorite at any cookout!
Total Time: 10 minutes
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Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
Filled with tender pasta, crisp veggies and a zesty Italian dressing, this delicious and easy pasta salad is a potluck must-have!
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
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BLT pasta salad in a bowl
BLT Pasta Salad
This BLT pasta salad is a fun twist on the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Easy to make and great for summer parties and picnics!
Total Time: 30 minutes
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italian tortellini pasta salad in a bowl with a wooden spoon
Tortellini Pasta Salad
Easy tortellini pasta salad made with zesty Italian dressing in just 15 minutes! So full of flavor and a side dish the whole family will love. Perfect for any summer BBQ!
Total Time: 15 minutes
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Summer Potluck Salads

You can’t forget potluck salads! These classic dishes are easy to make and will be loved by all at your next cookout. There are even some great vegetarian and vegan options for the non meat eaters in your life!

Broccoli salad in a bowl.
Broccoli Salad Recipe
This broccoli salad with bacon is a crowd pleaser loaded with cranberries, sunflower kernels and red onion then tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing.
Total Time: 25 minutes
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potato salad with cheese and bacon in white bowl
Loaded Potato Salad Recipe
Loaded potato salad filled with potatoes, bacon, shredded cheese, green onions and a delicious creamy dressing. A fun twist on the classic potato salad that tastes like a loaded baked potato in salad form.
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Cucumber tomato salad
Cucumber Tomato Salad
This cucumber tomato salad is a classic recipe with fresh cucumbers, juicy tomatoes and red onions tossed in a tangy red wine vinaigrette. It's easy to make for a summer side!
Total Time: 25 minutes
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corn tomato salad
Corn and Tomato Salad
This corn and tomato salad recipe has become a fast favorite and is made in just 20 minutes. It's the perfect light and refreshing dish to whip up all summer long!
Total Time: 20 minutes
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quinoa black bean salad in bowl
Quinoa Black Bean Salad
This quinoa black bean salad is full of Southwestern flavor from black beans, sweet corn, herbs and spices and a squirt of lime. It's makes a satisfying lunch or dinner!
Total Time: 45 minutes
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chickpea salad in white bowl
Chickpea Salad
Chickpea salad is fresh, lively, and full of classic Mediterranean flavors! This beautiful salad is composed of buttery chickpeas, crispy bell peppers, crunchy cucumbers, and zesty tomatoes topped with a vibrant dressing that just gets better the longer it marinates!
Total Time: 25 minutes
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greek salad
Greek Salad
Easy Greek salad recipe with chopped veggies, feta cheese and a simple homemade dressing. Full of fresh flavor and made in less than 30 minutes!
Total Time: 25 minutes
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Tomato basil mozzarella salad in white bowl.
Caprese Salad Recipe
This easy Caprese salad is filled with ripe tomatoes, mozzarella balls, fresh basil and then topped with a homemade balsamic glaze for the most delicious combination. Serve this crowd pleasing summertime salad as a side, appetizer or a light meal with crusty bread!
Total Time: 25 minutes
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ramen noodle salad recipe
Ramen Noodle Cabbage Salad
This ramen noodle cabbage salad with chicken is so tasty and comes together in minutes! Light, crunchy and the perfect combination of flavors! It's sure to become a Summer staple!
Total Time: 10 minutes
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quinoa salad
Southwest Quinoa Salad
This southwest quinoa salad makes a delicious and flavorful side dish or main meal. You can feel great about eating this healthy, protein-packed salad all summer long!
Total Time: 30 minutes
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cornbread salad
Southwest Cornbread Salad
This southwest cornbread salad is a classic Southern potluck dish with flavorful layers of crumbled cornbread, veggies, bacon, cheese and a delicious salsa ranch dressing.
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
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