Last Updated on August 17, 2022 by Corinne Schmitt
When the weather gets hot, the last thing in the world I want to do is turn on my oven and heat up the house… We are all about the picnics, barbecues, and delicious summer foods to keep us cool… So when I’m strapped for time and need a quick and tasty summer dish, I’m ALL for summer salads!
These 20+ tasty summer salads to enjoy in the sun are the perfect addition to any potluck, picnic, or barbecue. They’re colorful and delicious, plus most of them take hardly any time to make!
From sweet to savory to even a bit spicy, there’s a summer salad here to satisfy the whole family!
Easy Summer Salads That Can Stand In For Dinner
In summer, I want to spend time playing with the kids. So, even though our schedule isn’t as hectic, I still don’t want to spend a bunch of time making dinner and doing dishes.
Not to mention, I don’t want to sit down to a hot meal right before I head outside into the heat to play badminton with the kids. Hearty summer salads are the perfect solution since they’re light, cool, one-dish meals.
Below are some of my favorite summer salads to serve for dinner.
I love this colorful grilled corn salad with shrimp when the sun comes out. Aside from being nice to look at it, it’s full of great textures and flavors too!
We love making this easy summer salad with honey balsamic dressing on hot summer evenings! Lots of crisp, crunchy ingredients make this salad as fun to eat as it is delicious.
Keep cool on hot summer days with this cranberry apple chicken salad in cucumber cups. They’re ALMOST too pretty to eat, but once you have one, you won’t be able to stop yourself. And you won’t have to because they’re low in carbs and calories!
I love this chopped Mexican salad recipe! I could eat Mexican food all day every day and when it’s salad, I don’t even feel guilty about it.
This Doritos taco salad could not get any yummier! Plus, the kids will be so shocked you’re feeding them Doritos for dinner, they won’t even notice the greens.
I can’t even tell you how delicious this summer berry salad with honey lemon poppy dressing is! If you’re missing the protein, you can easily add some shredded chicken. It’s wonderful both with and without!
This kale, quinoa, and cranberry salad is the perfect way to stick to your summer diet without feeling deprived! The quinoa is so filling and the sweet tartness of the cranberries goes so well with the kale.
Summer Pasta Salads
My kids love pasta so it’s the perfect way for me to sneak in lots of vegetables without them giving me a hard time. Pasta salads are also always a hit at potlucks. Here are my favorite pasta salad recipes.
This summer pasta salad with pineapple dressing is tangy and delicious!
Whenever I make this delicious chicken pasta salad, I always whip up more than I need to save for lunches!
This pesto taco salad is absolutely to die for!
I could eat this easy broccoli pasta salad every day for a week!
Mexican macaroni salad is one of my absolute favorite summer salads!
This elbow macaroni salad is a total classic!
Oh my word, you have to try this kale, orzo, and feta side salad! And yes, even though orzo looks like rice, it really is a pasta.
Easy Summer Side Salads
Even if the salad isn’t the main attraction at dinner, it can earn an honorable mention. These summer side salads do exactly that. They bring delicious variety to your favorite summer entrees.
This hearts of palm and artichoke summer salad only takes five minutes to make!
I can’t believe this marinated vegetable salad is so simple to make!
Woah, this rainbow salad in a jar is so colorful and fun even my pickiest kids love it!
This cherry tomato salad only takes ten minutes, so it’s my go-to potluck dish!
Summer Salads Featuring Fruit
One of the best things about summer is all of the wonderful fruits that are in season. These summer salads put those farm fresh ingredients front and center.
Sweet corn and watermelon summer salad is perfectly sweet, sour, crisp and juicy all at the same time!
Impress your friends by bringing this apple coleslaw to the next get together! The sweet flavor of the apples makes this version much more palatable to kids than the traditional cabbage dish.
You’ve got to try this fruit salad with honey and citrus dressing at your next picnic. You’ll come home with an empty bowl for sure!
Have you tried watermelon salad with homemade dressing? It’s amazing!
Summer Dessert Salads
As someone with a demanding sweet tooth, I had to include these last two recipes. While not a “salad” in the sense that we normally think of when we hear that word, you have to admire those who take the broad definition and get creative with it.
Go back to the 80’s with this retro cool whip and pistachio salad!
You can’t have a barbecue without this classic ambrosia summer salad!
Don’t those all look delicious?!
I make at least a few of these summer salads each week of the summer, and even my pickiest kiddo cleans their plate!
I love having a quick and simple meal solution that doesn’t make the house any hotter than it already is through the summer, especially when my family surprises me with a potluck event without warning… (Or does that only happen to me?!)
At any rate, any of these 20+ tasty summer salads is bound to be a hit with your family this summer!
What is your favorite summer salad recipe?