41 Easygoing Salad Recipes to Make Now (& All Summer Long)

Cool, crunchy, fresh.

April 30, 2020
Photo by Bobbi Lin

Summer may not officially kick off until June 20, but we all know that it unofficially arrives once the sidewalks start to radiate heat. Which, depending on where you are, can be in late April or early May (we see you, Florida).

Our favorite thing to eat when it's positively scorching? A crisp, cooling salad. Bonus points if it's totally no-cook. Here are 41 of our best and brightest summer salad recipes to get you through the long, hot months—enjoy them in a sunny spot or curled up next to the A.C. unit, whatever works.

Our 41 Best Summer Salad Recipes

1. Early Summer Panzanella

Juicy summer tomatoes and slightly stale bread get marinated in a zingy garlic scape pesto, then grilled in this contest-winning panzanella.

2. Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad

This cold noodle salad brings all the refreshing vibes with crunchy cucumber, a punchy lime-fish sauce dressing, and lots of fresh herbs.

3. Avocado Toast Salad

The ultimate brunch dish becomes the ultimate warm-weather salad.

4. Quinoa & Mango Salad With Lemony-Ginger Dressing

Sweet, bright orange mango and lemon-ginger dressing make a superstar team in this quinoa salad.

5. Dilled, Crunchy Sweet-Corn Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

There's something about the creamy-tangy buttermilk dressing and the snappy-sweet corn kernels that just sings out: Summer is here!

6. Summer Farro Salad

Nutty farro, little hunks of mozzarella, fresh basil, drizzles of balsamic and red wine vinegar—what's not to love?

7. Pea, Asparagus, & Avocado Salad With Burrata

Consider this the ultimate feel-good salad: plenty of greens, a citrusy mint dressing, and a ball of fresh burrata for good measure.

8. Citrus Ginger Tofu Salad with Buckwheat Soba Noodles

This gingery tofu and buckwheat soba noodle is perfect for those sweltering summer days when you need something ultra-refreshing. Bonus: It just so happens to be vegan.

9. Crunchy, Creamy Cucumber-Avocado Salad

This salad strikes a masterful balance of textures with crisp cucumbers and buttery avocado and feta.

10. Melon, Bacon & Spinach Salad with a Melon Vinaigrette

Sweet meets salty in this salad—a finalist in our "Your Greatest Salad of All Time" recipe contest. Of all time!

11. The Genius Super-Salad

Food Editor Emma Laperruque and Creative Director Kristen Miglore joined forces to create the most genius salad of all time. You're welcome.

12. Tomato, Nectarine & Mozzarella Salad

Consider this salad a new-fashioned take on Caprese, with nectarines and a balsamic vinegar reduction.

13. Potato Salad With Arugula & Dijon Vinaigrette

This mayo-less potato salad gets it's verve from rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, Dijon, and a sprinkling of chopped chives.

14. Maricel E. Presilla's Cuban Avocado, Watercress & Pineapple Salad

Broiling the pineapples before incorporating into the salad enhances their natural sweetness, but also adds a bit of smoky-charred depth.

15. Warm Chicken Salad

"This simple, hearty salad earned rave reviews from the whole family," wrote one reviewer. Sold.

16. Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Miso-Ginger Dressing

This completely vegan salad transforms humble carrots and cabbage into a show-stealing side dish with unforgettable crunch.

17. Grilled Peach & Apricot Salad

Grilled peaches and apricots turn heads in a salad that's not only beautiful, but tasty, too.

18. Our Best Pasta Salad

This superlative pasta salad is best defined by what it is not: soggy, over-seasoned, boring-tasting, or meh.

19. Easy, Creamy Vegan Salad Dressing

A super-flavorful, creamy dressing that also happens to be vegan? Yep, add it to your summer salad rotation.

20. Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Red Onion, Lemon & Pecorino

Serve this simple shaved Brussels sprout salad next to grilled meats, fish, or even a veggie burger.

21. Chickpea "Tuna" Salad

"If you're looking for tuna salad, turn back now," writes Sarah Jampel. Chickpeas are the name of the game here.

22. Green Goddess Salad

This green goddess dressing was designed with crisp lettuce in mind, but it'd be excellent with seafood, too.

23. Grilled Broccolini Salad With Basil-Walnut Vinaigrette

Grilled salad? Oh, yes.

24. BLT Salad

Everything you love about the classic summer sandwich, in sublime salad form.

25. Cobb Salad for One

This lush cobb salad was designed for one, but simply scale up if you're making it for a crowd.

26. Marinated Lentil Salad with Zucchini & Tomatoes

Shake up your pasta salad routine by turning to lentils instead.

27. Gingery Noodle Salad

This noodle salad from Mark Bittman is one you'll want to make all summer long—we pretty much guarantee it.

28. Grilled Potato & Green Bean Salad

A quick kiss on the grill gives potatoes and green beans extra spunk in this easygoing salad.

29. Spicy Miso Eggplant & Broccoli Salad, From Deliciously Ella

If you prefer your salads to have a kick of heat (even in the summer), try this spicy miso eggplant and broccoli salad that can be served cold or warm.

30. Roasted Seaweed Caesar Salad With Anchovy Croutons

Traditional Caesar salad gets a Korean-inspired twist, with the addition of roasted seaweed snack, or gim.

31. Burmese Chicken Salad

"I love how each bite of chicken is infused with the blend of aromatic coriander, pungent fish sauce, and refreshing lime," writes the recipe's author, Giao Chau. We couldn't agree more.

32. Southwestern Quinoa Salad, by Way of the Pantry

This laid-back salad was designed to be riffed on, so make any substitutions or swaps you see fit.

33. Nancy's Chopped Salad

What makes this chopped salad Genius-worthy? A handful of why didn't I think of that? tricks that take the flavors and textures over the top.

34. Crispy Chickpea Fattoush with Asparagus & Radishes

If you've never tried crispy chickpeas in your salads, well, what are you waiting for?

35. Cucumber Salad With Magic Spice Blend

This three-ingredient salad lives up to the "magic" in its name. You'll see.

36. Celery & Lentil Salad with Tossed Salsa Verde

As is to be expected with a salad recipe from EmilyC, this celery and lentil number is an absolute home run.

37. Crispy Farro & Tomato Salad

The ultimate salad topping: farro broiled till it's crackly and crunchy.

38. Honeydew With Prosciutto, Olives & Mint

Bright, summery, and just the right balance of savory and sweet (oh, and a hint of spicy).

39. Banana-Mint Salad

There are endless ways to play around with this minty banana salad—add cocoa nibs, scoop the bananas on peanut buttered toast, it's totally up to you.

40. Buffalo Chickpea Salad With Vegan Ranch

Buffalo sauce fans, this one's for you.

41. Grilled Steak Salad With Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

The key to this steak salad? Marinate the meat after you grill it, rather than ahead of time.

What's your go-to summer salad? Tell us in the comments!

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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.