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.
Juicy summer tomatoes and slightly stale bread get marinated in a zingy garlic scape pesto, then grilled in this contest-winning panzanella.
This cold noodle salad brings all the refreshing vibes with crunchy cucumber, a punchy lime-fish sauce dressing, and lots of fresh herbs.
The ultimate brunch dish becomes the ultimate warm-weather salad.
Sweet, bright orange mango and lemon-ginger dressing make a superstar team in this quinoa salad.
There's something about the creamy-tangy buttermilk dressing and the snappy-sweet corn kernels that just sings out: Summer is here!
Nutty farro, little hunks of mozzarella, fresh basil, drizzles of balsamic and red wine vinegar—what's not to love?
Consider this the ultimate feel-good salad: plenty of greens, a citrusy mint dressing, and a ball of fresh burrata for good measure.
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.
This salad strikes a masterful balance of textures with crisp cucumbers and buttery avocado and feta.
Sweet meets salty in this salad—a finalist in our "Your Greatest Salad of All Time" recipe contest. Of all time!
Food Editor Emma Laperruque and Creative Director Kristen Miglore joined forces to create the most genius salad of all time. You're welcome.
Consider this salad a new-fashioned take on Caprese, with nectarines and a balsamic vinegar reduction.
This mayo-less potato salad gets it's verve from rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, Dijon, and a sprinkling of chopped chives.
Broiling the pineapples before incorporating into the salad enhances their natural sweetness, but also adds a bit of smoky-charred depth.
"This simple, hearty salad earned rave reviews from the whole family," wrote one reviewer. Sold.
This completely vegan salad transforms humble carrots and cabbage into a show-stealing side dish with unforgettable crunch.
Grilled peaches and apricots turn heads in a salad that's not only beautiful, but tasty, too.
This superlative pasta salad is best defined by what it is not: soggy, over-seasoned, boring-tasting, or meh.
A super-flavorful, creamy dressing that also happens to be vegan? Yep, add it to your summer salad rotation.
Serve this simple shaved Brussels sprout salad next to grilled meats, fish, or even a veggie burger.
"If you're looking for tuna salad, turn back now," writes Sarah Jampel. Chickpeas are the name of the game here.
This green goddess dressing was designed with crisp lettuce in mind, but it'd be excellent with seafood, too.
Grilled salad? Oh, yes.
24. BLT Salad
Everything you love about the classic summer sandwich, in sublime salad form.
This lush cobb salad was designed for one, but simply scale up if you're making it for a crowd.
Shake up your pasta salad routine by turning to lentils instead.
This noodle salad from Mark Bittman is one you'll want to make all summer long—we pretty much guarantee it.
A quick kiss on the grill gives potatoes and green beans extra spunk in this easygoing salad.
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.
Traditional Caesar salad gets a Korean-inspired twist, with the addition of roasted seaweed snack, or gim.
"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.
This laid-back salad was designed to be riffed on, so make any substitutions or swaps you see fit.
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.
If you've never tried crispy chickpeas in your salads, well, what are you waiting for?
This three-ingredient salad lives up to the "magic" in its name. You'll see.
As is to be expected with a salad recipe from EmilyC, this celery and lentil number is an absolute home run.
The ultimate salad topping: farro broiled till it's crackly and crunchy.
Bright, summery, and just the right balance of savory and sweet (oh, and a hint of spicy).
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.
Buffalo sauce fans, this one's for you.
The key to this steak salad? Marinate the meat after you grill it, rather than ahead of time.