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When hosting a barbeque, adding an easy summer salad to the mix is always a good idea. Give me a salad full of berries with a light vinaigrette, a lettuce wedge topped with fresh veggies or even just some watermelon, feta and balsamic and I’ll be good to go. The right salad is easy to assemble, healthy and a total crowd-pleaser. Plus, a light, fresh salad is the perfect accompaniment to your main BBQ dish, whether that be a juicy burger or a grilled portobello mushroom.
So what makes a salad the perfect *summer* salad specifically? Fresh seasonal ingredients, of course! Summer is ripe (pun intended) with amazing seasonal vegetables like tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, berries and bell peppers. BTW, summer fruits like blueberries, strawberries and peaches are full of antioxidants and vitamins like vitamin C and potassium. Berries are also a great way to stabilize your blood sugar and keep your heart healthy.
Get creative and pair strawberries with goat cheese, peaches with a poppyseed dressing or blueberries with arugula. Trust us, this isn’t your average lunch break salad and we promise your taste buds will thank you. These salads are also perfect to make in large batches to feed a crowd, so they’re especially ideal for your next summer barbeque. Odds are, your guests will be lining up for seconds—and they’ll definitely be asking you for the recipe before the party is over. Leftovers? We don’t know her!
Read on for 13 yummy salad recipes to add into your summer meal rotation, stat.
1. Patriotic Summer Salad
This red, white and blue salad gets its name right from its star ingredients: tomatoes, blueberries and mozzarella. So fun and festive! And let’s not forget about the incredible flavors coming from the peaches, arugula and prosciutto!
2. Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Salad
There’s no summer salad more classic than a strawberry, basil and goat cheese blend. This recipe is so simple and it’s the perfect big-batch side dish to serve at your next backyard party. Pro Tip: The best way to eat this salad is to get every ingredient on your fork for one perfect bite.
3. Moroccan Style Salad
With just four ingredients, this salad is the perfect combination of sharp, sweet and salty thanks to the tomatoes, oranges, red onion and olives. The dressing is also super simple, with just enough herbs to add flavor without overpowering the fresh veggies and fruits.
4. Watermelon Tomato Salad With Feta, Mint and Arugula
Nothing says summer quite like a nice, juicy bite of watermelon, so of course we had to include a watermelon salad on this list. Sweet, tangy and oh-so-satisfying, this recipe is super easy, calling for just six fresh ingredients.
5. Best Broccoli Salad
We know broccoli isn’t everyone’s favorite veggie, but hear us out on this one. The combination of chopped broccoli, red onions, cranberries and almonds creates a unique, crunchy texture with tangy, fresh flavors. Pro tip: Let the broccoli marinate in the dressing for even more flavor.
6. Avocado & Shrimp Salad
Consider avocado and shrimp the dynamic duo you never knew you needed. Not only is this salad super delicious, but it’s equally easy to make, with a recipe calling for just three main ingredients plus added flavor from dill, chives, lemon and garlic powder.
7. Asian Chicken Salad
You’re going to want to whip out your camera for this one, because this Asian chicken salad is as beautiful as it is delicious. The oranges keep it super refreshing and the chow mein noodles add a nice crunch. This salad makes a perfect main dish, but it also works well as an unexpected BBQ side.
8. Grilled Corn Salad
If you’re not chowing down on corn all summer long, we need to have a serious talk. Crunchy, buttery sweet and so satisfying, we’re down to eat corn in any way that it’s served, but especially in this grilled corn salad. Tomatoes, cilantro, cotija cheese and chili powder give it some freshness and heat.
9. Simple Veggie Salad
When making a salad this pared-down, you have to be sure you’re using only the best ingredients. Tomatoes *definitely* hit different in the summer and this salad will let that natural flavor shine. All you need are said tomatoes as well as cucumbers, ginger, red and green onions, cilantro and dressing.
10. Summer Fruit Salad With Peach Dressing
Peach season is the best season, try and prove us wrong. This salad takes advantage of the best seasonal fruits, with peaches, strawberries and blueberries all on the ingredient list. Plus, the dressing has a peach-lemon-poppyseed flavor for even more peachy goodness—YUM.
11. Green Goddess Quinoa Summer Salad
I know, I know—we had you at Green Goddess! This flavorful salad utilizes spinach, quinoa and tomatoes, but feel free to add in other ingredients to your liking, such as mozzarella, crushed almonds or the protein of your choice. The world is truly your oyster with this one, so don’t be afraid to build off of it.
12. Kiwi Cool Salad
Kiwi is the one ingredient we didn’t see coming for this salad, but we’re so glad she’s in there. And did you know kiwi is actually a great source of vitamin C? We love to see it! Apples, mandarin oranges, red onion, craisins and almonds round out the rest of this refreshing summer salad.
13. Greek Wedge Salad
A bit different from the traditional Greek salad, this recipe calls for the classic tomato, cucumber and feta mixture on top of a wedge. Add in some olives, celery and a homemade lemon tahini dressing and you might as well be on the beach in Greece. Same energy!