22 Summer Salad Recipes to Make When It’s Too Hot to Cook

I don’t know who the PR rep for salads is, but I think they need to be fired. Salads have somehow become the poster child for meals you feel like you should eat because they’re healthy but you never want to eat. For decades, the only redeeming quality salads have had is the Caesar salad and its widespread fame (especially when enjoyed with fries and a crisp diet coke). Not only is it not fair for the Caesar salad to hold the reputation of the entire salad community on its back, but it’s also wildly inaccurate. There are so many downright delectable salads people are missing out on by writing off salads entirely.

I’m on a personal mission to help salads rebrand and spread the word about how incredible they are. Seasoned to perfection, adorned with delicious cheeses, and packed with fresh, in-season producesalads offer so much more than just leafy greens. Below, we’ve rounded up 22 delicious summer salad recipes that are guaranteed to convert you into a salad stan.

Source: The Movement Menu

If you ask me, one of the best parts of summer is watermelon is finally in season, and it’s the star of the show in this salad. You only need a handful of ingredients, and it comes together in less than 15 minutes. Once you try this delicious salad, you will want to make it on repeat.

Source: Detoxing

This salad’s fresh peaches and crunchy kale are a match made in heaven, and it tastes best when enjoyed outside in the summer sun. Make sure you let your peaches ripen so they are at peak flavor, and if you have a bruised peach you need to use, blend it up for the peach vinaigrette.

Source: Detoxing

Nothing says summer salad like strawberries and spinach, and this recipe takes the combo to the next level. Topped off with walnuts, feta, and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette, you’ll want to make this salad all summer long.

Source: A Saucy Kitchen

If you have leftover chicken in your fridge, this salad is a great, not-so-basic way to put them to good use. The cucumber adds a refreshing crunch balanced out with spicy red pepper flakes and a creamy peanut dressing. Plus, it’s packed with protein.

Source: A Saucy Kitchen

If you’re looking for a recipe full of fresh produce, look no further than this summer salad. With raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes, peaches, and avocado, you can clear out your entire fridge in just one recipe. The toasted hazelnuts and simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing pull the entire salad together.

Source: Cooking Classy

The bright, citrusy tang of lemon in this Italian-inspired salad will transport you straight to the Amalfi Coast. Only topped with almonds, grape tomatoes, parmesan, and a zesty dressing, this recipe is incredibly simple but still full of flavor.

Source: Two Peas & Their Pod

The addition of farro in this salad makes it denser than just one with a base of greens. You can serve it as an appetizer or side, but with the grains, it’s also hearty enough for lunch or dinner. Customize it with your favorite fresh produce, and you will have a new go-to dinner recipe.

Source: Ambitious Kitchen

If Chipotle is your favorite last-minute lunch or dinner spot, you have to try this black bean quinoa salad. The mango adds a bright summer twist, and the honey chipotle lime dressing is to die for. You can make this recipe ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to five days.

Source: Downshiftology

Caprese salad is the perfect warm-weather dish, and this recipe, with ripe avocado slices, juicy tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella layered together and drizzled with balsamic glaze, is bursting with flavor. It could not be easier to make, so it’s great for a quick lunch or midday snack.

Source: Downshiftology

This salad requires no cooking and is ideal for when you’re in a rush but still want a delicious meal with protein. The avocado, pear, and red onion paired with the salmon create a unique flavor combination that is absolutely amazing.

Source: Downshiftology

If you love a creamy salad, the lemon tahini dressing on this broccoli and chickpea salad will win you over after one bite. The broccoli creates a satisfying crunch that balances the soft chickpeas and dressing. You can make this ahead of time, and it only gets better in the fridge throughout the week as the ingredients absorb the dressing.

Source: Joyful Healthy Eats

Melon and prosciutto are the epitome of a tasty summer appetizer, so why not turn it into a salad? Scoop honeydew and cantaloupe into melon balls, and add prosciutto, fresh herbs, goat cheese, olive oil, and balsamic for a 10/10 fresh and juicy summer salad.

Source: Joyful Healthy Eats

This citrus salad is full of summer flavors with blood orange, blackberries, and a citrus vinaigrette. It only takes ten minutes to make, but it tastes so good you would think it took hours in the kitchen.

Source: Love & Lemons

Grain salads are the way to go if you want all the lightness and freshness of a salad but want it to be a little more filling. The farro in this recipe adds a hearty flavor to the salad with sweet corn and dried apricots, roasted garbanzo beans and almonds for plant-based protein, tangy pickled red onions, herbs, and feta or goat cheese. This recipe has it all.

Source: Love & Lemons

You can’t talk about summer salads without mentioning fruit salads. There is nothing quite as good as a fruit salad with sweet ripened fruit on a hot day. This recipe includes a delicious dressing that completely elevates the dish.

Source: Half Baked Harvest

This summer Nicoise salad features a colorful medley of fresh vegetables, tender potatoes, briny olives, and succulent grilled tuna, all artfully arranged over a bed of greens. This vibrant dish transports you straight to the sun and sea of the French Riviera, where the dish originates.

Source: Budget Bytes

This quick and filling salad offers a satisfying and quick lunch or dinner option. It can be enjoyed warm or chilled, so if you don’t have access to a microwave for lunch or dinner, this is a great recipe to take on the go.

Source: Chungah Rhee

This colorful salad looks beautiful on your plate and tastes just as good. It uses so many delicious summer fruits and vegetables, and the rosemary thyme chicken is simply mouthwatering.

Source: Chungah Rhee

If you love pasta salad but are tired of the same old recipes, this shrimp, asparagus, and zucchini orzo salad is a must-try. With seasoned shrimp, sauteed zucchini, tender asparagus, and fresh lemon dressing, it is perfect for summer. This salad is easy to make and even easier to enjoy, and it is sure to become a staple in your recipe repertoire.

Source: Cookie + Kate

Transport your taste buds to the shores of the Mediterranean with this vibrant Mediterranean Bean Salad. Packed with protein-rich beans, this recipe is a great lunch to pull you out of an afternoon slump. Bean salads keep so well in the fridge and just get tastier as they marinate in the dressing, so meal prep this on a Sunday and enjoy it all week long.

Source: Salt + Lavender

This grilled summer vegetable pasta salad is a great way to get your veggies in without a traditional salad recipe. Bright vegetables like bell peppers, corn, zucchini, and asparagus make for a stunning, colorful pasta salad that is super easy to make.

Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

Sometimes, no matter how easy it is to throw something on a pan and toss it in the oven, waiting for the oven to preheat and cook feels like too much effort. When you’re feeling particularly impatient, turn to this raw salad recipe for lunch or dinner. Just chop up all your veggies, add your seasonings and some olive oil, and it’s ready to eat.


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