24 Delightful Summer Salad Recipes Sure To Upgrade Your Lunch Hour

Photo: Getty Images / Claudia Totir
When it comes to summer dining, the first thing that likely pops into mind is the classic backyard barbecue, featuring a bevy of grilled meats and veggies, with refreshing fruit salads, flavorful cold salads, and other make-ahead salads on the side. As much as we love these dishes, we’re also big fans of the summer salad. While there are so many summer salad ideas, the key is to reach for seasonal salad ingredients that instantly add intrigue to any meal.

For example, since strawberries and peaches are in season in summer, don’t be shy about tossing them in with your greens. Additionally, don’t pigeonhole yourself to produce alone. Caprese salad is a deliciously refreshing dish that can easily be incorporated into salad ideas for dinner. And, of course, there’s always the option to top summer salads off with your favorite grilled chicken, steak, and/or fish for a boost of protein and flavor to boot.

If you're a fan of fresh peaches, try this avocado and peach summer salad from celebrity chef Nyesha Arrington:

Now, while we’re all for combining whatever tasty salad ingredients are currently in the fridge for a quick and convenient lunch or dinner, there’s something to be said about actually following a good recipe. With that in mind, ahead, you’ll find over a dozen summer salad recipes worth tossing together in the months ahead.

Summer salad recipes for 2023

1. Chopped caprese salad

You can never go wrong with a refreshing caprese salad. Instead of serving it in the traditional style (with whole fresh mozzarella slices, tomatoes, and basil leaves layered on top of one another), chop it all up and drizzle it with balsamic for an easy-to-serve iteration of the classic dish.

Get the recipe: Chopped caprese salad

2. Lemon parmesan lettuce salad

Summer salads don’t have to be complicated to be delicious. Case in point: This lemon parmesan lettuce salad incorporates just six ingredients and takes merely five minutes to toss together, but it’s earned nearly all 5-star reviews.

Get the recipe: Lemon parmesan lettuce salad

3. Perfect summer fruit salad

Although greens may be your first thought when thinking about summer salads, we’re here to remind you that fresh fruit can be just as tasty when tossed together. This fruit salad recipe combines pineapple, strawberries, kiwis, bananas, oranges, grapes, and blueberries, and features a sweet sauce to tie it all together.

Get the recipe: Perfect summer fruit salad

4. Cherry tomato couscous salad

Bite-sized cherry tomatoes are in season from summer to early fall, making them a must for your summer salads. One way to really harness their flavor is with this Cherry Tomato Couscous Salad recipe. Mixed with chickpeas, cucumbers, thyme, and feta, it’s a flavorful dish that’s light yet satisfying.

Get the recipe: Cherry tomato couscous salad

5. Summer chicken salad with hot bacon dressing

Marinated blackened chicken, grilled corn, roasted red peppers, and mixed greens serve as the base of this salad. Meanwhile, the flavor is ratcheted up a notch with avocado, cherry tomatoes, and garlic. That said, it’s the tangy bacon-herb dressing that’s the star of the show.

Get the recipe: Summer chicken salad with hot bacon dressing

6. Cucumber salad with soy, ginger, and garlic

This Asian-inspired cucumber salad is so delicious that nearly 3,000 foodies have awarded it their 5-star seal of approval. It features ultra-thinly sliced cucumbers soaked in vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and pepper.

Get the recipe: Cucumber salad with soy, ginger, and garlic

7. Watermelon salad with feta

While watermelon and feta might not feel light an obvious combo, this salad is nothing short of mouth-watering. Red onion, cucumber, avocado, serrano pepper, lime, mint, and basil are partially to thank.

Get the recipe: Watermelon salad with feta

8. Mexican street corn salad with black beans and avocados

Mexican street corn is a popular grilled corn recipe that can be transformed into a tasty summer salad when mixed with black beans and avocados. Don’t blame us if you keep this on repeat for the rest of summer.

Get the recipe: Mexican street corn salad with black beans and avocados

9. Peach caprese salad

Sure, classic caprese is delicious, but why not give it a sweet and savory boost by adding peaches to the tomato, mozzarella, and basil base? Don’t forget to drizzle on the balsamic!

Get the recipe: Peach caprese salad

10. Orange, walnut, gorgonzola, and mixed greens salad with fresh citrus vinaigrette

Oranges are another fruit that can make for a delicious salad ingredient. Here, it’s combined with mixed greens, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts (one of our favorite salad toppers), and a citrus vinaigrette for a zesty salad you’ll want to eat again and again.

Get the recipe: Orange, walnut, gorgonzola, and mixed greens salad with fresh citrus vinaigrette

11. Arugula salad with peaches, goat cheese, and basil

Arugula might be a bit bitter on its own but when you mix it with peaches, goat cheese, and basil, it will taste perfectly balanced out.

Get the recipe: Arugula salad with peaches, goat cheese, and basil

12. Roasted pepper salad with feta, pine nuts, and basil

Forget about greens—this popular summer salad recipe used roasted peppers as the base.

Get the recipe: Roasted pepper salad with feta, pine nuts, and basil

13. Berry orange spinach salad with citrus balsamic vinaigrette

What happens when you mix baby spinach with mandarin oranges, raspberries, blackberries, walnuts, and feta? You get a sweet and savory salad that you’ll be glad to toss together all summer long.

Get the recipe: Berry orange spinach salad with citrus balsamic vinaigrette

14. Greek chicken chopped salad with lemon tahini vinaigrette

Marinated Greek chicken and delicious lemon tahini vinaigrette make this simple salad a delight to feast on multiple times a week.

Get the recipe: Greek chicken chopped salad with lemon tahini vinaigrette

15. Cucumber tomato salad

Here we have another classic backyard BBQ side dish. And it’s so easy to make! It’s just cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions doused in vinegar and oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Get the recipe: Cucumber tomato salad

16. Corn salad

One way to put your leftover grilled corn to good use is with this tasty corn salad recipe. By mixing it with tomatoes, feta, and basil, you’ll have a whole new flavor profile, so you won’t get sick of the starchy veg.

Get the recipe: Corn salad

17. Spinach strawberry salad

Strawberry summer salads are par for the course. This one combines spinach, strawberries, red onion, toasted pecans, and feta, topped off with a unique poppy seed dressing.

Get the recipe: Spinach strawberry salad

18. Cherry tomato and white bean salad

White beans are another popular summer salad ingredient. To give them a whirl, try this Cherry Tomato and White Bean Salad, which has earned over 1,000 5-star reviews.

Get the recipe: Cherry tomato and white bean salad

19. Asian slaw

If you love color and lots of flavor, this tasty Asian Slaw recipe will make you swoon.

Get the recipe: Asian slaw

20. Minty fruit salad

As if fruit salad isn’t refreshing enough on its own, this one incorporates mint for an even more invigorating flavor profile.

Get the recipe: Minty fruit salad

21. BLT salad

Turn your favorite summer sandwich into a healthy salad with this beloved BLT Salad recipe.

Get the recipe: BLT salad

22. Blueberry broccoli spinach salad

Spinach, romaine, arugula, and kale might be the most popular salad base ingredients, but we’re here to let you in on a little secret: Broccoli is a great option, too. In addition to adding earthy flavor, it will give your salad a satisfying crunch that just may make it feel even more filling. And with blueberries to boot? Yes, please!

Get the recipe: Blueberry broccoli spinach salad

23. Pineapple jalapeño salad

Pineapple and jalapeños are two popular summer ingredients on their own, so combining them into a salad is a recipe for deliciousness, don’t you think?

Get the recipe: Pineapple jalapeño salad

24. Grilled chicken Cobb salad with honey dijon

Let us put it this way: This Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad with Honey Dijon has been shared over 114,000 times—it’s that good.

Get the recipe: Grilled chicken Cobb salad with honey dijon


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