15 Fresh Picnic Salads for Any Summer Celebrations

published May 28, 2023
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Salads at 4th of July cookouts and summer picnics tend to fall into a few worn-out categories. Mayo-laden potato salad. Greasy pasta salad. Maybe a tomato salad if you’re lucky. Salads and side dishes get short shrift next to the blazing grill and charcoal taste of those cheeseburgers, or the splendor of the blueberry flag cake. Well, that shouldn’t be so. Here are 15 summer salads that offer delicious summer taste, and something fresh, something new for your summer picnic table.

The other benefit to many of these salads is that they don’t involve a lot of mayonnaise. Many don’t even have dairy! This is safer for salads that will be sitting out in the heat; mayonnaise and sunny picnic tables just shouldn’t go together, at least not for very long. Most of these salads opt for olive oil or yogurt instead of mayo, and they all will hold up just fine in the summer heat.

Fresh Picnic Salads for Celebrations

1 / 14
Sweet and Savory Wild Rice Salad

Crunchy with red pepper and cucumbers, savory with wild rice and chives, sweet with dates, zesty with lime and orange juice.

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2 / 14
Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Fontina

Carrots, mushrooms, gooey cheese, and nutty, tender farro.

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3 / 14
Meyer Lemon Grain Salad with Asparagus, Almonds and Goat Cheese

Sweet and citrusy, with crunchy almonds and mellow goat cheese.

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4 / 14
The Perfect Tomato Salad

So easy! Just tomatoes, good balsamic vinegar, a flurry of basil.

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5 / 14
Crunchy Peanut Slaw
A refreshing, light slaw fragrant with roasted peanuts
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6 / 14
Broccoli Slaw
As a salad base, julienned broccoli stems and other crunchy vegetables stand up to creamy dressings like a dream and stay firm for days.
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7 / 14
Kale Slaw with Peanut Dressing

Even more satisfying than the cabbage slaw, and so bright and attractive with its jewel-green kale.

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8 / 14
Grilled Zucchini and Grape Tomato Salad

An even simpler summer salad. Just throw the vegetables on the grill, then toss with a little oil, salt, and pepper.

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9 / 14
Tomato Salad with Red Onion, Dill and Feta
This is the full-on maximalist tomato salad: tossed gloriously with red pepper, feta, dill, cucumber, and olives.
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10 / 14
Potato Salad with Yogurt, Arugula, and Dill
A fresh and simple potato salad recipe for spring.
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11 / 14
Mixed New Potato Salad with Sweet Basil and Shallots
Toss tiny new potatoes with tangy buttermilk and sour cream along with handfuls of fresh sweet basil and crunchy shallots. It's the new summer classic.
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12 / 14
Roasted Garlic, Olive and Tomato Pasta Salad

Roasted garlic, tomatoes, olives – yummy!

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13 / 14
Sweet Potato Salad Recipe
The classic potato salad is a staple of summertime meals and picnics, so why not lighten things up a bit and try this version of sweet potato salad.
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14 / 14
Italian Potato Salad
This mayo-free potato salad is made extra colorful thanks to green beans, cherry tomatoes, and lots of fresh herbs.
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