If you ask me, there isn’t a more satisfying, delicious, or easy way to take advantage of the bounty of summer produce at our fingertips than with a big ol’ salad. Truly, there is a salad for all occasions or any vegetables you picked up at the farmers market or received in your weekly CSA box.
Summer salads are the answer to almost any occasion, be it a casual lunch (go for a make-ahead, veggie-packed pasta salad), an easy weeknight dinner (panzanella is always a good idea), or a fresh and simple side to round out whatever you good for dinner (you can never go wrong with cucumber salad). There’s a time and place for leafy green salads, but now’s the time to build your salad with sweet summer corn, juicy red tomatoes, crisp cukes, and snappy beans.
From summer classics that highlight the season’s superstars (like cucumber, corn, and tomato salads) to tangy slaws and can’t-miss fruit salads, we’ve got them all right here.
When the weather is steamy, it’s hard to beat the refreshing crunch of a cucumber salad. Whether you’re craving something tangy or creamy, these recipes deliver.
8 / 10
Buttermilk Cucumber Salad
This refreshing rendition of the classic creamy cucumber salad still has all the zip and crunch, but incorporates elements from raita and tzatziki, other cooling cucumber-and-dairy dishes.Go to Recipe
Sweet, juicy corn is one of the absolute best perks of the summer season. Beyond eating it straight from the cob, turning it into a colorful salad is always a good idea.
3 / 5
This fresh corn salad is mixed with juicy tomatoes, sweet basil, and salty feta for a simple, refreshing salad that tastes like summer. Go to Recipe
5 / 5
Succotash has many versions, but almost all contain corn and beans. Some succotash calls for heavy cream, but instead, this one is kept light with a few squirts of lemon juice as a stand-in dressing.Go to Recipe
Eating your weight in tomatoes is basically a requirement in the summer. These vibrant salads will help you get there.
1 / 9
This simple salad, made with thinly-sliced red onions, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of oil and vinegar, lets juicy summer tomatoes shine.Go to Recipe
8 / 9
The Perfect Tomato Salad
Sure, you could augment the experience with goat or feta cheese, or chopped greens. It’s a salad, there are no rules. But this simple way of preparing tomatoes honors them while they’re at their peak.Go to Recipe
9 / 9
Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)
This classic Italian salad seems somehow too simple — and too improbable — to be as good as it is. We’re talking about a mix of day-old bread and juicy ripe tomatoes with whatever veggies might be in need of using, all tossed with a light vinaigrette.Go to Recipe
If crunch is what you’re after, a slaw is the answer. Don’t just stop at at a classic cabbage coleslaw, however: Cauliflower and kale can become slaw, too.
3 / 12
Easy Taco Slaw
This simple recipe for red cabbage and carrot coleslaw that's tossed in a spicy and creamy dressing is perfect with just about anything — not just tacos.Go to Recipe
8 / 12
This easy slaw using shredded cruciferous vegetables features almonds and dried cherries in a tangy honey-mustard dressing.Go to Recipe
9 / 12
How To Make Coleslaw
This coleslaw is a classic. Green cabbage, shredded carrots, creamy dressing. It's the perfect side for burgers and hotdogs at your next backyard party.Go to Recipe
What’s great about pasta salads is not only can they be made ahead, but they can play side dish or main dish, lunch or dinner, depending on what you need them for.
1 / 13
Caprese Pasta Salad
All the classic components of caprese salad — juicy tomatoes, sweet basil, and milky mozzarella, come together in this crowd-pleasing pasta salad.Go to Recipe
4 / 13
Pesto Pasta Salad
Nothing says summer like tendrils of pasta, fresh mozzarella pearls, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy cucumber dressed in a basil pesto sauce.Go to Recipe
8 / 13
Greek Pasta Salad
This Greek-inspired pasta salad is filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, and feta and dressed in a tangy oregano vinaigrette. Go to Recipe
9 / 13
BLT Pasta Salad
This pasta salad takes everything you love about that classic sandwich, then folds it into a summery side that's sure to be a hit at your next potluck.Go to Recipe
12 / 13
Feta & Eggplant Pasta Salad
Salty, briny feta kicks up the flavor here, while chopped parsley and basil keep things fresh, and the whole mix is tossed with a simple red wine vinaigrette.Go to Recipe
13 / 13
Antipasto Pasta Salad
This recipe takes inspiration from antipasto, the Italian first course that includes all kinds of pickled veggies, cured meats, and of course, cheese.Go to Recipe
A potato salad is typically one of the first things to go at a summer cookout. These are recipes you’ll turn to again and again, whether for a backyard barbecue or a weeknight dinner.
5 / 10
Titi Nancy’s Potato Salad
This hearty and satisfying potato salad is a great side dish for the holidays. It's made with russet potatoes, bell peppers, mayonnaise, egg, onion, and parsley. Go to Recipe
9 / 10
Cheezy Potato Salad
This creamy recipe is mayonnaise-free and full of crisp bacon and celery. The dressing has a cool, creamy tang that mayonnaise-based dressings just can’t beat.Go to Recipe
Bean and Lentil Salads
Since beans and lentils add lots of good protein to the situation, these are salads that absolutely can hold their own at the center of the table, if you need them to do so.
Nothing against baked treats, but a light fruit salad, made with perfectly sweet, in-season fruit, is one of the best ways to end a meal during the summer months.
2 / 8
Rainbow Fruit Salad
Fruit salad should be something you actually want to eat, rather than something that’s looked upon sadly when carried out for dessert. This one, featuring every color of the rainbow, is that and more.Go to Recipe
5 / 8
Easiest Summer Fruit Salad
We don’t typically think of salad dressing when it comes to fruit salad, but that’s exactly what turns a bowl of plain fruit into something extra special. Here, the dressing is a honey-cinnamon one.Go to Recipe
7 / 8
Fruit and Grain Salad
The best grains for this salad are those that have a strong and durable outer layer. Once made and refrigerated, the individual grains stay separate and retain their chewiness far better.Go to Recipe