20 Cool and Tasty Summer Salad Recipes

Whether you're looking for a light and easy side salad or a pasta or potato salad for your cookout, you're sure to find an excellent recipe in this list. These are some of out top-rated salads, perfect for family meals, potluck dinners, cookouts or picnics, and special occasions.

  • 01 of 20
    Red Cabbage Slaw
    Diana Rattray

    The red cabbage salad makes for a colorful alternative to everyday coleslaw, and the flavors are amazing. Golden raisins and chopped pecans add a burst of flavor and texture​ but feel free to leave them out or replace them with another ingredient.

  • 02 of 20
    Pasta Salad With Chicken and Bacon
    Diana Rattray

    Bacon adds complexity to this chicken and pasta salad, along with the complementary flavors of diced tomatoes, celery, and onion. Use mini penne pasta, macaroni, or a similar pasta shape in this recipe.

  • 03 of 20
    Potato Salad With Dill
    Diana Rattray

    Dill and chopped dill pickle, along with a tangy mayonnaise and sour cream dressing make this potato salad extraordinary.

  • 04 of 20
    Broccoli Salad With Raisins
    Diana Rattray

    This broccoli salad is always a hit. Raisins, bacon, and a sweet and tangy mayonnaise dressing are among the ingredients.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20
    Pasta Salad With Peas and Ham
    Diana Rattray

    This delicious pasta salad is hearty enough to be served as a main dish for dinner or lunch. Try to prepare this in advance and chill it for several hours or overnight for best flavor.

  • 06 of 20
    Green Pea Salad With Easy Creamy Dressing
    Diana Rattray

    This green pea salad is not only attractive—it's packed with flavor and texture. The salad includes bright green peas, shredded carrot, bell pepper, red onion, and celery. Serve this salad with any summer meal or cookout, or take it along to a potluck event or picnic. Make this a few hours in advance and chill thoroughly for best flavor.

  • 07 of 20
    Carrot Salad
    Diana Rattray

    This crunchy carrot salad is flavored with raisins and a simple mayonnaise dressing. Use multicolored carrots for a beautiful salad. 

  • 08 of 20
    Roasted Potato Salad
    Diana Rattray
    This potato salad uses roasted potatoes and onions, giving it interesting flavor. This potato salad will be a hit at any cookout or potluck, and it's wonderful with grilled meat, chicken, or burgers. Try this delicious potato salad recipe for your next summer gathering.
    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20
    Cucumber Slices With Sour Cream and Dill
    Diana Rattray

    The tasty sour cream dressing and dill flavors this easy cucumber salad. It's a great way to enjoy fresh summer cukes.

  • 10 of 20
    Carolina Slaw
    Diana Rattray

    The vinegar and oil dressing makes an excellent dressing and a nice alternative to mayonnaise dressings. It's a great coleslaw to pile onto pulled pork or pulled chicken sandwiches.

  • 11 of 20
    Potato Salad With Peas
    Diana Rattray

    Fresh or frozen green peas add flavor and color to this delicious potato salad. This salad is easy to make and perfect for any cookout or potluck.

  • 12 of 20
    Wilted Spinach Salad
    Diana Rattray

    This classic spinach salad is topped with hard-boiled eggs and crumbled bacon.

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  • 13 of 20
    Spinach Salad With Figs
    Diana Rattray

    This attractive spinach salad is made with beautiful fresh figs and crumbled bacon. Goat cheese or blue cheese are crumbled over the salad and then it's dressed with an easy warm dressing.

  • 14 of 20
    Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad
    Diana Rattray

    Roasted cauliflower is tossed with cooked quinoa, peas, toasted almonds, and lemon juice.

  • 15 of 20
    Garden Pasta Salad
    Diana Rattray

    A variety of vegetables give this pasta salad crunch and color, and the mayonnaise and pesto dressing flavors it perfectly.

  • 16 of 20
    BLT Macaroni Salad
    Diana Rattray

    BLT lovers will love this salad. The macaroni salad is made with plenty of bacon. The salad is served on fresh sliced tomatoes and lettuce leaves.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20
    Beet Salad With Spinach
    Diana Rattray

    Bacon and pecan halves add texture and flavor to this easy beet salad. The salad includes shredded or crumbled cheese and spinach leaves. The dressing is a tasty blend of mustard, honey, and balsamic vinegar.

  • 18 of 20
    Tossed Salad With Croutons
    James Carrier/Getty Images

    This is the classic everyday side salad, and it is an essential menu item for a big family meal or cookout event.

  • 19 of 20
    Black Bean and Corn Salad
    Diana Rattray

    This uncomplicated black bean and corn salad is dressed with an easy, tangy dressing made with, lime juice, cilantro, apricot preserves, and a variety of seasonings.

  • 20 of 20
    Shrimp Salad With Rice
    Diana Rattray

     Cooked shrimp and a variety of vegetables make this rice salad hearty enough to serve as a main dish. It's perfect for a hot summer lunch or evening meal.