27 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 our top-rated salads, perfect for family meals, potluck dinners, cookouts or picnics, and special occasions.

  • 01 of 27

    Red Cabbage Slaw

    Red Cabbage Slaw

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    The red cabbage slaw 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 27

    Pasta Salad With Chicken and Bacon

    Pasta Salad With Chicken and Bacon

    The Spruce / 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 pasta salad with chicken and bacon recipe.

  • 03 of 27

    Red Potato Salad With Sour Cream and Dill

    Potato Salad With Dill

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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

  • 04 of 27

    Broccoli Salad Recipe

    Broccoli Salad With Bacon

    The Spruce

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

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  • 05 of 27

    Green Pea Salad With Easy Creamy Dressing

    Green Pea Salad With Easy Creamy Dressing

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This green pea salad with easy creamy dressing 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 the best flavor.

  • 06 of 27

    Classic Wedge Salad

    A portion of classic wedge salad on a serving plate

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    There's nothing more refreshing than a classic wedge salad on a hot summer day. It's made simply with ice-cold wedges of iceberg lettuce, crumbled bacon, tomatoes, pickled onions, and blue cheese dressing. It works well with grilled and barbecued foods because the salad's acidic notes cut through the richness of the meal.

  • 07 of 27

    Grilled Corn Salad

    Grilled corn salad in a serving bowl with a spoon

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter

    As long as the grill's hot, why not toss on a couple of extra cobs to make this grilled corn salad. It mixes up quick and easy with cherry tomatoes, diced red onion, bell pepper, plenty of fresh parsley, and a delicious creamy mustard vinaigrette. 

  • 08 of 27

    Classic Carrot Salad With Raisins

    Carrot Salad

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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

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  • 09 of 27

    Roasted Potato Salad

    Roasted Potato Salad

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This potato salad uses roasted potatoes and onions, giving it an interesting flavor. This roasted 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.

  • 10 of 27

    Blue Cheese Coleslaw

    Blue Cheese Coleslaw

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Blue cheese coleslaw is a flavorful side or topping for burgers, hot dogs, or barbecue sandwiches of any type. Start with a prepared coleslaw mix, and all you have to do is mix up the dressing. Made with blue cheese, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce, it's a slaw anyone will enjoy.

  • 11 of 27

    Cucumber Salad With Sour Cream and Dill

    Cucumber Slices With Sour Cream and Dill

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This tasty easy cucumber salad with sour cream and dill is a great way to enjoy a fresh summer favorite.

  • 12 of 27

    Burrata Salad

    Burrata Salad

     Elaine Lemm

    A summery combination of grilled nectarines, juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs, and crisp lettuce, this burrata salad is worthy of a dinner party but easy enough for a weeknight dinner.

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  • 13 of 27

    Mediterranean Pasta Salad

    Mediterranean Pasta Salad

    Anita Schecter 

    Bring a bit of the Mediterranean to the table with this colorful pasta salad. Arugula, tomatoes, cucumber, black olives, fresh basil, and feta cheese are tossed along with cooked pasta and a creamy lemon-garlic vinaigrette.

  • 14 of 27

    Grilled Caesar Salad

    Grilled Caesar Salad

    Anita Schecter

    If you're grilling a main dish like burgers, chicken, or seafood, toss some romaine lettuce on the fire, too. The extra step makes this grilled Caesar salad extra special.

  • 15 of 27

    Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

    Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
    Anita Schecter

    A balanced combination of chickpeas, crisp fresh veggies, feta cheese, and lemon dressing, this Mediterranean chickpea salad is an impressive side dish or the main dish for a light summer meal.

  • 16 of 27

    Shrimp Avocado Salad

    Shrimp Avocado Salad

    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo

    For a fresh and vibrant seafood salad, combine plump shrimp with juicy tomatoes and creamy avocado. A flavorful vinaigrette keeps this shrimp avocado salad light and refreshing.

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  • 17 of 27

    Carolina Slaw

    Carolina Slaw

    The Spruce

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

  • 18 of 27

    Potato Salad With Peas

    Potato Salad With Peas

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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

  • 19 of 27

    Wilted Spinach Salad With Bacon Dressing

    Wilted Spinach Salad

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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

  • 20 of 27

    Spinach Salad With Figs and Warm Bacon Dressing

    Spinach Salad With Figs

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This spinach salad with figs and warm bacon dressing is not only good and attractive. Goat cheese or blue cheese is crumbled over the salad and then it's dressed with easy warm dressing.

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  • 21 of 27

    Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

    Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Roasted cauliflower and quinoa salad are tossed with peas, toasted almonds, and lemon juice.

  • 22 of 27

    Garden Pasta Salad With Rotini

    Garden Pasta Salad

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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

  • 23 of 27

    BLT Macaroni Salad With Bacon

    BLT Macaroni Salad

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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

  • 24 of 27

    Easy Beet Salad

    Beet Salad recipe

     The Spruce

    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.

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  • 25 of 27

    Basic Tossed Salad

    Tossed Salad With Croutons

    James Carrier / Getty Images

    This basic tossed salad with homemade croutons and red wine vinegar dressing is a classic everyday side salad, and it is an essential menu item for a big family meal or cookout event.

  • 26 of 27

    Tex-Mex Black Bean and Corn Salad

    Black Bean and Corn Salad

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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

  • 27 of 27

    Shrimp and Rice Salad

    Shrimp Salad With Rice

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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