Spanish Summer Salads

Refreshing Spanish-Inspired Salads for Hot Summer Days

Friends laughing eating drinking at patio table

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Due to the bounty of fruits and vegetables that grow in the Iberian peninsula, salad holds a special place in the eating habits of Spaniards. With ingredients like crispy, fresh green lettuce, fresh fruit, and root vegetable mixtures, salads are great vehicles for both nutrition and flavor.

Summertime is best for cold salads with plump tomatoes and garden vegetables. Use our recipes as a guideline and add your favorite veggies, keeping the flavor Spanish with good extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs. Our collection features easy and tasty recipes that feature the best of Spanish flavor through hearty and healthy dishes: from quick greens to grilled eggplants and zucchinis and sweet macedonia de frutas (fruit salad). ¡Buen Provecho!

  • 01 of 08

    Grilled Eggplant in Tomato Vinaigrette (Berenjena con Vinagreta de Tomate)

    Grilled aubergines with tomato sauce

    Getty Images / Luzia Ellert

    Eggplants are very common in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines and are particularly good meat replacers in stews because of their meaty texture. Offer our cold vegetarian eggplant dish as a tapa, or a side dish, on a hot summer day.

    Simply slice and grill eggplants and make a mixture of tomatoes, garlic, onions, and capers. Use quality olive oil and sherry to make a vinaigrette and have this dish ready in 40 minutes total. Serve with fresh bread.

  • 02 of 08

    Macedonia Tropical (Fruit Salad)

    Spanish fruit salad recipe
    Delicious fruit salad. Creativ Studio Heinemann on Getty Images

    Fruit salads come in all shapes and sizes throughout Spain. Thanks to a benevolent climate, the southern part of the country hosts fresh fruit and vegetables all year round and this salad proves it. Because not all fruits are available to you all year round, simply choose the ones that are in season and most sweet.

    If you're lucky enough to get your hands on sweet ripe papaya, cherimoyas, and pineapple, this salad will be your new favorite. Otherwise use the ripest fruits you can find, like peaches, apricots, kiwis, seedless grapes, or cantaloupe. Mix the chopped fruit with a touch of honey and serve cold. Make and present in just 15 minutes.

  • 03 of 08

    Spanish Seafood Salad

    Spanish Seafood Salad

    The Spruce / Ivan

    Quick, easy, and tasty, our seafood salad is a perfect summer dish when the offerings from the sea come as fresh as they can be to tables all over Spain. Buy good quality octopus (or squid if you can't find octopus), shrimp, and crab meat, cook it, and mix it with a flavorful dressing of white vinegar, olive oil, and chopped vegetables like peppers and pickles. Use anchovy-stuffed olives for extra saltiness and serve with fresh bread or saltines.

    Offer it as a light main course, a side dish to garlic pasta, or one of many tapas. Prep and serve in 40 minutes.

  • 04 of 08

    Spanish Potato Salad (Ensaladilla Rusa)

    Ensaladilla rusa
    Delicious Spanish potato salad.

    Known as "Russian salad," potato salad in Spain is a common dish with varied versions across the country. A hearty combination of potatoes, peppers, peas, carrots, eggs, and tuna make a wholesome meal that's best dressed in homemade mayonnaise. Use asparagus and olives to decorate or add additional veggies of your liking.

    This great summer salad, packed with protein and veggies, can be made in advance and dressed at the last minute to avoid the veggies from sogging. Boil the potatoes and eggs the night before, chop all your veggies ahead, and when you're ready, simply mix it and decorate to serve. Ready in 45 minutes.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Cucumber Salad (Ensalada de Pepino)

    Spanish Cucumber Salad

    Claudia Totir/Getty Images

    Spanish-style Cucumber Salad is a perfect dish for a warm day. Light and refreshing it is a great last-minute dish. Its tasty juices are beautiful with fresh and crusty bread. It's vegan and can be served as an appetizer or side dish to heartier meat-full dishes.

    Drizzle a tangy dressing of red vinegar and olive oil on peeled cucumbers, ripe tomatoes, and red onions to dress this flavorful and simple salad. Add freshly crushed salt and pepper to taste. Prep and serve in barely 10 minutes.

  • 06 of 08

    Mixed Green Salad (Ensalada Mixta)

    Mixed green salad
    Rick Lew/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Spaniards eat their veggies at every meal and most often eat a salad as a main course. Ensalada mixta is a colorful preparation often served on a large platter for the entire table to share. It usually includes olives, tuna, white asparagus, tomatoes, and onions.

    Easy to prepare, it is as tasty as it is attractive. This salad is perfect as a summer dish. Skip the tuna and offer it as a vegetarian alternative, or use it as a base for grilled fish or chicken. Prep and serve in 30 minutes.

  • 07 of 08

    Pipirrana Salad

    Ensalada Pipirrana

    This flavorful vegetable mix is often the base for a bread soup similar to gazpacho, but at other times it is served as a finely chopped vegetable mixture to put on bread.

    Simply chop peppers, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, and garlic into small bits. Dress with olive oil, sherry vinegar, and salt and let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the vegetables soften and the flavors enhance. Prep and serve in 45 minutes.

  • 08 of 08

    Ensalada Verde (Green Salad)

    butter lettuce salad

    Getty Images/boblin 

    There is nothing more welcomed on a warm summer day than a crisp cold salad to go with your grilled meats and seafood. Our simple green salad is ready in just 10 minutes and can be made in advance and kept in the fridge until lunchtime. The colder the better.

    Use fresh lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and red onions. A basic dressing of olive oil, vinegar, and salt is all you need to dress a beautiful salad. Spray cold water right before serving to firm up the lettuce.