There’s nothing more refreshing than a crisp, vibrant salad in the summertime. They’re so easy to toss together, perfect for feeding parties of 1 or 100, and are the perfect opportunity to experiment with local, seasonal produce. In this post, I’ll be sharing over 10 of my favorite healthy summer salad recipes that are perfectly delicious this time of year.
What Makes a Standout Salad?
Salads are so much more than just lettuce and dressing. For me, it’s all about making sure that there’s a variety of flavors and textures that shine together. There needs to be something crunchy, something salty, and something sweet. Those elements together truly yield the perfect salad, no matter what ingredients you decide to use!
With the sun shining on those slow summer days, the last thing we want is a meal that requires us to fuss with it too much. All of these salad recipes come together incredibly quick, and are as low-fuss as possible. And, because there is so much variation in the types of salad recipes I’m sharing, it’s the perfect opportunity to get creative with new produce.
Head to your local farmer’s market, check out your natural foods store, and have fun picking out the best produce and ingredients for your salad! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to pair your salads with a buttery glass of wine, or perhaps a delicious Strawberry Aperol Spritz. It’s a combination that truly cannot be beat!
I wouldn’t be known as “Kalejunkie” if I didn’t provide you with the most DELICIOUS kale salad recipes that will turn even the most devout kale-hater into a kale-lover. These are three of my favorite kale salad recipes for the summer; they all come together in just a matter of minutes!
My Copycat Hillstone Emerald Kale Saladis my twist on the kale salad from one of my favorite restaurants – Hillstone. This salad is loaded with tons of fresh herbs, a homemade dressing, and also happens to be both gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly, making it the perfect crowd-friendly salad!
Your new favorite summer salad has just arrived. My Lemony Parmesan Kale Saladis a bright, vibrant salad that tastes so delicious, you'll actually forget that it's healthy. 😉 This salad also happens to be gluten-free, grain-free, and uses only 8 simple and easy and ingredients, so it's perfect to whip up any time!
Locked and loaded kale salad topped with toasted quinoa, dried cranberries, shaved parmesan cheese, and toasted almonds, all tossed in a super creamy tahini-lemon-garlic dressing. This addicting salad is one that you will come back to, again and again! It's mind-blowing good!
If there’s one thing that’s better than a lettuce-based salad, it’s a pasta salad. While some pasta salads can air on the unhealthier side, these recipes are full of good-for-you ingredients that you will LOVE.
My Ultimate Green Pasta Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing is a delicious, flavorful pasta salad that is bursting with fresh herbs, bright veggies, and the most delicious tahini dressing. Make this recipe for your summertime picnics, bbqs, cookouts, and family gatherings – it definitely won't disappoint!
This is a quick and easy pasta salad tossed with the creamiest and most delicious peanut sauce, ever! You can add any veggies you like, but what ever you do, don't skip – or skimp – on the sauce, it's magical. This recipe serves 4 people generously, and can be enjoyed warm, room temperature or cold. The best part? This meal comes together in under 30 minutes, and dare I say that the leftovers taste better than the day that the salad is made. If you are looking to boost the protein in this salad, add some chicken, tofu, or simply swap regular pasta for a higher-protein pasta, like lentil or chickpea pasta. Enjoy!
There’s something about grilled or shredded chicken that just tastes perfect in a salad. It’s the right amount of protein to keep you full and satisfied, while still keeping you feeling light and energized. If you love chicken as much as I do, then you will definitely love these recipes.
Run, don't walk, to your kitchen, because this is my favorite salad recipe in the entire world – period. This is my copycat version of the Hillstone Macho Salad, and when I tell you that this salad will literally change your life, I mean it. I'll admit, I might have even cried when I nailed this recipe, because it truly is one that I love so much. And I know that you are going to love it too! This salad is naturally gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and is too good to pass it up!
If you love a good taco salad, then prepare to have your life absolutely CHANGED! My Chicken Taco Salad with Tangy Avocado Lime Dressing is not your mama's taco salad. It is loaded with delicious, healthy ingredients that pack quite the punch, and, not to mention, this avocado lime dressing is absolutely MAGICAL. Make this salad for Taco Tuesday, or anytime that you are craving a delicious, healthy salad!
A light and healthy Chicken Caesar salad. I made homemade garlic croutons with sourdough bread, then tossed the salad in a creamy tahini Caesar dressing and topped it off with Parmesan cheese for good measure. So good!
And if meat is not a part of your diet, then don’t worry- I’m here to bring you the most delicious vegan and vegetarian-friendly summer salad recipes! All of these recipes are inherently vegan-friendly without any additional substitutions needed. 🙂
If you're looking for a plant-based salad that is anything but boring, then you've come to the right place! My Moroccan-Inspired Chickpea Carrot Salad with Spiced Lemon Dressing is the most delicious, plant-based salad that is full of so much spice and flavor, you wouldn't believe that there's no meat in it! Plus, this recipe also happens to be gluten-free and grain-free, so it is sure to keep your taste buds (and your belly) happy!
"The perfect summer salad doesn't exist," that is… until now. Meet my Strawberry Arugula Salad with lemon Poppyseed Dressing, aka the perfect salad for your late summer days. Peppery arugula blends beautifully with the sweet strawberries and the tangy lemon dressing. It's light, refreshing, and bursting with flavor. Plus, it's gluten-free, with the option to make it dairy-free and vegan-friendly, so it's perfect for parties or social gatherings!
You might be wondering what a lettuce-free salad entails, and let me be the first to tell you: they are full of deliciousness. These are salads where the produce truly takes the center-stage, which results in a crunchy, flavorful, veggie-packed salad that is delicious as both a side dish and a main.
Your perfect summer salad has finally arrived: introducing, my magical Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. This salad is my riff off of a traditional Greek Salad, but with one of my favorite ingredients… quinoa! This salad is the perfect addition to your summer cookouts, or can also be eaten on its own for a light, healthy dinner. And whatever you do, don't skimp on the tangy homemade dressing; it's so good, you'll want to drink it. Trust me.
If you are looking for a quick, easy, and delicious recipe that comes together in minutes, then look no further because this is IT! My Armenian Cucumber & Tomato Salad is a light, simple, and refreshing dish that only takes a few minutes to whip up, but can be enjoyed and savored throughout the week. It's the best! Plus, this recipe also happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly, making it the perfect dish for everyone to enjoy!
For all of my meal preppers: this recipe is for YOU. My Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dijon Dressing is the perfect make-ahead salad, because it stays fresh for days without getting wilted and soggy! That's right – prepare this salad ahead of time and have a crispy, crunchy, tangy salad available anytime that you want it. This recipe is gluten-free, grain-free, and vegetarian-friendly as well!
If you decide to make any of these recipes, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so I can see them and repost on my IG stories! Enjoy! xx
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