Fresh and vibrant salads are the cornerstone of summer cooking—or should I say assembling! These recipes are perfect for warm days when it’s just too hot to cook. They also work great as a side for a BBQ or potluck.

collage image of 6 different types of summer salads

Delicious Summer Salad Recipes

Salads are just right on sweltering summer nights when you’re not even hungry but still need to have a little something. You can easily make them a meal by adding some grilled chicken or fish, just as long as you keep it simple!

The recipes below are some of my favorite summer salad recipes. Choose from an ultra-simple Cucumber Salad or go for a heartier, one-bowl meal with my Summer Cobb Salad. I love serving potato salad with burgers and always bring macaroni salad or ramen noodle salad to summer gatherings! You’re sure to find something to fit every occasion.

1. Cucumber Salad

This cucumber salad recipe could hardly be simpler to make but is so refreshing! Crunchy sliced cucumbers are dressed in a simple vinegar and sugar dressing, with fresh herbs added for extra flavor. I like to make this a little bit in advance of serving and keep it cold in the fridge until I’m ready to eat it.

Cucumber Salad
Cucumber Salad is the perfect refreshing summer side dish made with cucumbers, a vinegar and sugar dressing, along with fresh herbs for a classic recipe!
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2. Summer Cobb Salad

This summery take on a traditional Cobb salad is sure to please. Full of fresh vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken, almonds, and creamy avocado this is a super satisfying and healthy meal. I add blackberries and raspberries for a delicious twist.

Summer Cobb Salad
This hearty and wholesome salad is loaded with all your favorite veggies and is enough to serve for lunch or a light dinner!
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3. Corn, Avocado, and Cilantro Salad

In-season corn plus avocado, tomatoes, and cilantro makes for a salad I find it hard to stop eating! This dish works perfectly as a simple, juicy side dish at a barbecue; you can serve it alongside burgers for a healthy and fresh accompaniment. But this salad is so good I sometimes just slice up a loaf of French bread and eat salad and bread and butter for dinner—I don’t need anything else.

Corn, Avocado, and Cilantro Salad
This Corn, Avocado and Cilantro Salad is perfect for a simple side dish that can be mixed up either ahead of time or right at dinner time.
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4. Summer Pasta Salad

As its name suggests, this is an amazing pasta salad full of summer flavors! Rotini pasta is loaded with fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and salty feta cheese then tossed with Italian dressing for a satisfying one-bowl meal that can be served at room temperature. I love this one for potlucks!

Summer Pasta Salad
This summer pasta salad is the perfect side dish for warm summer days! Crisp, fresh veggies, tangy artichoke hearts, and salty feta are tossed with rotini and Italian dressing for a light, easy summer pasta salad.
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5. Potato Salad

A thick and creamy version of the summer staple, my recipe for potato salad is so tender and flavorful. I love to throw in lots of chopped fresh dill, crunchy chopped celery and red onion, paprika, sweet relish, mayo and mustard, and hard boiled eggs! You absolutely need to make this one for your next picnic gathering!

homemade potato salad
Potato Salad
This is literally the best potato salad recipe, ever. Packed full of flavor, you're going to love how simple this summer side dish recipe is.
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6. Macaroni Salad

Forget about buying macaroni salad, this homemade version is a cinch to put together and tastes so much better! Plus, when you make it yourself you can adapt it to your own preferences (try pickles instead of sweet relish, for example). I love it with little cubes of cheddar cheese thrown in. This recipe is a must for your 4th of July BBQ!

Macaroni Salad
If you’re looking for a dish to make for a cookout, potluck, picnic, or summer get-together, you can’t go wrong with classic macaroni salad with creamy mayo dressing. 
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7. Ham Salad

Ham salad is a wonderful way to use up leftover ham, and it’s a versatile option for hot summer nights when you want something a little different, but don’t want to make a lot of effort. It’s great as a sandwich or on crackers, or you could simply top a fresh green salad with a scoop of ham salad for extra protein.

A bowl of ham salad surrounded by crackers.
Ham Salad
Ham salad is a deli favorite that’s easy to make at home! It’s perfect for school or work lunches, and it’s a great way to use up leftover ham.
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8. Antipasto Salad

A bowl of antipasto salad is a classic appetizer for good reason—it’s loaded with vegetables, made filling by the addition of meat, and is finished with lots of cheese. I think it’s hearty enough to work as a main meal, especially during the dog days of summer when cooking a big meal is the last thing you want to think about. You could throw in extra meat or top with some grilled chicken if you want a little more, but this one is really satisfying just on its own.

Antipasto Salad
The Antipasto Salad is filled with bright veggies, loaded with meats, and flowing with cheese. It truly is the best addition to any meal!
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9. Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Here’s another super flavorful and filling salad that will go fast when you bring it to a potluck! It’s hard to go wrong when you toss pasta with ranch dressing, smoky bacon, black olives, and sharp Cheddar cheese. Serve this as a side with hot dogs or enjoy it as a standalone for a lighter dinner option.

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Bacon ranch pasta salad is the type of dish that will disappear at a potluck or backyard barbecue!
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10. Crusted Chicken Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard

This crispy chicken Cobb salad is dressed with an amazing homemade honey mustard dressing that really takes it over the top. Fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, and avocado plus tender lettuce and crunchy red onions make this a memorable and satisfying meal. Perfect for summer lunches!

Crusted Chicken Cobb Salad With Honey Mustard Dressing
This Crusted Chicken Cobb Salad is absolutely packed with flavor! It’s a satisfying dinner with a variety of colors and textures, and the homemade honey mustard dressing is irresistible!
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11. Delicious Chicken Salad

A really nice option for a summer lunch or simple dinner is chicken salad. Serve it on fresh or toasted bread for a complete meal! My version of chicken salad is creamy with mayonnaise, has a wonderful tang from fresh lemon juice, and is packed with juicy grapes and crunchy celery and apples. Add some nuts for even more crunch and you’ve got the makings of the perfect picnic basket sandwich.

easy chicken salad recipe
Delicious Chicken Salad Recipe
This is such a tasty chicken salad recipe!
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12. Taco Salad

Tacos, but make it a salad! My taco salad is a satisfying meal that takes hardly any time to prep, perfect on those extra humid and hot summer nights. You could also serve this as a sort of deconstructed dip, with lots of crispy tortilla chips to scoop up the seasoned ground beef, cheese, avocado and of course, sour cream.

taco salad in a white bowl
Taco Salad
Taco salad is the best kind of salad! With seasoned ground beef, cheese, and avocado, it’s a satisfying meal that’s packed with flavor and sure to fill you up!
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13. Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

I love serving this dill pickle pasta salad at BBQs—it feels like the perfect side to serve with juicy burgers that have just come off the grill! This is a unique twist on a traditional pasta salad, and I’ve added pickles and tangy pickle juice and fresh dill for lots of flavor.

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad gives traditional pasta salad an upgrade by adding crunchy pickles, fresh dill, and tangy pickle juice! 
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14. Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salad made with raw broccoli is a healthy and delicious salad to add to your summer rotation! You’ll start with lots of fresh broccoli, then throw in bacon and sunflower seeds. Stir in some shredded cheddar and toss the whole salad in a creamy mayo-based dressing for a finishing touch. I especially love this one at cookouts!

broccoli salad with dressing, cheese, and bacon bits in a white bowl.
Broccoli Salad
This Broccoli Salad recipe is an amazing addition to your summer salad menu! Raw, crunchy broccoli, lots of salty bacon and cheddar cheese, and a creamy dressing will make this one a family favorite!
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15. Waldorf Salad

A Waldorf salad is a wonderful addition to a summer brunch! It’s made with chopped apples, juicy grapes, crunch celery and raisins. If you’re serving this later in the day you could add in some grilled chicken for a light, complete meal.

Waldorf Salad
Waldorf salad is a traditional favorite made with sweet fruits like apples, grapes, and raisins. Add chopped grilled chicken for a light meal.
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16. Ambrosia Salad

I had to include a dessert salad on this list! The ultimate decadent fruit salad, ambrosia salad is a classic recipe that mixes pineapple, mandarins, coconut, a creamy dressing, and mini marshmallows. I love to serve ambrosia salad as part of a summer brunch spread.

ambrosia salad with a cherry on top served in a white bowl
Ambrosia Salad
This Ambrosia Salad recipe is a classic! It combines pineapple, mandarin oranges, and coconut with creamy dressing and mini marshmallows.
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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.


  1. These summer salads all look luscious!!! We had lots of salads in the summer when I was growing up and I have always loved them especially in the hot summer summertime. Thanks for posting these!!!

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