Don’t miss these easy summer salad recipes, perfect for relaxed lunches al fresco and lighter dinners on warm evenings. A fresh summer salad alongside a chilled glass of wine is the perfect antidote to an appetite that has disappeared with the heat.
A bit of preparation in the early morning when temperatures are lower can make a huge difference. I keep cooked chicken breast in the fridge, ready to pop into a salad later in the day. Most salads can be put together a few hours – or even the night before in some cases – before serving and kept in the fridge, ready to be dressed and served later.
Hearty appetites will appreciate some crudités or fresh bread or rolls served alongside, but these salads will stand alone if you prefer.
Tips for Better Salads
Chicken or seafood salads made with creamy dressings often benefit from a few hours resting in the fridge before serving to let the flavours mellow.
Prepare in advance for easier summer salad recipes. For example, marinate and cook a few chicken breasts at a time to keep on hand in the fridge. Boil potatoes, pasta or rice in advance. Cool quickly and store in the fridge. Wash and dry lettuces to keep on hand in the fridge and pre-chop and slice salad vegetables.
Always add dressing to lettuce salads just before serving. If you are serving lettuce alongside a salad made with a mayonnaise, always assemble the salad at the last minute to keep the lettuces crisp.
Consider serving a mixed salad plate for dinner, combining small servings of your favourite summer salad recipes for variety and flavour.
My Favourite Summer Salad Recipes
These are some of my favourite summer salad recipes, tried and tested recipes I have been making for years.
This light and delicious Coronation Chicken Salad recipe is gently spiced with curry powder and sweetened with fresh and dried fruit. It’s a more substantial salad, perfect for hearty appetites. It also makes a fabulous sandwich filling.
My Mom’s Potato Salad is a real family favourite. This make ahead salad is a great way to use up leftover potatoes. This is one of the summer salad recipes I also serve as a side at barbecues and picnics.
Vintage Waldorf Salad makes a wonderful lunch or dinner. Make it with chicken for a hearty yet elegant salad or leave the chicken out for a vegan variation.
Crunchy veggies, canned tuna and pasta combine in this easy Tuna Pasta Salad recipe. It’s perfect for summer barbecues, or pot luck dinners all year round.
When it comes to summer salad recipes, they don’t get much easier than this. Strawberries add a fresh twist to this easy Strawberry and Walnut Salad recipe, which can be made with or without chicken.
And last but by no means least, my late Mom’s Homemade Coleslaw recipe makes a wonderful side salad. It’s also perfect for topping baked potatoes or sandwiches.