Salads are an easy but delicious way to enhance any meal and enjoy fresh, seasonal veggies.
Whether you’re looking for a light weekday meal or need a side salad to serve at your next barbecue, here are our favourite 28 easy summer salad recipe ideas for any occasion.
28 Summer Salad Recipe Ideas
If you’ve never tried a bulgar wheat salad before, this is your sign to do so. Bulgur wheat has a similar taste and texture to couscous or quinoa and is packed with fibre for a healthy hit of nutrients. It’s made from cracked wheat and is already partially pre-cooked — which makes it an ideal match for busy lifestyles.
Simply rehydrate the grains by boiling them in water for 10-15 minutes, which is the perfect amount of time to prep the rest of the ingredients for this salad.
Juicy cantaloupe, plump tomatoes, and zingy red onions pickled in a red wine vinegar make for an incredible sweet-savoury combination. Feta cheese gives this salad a flavour-boosting salty twist while mint leaves finish this dish off with a touch of coolness. Pair with your favourite grains and protein, or enjoy as a summery snack.
Pasta salads are the ultimate picnic or potluck staple. They’re easy to prep in advance, super versatile, and you can use essentially any ingredients that you like, which is great for making use of leftovers.
This variation uses any leftover chicken you might have from a Sunday roast, plus sun-dried tomatoes and olives for a flavourful Mediterranean addition.
If you’re not keen on soggy lettuce leaves, cucumbers make an excellent base that can be spruced up with herbs and soak up dressings to deliver a powerful punch of flavour. This herby green dish uses mint, parsley, coriander, and shallots for a tasty and healthy side salad. We love it paired with a charred fillet of fish.
Everyone has their own take on the potato salad, but we think this one will make it to the top of your list. New potatoes and asparagus are served with shallots and cubes of brie for a different take on the classic potato salad. A simple olive oil dressing lets the flavours of the vegetables shine through for a simple but delicious dish.
Looking for a salad that looks as good as it tastes? This strawberry and spinach salad is colourful and bursting with incredible flavours AND it’s healthy. That’s a clear winner in our books. Spinach leaves, avocado, and sweet strawberries are enlivened with apple cider vinegar and topped with ricotta cheese for a wonderfully creamy taste with every mouthful.
Quinoa has been making waves in recent years, taking the superfood crown thanks to its high fibre and antioxidant content. For a unique take on the grain, try it with mandarin and feta for a zesty and salty salad. The dressing comes together with greek yoghurt, lemon, and apple cider vinegar before being topped with pistachio nuts for an added dose of healthy fats.
Walnuts, figs, and blue cheese may sound like the start of an irresistible cheese board or charcuterie, but they lend themselves to a wonderfully savoury salad too. The walnuts are toasted before tossing with the other ingredients to enhance their nutty flavour, and the dressing is made with mustard, honey, and orange juice for a sweet and zesty finish.
British raspberries come into season in the summer months, so it’s a great opportunity to use them in a salad. This recipe also has figs, blackberries, and pineapples for an extra fruity feel. Feta cheese, parma ham, and mint balance out the rest of this dish for a big hit of freshness with every bite.
This salmon and tomato salad is dressed up with edible flowers for an impressive dish that looks and tastes incredible. Chopped baby tomatoes and green salad leaves form the base before being piled high with smoked salmon, chopped black olives, and a tarragon dressing. The edible flowers are completely optional, but we love the summery touch it adds to the table.
Fresh rocket’s peppery, nutty taste means that you’re in for a real treat with this fresh salad. Yellow pepper and onion add a satisfying crunch, while sliced courgette soaks up a simple but effective olive oil and lemon dressing. It’s worth getting your fanciest olive oil out for this recipe as it can really make a difference.
Summer means that there are lots of luscious fruits in season, so it would be rude not to make the most of them. Mango and avocado are paired together with coriander to create this stripped-back salad that’s bursting with flavour and texture. The dressing adds a zesty kick, so we love to pair it with a bed of couscous and some grilled chicken for a wholesome hot-weather meal. This will be a winner at any barbecue – trust us.
This salad tastes like summer with every bite. Plump peaches and nectarines are grilled to achieve a beautiful, and tasty, charr. They’re mixed with ruby-red currants to give this salad a vibrant rainbow feel, before being finished with sliced shallots, feta cheese, and toasted nuts for added texture. Serving on a solid chopping board is optional, but fully recommended if you want to take your presentation to the next level!
14. Chickpea & Feta Summer Salad
This chickpea salad can be enjoyed as a side or as a main course all on its own. It’s got all the components of a winning salad: sweet peppers, grilled courgettes, chickpeas, and cubed feta, tossed in a zesty lemon and garlic dressing.
15. Courgette & Asparagus Lemon Salad
Not a fan of soggy salad leaves? This recipe is packed with veggies and doesn’t feel like you’re eating a salad. Courgettes, new potatoes, asparagus, and onion make for a filling side dish to accompany grilled fish or steak, or even on its own as a hearty lunch.
The humble potato salad is a staple at any picnic or family gathering. This recipe lets a food processor do all the heavy lifting, resulting in miniature cubes of vegetables so you can enjoy all the flavours together in each forkful. No food processor? Don’t worry, you can still ace this recipe by hand. Top tip: a well-honed knife makes practising your dicing skills a lot easier – check out our guide to keeping your blade perfectly sharp here.
This colourful cabbage salad toes the line between salad and slaw, and we’re all here for it. Shredded or finely diced cabbage, carrots, and bell peppers add a hit of colour and the tasty herby yoghurt dressing gives it an added dose of flavour. Serve it up at your next barbecue, it’s sure to be a hit!
Delight all the senses with this Asian-inspired, super fresh salad. Soft rice noodles contrast nicely with crunchy cabbage and cucumbers, carrot ribbons and radishes add a touch of colour, and miso paste gives the veggies a fragrant umami flavour.
Raspberries are the star of this salad: blend them together with balsamic vinegar, onion, and maple syrup for a sweet and tangy vinaigrette. Pour over the salad base and enjoy – this works with pretty much any leaf, so you can swap the recipe out for your favourite greens.
Apart from making breadcrumbs, baking croutons is an excellent way to use up any stale bread you have hanging around. This fennel and cucumber salad calls for large cubes of bread baked in the oven until they reach a toasty, crunchy consistency – the best way to top off any salad. Seriously, you’ll want to add these to everything.
Melon is one of the most refreshing fruits and when paired with pomegranate and basil, makes for a gourmet take on the classic fruit salad. This recipe calls for cantaloupe to be shredded in a food processor, but you can totally grate or dice yours instead. Throw together olive oil, feta cheese, and pink peppercorns and toss for a simple but impressive summer salad. You can even top with strips of parma ham as it pairs gorgeously with the melon.
After a salad that doesn’t look like a salad? Enter this cucumber noodle and smoked salmon salad. That’s right: cucumber noodles. Spiralised cucumbers are the perfect vessel to soak up a creamy sour cream, olive oil, and dill dressing. Top with oranges and smoked salmon and you’ve got yourself a standout starter for your next dinner party.
This quick and easy salad comes together in no time at all and is filled with all your favourite Mediterranean flavours: cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and cucumbers. The red wine vinegar and oregano dressing tastes way better than anything you can buy in a bottle, so don’t definitely don’t skip it. Serve with gently toasted pita bread; the perfect combination on a warm, summery day.
Sweet and juicy watermelon meets dry-roasted peanuts for an incredible fusion of textures and flavours. Fish sauce (take our word for it) is mellowed out with lime juice and sugar, which coats the watermelon in a zesty and salty dressing. This is a great make-ahead salad or snack for when you want to quickly cool down.
Peaches are pickled in vinegar and then tossed with rocket, basil, and mozzarella? Chef’s kiss. Grill the peaches on a high heat in a griddle pan first for an added smoky sensation. Try to get your hands on buffalo mozzarella for this if you can; it’s so much creamier and tastier than the regular stuff and can make a huge difference when paired with simple ingredients like in this salad.
This salad uses fresh, seasonal fennel, which is at its best in the summer months, and a champagne vinaigrette to create a show-stopping dining table platter. Layer peppery rocket, fennel, pear, and radicchio for your base, then top with crunchy pistachios and fragrant gorgonzola cheese. Champagne vinegar gives the salad a light, floral taste, but you can also substitute it with rice wine vinegar.
Italians know how to pull together a great salad (Caprese or Panzanella, anyone?) and this coleslaw is no different. Shredded veggies and mayonnaise echo the coleslaws we usually know and love, but lemon juice, parsley, and feta cheese give this recipe a light and refreshing twist that’s perfect as a side on hot-weather days.
This green summer salad is packed full of tasty vegetables, featuring brussel sprouts, broccoli, and kale. With so many different textures and flavours going on, it’s an easy way to eat your greens! Lightly coated in an olive oil, lemon, and Dijon mustard dressing, and sprinkled with sesame seeds and almonds, this salad is as nutritious as it is tasty.
The best tools for making and serving salads
Best for mixing ingredients together: KitchenCraft Salad Spinner
Streamline salad prep with this nifty spinner that dries and mixes your favourite leafy greens together. Simply load and turn the handle to get the gadget going; there’s also a small opening in the top where you can pour your dressings in before spinning to make sure it’s all evenly distributed.
Best for stripping herbs: Chef'n Zipstrip™ Herb Stripper
Sprinkling a handful of fresh parsley or coriander on top of your ingredients can take your salad to the next level, and this clever vegetable tool makes short work of stripping herbs from their stems. Just thread the stem through the right-sized hole, pull, and let the bowl catch your herb leaves – all ready for garnishing!
Best for dishing up your salad: Mikasa Drift Salad Bowl
Serve up a storm with this striking cactus-print salad bowl. It’s crafted from high-quality ceramic and the outside is painted in a charming natural pattern, while the interior showcases a pretty contrasting print. Your salads are sure to be the star of any meal with impressive serveware like this.
Best for helping your guests get stuck in: KitchenCraft World of Flavours Italian Olive Wood Salad Servers
After putting in the time and effort to prep a delicious summer salad, make sure you’ve got the right serving tools to complete the dining experience. Lend a helping hand and add a touch of Italian style to your dinner table with these beautiful, hand-carved, wooden salad servers. Made from olive wood for unique character and charm, these servers will instantly elevate any dish and make it easy to get stuck in at mealtimes.
Salads don’t have to be dry, bland, and boring. Our selection of summer salad recipes offers a selection of invigorating and exciting options that’ll make you look forward to mealtimes, whether you’re after a delicious side salad, snack, or main course.
Discover all the serveware and serving tools you need to set the table or take a look at our list of 9 must-have vegetable tools to make your life easier.