Fresh and Colorful Summer Salads
These bright, healthy salads—with veggies, fruits, hearty grains and more—are gorgeous enough to star at your dinner table or a picnic spread.
Summer Chicken Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
Heap a platter with butter lettuce, poached chicken, green beans, avocado, berries, chives and basil. (The cooked components are easily made ahead.) Admire your creation, then douse it in berry-pink vinaigrette.
Related: Throw a Strawberry Party with These Fresh, Fruit-Forward Recipes
Spinach-Farro Salad with Cherries
Serve this easy, healthy salad for lunch or a light supper. The tangy goat cheese makes a nice counterpoint to the sweet cherries.
Related: Hearty, Healthy Salad Recipes
Succotash Salad with Smoked Trout
In this delicious center-plate salad, salty smoked trout plays off the sweetness of fresh corn and a maple-laced dressing.
Make this gorgeous twist on the classic Italian salad with only the ripest summer peaches and tomatoes, so the bread soaks up all the sweet juices.
Mexican Street Corn Macaroni Salad
In Mexico, grilled corn comes coated in mayonnaise, lime, cheese and cilantro. We just added pasta, plus lots of green onion for bite. It's a macaroni salad that's anything but basic.
Related: Scrumptious Pasta Salad Recipes
Greek to Me Tomato Salad
Tuck grilled Halloumi cheese among ripe heirloom tomatoes. Scatter with quick-pickled red onion, oregano, pepper and olive oil. Dive in like it's the Aegean.
Related: Fresh Tomato Recipes You'll Love
Grilled Watermelon and Arugula Salad
Two things make this grilled watermelon amazing. High heat draws out moisture and intensifies watermelon's sweetness, and the rub creates additional caramelization for even deeper flavor notes.
Two-Bean Salad with Tarragon
Don't stop at beans. You'll want to use the lemony vinaigrette from this recipe all summer long on lettuce salads, asparagus or boiled baby potatoes.
Related: Garden-Fresh Vegetable Recipes
Penne with Lentils and Feta
Hearty and wholesome, this pasta salad is loaded with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, lentils, salty cheese and parsley, all cloaked in a light and bright red wine vinaigrette.
Beet and Orange Salad With Walnuts
Honey and orange juice boost the natural sweetness of beets. We couldn't resist adding goat cheese, but the salad's equally good without.
Coconut Shrimp and Watermelon Salad
This fresh and flavorful salad is a perfect dinner for a hot night, especially with a glass of crisp white wine. Be sure to use unsweetened coconut for the best flavor.
Basil Fruit Salad with Cottage Cheese
This salad is a sleeper hit. You may not have thought to put these ingredients together before now, but here's your new favorite lunch (or breakfast) meal.
Unforbidden Fruit Salad
Learn to love your melon by dousing it in lime juice, with zippy chilies, cilantro and crunchy pepitas. Can you eat it with your morning eggs? A bowl of yogurt? Fajitas? A beer? Yep.
Green Bean Tabbouleh
This is a perfect summer salad to take to a picnic or potluck since it is best at room temperature.
Greek Orzo Salad
Olives and feta give salty punch to this pasta salad from Surdyk's Liquor and Cheese Shop in Minneapolis.
Farro and Olive Salad
This salad is a great barbecue side, or hearty enough for a stand-alone meal. At Kansas' Elderslie Farm, chef Katharine Elder likes to keep a big batch on hand to eat for lunch.
Thai Beef and Noodle Salad
Lean flank steak, whole wheat pasta and crisp vegetables make this Asian-inspired salad a healthy choice. Ditching that time-consuming (and all-too-easy-to-forget) step of marinating the meat makes it genius.
Bacon, Blue Cheese and Nectarine Salad
Nectarines appear twice in this irresistible rainbow of a salad: sliced on top for pretty summer punch and pureed in the dressing for fruity tang and silky smoothness. (Note: The dressing can be made ahead and chilled for up to 3 hours; if possible, return the dressing to room temperature before serving.)
Arugula Salad with Brioche Croutons
Any crouton is delicious, but a crouton made with buttery brioche? Divine. It's a luxe addition to this simple lemon-dressed salad from Epicure Catering in Michigan. (This recipe makes a generous amount of croutons; store extras in an airtight container for a day or two.)
Greek Salad with Halloumi
Halloumi is a salty Greek cheese that you can grill with delicious results--like a fried mozzarella stick that showed up at a barbecue. Find it at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and some supermarkets. Try halloumi in our Pesto Veggie Gyros, too.
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Zucchini, Almonds and Feta
You could make a meal of this dish: caramelized zucchini, crunchy almonds, salty cheese and hearty quinoa, all dressed in honey-basil vinaigrette. The recipe comes from Columbus, Ohio, chef Cara Mangini.
Related: Easy Zucchini Recipes
We took a summertime staple (a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich) and made it a main-dish salad. Creamy mustard dressing is the perfect topping.
Related: How to Cook Bacon Like a Pro
Rice and Red Bean Salad
Chili powder and cumin flavor this hearty, nutritious Tex-Mex dish from The Spice House in Milwaukee.
Boston Lettuce Stacks with Grilled Peaches, Feta and Pecans
This easy summer salad pairs the textures and flavors of buttery, slightly sweet and crisp Boston lettuce with grilled warm peaches and crunchy nuts.
Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad
Discover the savory potential of watermelon in this five-ingredient salad.
This hearty, healthy salad combines juicy fruit, flavorful fresh herbs and warm spices. Even people who are skeptical of the nutritious bulgur wheat will be surprised how much they like it.
Creamy Spinach-Basil Pasta Salad
Fresh basil in the dressing lends a hint of pesto-inspired sophistication to this mayo-rich pasta salad.
Bavarian-Style Potato Salad
Serve this tangy vinegar-based potato salad with bratwurst and sauerkraut for a meal worthy of a German beer garden.
Broccoli Grape Salad
Salty bacon flavors juicy grapes and crunchy broccoli. The classic potluck star comes from a South Dakota bed and breakfast.