Stay cool AND healthy with salad recipes perfect for summer!
People, it is hot outside! Yesterday, our heat index was 105°, and I don’t think my air conditioner stopped running until long after I went to bed. Let me say it now: I am a wimp when it comes to heat. I try my best to walk the dog and water the garden early in the morning when it’s still relatively cool, but by the middle of the day, all I want to do is sit in front of a fan sipping iced tea from a chilled glass.
Then I start watching the clock and groaning because I know my family will want dinner. Again.
Sometimes it’s all I can do not to hop in the car, crank the AC up until my ears feel like they’re freezing, and head to the nearest drive-thru. The truth is, sometimes I do just that and then I feel guilty. I garden, after all, and around this time of year I wind up picking a big basket of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, and fresh herbs every day! But the thought of having yet another standard tossed salad? Yeah, it makes me groan even more.
Lately, though, I’ve been switching things up with these salad recipes perfect for summer. It’s lovely being able just to open the refrigerator, grab a few containers of pre-chopped veggies, and whip up a quick dressing to go on top of them. Since I’ve started making these salad recipes, my family is back to looking forward to dinnertime, and I’m pretty sure the people at the fast food places are starting to miss us.
10 Salad Recipes Perfect For Summer
Salad Preparation Tips
• Cook meats in bulk. Get in the habit of planning a weekly menu ahead of time so you know what meats you’ll be serving, then bake or grill them all at once. Slice or chop it up then freeze half and put the rest in the refrigerator. When properly stored, cooked meat stays good in the refrigerator 3-4 days, and in the freezer for up to 9 months.
• Store salads properly. There’s no need to wash and chop a new batch of lettuce and other vegetables every day. Follow these tips to make salads last all week. Store your washed and torn lettuce and chopped vegetables in separate containers and your prep work is done for the week!
• Make dressings in advance. Got a few minutes? Whip up some homemade salad dressings. Refrigerate them in Mason jars and now, thanks to having your meats and vegetables prepped, you can make a huge, healthy salad in minutes!
1. Honey Mustard Chopped Chicken Salad
This Honey Mustard Chicken Chopped Salad from Creme de la Crumb is a beautiful combination of chicken, fresh vegetables, and fried wonton strips, all sprinkled with Feta cheese. If it’s too hot to fry wonton strips, I see no reason why you couldn’t swap them for croutons.
2. Crunchy Asian Salad
This Crunchy Asian Salad from Through Her Looking Glass is big enough to feed a small crowd! Featuring Napa or red cabbage, sweet red peppers, and toasted almonds splashed with a sweet dressing, this salad gets added crunch from toasted ramen noodles. Best of all, it refrigerates well so you’ll have plenty left for healthy lunches, too!
3. BLT Chopped Salad
Oh my word, I love this BLT Chopped Salad from Averie Cooks! Talk about the perfect salad for busy, hot summer nights. Cook bacon in the oven when it’s cool in the morning, and it’ll just take a couple of minutes to get a main course salad ready for dinner that night.
4. Sizzling Cilantro Lime Fajita Salad
This Sizzling Cilantro Lime Fajita Salad from My Natural Family is a Paleo-friendly, gluten- and dairy-free recipe that’s sure to please fajita-lovers in your family. Use her fantastic marinade before you grill the chicken over the weekend, then enjoy the salad all week long!
5. Apple Brie Walnut Salad
Looking for a meat-free salad? Look no further than this Apple Brie Walnut salad from Lemontree Dwelling. Sweet, savory, crunchy — it’s all there, and there’s no cooking involved! Of course, you could always top it with chopped chicken if you want, or even sliced hard-boiled eggs!
6. Antipasto Salad
My son says this Antipasto Salad from A Family Feast is his favorite thanks to the salami, chickpeas, and pepperoncini. I love how easy it is to assemble: open a couple of jars, slice a few types of meat, and arrange them on top of a plate of salad greens. We always add homemade marinated artichoke hearts, too. If there are any leftovers I sometimes stuff them between a couple of slices of bread to make a hearty panini for lunch the next day.
7. Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Crumbles
I tend to grill steaks every week if I can find them on sale. It’s not just that we love steaks — though, lordy, how we do! It’s also because leftover steak is fantastic in sandwiches or served atop a salad. This Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Crumbles from The Spicy Apron shows just how easy it is to turn Sunday’s steak into a terrific meal come Tuesday.
8. No-Mayo Salad With Tuna
It doesn’t get much easier, or more frugal, than this clean-eating No-Mayo Tuna Salad (with variations) from Oh That’s Tasty. Using avocado with a splash of citrus, she makes a mayonnaise-free tuna salad that’s easy and delicious. It’s perfect for people trying to eat clean, too!
9. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is a fantastic way to add protein and the benefits of grains to salads, which is exactly what Foodiecrush has done with this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. What’s not to like about a hearty yet healthy main course salad that you can make with ingredients that are probably already in your pantry? Be sure to double the garlicky dressing recipe — it’s amazing drizzled over grilled chicken, too!
10. Panzanella Salad
My Panzanella Salad recipe is a family favorite that is so easy my son often makes it when it’s his turn to cook. This salad is also one of the main reasons I grow cucumbers and tomatoes in our garden — we love it that much! To make it a main course, we defrost a bag of pre-cooked shrimp in the refrigerator overnight then add them to the salad. Not into shrimp? Sliced chicken is fantastic in it, too!