Summer days are better spent outside of the kitchen. Instead of laboring over meals for hours, that time can be devoted to hanging out with family and friends, entertaining energetic children, and relaxing by the pool.
Buying certain pre-cooked ingredients at the supermarket can greatly aid in efforts to minimize the time spent cooking in the kitchen. A rotisserie chicken, some canned legumes and cold cuts can add heartiness to your plate with no effort at all. Some of the recipes we collected do call for the most basic of cooking — like frying a rasher or two of bacon, which for the sake of a delicious salad, should be acceptable even if one doesn’t feeling like doing any real cooking.
So click on to peruse these 50 salad recipes and discover dishes that won’t heat up your home or drain you of all your energy. After all, summer should be a time to relax, stay cool and make sure any children in your lives are entertained and not getting into too much trouble.
Using frozen peas for sweetness and water chestnuts for crunch and seasoned with a yogurt and Dijon dressing and freshly cracked black pepper, this salad is refreshing and easy and requires no cooking at all.
Lump crabmeat (from a convenient can), sweet mango chunks, fragrant cilantro, and spicy jalapeño make for a winning combination in this lovely salad. Served over crunchy romaine, this salad is perfect for lunch or dinner.
Roasted beets offer a natural sweetness to salads and pair well with vinaigrette or acidic dressing. This is technically a salad, but it can also act as a side dish. This recipe uses the steamed and peeled beets that can be found at most supermarkets, meaning you barely have to lift a finger to get this salad on the table.
Blackberries are an elegant addition to savory salads. Lemon zest, dill, and sesame seeds make for a stimulating ensemble of tastes. This salad takes no time to make and will seriously impress your guests.
Niçoise salad gets an update with the addition of crab. Though the salad does feature potatoes, they shouldn’t take too long to cook and will add a heartiness to this salad, making it perfect for a summer dinner. You can even cook the potatoes ahead of time (maybe in the coolness of morning) to avoid any overheating!
This vegan salad is simply dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, with extra flavors coming from cilantro, red onion, and tomatoes. Raw cauliflower adds heartiness, and one clove of raw garlic adds some spiciness. If you want to make it creamier, add a tablespoon or two of tahini to the dressing, or (if you aren’t vegan) some cooling yogurt to complement the garlic.
Salads are all about balance. Briny, salty feta is a natural complement to the sweet and juicy clementine and crisp celery.
This recipe straddles the line between salad and main course. Shredded chicken, bacon, and green onion are combined with a yummy mixture of ranch dressing, Greek yogurt, and Dijon mustard and then stuffed into hollowed-out tomatoes. The dish looks as good as it tastes. Use store-bought rotisserie chicken to save time and cut out any cooking!
Fresh, crunchy, sweet, and savory — this salad has it all. All of the vegetables are either shredded or chopped small so that the sweet and tangy dressing can evenly coat each bite. The boost of protein from the tofu makes it a wonderful lunch to fuel your afternoons as well. Prepare this salad fresh, or pack as a traveling lunch to enjoy within a few hours.
Click here for the Chinese Tofu Chop Salad With Orange-Sesame Miso Dressing recipe.
This is a simple and fresh salad first published in the spring 1948 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. It offers some throwback flavor at less than 100 calories per serving.
You can’t do much better for less than 300 calories. Fresh jalapeño, green onions, and cilantro make every bite of this quinoa and black bean salad interesting. This salad is easy to make and even easier to eat; confidently bring it to any picnic or beach outing.
Tomatoes are in season and at their peak flavor from late May to early September. Use fresh tomatoes, herbs, and crab meat in this refreshing spring/summer salad.
The classic party time appetizer takes a while to assemble, but you can easily mimic its flavor in an egg salad. Just chop your (store-bought) hard-boiled eggs, and mix them with mayonnaise, onions, mustard, and spices. Spread the egg salad on toast, or add a scoop to a bed of greens.
Whether this salad will truly “detox” your body is debatable, but it certainly is healthy. Kale, carrots, cabbage, quinoa, and avocado make this salad a hearty lunch that will keep you satisfied until dinnertime.
The Greek salad is perfection on a plate. Kalamata olives contribute a salty pop, while fresh oregano contributes some extra depth. Just make sure to use your best extra-virgin olive oil.
Salads are all about balance, and this taco salad is certainly standing steady. It’s loaded with superfoods like avocado, edamame, kale, and quinoa, but its flavor is enhanced with some fresh lime juice and thinly sliced jalapeño. “Epic” is not an overstatement.
Lentils are rich in fiber, protein, and iron, and they provide a nice bite to this warm salad. Their earthy flavor is matched with a mustard vinaigrette. Lentils take no time to cook at all, but if you really don’t want to turn on the stove, substitute them for a pulse that is already cooked, like canned chickpeas or cannellini beans.
Frisée, also known as curly endive, is a sophisticated salad green with a faint, bitter flavor. Its spiny texture allows it to be the foundation of warm salads. This recipe calls for asparagus and prosciutto, and the whole thing is topped off with a poached egg. While this does involve a minimal bit of cooking, for a substantial and satisfying dinner, it will be worth it.
No salad-recipe roundup could be complete without some rendition of the chopped salad. This classic dish uses a variety of crisp and crunchy vegetables, diced in such a manner as to afford clean and simple eating.
Freshly toasted, whole spices accentuate this warm carrot salad. Top the dish with a dollop of yogurt to cool down the pungent aromatics. This salad requires a total of 6 minutes to cook — perfect for those days when you really don’t want to lift a finger!
Honey and punchy Dijon mustard are whisked together in a delicious dressing for this easy-to-prepare salad. Serve this as a prelude to a main course of grilled pork chops or roast chicken.
Make this salad for your next summertime cookout. Grilling the romaine lettuce adds an extra dimension of flavor to this otherwise classic dish. Skip the grilling and use a cooked chicken from the supermarket to make this hearty and satisfying salad
If you are ever stuck with leftover grilled eggplant, zucchini, or red bell pepper, keep this recipe in mind. All you need is a couple cups of cooked quinoa, tahini paste, lemon juice, and some dried parsley to reinvent lowly leftovers into a terrific side dish.
Halloumi is a semi-soft cheese popular in Greek and Turkish cuisine that holds up very well to the heat of the grill. Pairing it with grilled peaches and salad greens creates a lively orchestra of flavor.
This salad is all about assembling ingredients, no cooking required. Smoked salmon, avocado, cucumbers, and horseradish are just a few of the tasty ingredients used in this wonderful salad.
This salad has all of the flavors of a classic Pennsylvanian hoagie, with minimal effort. Simply chopping up the right ingredients will give you this hearty salad, full of Italian cold cuts and crunchy iceberg lettuce.
Panzanella is a classic Tuscan salad that uses stale bread, juicy tomatoes, lemon zest, and mint. This combination of flavors and textures makes for a very satisfying bite. This recipe is the perfect way to use up any stale bread you have — there’s no need to even turn on the oven to make croutons!
Jerk seasoning is a pungent spice blend essential to Caribbean cuisine. In this salad, shrimp are tossed with a jerk seasoning and set atop a salad of segmented citrus, fresh cucumber, red onion, and roasted beets. To make this salad even easier to prep, feel free to buy shrimp that have already been marinated. That way you can simply grill (for a matter of minutes) and be ready to eat in no time.
This super healthy salad uses only the leaves of the Brussels sprouts to add a subtle cabbage note, which pairs well with the decadent manchego cheese and fibrous kale.
This fragrant salad contains toasted peanuts, fresh cilantro, cucumber, and grated coconut. With spices that are toasted briefly, this salad delivers great flavor with minimal cooking.
Shaved asparagus is fresh and light and benefits from the light marinade of Dijon mustard, honey, and lemon juice. The final garnish of fresh mint and parsley rounds out the flavor.
Cubes of watermelon, thinly sliced red onion, cherry tomatoes, watercress, and mango make for a salad that is sweet, savory, and refreshing. This elegant appetizer can be served before the meal or alongside a well-seasoned protein.
This quick and easy salad delivers great Mediterranean flavor using ingredients like cooked chickpeas, Kalamata olives, fresh herbs, and red wine vinegar.
Black-eyed peas are popular in Southern cooking, but they don’t require a ham hock to be delicious. This dish uses canned black-eyed peas in both the salad and dressing, adding a creaminess and light brininess to the salad.
Cooking is all about ingenuity, and nothing represents that creative drive better than this mock tuna salad. Sunflower seeds and raw almonds mimic the dry, flaky texture of tuna, and the use of classic accoutrements like chopped pickles, dill, red onion, and celery will have you thinking you’re eating the real thing.
The muffuletta was made famous in New Orleans by Italian immigrants. This salad is inspired by the sandwich, and uses a giardiniera (an Italian relish of pickled vegetables), olives, and plenty of spices along with green onion and fresh parsley.
This simple salad uses avocado in place of mayonnaise. The avocado’s natural, monounsaturated fat adds that classic creaminess reminiscent of traditional tuna salads.
This simple salad has a delicious twist. The fancy poppy seed dressing is far from a “plain Jane” dressing and will dress up the plainest salad beautifully.
If you are looking for something sweet, here’s a quick and refreshing taste of summer that you can have just about all year round. Feel free to mix and match other types of tropical fruit or berries.
Cook the millet in this recipe ahead of time (or substitute it with a ready-cooked grain from your local deli) to make this hearty carrot salad.
Upgrade your colorful fruit salad with powerhouse ingredients including nutrient-dense avocado and refreshing herbs. If raspberries aren’t in season, try experimenting with other fruits like blueberries, blackberries, or peaches.
When roasted, parsnips become sweet, but retain some of their pepperiness. The salad’s accoutrements — apricots, sunflower seeds, and crumbed chèvre cheese — complement the parsnip, while a little bit of za’atar (a traditional Middle Eastern spice) makes the dish unforgettable. This salad is hearty and only requires the roasting of parsnips, in terms of cooking. If you have never had a roasted parsnip, I implore you to make the little bit of effort it takes to prepare them and enjoy the rewards!
If “Seared Ahi Salad” doesn’t grab your attention, maybe “Mango Sriracha Dressing” will. This beautiful dish is not your normal tuna salad. Tuna steaks are quickly seared, and paired with crispy vegetables like shredded cabbage and carrots, julienned snow peas, and daikon sprouts. Searing tuna is really a matter of getting a crust on the outside, while maintaining a rare center. You can even cut it up completely raw and serve it as a tartare or poke.
This spicy slaw is made up of savoy cabbage, carrots, and crunchy jicama. You can make this ahead of time and it will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days, perfect for those meals when you don’t want to do any cooking at all!
Your assignment for the summer: Grill some fresh figs. A composed bite of warm fig, briny feta, and toasted pecan is a symphony of texture and flavor. You can easily leave the figs raw for a no-cook salad recipe that is delicious.
A classic Mediterranean salad, tabbouleh is unique because it is comprised of almost equal parts fresh parsley and bulgur (a textured cracked wheat). Lemon juice, green onion, and tomatoes make this salad super-refreshing.
Salade niçoise is a classic French salad that originated in the city of Nice. This recipe stays true to classic interpretations of the salad, using hard-boiled eggs, olives, anchovy fillets, and olive oil. If you really don’t want to cook a thing, buy some eggs that have already been hard-boiled!
A Cobb salad traditionally requires a little bit of cooking. If you really don’t want to cook anything, make this salad using leftover cooked chicken and some store-bought hard-boiled eggs. But please take the time to cook the bacon! No one needs pre-made bacon crumbles in their life.
Watermelon and feta are a simple and wonderful combination. This salad is easy to prepare and full of fantastic flavors, and the sweet watermelon pairs perfectly with the salty feta cheese.