Picnic and barbecue season is here, and some of the finest local produce is popping up at markets and in backyard gardens. It’s also the best time of year to step up your side dish game. From potato salads and coleslaws to beans and grilled vegetables, these summer salad recipes are perfect for dining al fresco or feeding a crowd.
Guacamole Bean Salad
All the delicious components of guacamole are packed into this nutritious and delicious salad that brings hearty canned black beans to the mix.
Pinto Bean Salsa Salad
Beans, avocado, tomatoes, corn and peppers are all extremely high in water, making this salsa a staple for any gathering you host. Colourful, delicious and rich in nutrients, you’ll be looking for more ways to add this salsa salad to the side of your plate.
Grilled Zucchini Salad with Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
A mouthwatering salad where sweet grilled zucchini and decadent pine nuts are accented with shavings of romano cheese and tossed in a light lemon herb vinaigrette.
Ina Garten's Fresh Corn Salad
A quick blanch keeps the corn a sunny bright yellow, while red onion, fresh cilantro and a good glug of cider vinegar and olive oil balance out the sweetness.
Try the recipe for Ina Garten’s Fresh Corn Salad
Farro Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs
Giada’s authentic Italian salad is a fantastic fresh and filling accompaniment to hot-off-the-grill juicy burgers or steaks.
Calypso Shrimp with Florida Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
Whether you serve this as an appetizer or a light meal, it’s bound to be a hit. Succulent grilled shrimp are paired with a tart grapefruit and creamy avocado salad, tossed in a homemade dressing.
Chopped Salad with Crumbled Feta
This simple, rustic salad combines Roma tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and crumbled feta in a lemon-olive oil dressing. Make it up to two days in advance and store it in the fridge to get a head start on summer entertaining.
Crunchy Iceberg Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese
Rather than tearing your iceberg lettuce, Ina Garten slices it into disks and then tops it with a creamy Roquefort salad dressing. Finish each serving with a topping of celery, radishes and scallions, plus some of the crumbled blue cheese.
Bloody Caesar Tomato Salad
Inspired by the Bloody Mary and Caesar cocktails, this fresh and fast tomato salad delivers a serious punch. Horseradish, hot sauce and Worcestershire really make this dish pop for your new-favourite warm weather lunch.
Pasta Salad with Lemon Pesto Dressing
This meat-free pasta salad is the perfect contender for long drives without lots of refrigeration. It’s livened up with pesto, fresh tomatoes and a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad
Grilled eggplant is sprinkled with toasted pine nuts, goat cheese, basil and mint, and drizzled with a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. When the cheese begins to melt, that’s when you know you’re in for a mouth-watering meal.
Tomato Feta Pasta Salad
This delicious Greek-inspired pasta salad is packed with bold flavours, fresh vegetables and big chunks of feta cheese.
Whether you want to show off your garden’s bounty or use some of your farmers’ market finds, this classic Italian salad is a welcome addition to your summer dinner table. Cubes of crusty bread absorb all of the flavours, making it a satisfying side dish.
Grilled Nectarine Salad
Slivered almonds and your choice of Stilton, Gorgonzola or blue cheese highlight the sweet and succulent flavour of grilled nectarines for a starter that tastes like summer on a plate.
Asparagus, Lemon and Chevre Pasta Salad
Asparagus spears find new life in this fresh spring salad, which is balanced with thin radish slices, creamy goat cheese, toothsome bites of tiny pasta and fine threads of lemony zest.
BBQ Potato Salad
For the ultimate summer salad to go with your barbecue feast, try this recipe from Ree Drummond that combines potatoes with chopped bacon and quick-pickled onions. Finish it with an irresistible BBQ sauce-spiked dressing and prepare for your guests to ask for more.
Grilled Corn and Bean Salad
Smoky barbecued corn gives depth to this colourful summertime salad packed with chickpeas, black beans, green and red pepper and a finely chopped jalapeño for a touch of summer heat.
Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad
Sweet watermelon pairs perfectly with salty feta and peppery arugula in this bright and fresh salad.
Grilled Caesar Salad with Cheddar Crisps
Grilling romaine lends a layer of smoky flavour to classic Caesar salad. Cheddar cheese, melted until crisp, acts in lieu of croutons, offering a bit of sharp, savoury zing. The ultimate Caesar dressing is wrapped up in this recipe, too.
Grilled Peach Stacks
Stacked slices of grilled peach with candied pecans, goat cheese and a maple-balsamic reduction is a welcome addition to any summer meal… whether you serve it as a starter or a bbq side dish.
Green Goddess Chickpea Salad
15-Minute Asian Rice Salad
The secret to this quick and easy salad is pre-cooked brown rice. Use it as a base for your shredded rotisserie chicken, freshly grated ginger, shelled edamame, carrots and shiitake mushrooms. Serve it as a side or a main any night of the week.
Lemon Speckled Green Bean Salad
Lemon zest brings brightness, while an assortment of seeds add crunch to this green bean salad. Whether you’re heading to a barbecue or a summer picnic, Giada’s green bean salad will be a welcome addition to the table.
Summer strawberries are a wonderful addition to greens such as kale or baby spinach. This fast, fresh salad pairs sweet slices of ruby red berries with arugula, toasted almond slices, and shaved Gorgonzola dolce.
The Ultimate Coleslaw
This classic, creamy coleslaw is made in just 10 minutes and is the perfect addition to your summer picnic table or backyard cookout.
Fresh Broccoli Salad
Fresh broccoli holds up to a lemon-Dijon dressing in this all-season salad. Make the dressing ahead of time and toss with the vegetables right before heading out the door.
White Peach and Yellow Tomato Salad
This glorious summer salad makes for a nice change from tomatoes and mozzarella.
Black Bean and Corn Salad
Chock-full of fresh corn, red pepper, red onion, snow peas and canned black beans, this flavourful salad is ideal for lunch or as a side for dinner.
Summer Chopped Salad with Ranch Dressing
A chopped salad is a great way to use up those veggies in your crisper, or some of the fresh ones from your garden. This simple dish brings together broccoli, potatoes, corn, beans, tomatoes, cucumber and mixed greens, and finishes them with a homemade ranch dressing.
This tangy slaw features chipotle peppers in adobo mixed with crisp green apples, purple cabbage and cilantro.
Roman Summer Salad
Bring the bold flavours of Italy to your picnic table. This savoury salad is made with vine-ripened tomatoes, olives, anchovies and capers topped with olive oil and a balsamic reduction.