No-Cook Summer Salads
Keep your kitchen cool and your stomach full with these nutrient-packed main-dish salad recipes.
Summer Melon Salad with Ham and Mint Vinaigrette
Find the freshest and sweetest melons to slice into a picturesque salad. The ham balances the sweetness of the fruit, while the vibrant mint brings everything together.
Pomegranate, Avocado, and Citrus Brussels Sprouts Salad
Be sure to toss the salad gently so the pieces of orange and avocado keep their shape. Pair with a fall chili or tacos.
Copycat Olive Garden Salad
Summer Fig and Watermelon Salad with Feta
Balsamic glaze is a syrup of concentrated, cooked-down, sweetened balsamic vinegar; it adds a sweet and tangy element to this refreshing salad. Look for it near the vinegar.
Bloody Mary Tomato Salad with Quick Pickled Shrimp
Mix and match colorful assorted tomatoes, such as 'Beefsteak,' 'Brandywine,' and 'Cherokee Purple.' Their rich, meaty flavor counters the dressing's tang and zip. Don't overlook the tender inside leaves of the celery bunch--they're quite delicious, and they add an herbal note to the dish.
Mango Avocado Shrimp Salad
This Caribbean-inspired salad is a snap to throw together for a quick lunch or for a fresh summertime starter because it uses pre-cooked shrimp. The low-fat shrimp, antioxidant-rich mango, and good fat from the avocado make this a heart-healthy salad.
Lump Crabmeat Salad
With lime juice, basil, cilantro, and jalapeño, this fresh crab salad is definitely not lacking in the flavor department!
Tangy Red Cabbage Slaw
Fruit juices, oil, and sugar combine to make a delicious and flavorful dressing for red cabbage and shredded carrots.
Tuna and White Bean Salad
Serve Tuna and White Bean Salad over mixed greens, or make this tasty salad into sandwiches! Simply mash the beans and spread them inside 4 whole-grain pitas, then stuff in the remaining ingredients
There's something for everyone in this one-dish Antipasto Salad meal.
When the day calls for a dish that’s light and simple, try Tomato-and-Shrimp Salad. This make-ahead meal combines fresh foods from land and sea.
For a heart-healthy dish ready in minutes, try this portable salmon salad that’s packed into half of a creamy avocado.
Chicken Taco Salad
Using rotisserie chicken helps you pull this convenient dish together in a flash.
Healthy Taco Salad
Make a batch of quinoa over the weekend for a great protein-packed, wholegrain salad.
Tuna and White Bean Salad
"This no-fuss dish also works great as an appetizer on slices of toasted crusty bread." -Maureen Sullivan, 28, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Chopped Chicken Cashew Salad
At only $2.60 per serving and ready in less than 25 minutes, this Asian-inspired salad is sure to make it on your weekly rotation this summer.
Chicken Salad with Orange-Pistachio Vinaigrette
If you can't find precooked quinoa and brown rice together, substitute a package of precooked brown rice.
Grated Carrot Salad (Carottes Râpées)
Other possible herbs to sprinkle are dill, tarragon, and chervil. To make the salad more of a meal, garnish with thin slices of jambon de pays (thinly sliced, dry-cured ham) or prosciutto, some watercress, and an 8-minute hard-cooked egg.
BLT Salad with Olive Vinaigrette
Chockful of fresh ingredients and topped with savory bacon and Gorgonzola cheese, BLT Salad with Olive Vinaigrette is a crowd favorite.
Chicken-Mango Chopped Salad
Add tropical flair to a main dish chicken salad with chopped fresh mango and a creamy dressing spiced up with ginger and curry powder.
Quick Cobb Salad with Yogurt Dressing
Quick Cobb Salad with Yogurt Dressing is ready in just 15 minutes. A rotisserie chicken from the deli and pre-cooked bacon both aid in the preparation of this quick and easy weeknight meal.
Kids will go for chopped salads with lots of color, such as this one with edamame, chopped apple, and candied nuts. Most kids like the crunch of romaine lettuce, and letting them toss the ingredients in the bowl helps, too.
Kale-and-Blueberry Slaw with Buttermilk Dressing
We like fresh tarragon in this creamy, zippy dressing, but other herbs work just as well.
With a light and refreshing dressing, Chicken-Avocado Salad is full of great flavors while being a filling main-dish meal.
Chopped Barbecue Chicken Salad
Simplify your supper by using convenience products such as cooked chicken, canned beans, frozen corn, and bottled barbecue sauce. The sauce acts as the base for the dressing but is jazzed up with lime juice and red wine vinegar. The addition of kidney beans, red bell pepper, baby greens, tomato, radishes and red onion not only adds color, but also helps you increase your fiber and fresh veggie intake for the day.
Recipe: Chopped Barbecue Chicken Salad
Chicken and Strawberries over Mixed Greens
Combining strawberries and fresh greens is a pleasing way to get both vitamin C and iron–which is good because vitamin C helps increase the absorption of iron. This homemade balsamic vinaigrette complements both the sweet strawberries and golden raisins that top the salad.
Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing
The ingredients' textures and flavors combine beautifully to create a satisfying weeknight supper. Enjoy the combination of creamy white beans, tender and sweet shrimp, and crunchy, colorful veggies like fennel, carrot, and red onion. Serve over watercress for a peppery bite.
Romaine and Turkey Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Similar to a Caesar salad, this recipe's homemade, low-fat buttermilk-based dressing is smooth and creamy with just a little bit of zip. Use leftovers as a dip for carrots and celery.
Lump Crab Salad
This refreshing salad also works well with chopped shrimp or flaked tuna. The lime dressing is the perfect balance of acidic and sweet with just a hint of heat from the ground red pepper. Best of all, most homemade salad dressings like this one are generally lower in sodium than bottled dressings.
Recipe: Lump Crab Salad
Toss the cabbage and cilantro in the olive oil mixture to coat as desired.
Mango and Jicama Salad
You'll find jicama with the root vegetables at most supermarkets; if you can't find it, use green apple.
This coleslaw is a bright and flavorful addition to any Summer spread.
Italian White Bean and Artichoke Salad
Packed with fiber and protein from the white beans, this satisfying, meat-free salad boasts healthy vegetables, creamy cheese, fresh herbs, and a tangy, tomato vinaigrette.
Shrimp Caesar Salad
Make this restaurant favorite at home with just a few ingredients that can easily be purchased at the grocery store, including precooked shrimp. The dressing is lower in fat than a traditional Caesar salad dressing, and the Sriracha sauce gives it an updated flavor with a spicy kick.
Recipe: Shrimp Caesar Salad
White Bean and Roasted Chicken Salad
For a quick and easy way to use on-hand ingredients, give this salad a try. It's the perfect summer meal when you don't want to turn on the stove. Both the chicken and the beans are great sources of low-fat, high-quality protein, and with the beans you get fiber as well.
Turkey and Blue Cheese Salad
Similar in flavor to a chopped salad, this recipe features roasted turkey breast, crunchy veggies and creamy blue cheese tossed with Ranch dressing for only 232 calories.
Recipe: Turkey and Blue Cheese Salad
Greek Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Farro
Whole-grain farro bulks up this hearty Mediterranean salad. If you like the crunch of fresh red onion but not the full pungency, give the slices a 30-second dip in ice water to tame the flavor; drain and toss in the salad.
Spicy Jicama Slaw
A dash of hot sauce kicks up this creamy, crunchy slaw. Use the julienne blade of a mandoline to quickly cut the jicama.
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
There’s more than one way to enjoy the classic sweet flavor of fresh watermelon besides eating it right off the rind. This watermelon feta salad is a light and refreshing complement to any summer meal, no matter if it’s for a cookout, potluck, or regular weeknight dinner. Combine sweet, salty, bright, and peppery flavors in this simple, 1-bowl side dish. Pick up a watermelon while they’re in season and make the salad ahead of time so the watermelon can fully soak up the dressing. There’s nothing better than a plate of this chilled salad on a hot summer day, so keep it in the fridge until it’s ready to serve. It’s safe to say this easy salad will become a summertime staple in your house.
Clementine-and-Collard Greens Salad
This healthy yet hearty salad makes a great winter meal, just when you’re in need of something bright and sunny. Sweet and juicy clementines, a favorite citrus down South, liven up this mix of chicken, collard greens, pecans, and crumbled goat cheese. Massage some of the dressing into the collards to tenderize the greens and make them more flavorful.
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad
Cucumbers add a welcome crunch to this refreshing summer salad of cubed watermelon, fresh herbs, and crumbled feta cheese. You can replace the fresh mint with basil if you prefer, or use a combination of both herbs. A personal-sized seedless watermelon is just the right size for this salad, but you can also use pre-cut melon or a portion of a larger watermelon. Be sure to dress the salad right before serving it to prevent the melon and cucumbers from watering down the vinaigrette
Greek Chicken Salad Wedges
This simple salad packs in big flavor in under 25 minutes. For a creamier texture to this Greek Chicken Salad Wedge, stir the crumbled feta into the chicken salad mixture instead of sprinkling it over the finished wedge. This recipe calls for just two cups of white meat from a deli-chicken. Don’t throw out the rest of the bird; shred and reserve the dark meat to use later in the week for a midday sandwich, or mix it with a little mayonnaise, dried fruit, salt, and pepper for a single-serve chicken salad.
Crunchy Chicken-Peanut Chopped Salad
Adding deli-fried chicken tenders to a fresh green salad not only adds interest and taste to an ordinary bowl of salad, but it turns a side dish into a main dish. This recipe, a fresh spin on the much-loved Asian-flavored coleslaw, requires only a few minutes of chopping and mixing; no cooking involved. To guarantee a smooth and creamy dressing, slowly whisk in each of the ingredients in the dressing to prevent it from breaking. If made in advance, whisk the dressing one more time to ensure all the ingredients are blended.
Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
A Caprese salad—tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella cheese—is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to show off peak-season Southern-grown tomatoes. Give this salad a fun new look by using a mix of multicolored cherry tomatoes and small fresh mozzarella balls (also called “bocconcini”) tossed in a simple vinaigrette. The dressing calls for white balsamic vinegar—regular balsamic vinegar will taste fine, but will turn the cheese brown—but you can use white wine vinegar instead. While we love the look of this side dish on a pretty platter, you can also skewer the ingredients to make Caprese kebabs. Either way, Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad is best served at room temperature (not straight from the refrigerator) when the tomatoes are juicy and the cheese is soft.
Chopped Salad with Chive Vinaigrette
Hearts of romaine pack this family-friendly Chopped Salad with Chive Vinaigrette with tons of nutrients, including vitamins B1 and C, potassium, copper, iron, and folate.
Chickpea Salad Boats
This recipe captures all of the bright, fresh appeal of a salad in a pretty, portable bite. Sturdy endive leaves have a nice cup shape for filling; you also could use Little Gem or small Bibb lettuce leaves. To get a head start, make the filling (minus the pears) up to a day in advance. About an hour before guests arrive, gently stir in the pear and fill the leaves.
This simple fruit salad is the perfect celebration of seasonal citrus fruit. It’s an effortlessly gorgeous dish that’s perfect for a winter brunch, but is easy enough to enjoy any day of the week, especially if you're looking for a boost of flavor or vitamin C. Pomegranate anrils and kiwi slices add extra zing and variety to fresh orange and grapefruit segments.
Shaved Turnip Salad
Fruity and just slightly spicy, Aleppo pepper teams up with grapefruit juice in a knockout vinaigrette, providing the perfect balance for the raw turnips. Turnips are high in vitamin C and have a good amount of fiber, to boot.
Greens and Citrus Salad
If you make the vinaigrette and slice the oranges and onions in advance, this becomes a fast throw-together side on Turkey Day. Though we love the texture and flavor variety of three kinds of greens, you could use all of one type if you’d rather.