When the sun is out and the farmers market is overflowing with gorgeous seasonal produce, the last place you want to be is stuck inside with the oven blazing. Enter the summer salad: It’s healthy and refreshing and it won’t turn your kitchen into a sauna. With these summer salad recipes, you can take advantage of all those heirloom tomatoes, juicy stone fruits and sweet berries, and feel good about your dinner (or lunch). Triple berry chickpea crunch? We’ll be over in 20.
1. Strawberry, Basil and Arugula Salad with Lots of Black Pepper (128 calories)
Think of this as an updated version of the ’90s spinach and strawberry staple. The dressing—a combination of strawberry juices, vinegar and pepper—practically makes itself.
2. 20-Minute Burrata Salad with Stone Fruit and Asparagus (372 calories)
It’s basically no-cook, feeds a crowd and won’t wilt when you set it out in the summer heat. That's what we call a triple threat.
3. Vegan Avocado Caesar Salad (315 calories)
We love a classic Caesar salad, but it’s not typically the healthiest option on the menu. This one is plant-based, so it’s lighter on calories but not on flavor.
4. Sweet Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Grain Salad with Peach-Dijon Vinaigrette (260 calories)
When fruits and vegetables collide, they create this masterpiece worthy of the ’Gram.
5. Sumac and Fennel Fattoush (275 calories)
Fattoush is a type of Levantine salad that involves toasty bits of pita bread and plenty of herbs and spices.
6. Minty-Fresh Zucchini Salad with Marinated Feta (228 calories)
We were skeptical about raw zucchini too, but the way it soaks up the briny feta marinade is *chef’s kiss*
7. Sweet and Spicy Plantain Salad (403 calories)
We like our salads the way we like our fro-yo: loaded with toppings.
8. Greek Wedge Salad (401 calories)
A lightened-up version of a classic. Because sometimes we don’t need all that bacon and blue cheese. Sometimes.
9. Corn and Tomato Salad with Feta and Lime (162 calories)
This one is more of a side dish, but if you add some crisp romaine, it transforms into a meal.
10. Chilled Cucumber Salad (26 calories)
When the temperatures soar into the 90s, there’s nothing more appetizing than a crisp, cool cucumber. (Well, nothing but this salad.)
11. Watermelon Salad with Almonds and Dill (299 calories)
12. Summer Millet Salad (263 calories)
Lettuce need not apply.
13. Aran Goyoaga’s Niçoise Salad (435 calories)
There are a few moving parts to this beauty (boiling eggs, cooking potatoes, whipping up a vinaigrette), but it comes together surprisingly fast.
14. Melon Salad with Chili Powder, Mint, Lime and Flaky Sea Salt (87 calories)
Once you try chili powder on a ripe slice of cantaloupe, you’ll never look back.
15. Mackerel Asparagus Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette (454 calories)
Tinned fish is a quick and low-effort way to give your salad a boost of protein. Mackerel is richer and milder than tuna, so it’s an ideal place to start.
16. Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Strawberries (182 calories)
The juiciness of the berries adds a cool and sweet-tart contrast to the slight spiciness of the peppers and the salty miso dressing.
17. Heirloom Tomato Salad with Cacao and Agave Dressing (197 calories)
Bonus points if you grow the tomatoes yourself.
18. Black Fig and Tomato Salad (159 calories)
It’s like a portrait of summer’s finest treats. Pair it with cheese—like fresh mozzarella or ricotta—to take it over the top.
19. Citrus, Shrimp and Quinoa Salad with Feta (398 calories)
You can cook it ahead of time and it will hold in the fridge for up to two days. Genius.
20. Black Fig, Mozzarella and Basil Salad (373 calories)
If we close our eyes and take a bite, it’s like we’re on vacation in Sicily.
21. Tomato Salad with Grilled Halloumi and Herbs (196 calories)
Aka the best way to show off your farmers market haul. You’ll definitely want to go steady with this guy all summer long.
22. Peach Caprese Salad (379 calories)
For the ultimate salad experience, seek out the freshest, ripest peaches you can find.
23. Quick Guacamole Quinoa Salad (431 calories)
So what if it’s basically a bowl of guacamole masquerading as a salad?
24. Prosciutto and Fig Salad Board (415 calories)
Forget the bowl, serve this salad on a big cutting board so that you can see (and access) all of the gorgeous toppings.
25. Roasted Peach and Arugula Salad (393 calories)
When you’re bored of croutons and iceberg, this should do the trick.
26. Watermelon Cucumber Salad (157 calories)
Here, the sweetness of the watermelon is enhanced by all that salty feta.
27. Avocado Peach Summer Salad (338 calories)
The lemon Parmesan dressing really ties everything together.
28. Triple Berry Chickpea Crunch Salad (267 calories)
Is it really summer if you haven’t eaten your weight in blackberries, blueberries and strawberries? We didn’t think so.
29. Couscous Summer Salad (465 calories)
And before you know it, you’ll have made this four times in one week. It’s really that good.
30. Ginger Soy Herb Salad (316 calories)
Serve it with grilled fish, shrimp, steak or chicken if you want a more substantial meal.
31. Classic Greek Salad (250 calories)
This is how you let those seasonal vegetables really shine.
32. Summer Chipotle Chicken Cobb Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette (254 calories)
It looks really time-consuming, but the most involved step is mixing up the marinade for the chicken.
33. Loaded Summer House Salad (430 calories)
It’s so pretty, we think we have a crush.
34. Mexican Street Corn Salad with Chipotle Crema (224 calories)
Called equites, this bowl takes the flavors of elotes—fresh corn, lime juice, cotija cheese, and a mayo-based chipotle crema—and turns them into a salad.
35. Italian Chopped Brussels Sprouts Salad (358 calories)
It’s like the chopped salads you get at your favorite restaurant…but tastier (and better for you).
36. Chopped Grilled Vegetable Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette (308 calories)
We bet you’ve never fired up the coals for a salad before.
37. Pesto Chicken Caesar Salad with Tomatoes and Burrata (385 calories)
We were hooked at the first mention of burrata. The pesto and chicken are merely a bonus.
38. Blueberry, Corn and Avocado Chopped Salad (362 calories)
Crunchy almonds, sweet corn, juicy blueberries and a little bit of feta all mingle together in a delicious lemon dressing. What could be bad about that?
39. Loaded Salmon Summer Salad with Creamy Tahini Vinaigrette (456 calories)
This is a big salad that would make Elaine Benes proud.
40. Green Goddess Quinoa Summer Salad (152 calories)
Sure, you can use bottled dressing for a shortcut. But this homemade avocado-cilantro version is worth the extra effort.
41. Summer Grain Bowl Salad with Green Goddess Feta Dressing (289 calories)
Part grain bowl, part salad, 100 percent what we want to eat on our patio.
42. Summer Steak Salad (448 calories)
Make this for your next dinner soirée to wow the crowd. (FYI, it works with nearly any summer produce.)
43. Shrimp Louie (436 calories)
This retro salad is best served with a glass of chilled rosé and a warm summer night.
44. Mediterranean Couscous Salad with Raw Squash and Feta (386 calories)
Or, what to do with that gigantic haul of zucchini.
45. Quinoa Cucumber Salad with Feta, Dill and Mint (378 calories)
It’s crunchy from the cukes and radishes, creamy and briny from the feta and wrapped up in a punchy lemon garlic dressing—yum.
46. Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing (223 calories)
Hard to believe it’s all ready to eat in 30 minutes.
47. Heirloom Tomato Salad (204 calories)
Heirloom tomatoes aren’t just pretty to look at. The jewel-like treats are more flavorful than any grocery store tomato you’ve ever tasted.
48. Chicken Bacon Avocado Chopped Salad (488 calories)
It doesn’t taste like it’s healthy, and that’s a very high compliment.
49. Southwestern Salad (344 calories)
The creamy dressing suggests otherwise, but this one is vegan. (Thank you, cashews.)
50. Summer Glow Chopped Kale Salad (424 calories)
This chopped salad has it all: sweetness from the strawberries, creaminess from the avocado, saltiness from the feta, crunch from roasted pistachios. What more could you want?
51. Spicy Ranch Chopped Chicken Cabbage Salad (492 calories)
What can we say? We’re suckers for ranch (and corn, and tortilla strips).