Salads are the perfect meal option for hot summer days. Whether you need a delicious summer salad recipe for dinner, your next BBQ or to take on a picnic, I’ve got you covered with these recipes! Try one of these refreshing summer salads for your next meal!

Refreshing Summer Salads for BBQ, Picnics and Beach #easy #healthy


Easy Refreshing Summer Salads

Between the heat and the sun, I crave lighter meals in the summer. Salads are my main go to for side dishes, lunches and light dinners.  Honestly, I love salads year round. But, I seek out salad ingredients that go with the season. Summer is a great time for salads because all the best produce is in season!

Whenever we have a BBQ or picnic to go to, I always offer to bring a summer salad. Mainly because I like coming up with a new salad combination for the occasion. Plus, if I bring a salad, I know I will at least eat a little healthy. And, I can indulge in a little bit more of a dessert when I know I’ve eaten a healthy meal. Who says no to ice cream and S’mores in the summer?! It is all about balance right?

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite refreshing summer salads that you can make for dinner or bring to your next potluck or BBQ! The best thing about most of these salads is that no cooking is required! So you can keep that stove and oven off during those hot summer days! These summer salads can be made ahead of time. So you can make early in the day and have your dinner or side dish ready for later! Which means more time doing fun summer stuff and less time in the kitchen making dinner!


1. Proscuitto and Summer Melon Salad

Starting with one of my favorite new salads, this Prosciutto and Summer Melon Salad from Simple Healthy Kitchen is so good! We made this salad as a side dish to serve with some grilled chicken and we had a hard time not eating the entire salad at one sitting. Prosciutto paired with cantaloupe is the perfect combination of salty and sweet.

Do not leave out the dressing because it really gives the salad the extra dose of delicious flavor. The dressing is just three ingredients: Olive oil, honey and lemon juice. You can use any combination of melon depending on what kind your family likes. We tried out a new hybrid Cantaloupe that our local store offered and it was extra sweet and delicious.

Melon and Prosciutto Summer Salad

This is a great salad to serve at a BBQ because it is such a pretty presentation!

10 Refreshing Summer Salads for your BBQ, Picnic or Potluck

2. Watermelon and Mint Salad

Speaking of melon salads, this Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad from April Go Lightly is everything! So refreshing and so enjoyable on a hot, summer day!

10 Refreshing Summer Salads

We have been making Watermelon and Feta Salads for a long time. But, I recently discovered this recipe and there is a very surprising ingredient in this recipe which is juice from a jalepeno! The mint in this Watermelon salad is a key ingredient.

By the way, mint is one of the easiest things to grow in a garden. It does take over VERY QUICKLY, so you would want to consider planting your mint in a container or keeping it to a small spot. It spreads very quickly. But fresh mint all summer long is a great thing!

3. Orzo and Arugula Salad

Another summer salad that we have been making for years is an Orzo and Arugula Salad. My friend brought the salad to a BBQ many years ago and I had to have the recipe. While I don’t have the original source of the recipe I follow, I found a similar recipe Orzo Salad Recipe  from Kathy Miller Time. It took a lot of digging to find the recipe but it is so good, that it is worth the efforts.

via Kathy Miller Time


It is a hearty dish with the orzo so this is a great alternative to a typical summer pasta salad! This salad is made even better with really fresh Arugula (from the garden). Arugula is so good in the summer, so now is the time to take advantage of its great flavor!

4. Ramen Slaw Salad

If you have not had a salad with Ramen noodles, you have been missing out. This Asian Ramen Slaw from A Pinch of Healthy is the perfect side dish for a BBQ. It also holds up well if you want to bring on a picnic or to the beach. The crunchy noodles pair well with the veggies and Honey Soy dressing. There are a lot of ways to take short cuts with this recipe including using prepackaged slaw mix (I always do this).

You could also use a store bought dressing but this one is so easy to make that it is worth the 5 minutes to put together!

via A Pinch of Healthy

We make this salad several times throughout the summer and we never get tired of it!

5. Easy Greek Salad

If you are looking for a refreshing summer salad without lettuce but all the flavors then try this Easy Greek Cucumber Salad from Lake Life State of Mind. Greek salads are so good and they hold up in the summer.

Easy Greek Salad for summer

Via Lake Life State of Mind

This is the perfect dish to throw in a cooler and enjoy later in the day. You could even serve with pita chips or Naan bread.

6. 7 Layer Salad

If you need a salad recipe for a crowd, this 7 Layer Salad for Dreams + Coffee is your answer.There are a lot of yummy ingredients in this salad including bacon and hard boiled eggs.

My Favorite Seven-Layer Salad Recipe

For a pretty presentation, you will want to serve this 7 Layer salad in a large glass bowl or a footed trifle bowl!

7. Spinach and Fruit Salad

Another staple summer salad is a Spinach and Strawberry Salad! This type of salad I have made since I was newly married and we were just starting out hosting BBQs and holidays. It makes for a pretty salad presentation and it does not require too many ingredients.

10 Refreshing Summer Salads #picnics #bbqs #fruit

I typically use a store bought salad dressing for a Spinach and Strawberry Salad. Poppy Seed dressing or a Raspberry Vinaigrette go well with this type of salad! You can check out this Spinach and Strawberry Salad from Well Plated for a specific recipe to follow!

8. 3 Ingredient Brussels Sprout and Lentil Salad

A new favorite is this quick and easy Warm Brussels Sprouts Lentil Salad from the Kitchen. The exact recipe uses already prepped ingredients from Trader Joe’s. But even if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s to grab the ingredients, the recipe could not get any easier.

3 ingredient lentil salad

You start with a bag of chopped Brussels Sprouts and throw in a pan with Olive Oil. Once the Brussels Sprouts are sauteed, add in 2 Cups of Cooked Lentils (You can buy already cooked Lentils at Trader Joe’s). Warm the lentils and stir into the Brussels Sprouts. Then toss with a Sesame Ginger dressing.

Lentil and Brussels Sprouts Salad

My Trader Joe’s did not have the suggested Sesame Dressing, so I swapped out with a Goddess dressing. So good! While this salad is suggested to serve warm, I certainly think it would be good cold if you left the dressing off until serving.

9. Italian Sub Salad

This Italian Sub Salad from Crafty Morning has become our new lunchtime favorite salad! With everyone at home these days, I like to make a big salad for lunch. It saves time and busyness in the kitchen if I can prep one lunch that everyone including my husband can eat. A hearty salad like this Sub Salad feels like a take out meal but healthier and less expensive. If everyone is craving a sub sandwich, this salad might hit the spot!

via Crafty Morning

10. Summer Fruit Salad

When talking about refreshing summer salads, you can not leave out a good Fruit Salad. My mom makes the best fruit salads and I look forward to them every summer. While she leaves the salad with no dressing, you could use this Honey Lime Dressing recipe from Cooking Classy for a little extra flavor.

10 Refreshing Summer Salads

Summer is the best time for fruit salads because fruit is so inexpensive. The same salad in the summer would cost a small fortune in the winter time. So take advantage of the produce of the season and enjoy as many fruit salads as you can all summer long!


Which of these refreshing summer salads would you be most interested in trying? Do you like salads in the summer?

You might also enjoy these posts:

9 Delicious Fall Salads

8 Easy Sheet Pan Dinner Recipes

20+ Lunch Ideas for Moms

Trader Joe’s Summer Favorites



Follow this Pinterest Board for more salad ideas:




  1. Tiffany on June 24, 2020 at 7:10 am

    I’m super excited to try quite a few of these salads! The watermelon and feta sounds amazing and so does the Italian sub one too. Thanks for sharing all these great recipes in one place. I’m totally pinning this one!

    • Jaclyn on June 24, 2020 at 5:28 pm

      Yay thank you! Your Greek salad is on our menu this week!

  2. Holly Breton @ Pink Lady on June 24, 2020 at 7:21 am

    OH this post has my name written all over it- love these ideas- going to make the melon, proscuitto one this weekend!

    • Jaclyn on June 24, 2020 at 5:27 pm

      It is a salad we plan to have on repeat all summer!

  3. Andrea Nine on June 24, 2020 at 7:48 am

    These look absolutely delightful and colorful. I would eat them all!

    • Jaclyn on June 24, 2020 at 5:27 pm

      Nice to have a variety of salad options in the summer!

  4. Brittany Worrell Boyce on June 24, 2020 at 7:50 am

    Salads are by far my favorite food – I️ can’t wait to give some of these a try! The sub salad sounds amazing, btw – I️’m a huge fan of an Italian sub and love that this is a healthier take on it!

    • Jaclyn on June 24, 2020 at 5:26 pm

      The Italian sub is really good! My kids like it a lot.

  5. Dara on June 24, 2020 at 8:41 am

    I love salads. That 3 ingredient Trader Joe’s one sounds especially good!

    • Jaclyn on June 24, 2020 at 5:26 pm

      It is a good one and I love that it is only 3 ingredients but has a lot of flavor!

  6. Jill on June 24, 2020 at 9:00 am

    I’m always looking for salad ideas and this is a great list! I’m pinning!

    Jill – Doused in Pink

    • Jaclyn on June 24, 2020 at 5:26 pm

      I hope you find one you like and let me know if you make it!

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