Refreshing Summer Salad Ideas

Salad recipes are the best way to showcase vibrant, in-season produce – fruits and veggies that are so good on their own that you don’t need to do much to make them into a delicious meal.

On cold winter nights, I like to brighten up our dinner table with a big, colourful mix of root veggies and hearty greens. On beautiful, warm days when I’d rather be outside than in the kitchen, summer salads are the perfect solution: they’re simple to toss together, but they’re delicious nonetheless.

Whether you want to add more plant-based meals to your diet or are simply looking to change up your salad game, you’ll find tons of inspiration in the salad recipes below. With everything from green salads to pasta salads and beyond, these recipes are perfect for passing at potlucks, serving as dinner sides, and enjoying full meals on their own.

These summer salad recipes—including leafy greens, pasta, potato and fruit salads—are so good, you can bet your family will come back for a second serving!

1.Watermelon and Feta Spinach Salad

Watermelon and feta is a great classic combination with the crisp/juiciness offset perfectly by the salty cheese. Picture a bed of greens fresh from the garden, piled high with cubes of sweet watermelon and feta cheese, a slight crunch from the slivered red onions, and it’s all drizzled with a balsamic reduction and good quality olive oil. Did I mention this is easy to make? I wouldn’t want you to go away thinking this fancy-looking salad was too much work! The colours are a treat for the eyes, but it only requires a few ingredients and just minutes to make.

2.Tomato & Onion Salad with Crispy Tofu

Tofu benefits from a marinade, in this case, lemon juice, olive oil and fresh herbs. In this vegetarian salad recipe, the tofu is pressed first, which concentrates its subtle soy flavour and improves the texture by removing some of the water. But what makes this recipe special is the Parmesan cheese crust that transforms the tofu into a soft, cheesy crouton.

3.Bean Salad

The secret to the flavour is the salad dressing: it’s made with a bit of tomato paste and ketchup, so it has an unexpected earthy undertone. And adding feta cheese brings in a savoury flair! Finally, the combination of green onions and chives adds just the right amount of complexity. You’ve gotta taste this one!

4.Italian Vegan Pasta Salad

This vegan pasta salad is full of flavour, but with no meat or dairy, the Italian ingredients have to carry the weight. This pasta with Kalamata olive and capers is dressed simply with olive oil, so there’s no overwhelming dressing flavour: it’s just perfectly seasoned with a tangy dressing. It’s all about the Italian ingredients here! The crunchy romaine and savoury sauteed zucchini make it perfectly refreshing.

5. Greek Salad

I love how big cubes of feta, juicy tomatoes, olives, herbs, bell peppers, and cucumber tumble together in this stunning summer salad with a homemade Greek salad dressing. You only need a few ingredients and a few minutes to put together this juicy/crisp/tangy/savoury combo. What are you waiting for?