Jennifer Segal is the chef and photographer behind Once Upon a Chef, a family-friendly recipe blog featuring tested and perfected recipes with step-by-step photos.
Whether you’re looking for a light summer meal, a picnic lunch or a side dish for a cookout, these crowd-pleasing salad recipes have you covered.
1. Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Salad with Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette (pictured above) — This salad is proof that vegetables can be addicting. The dressing is smoky and slightly sweet, similar to the salad dressing served at Chipotle.
2. Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing – This recipe was inspired by the popular Thai Crunch Salad served at California Pizza Kitchen. It’s made with crisp Napa cabbage, crunchy vegetables and edamame but it’s the creamy peanut dressing that makes it so good. I guarantee you’ll want to put it on everything!
3. Strawberry & Orange Salad with Citrus Syrup and Fresh Mint – This is one of my favorite fruit salads, and it’s such a nice change of pace from the standard mix of pre-cut fruit from the supermarket. I usually serve it for brunch — it dresses up the table and pairs well with savory quiche and casserole dishes – but it’s also wonderful for dessert served with shortcake and whipped cream.
4. Bulgur Salad with Cucumbers, Red Peppers, Chickpeas, Lemon & Dill — Made with bulgur, fresh herbs, chopped vegetables and buttery chickpeas, this salad is like a bulked-up tabbouleh. I like to make it over the weekend and keep it in the fridge all week long for healthy lunches.
5. Asian Chicken Noodle Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing — This main-dish-salad is everything you want a summertime meal to be: flavorful, light and totally satisfying. Shredded roasted chicken and spaghetti are tossed in a punchy soy, ginger and peanut dressing, then brightened up with a colorful mix of red peppers, scallions and cilantro. Chopped peanuts and sesame seeds add welcome crunch.
6. Quinoa Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, Avocado & Lime — Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a high protein seed that has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. Though it looks like couscous and is eaten like a grain, it’s actually a cousin of spinach, Swiss chard, and other leafy greens. It’s delicious tossed with crisp summer corn, juicy tomatoes and creamy avocado.