Get creative with these salad recipes and celebrate the best of summer produce.

The Best Summer Salads to Try Now

With temperatures climbing and the bounty of the summer harvest coming in, it’s prime time for salads this time of year. And who wants to cook over a hot stove when everything you need for a fabulous meal is right there in the crisper. Here, some ideas to get you started.

Get Crunchy with Kale

Summer is the time to experiment with fresh greens such as baby kale, arugula and chard. Broccoli, too, makes the perfect base for a cold, refreshing mix enhanced with savory bacon and diced red onion. Try combinations like kale, pecan and apple or quinoa with broccoli and tomatoes for some healthy summer crunch.

Coleslaw Revisited

The ultimate refresher on a hot summer day, coleslaw is the centerpiece of many a Summer picnic for very good reason. But today’s variations have come a long way from the standard barbecue side, with pretty much any vegetable you can think of ready to be shredded and served.

Everything Goes Better with Beets

Throw together pretty much any combination of chilled beets, goat cheese, and vinaigrette and you can’t go wrong. But with the addition of citrus, you’ve got something even more memorable. One combination features grilled radicchio and blood orange, or put together any combo that features cheese and nuts to compliment that sweet beet goodness.

Surprise with Seafood Salads

Top a base of crisp greens with salmon or shrimp and you’ve got the perfect one-dish meal. And don’t forget the rustic French favorite, Salad Niçoise, featuring potatoes, green beans, and hard-boiled eggs along with a centerpiece of tuna salad. Or impress your dinner-mates with this colorful shrimp, red cabbage and turmeric salad.

Boost Flavor with Beans

Rich in protein and fiber, bean salads are as healthy as they are flavorful. Start with a classic red, green and yellow tricolor salad (green beans, kidney beans, and navy beans or cannellini) or spice things up with a southwestern corn medly. Lentils also lend themselves to salad-making too, like this one featuring fresh peppers.


Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.