Summer Salads for Entertaining

Summer Salads for Entertaining

Jun 01, 2024Margaret Barrow

When the weather heats up and the humidity is stifling, you know it is summer. Summer snacks like handcrafted grain bowls and homemade smoothies are a great way to eat light and cool off, but what about when you are entertaining the masses for an outdoor BBQ, cookout, or grill gathering? Cue a big bow of handcrafted salads. If you plan on entertaining this summer season, here are some summer salad recipes that are all perfect for entertaining family, friends, and summertime guests.

Caesar salad with croutons and parmesan cheese on dark background. Stock photo Caesar Salad, High Angle View, Directly Above, Salad, Crouton

Caesar Salad

Caesar salad is a classic salad, especially for an Italian themed backyard dinner. What’s not to love? Crispy, fresh Romaine lettuce leaves, crunchy croutons, shaved or shredded parmesan cheese, and of course, a homemade Cesar dressing. Need a recipe? Here is a tasty Vegan recipe from Nora Cooks.

The best part about Cesar salad is you can tailor it anyway you like. Vegan? Keep the salad as is. Pescatrians? Add some grilled salmon hot off the grill. Cooking for carnivores? Add some strips of grilled chicken or steak. This is a summer salad that is super versatile and perfect for entertaining. Photo credit: Lisovskaya.

Salad with cucumbers and chili pepper. Bowl full of salad with light background. Chopsticks lay to the left of the bowl. Stock photo Cucumber, Salad, Japan, Sesame, Appetizer

Cucumber Salad

Growing a springtime or summer garden? Slice up some garden fresh cucumber slices and make a chilled yet refreshing cucumber salad, which is absolutely perfect on a hot summer’s day. Plus, odds are you probably already have all of the ingredients you need to whip up this recipe in a jiff. According to Food & Wine, all you need is this recipe along with onion, salt, sugar, and vinegar,. This combination adds an easy and quick versatile flavor to a simple bowl of freshly sliced cucumbers straight from the garden. Photo credit: Oksana Shyriaieva.

Sitting on a wooden table is a bowl of Spring salad from early vegetables, lettuce leaves, radishes and herbs stock photo Salad, Green Color, Green Salad, Healthy Eating, Leaf

Fresh Garden Salad

Speaking of garden fresh ingredients, if you are not sure what to make, refer to the current crops in your summertime backyard garden. Fresh lettuce leaves, garden fresh tomatoes, homegrown carrots? Viola! You have yourself a hearty yet simple garden fresh salad. All you need to add is a handful of crispy croutons, a pinch of cheese, and a splash of your favorite dressing. Hosting a backyard soiree? Leave the salad dry and offer guests a variety of salad dressings such as balsamic, Italian, and ranch. Photo credit: peredniankina.

Bowl of Heallthy Organic Fruit Salad. Stock photo Fruit Salad, Fruit, Berry Fruit, Salad, Kiwi Fruit

Fruit Salad

Okay so you may not think of a fruit salad as a traditional salad, but it is a salad nonetheless. It is especially refreshing on a hot summer’s day. Although a fruit salad can include any fruit you like, channel the red, white, and blue vibes of Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or Labor Day, and whip up a red, white, and blue-themed summer fruit salad. Gather blueberries, strawberries, and slices of jicama to create a juicy summer fruit salad to enjoy as an appetizer, a side dish, or even a sweet treat for dessert. Photo credit: bhofack2.

Vegan healthy kale and roasted chickpeas salad in black bowl. Stock photo Kale, Chick-Pea, Salad, Recipe, Crunch

Kale Salad

Kale is a hearty dark leafy green and goes great with some classic combinations like dried cranberries, fresh goat cheese, and sliced almonds. Although this salad seems perfect for the end of the year holidays, it makes a wonderful side dish or starter any time of the year. Check out this recipe from Food & Wine for some sensational salad inspiration. Photo credit: Anna_Shepulova

Two jars of healthy homemade salads with bulgur, vegetables and lime in mason jars on grey stone background. Stock photo Mason Jar, Salad, Corn, Glass - Material, Jar

Mason Jar Salads (Grain-Free Croutons Optional)

If you plan on hosting a summer picnic in the park, you may first think of handcrafted sandwiches, but why not get creative with individual mason jar salads like this easy recipe from Simple Mills? Gather your ingredients from the community farmer’s market or the local grocery store and create luscious layers of fun flavors for you and your summer picnic guests. Use this exact recipe or channel that culinary creativity for your own combinations.

Bowl of healthy Organic Watermelon Salad with feta cheese. Black background. Stock photo Appetizer, Arugula, Backgrounds, Cheese, Color Image

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

If you are looking for another refreshing fruit option and want to take advantage of that summertime bumper crop of watermelon, whip up a handcrafted Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint. Sweet watermelon cubes combine with cooling mint from your herb garden and savory ingredients like feta cheese, olives, and onions. Yum! Photo credit: Vladimir Mironov.

Stay cool this summer while also feeding the masses with these fresh homemade summer salad options.

- Stay Healthy and Happy

Need some more recipe ideas for more summer salads? Check out @Mbveganvegetarianshare or view our CEO at @itsnolasnacks as she shares recipes via video each month on It’s Nola Reels. Do not worry, even if you are not vegan, you will still enjoy these dishes.

Tag us @itsnolasnacks so we can see all of your summer salad recipes.

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