There are plenty of times when people hear the word “salad” and immediately think of a boring meal. But here’s the thing… salads don’t have to be bland!

Related: My Simple Ambrosia Salad

What I’m trying to say is that you should be enjoying your salad. Not simply picking at it because it’s healthier or more nutritious. That’s why I rounded up some recipes for summer salads I think you’ll love.

There’s something for everyone… and I even included my go-to cobb salad recipe. One of my absolute favs!

Jill’s Classic Cobb Salad

If you’re craving a refreshing but filling meal for summer, my cobb salad is the way to go! Find all of the ingredients and instructions to make yours at home.

Cobb salad Jill


  • 1 bag of crisp romaine hearts
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, seasoned to your liking
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced bacon
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 10-ounce package of grape tomatoes, halved


  1. Marinate two chicken breasts overnight. I like to marinate them in Spiedies marinade!
  2. Grill or air fry two chicken breasts. Slice the breasts into cuts that are about 1/2 inch thick. Set your chicken aside.
  3. On a platter (or in a large bowl), spread out your romaine lettuce so that it covers the bottom of your platter.
  4. Top the bed of lettuce with your cucumbers, eggs, bacon, feta cheese, tomatoes, grilled chicken and avocadoes.
  5. When ready to serve, mix, top with your favorite dressing and enjoy!

Here’s a tip! While you can prepare most summer salads of time, don’t put on the dressing until you’re ready to serve it.

No one likes a soggy salad!

Chinese Chicken Salad

Bring this Asian-inspired dish from Recipe Tin Eats to your next summer gathering. It looks good enough to eat off of the page!

 summer salads Chinese
Photo credit: Recipe Tin Eats

Ingredients for Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (toasted)
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1.5 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Ingredients for Salad

  • 4 cups Chinese cabbage (Nappa cabbage)
  • 1 1/2 cups red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 cup carrot, finely julienned
  • 2 cups chicken
  • 1/2 cup shallots or scallions


  1. Cook your chicken thoroughly and let cool. Slice or cube.
  2. Combine your dressing ingredients in a jar or a small bowl and shake/stir. Set aside for about 10 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
  3. Toss all of the ingredients in a large bowl (chicken included). If desired, top this with crunchy noodles or sesame seeds.
  4. Add your dressing to the large bowl of salad and mix thoroughly.

If you’d like, you can garnish this salad with crunchy noodles and/or sesame seeds. It adds a bit of texture!

Bow Tie and Spinach Salad

Adding protein to a salad can certainly make it more filling. But for all of my vegetarian readers, you can still have a hearty salad without the meat.

Check out this Taste of Home recipe that looks both nutritious and delicious!

 summer salads pasta
Photo credit: Taste of Home


  • 2 cups uncooked multigrain bow tie pasta
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cubed part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup pitted Greek olives
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sun-dried tomato salad dressing
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


  1. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain your pasta and transfer it to a large bowl.
  2. Add all of your ingredients to the bowl containing the pasta. Drizzle everything with dressing and sprinkle it with salt.
  3. Lightly toss or stir to coat the ingredients, and finish by sprinkling some walnuts on top.

Chopped Mexican Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Feast at your next fiesta with this summer salad from Little Broken.

 summer salads Mexican
Photo credit: Little Broken

Ingredients for Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Salad:

  • 1.5 cups frozen or fresh corn
  • 2 large tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 large ripe mango, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 large avocadoes, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, stem/seeds/core removed
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • olive oil


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pepper halves on the baking sheet (cut side down). Drizzle them with olive oil and rub them to coat. Roast them until the peppers are soft and lightly browned (about 20 minutes)
  2. While roasting your peppers, in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, roast our corn in some olive oil until slightly charred and golden (about 5-8 minutes). Remove them from the heat and cool slightly.
  3. When the peppers are finished roasting and cooled enough to handle, scrape off the skins and dice them into 1/2-inch cubes.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, orange juice, shallot, honey, garlic, cilantro and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. In a large bowl, combine red bell peppers, mango, corn, tomatoes, black beans and avocados. Add the vinaigrette to your taste and mix well. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and chill for 15-30 minutes, covered, in the refrigerator.

Strawberry Salad

If you like your summer salads on the sweeter side, I’m sure this strawberry salad from Shugary Sweets will be one you make over and over.

Plus, strawberries are in season!

 summer salads strawberry
Photo credit: Shugary Sweets

Ingredients for Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or sugar substitute
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Ingredients for Salad:

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 12-ounce package romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh strawberries, halved
  • 4 ounces fresh blueberries
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1 15-ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced


  • In a small skillet over medium heat, saute pecans with sugar. This should take a few minutes since the sugar needs to dissolve as you stir the pecans. Set aside and cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine romaine, berries, cheese, oranges and onion. Add the diced chicken and toss gently to combine.
  • In a small mason jar, combine dressing ingredients and shake with a lid on.
  • When ready to serve, add the candied pecans and drizzle the salad with dressing.

If you’re not much of a pecan person, you can omit them entirely or swap them with chopped almonds!

Grandma’s Simple Salad Dressing

A salad wouldn’t be complete without dressing! And my Grandma’s dressing is always a good choice!

What I love about this dressing is that you don’t need a lot. It’s so flavorful and rich, and a little can go a long way.

I typically create a salad with veggies (like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc.) and add some avocado for a little more substance. The dressing is super fresh and while rich, not too heavy — making it great for summer salads.

Find the recipe HERE.

My family is heading down to the beach soon and I can’t wait to make one of these summer salads for dinner on the porch!

Which one of these summer salads do you think you’ll try first?

From my kitchen to yours,


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