Summer is almost here ladies and are you ready to whip up some delicious summer salads? When it's boiling hot outside, my favorite summer salads cool me down and are so light and refreshing! Below, I've got my top 10 summer salads that will keep you cool and that will make a great dinner if you add some protein! So girls, let's explore some summer salads that will make your mouth water!
Table of contents:
- berry delicious summer salad
- lemon-basil shrimp salad
- mustard dill tortellini salad skewers
- grilled peach and mozzarella salad
- green bean, grape, and pasta salad
- strawberry and spinach salad
- layered cornbread-and-turkey salad
- watermelon, mâche, and pecan salad
- cranberry-nectarine salad
1 Berry Delicious Summer Salad
This is absolutely one of my favorite summer salads to keep me cool and it tastes delish! Just a little mixed greens, some berries, nuts and some blue cheese and you've got a salad that is not only filling, but it's so good. For me, I actually add on grilled chicken and it makes enough for a complete meal!
8 cups mixed salad greens
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese
1/4 cup chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans
Toss together first 4 ingredients; drizzle with desired amount of vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Newman's Own Light Raspberry & Walnut vinaigrette.
2 Lemon-Basil Shrimp Salad
Even though shrimp isn't my favorite seafood, when it's in this summer salad? It's so tasty! A bunch of veggies, some shrimp and some lemon vinaigrette and you got yourself an awesome tasting salad that will fill you up, but it'll also keep you cool. Almost no prep at all required!
3 pounds unpeeled, cooked large shrimp
1 large red onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
16 cups salad greens
8 Parmesan Baskets (optional)
Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette
Peel shrimp, and devein, if desired. Place shrimp and next 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal and chill 8 hours or up to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally. Stir in basil 1 hour before serving. Drain and discard marinade just before serving.
Divide greens evenly between Parmesan Baskets or serving bowls; arrange drained shrimp mixture evenly over lettuce. Serve with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette.
3 Mustard Dill Tortellini Salad Skewers
These little salad skewers are all kinds of fantastic for a party that you are having, but you are still looking to keep things light and airy. These appetizers will not only great summer salads, but your guests will flip for them and wonder how you make something so tasty!
1 (9-oz.) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 (8-oz.) package frozen sugar snap peas
68 (4-inch) wooden skewers
1 pt. grape tomatoes, cut in half
Cook tortellini according to package directions. Rinse under cold running water.
Place sugar snap peas in a small bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes. Let stand, covered, 2 minutes. Rinse under cold running water.
Thread each skewer with 1 sugar snap pea, 1 tortellini, and 1 tomato half. Place skewers in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette over skewers, turning to coat. Cover and chill 4 hours. Transfer skewers to a serving platter; discard any remaining vinaigrette.
*1 (12-oz.) bottle light Champagne vinaigrette may be substituted. For testing purposes only, we used Girard's Light Champagne Dressing.
4 Grilled Peach and Mozzarella Salad
Now you probably wouldn't think of a peach mixing very well with mozzarella would you? This grilled summer salad is absolutely delicious and is a great side dish to any and all summer dishes that are out there. Give it a try ladies, I love this salad!
5 peaches (not white)
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons tequila (optional)
1/3 cup olive oil
Vegetable cooking spray
1 (6-oz.) package watercress or baby arugula, thoroughly washed
3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 16 (1/4-inch) slices
Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs
Peel and chop 1 peach. Cut remaining 4 peaches into 28 (1/4-inch-thick) rounds, cutting through stem and bottom ends. (Cut peaches inward from sides, cutting each side just until you reach the pit. Discard pits.)
Process chopped peach, green onions, next 7 ingredients, and, if desired, tequila in a food processor 10 to 15 seconds or until smooth. Add oil, and pulse 3 to 4 times or until thoroughly combined.
Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Brush both sides of peach rounds with 1/3 cup peach dressing.
Grill peach rounds, covered with grill lid, over 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear.
Arrange watercress evenly on 4 plates. Alternately layer 4 grilled peach rounds and 4 cheese slices over watercress on each plate. Top each with 3 more peach rounds. Drizzle with remaining peach dressing. Garnish, if desired.
Grilled Peach-and-Feta Salad: Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange 1/4 cup pecans, chopped, in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 5 minutes. Reduce peaches from 5 to 4, and reduce salt to 1/2 tsp. Substitute 8 cups loosely packed Bibb lettuce leaves (about 6 oz.; 1 to 2 heads of lettuce) for watercress and 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese for mozzarella cheese. Peel and chop 1 peach. Cut each of remaining 3 peaches into 8 wedges. Proceed with recipe as directed in Steps 2 through 4, decreasing grilling time for peach wedges to 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Divide Bibb lettuce and 4 cooked bacon slices, halved crosswise, among 4 plates or shallow bowls. Top with grilled peach wedges. Sprinkle with feta cheese and pecans. Serve with dressing. Makes 4 servings; Prep: 25 min., Bake: 10 min., Grill: 6 min.
Note: You can also use a grill pan to get those beautiful grill marks on the peaches.
5 Green Bean, Grape, and Pasta Salad
Sounds weird for a summer salad doesn't it? Well ladies, this little salad tastes so delicious and makes the perfect side dish fro any type of dish. Or it could be a great salad to have for lunch. Try it and let me know what you think about it!
1 cup chopped pecans
8 bacon slices
1 pound thin fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 (8-oz.) package penne pasta
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups seedless red grapes, cut in half
1/3 cup diced red onion
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon.
Cook beans in boiling salted water to cover 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking process.
Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions; drain.
Whisk together mayonnaise and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; add pecans, green beans, pasta, grapes, and onion, stirring to coat. Season with salt to taste. Cover and chill 3 hours; stir in bacon just before serving.
7 Strawberry and Spinach Salad
When I think of summer, I think of strawberries and spinach. It just seems natural to put them together doesn't it? This salad has all kinds of good things to it. Everything from blue cheese, almonds and red onions. So delish!
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 (6-oz.) bags baby spinach
1 (16-oz.) container strawberries, quartered
1 (4-oz.) package crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
Bottled red wine vinaigrette
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Toss together red onion and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with red wine vinaigrette; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Note: For a tasty flavor combination, replace the almonds, blue cheese, and red wine vinaigrette with pecans, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.
8 Layered Cornbread-and-Turkey Salad
I thought this summer salad so a little unique. I never would have thought that cornbread and turkey could really go together, but in this salad? It's delicious and so perfect together!
1 (6-ounce) package buttermilk cornbread mix
1 (12-ounce) bottle Parmesan-peppercorn dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 (9-ounce) package romaine lettuce, shredded
2 1/2 cups chopped smoked turkey (about 3/4 pound)
2 large yellow bell peppers, chopped
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 cup diced celery (about 3 celery ribs)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
10 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
2 green onions, sliced
Prepare cornbread according to package directions; cool and crumble. Set aside.
Stir together dressing, mayonnaise, and buttermilk until blended.
Layer crumbled cornbread, shredded lettuce, and next 7 ingredients evenly into 6 (3- to 4-cup) glass containers; spoon half of dressing mixture evenly over tops. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Sprinkle with green onions just before serving. Serve with remaining half of dressing mixture on the side.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Martha White Buttermilk Cornbread Mix and Girard's Parmesan-Peppercorn Dressing. We used 3-cup marquis-shaped canning jars with lid and screw ring.
To make 1 large salad: Layer half each of crumbled cornbread, shredded lettuce, and next 7 ingredients in a large glass bowl; spoon half of dressing mixture evenly over top. Repeat layers ending with dressing mixture. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Sprinkle top with green onions just before serving. Prep: 45 min., Chill: 8 hrs.
Layered Southwest Cornbread-and-Turkey Salad: Substitute 1 (6-ounce) package Mexican cornbread mix for 1 (6-ounce) package buttermilk cornbread mix; 1 (16-ounce) bottle buttermilk-Ranch dressing for Parmesan-peppercorn dressing; 1 (8-ounce) package finely shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses with jalapeño peppers for shredded Swiss cheese; and 1 (11-ounce) can sweet whole kernel corn, drained, and 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained, for yellow bell peppers. Prepare recipe as directed, omitting mayonnaise.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Gladiola Mexican style cornbread mix and Ken's Steak House Buttermilk Ranch dressing.
9 Watermelon, Mâche, and Pecan Salad
You might now know exactly what mâche is, but it's delicious! It's actually called corn lettuce for corn salad and this incredible lettuce tastes so good with watermelon! It's light, fresh and has a really mild flavor. Give it a try ladies, you'll never want to go back to regular lettuce!
3/4 cup chopped pecans
5 cups seeded and cubed watermelon
1 (6-oz.) package mâche, thoroughly washed
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes or until completely cool.
Combine watermelon and mâche in a large bowl; add vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat. Transfer watermelon mixture to a serving platter, and sprinkle evenly with pecans and cheese.
10 Cranberry-Nectarine Salad
Finally, the last summer salad, we're going to explore is a cranberry and nectarine salad! It's hot, it's tasty, it's full of flavor and it would be so good with any and all BBQ items!
1 (3-oz.) package Oriental-flavored ramen noodle soup mix
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup hot water
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 (10-oz.) package gourmet mixed salad greens, thoroughly washed
3 large nectarines, peeled and cut in wedges
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 (4-oz.) package crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Reserve flavor packet from soup mix. Crumble noodles, and place in a single layer in a shallow pan.
Bake at 350° for 5 to 6 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack (about 15 minutes).
Place cranberries in a small bowl; add 1 cup hot water. Let stand 5 minutes; drain.
Whisk together reserved flavor packet, canola oil, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add ramen noodles, cranberries, gourmet greens, and next 3 ingredients, tossing gently to coat. Serve immediately.
So ladies, there you have it, my top 10 summer salads that can go with anything at all! What are some of your favorite summer salads ladies? Any on this list? Give 'em all a try!
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