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30 Recipes for Refreshing Summer Salads

The perfect sides for grilled main dishes at picnics and potlucks, these summer salads—including pasta, potato and fruit salad recipes filled with garden-fresh ingredients—will be standouts at backyard barbecues.

Taste of Home

Shrimp & Nectarine Salad

For a cool salad on a hot summer day, I combine shrimp, corn, tomatoes, and nectarines with a drizzle of tarragon dressing. We love it chilled, but it’s great warm, too. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York

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Sour Cream Cucumbers

It’s been a tradition at our house to serve this dish with the other Hungarian specialties my mom learned to make from the women at church. It’s especially good during the summer when the cucumbers are fresh-picked from the garden. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio

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Pina Colada Fruit Salad

Give friends a taste of the tropics on warm summer days with this refreshing fruit blend. For a little extra punch, you might add a splash of coconut rum. —Carol Farnsworth, Greenwood, Indiana

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BLT Bow Tie Pasta Salad

I first had this summery salad at a family reunion, and it’s become one of my husband’s favorite dinners. Sometimes, we leave out the chicken and serve it as a side dish instead. —Jennifer Madsen, Rexburg, Idaho

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5 Minty Watermelon-Cucumber Salad

Capturing the fantastic flavors of summer, this refreshing, beautiful watermelon-cucumber salad will be the talk of any picnic or potluck. —Roblynn Hunnisett, Guelph, Ontario

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Tomatoes with Buttermilk Vinaigrette

I like to make the most of tomatoes when plentiful, and I love an old-fashioned homemade dressing with a summery taste. —Judith Foreman, Alexandria, Virginia

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Lemony Tortellini Bacon Salad

Who says summer meals have to be complicated? We love this tangy, simple, and tasty salad on warm summer nights. Add a cold glass of lemonade or iced tea and dinner couldn’t be easier. —Samantha Vicars, Kenosha, Wisconsin

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Grilled Greek Potato Salad

My most requested summer recipe is wonderful warm, cold, or at room temperature. Because the potato salad is dressed with a vinaigrette, not mayonnaise, it’s ideal for outdoor occasions. —Robin Jungers, Campbellsport, Wisconsin

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Shrimp Veggie Salad

My family loves to have potluck barbecues during the summer. With several backyard gardens in the family, you can be sure one of us will bring a variation of this classic salad. Add a dash of your favorite hot sauce if you like to turn up the heat! —Karen Goodnature, Lompoc, California

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Garden Chickpea Salad

Looking for a great summer dish with a difference? This refreshing salad is great on the side or as a luncheon salad. To make it an entree, add sliced, cooked chicken or lamb. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan

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Summer Macaroni Salad

When we grill, my mother asks me to make the family macaroni salad. To make it extra creamy, I like to keep a small amount of dressing separate and stir it in just before serving. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland

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Bacon Caprese Salad

In summer, I am always looking for ways to use the fresh basil and tomatoes that grow in my herb garden. This recipe combines the two flavors in a wonderful salad that you can make any time of year! —Mary Ann Turk, Joplin, Missouri

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Summertime Slaw

As a change from mayonnaise-laden slaw, I created this refreshing alternative. It uses many of the garden vegetables I grow, so it’s also economical. I serve it at our family reunion each Fourth of July, and it’s always a big hit at church socials. —Sharon Payne, Mayfield, Kentucky

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Italian Basil Pasta Salad

Ready for a big bite of summertime? Pass around this garden-fresh pasta salad. I’d suggest serving it at your next dinner party, potluck or luncheon. —Charlotte Gehle, Brownstown, Michigan

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Cherry Tomato Salad

This recipe evolved from a need to use the bumper crops of delicious cherry tomatoes we grow. It’s become a summer favorite, especially at cookouts. —Sally Sibley, St. Augustine, Florida

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Orzo Vegetable Salad

Heading to a cookout and need something to share? Tangy lemon dressing over cool orzo and vegetables is everything you want in a summer dish.—Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada

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Greek Three-Bean Salad

Green, kidney, and wax beans combine for a summer classic with a tasty twist. Thanks to some bold Mediterranean flavors, it’s not hard to close your eyes and imagine yourself on a Greek island. —Vivian Levine, Summerfield, Florida

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Fresh Fruit Bowl

The glorious colors used here make this a great summer salad. Slightly sweet and chilled, it makes a nice accompaniment to a grilled entree. —Marlon Kirst, Troy, Michigan

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Peachy Tossed Salad

I like to serve this refreshing salad in the summer, when the lettuce in my garden is fresh and sweet peaches are in season. It’s a real treat, especially when served with pork. —April Neis, Lone Butter, British Columbia

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Fresh Heirloom Tomato Salad

This tomato salad is a summertime must. The standout dressing takes these tasty ingredients to a brand-new level. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Favorite Layered Salad

This salad offers the best that summer produce has to offer, and it looks so beautiful layered in a glass bowl. It’s almost too pretty to dig into…almost! And it’s perfect for potlucks. —Jodi Anderson, Overbrook, Kansas

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Thai-Style Cobb Salad

This veggie salad is like a mix of Cobb salad and my favorite summer rolls. If you have leftover chicken, toss it in. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah

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Tangy Potato Salad with Radishes

Summer’s approach makes my family think of potato salad. This tangy side is also great in the winter when it’s served hot with cubed ham. —Peggy Gwillim, Strasbourg, Saskatchewan

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Honey-Lime Berry Salad

I picked up this dish a couple of years ago, and really like the mint and fruit combo. Cilantro is one of my summer favorites so sometimes I use it instead. Turns out, this recipe’s really two in one! —Kayla Spence, Wilber, Nebraska

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Nectarine Arugula Salad

Here’s a summer salad that brightens any supper. The homemade dressing with a hint of berries is perfect with arugula, nectarines, and blue cheese. —Christine Laba, Arlington, Virginia

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Provencal Bean Salad

Lightly coated in reduced-fat tarragon mayonnaise, this refreshing three-bean salad perks up summer meals. Every bite bursts with flavor. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

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Dill Garden Salad

I love to cut up whatever fresh vegetables I have on hand and toss them with this delicious dressing and fresh dill. This salad shows up on our table regularly during the summer. —Bethany Martin, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

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Garden Spinach-Potato Salad

Not only is this summer side dish something to look at, it’s a treat for the taste buds, too. The medley of textures and garden-fresh ingredients perfectly compliment one another for a delightfully different potato salad. —Marilyn Haynes, Sylacauga, Alabama

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Minty Watermelon Salad

My four-year-old twin grandchildren love to cook and create in the kitchen with me. Last summer, the three of us were experimenting with watermelon and cheese and that’s where this recipe began. It’s great for neighborhood gatherings, picnics or as a healthy snack on a hot summer day. —Gwendolyn Vetter, Rogers, Minnesota

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Garden-Fresh Chef Salad

For a lot of the year, I can use my garden’s produce when I make this cool salad. In spring, it’s salad mix and radishes, and in summer, we have tomatoes, cabbage, and carrots. What a good feeling! —Evelyn Gubernath, Bucyrus, Ohio

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Originally Published in Taste of Home