Healthy and Refreshing Summer Salads to Perk You Up
Without a doubt, summer is the most anticipated season of the year. Summer means no school, lazy sunny afternoons, an incessant amount of sunshine, magical summer nights, and plenty of time at the beach. For plenty of people, summer also means always eating, and what better food to eat during summer than light and refreshing summer salads? Pair them with a cold glass of healthy juice, and you’re all set!
A lot of people associate summer as the perfect time to be all lazy and slow. Nobody wants to exert a lot of effort in the summer heat. That’s why many people resort to eating summer salads for their meals as they are easy to prepare, don’t need that much effort, but still taste absolutely delicious.
Recipes for Summer Salads
All the summer salads in this list were handpicked to ensure they complement and enhance your summer. Every recipe is perfect for sharing, or you can even be a little greedy and have them all to yourself.
So go ahead, indulge in any of these salads and have the best and yummiest summer yet.
Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint
Our first on the list of summer salads definitely should definitely have watermelon as the main ingredient. I mean, come on, what kind of summer would it be if you’re not munching on some juicy watermelon?
The slight saltiness of the feta cheese perfectly complements the cool sweetness of the watermelon.
This simple yet refreshing salad is definitely the go-to summer treat.
3 cups watermelon cubes
1½ cup feta cheese (crumbled)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 limes (juiced)
1½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fresh mint leaves (chopped)
First, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, salt, and also pepper for the dressing.
Next, in another larger bowl, put in the watermelon cubes. Pour the dressing and the mint over the cubes. Toss everything gently to coat.
Lastly, pour the crumbled feta cheese into the bowl. Continue tossing gently.
Summer Herb and Chickpea Salad with Goat Cheese
This is a beautiful and colorful salad that you just want to shove into your mouth. It’s loaded with tons of flavor and delicious goodness that’ll just cap off a perfect summer day. The mix of herbs used in the salad just add more summer feels to the salad.
And trust me, there may be a lot of ingredients involved, but it’s super easy to assemble. You won’t regret it.
4-6 cups butter lettuce (chopped)
¼ cup fresh basil (chopped)
¼ cup parsley (chopped)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme (chopped)
2 ears corn (kernels removed from the cob)
4-6 ounces goat cheese (crumbled)
1½ cups tomatoes (sliced)
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 avocado (pitted and sliced)
¾ cup fresh blackberries
1 peach (chopped)
1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and chopped)
1½ cups cooked chickpeas
½ cup mixed seeds and nuts (pumpkin seeds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, or anything of your choice)
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
½-1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
juice of 1 lemon
First make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, put in the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, chili powder, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and then pepper. Whisk everything until fully combined.
Next, in a fairly large bowl, first combine the lettuce, basil, parsley, thyme, corn kernels, tomatoes, red pepper, blackberries, peach slices, jalapeno, and then chickpeas. Give everything a toss.
Pour over the vinaigrette and continue tossing until salad is fully coated. Add the avocado slices and goat cheese last and give everything one last gentle tossing. Serve.
Quinoa Fruit Salad
Here’s one of the summer salads you can serve for an impromptu backyard get-together.
The berries and the mango are perfect summer fruits that just complement the summer vibes. They provide helpful antioxidants to help you fight off harmful free radicals. The quinoa adds its own nutrients and benefits.
For Honey-Lime Dressing
juice of 1 large lime
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons mint leaves (finely chopped)
For the Salad
1 cup quinoa
1½ cups strawberry slices
2 cups water
1½ cups blueberries
1 pinch salt
1½ cups mango chunks
chopped mint for garnish
First, with a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water.
Next, place the rinsed quinoa, water, and pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then boil for about 5 minutes.
Next, bring the heat to low. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the water is fully absorbed.
Once done, remove from the heat and gently mix the quinoa with a fork. Let it cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, go ahead and whip up the honey-lime dressing. Whisk together the lime juice, honey, and mint until fully combined.
Next, in a large bowl, combine the quinoa, strawberries, blueberries, and mango chunks. Pour the dressing over the fruits and quinoa. Mix everything until well coated. Lastly, garnish with some mint.
This salad is best served chilled, so you can pop the bowl in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Pasta with Chicken, Vegetables, and Spinach Pesto
This is one of the summer salads that’s great for either lunch or dinner. It boasts of fresh flavors and lively colors. It’s a fairly easy recipe as you just have to cook the pasta and basically mix everything together. No mess, no fuss.
1 lb. pasta of your choice
2 tablespoons roasted almonds
1½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 small garlic clove
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 cups baby spinach
1½ cups grape tomatoes
½ small red onion (sliced)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
First, cook the pasta according to its package directions. Once done, set aside about ½ cup of the cooking liquid. After, drain the pasta and return it to its pot.
Using a food processor, pulse the almonds, garlic, and lemon zest until finely chopped. Next, add in the spinach, oil, cheese, ⅛ teaspoon of salt, and then ⅛ teaspoon of pepper. Puree everything until smooth. This is your pesto.
Then in a large bowl, put in the pasta and mix in the pesto. You can add in some of that cooking liquid if the pasta seems too dry.
Finally, add in the tomatoes, chicken, and onion. Mix everything completely.
This salad originates from the Middle East and is made up of bulgur wheat (cracked wheat), cucumber, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. Bulgur wheat is packed with plant-based protein and vital minerals. It’s also high in dietary fiber but low in fat. Perfect for a healthy digestion and a happy and healthy heart!
1 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup water
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic (finely minced)
⅓ cup scallions (sliced)
2 cups tomatoes (chopped)
1½ cups cucumbers (chopped)
1 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
½ cup fresh mint (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
First, place the bulgur in a large heat-resistant bowl. Next, in a small saucepan, bring the cup of water to a boil. Stir in the salt. Pour the boiling water over the bulgur wheat.Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes, or until the bulgur fully absorbs the water.
While the bulgur is soaking in the water, whisk together the lemon juice and the olive oil in a small bowl. Put in the minced garlic and whisk again.
Pour the dressing over the bulgur that has completely absorbed the water. Mix properly.
Next, add in the scallions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and mint. Continue to mix until fully combined. Finally, add in some salt and pepper to taste.
Three Bean Salad
This salad is light and super easy to make. And all the beans used here contribute something to your body. First, the green beans give you a good amount of fiber as well as protein. The chickpeas offer you manganese and folate. And the kidney beans have antioxidants, phenolic acids, and molybdenum.
2 cups fresh green beans
¼ onion (sliced)
2 cups chickpeas
1 yellow bell pepper (sliced)
2 cups kidney beans
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
For the Salad Dressing:
¾ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon garlic powder
First, make the dressing. In a small bowl, add in the salad dressing ingredients. Whisk everything together until fully mixed.
Next, cut off the ends of the green beans and proceed to cut the beans in half.
In a medium bowl, put in the green bean halves, chickpeas, kidney beans, onion slices, bell pepper slices, and parsley. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
Toss everything together until fully coated. Garnish with the parsley for last.
Serve and enjoy.
Blueberry Corn Salad
Here’s the last of our list of healthy summer salads.
The blue and yellow hues are just so pretty to look at. This is definitely one of the summer salads that everyone will enjoy, from your kids to your grandparents.
The blueberries give you fiber, antioxidants, folate, potassium, and vitamins B6 and C. The sweet corn adds even more antioxidants (especially if cooked), as well as lutein and zeaxanthin.
1 cup fresh blueberries
6 ears fresh sweet corn (husked)
1 cucumber (sliced)
¼ cup red onion (finely chopped)
¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and finely chopped)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add in the corn next. Cook for around 5 minutes or until tender. Take out cobs and let cool. When cool enough to handle, husk kernels.
Next, in a large bowl, mix the corn kernels, blueberries, cucumber slices, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, oil, cumin, salt, and pepper.
Lastly, pour the dressing over the salad and gently mix everything completely.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.