From zippy potato salads, quinoa salads, coleslaws, and pasta salads that just seem to get better and better over time, we can’t get enough of this list of 30 healthier, light and refreshing summer potluck salads to make now.
Childhood memories of cookouts and summer get-togethers bring up all the happy nostalgia of summer’s answer to comfort food: All the side dishes you can fill a plate with—namely refreshing salads that quell the heat. Salads eaten pool-side, picnic-style, or enjoyed on those lazy summer eves with all the grilled foods and in the company of family and friends.
Whether you’re a caprese salad junkie, coleslaw queen, or broccoli salad aficionado (this one’s my fave!), the gang’s all here. You’ll recognize healthier riffs on your classic faves, plus some new inspiration. But whatever your craving, we’ve got you covered so you can bring your best potluck game all summer-long.
1. Avocado Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is basically the Beyoncé of potluck sides, and this is the one that keeps me singing all summer long.
Made with cucumber, tomato, onion, and lots of fresh curly parsley and mint, this authentic tabbouleh recipe is an amazingly refreshing no-cook side salad for easy potlucks, picnics, and easy dinners.
3. Creamy Yogurt Cucumber Salad
Greek yogurt is spiked with fresh garlic, dill, mint, and lemon for a zingy and ultra refreshing cucumber salad that goes well with absolutely anything. Plus, it seriously couldn’t be easier to throw together!
This healthy and classic Tuscan bread salad recipe is made with the sweetest ripe tomatoes, chunks of cucumber, slivered onion, and capers with a simple vinaigrette and fresh basil, perfect for summertime eats.
5. Greek Potato Salad
This Greek potato salad is a tangy spin on the traditional potato salad, with sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and a zesty Greek dressing that brings big, bold flavor.
6. Cucumber Basil and Watermelon Salad
A zippy lime dressing gives the pop to this fresh and crunchy watermelon salad spiked with just the right bites of mango and jalapeño to get your potluck hoppin’.
7. Whole Wheat Greek Pasta Salad
With the addition of whole wheat noodles, this classic Mediterranean Greek pasta salad with artichokes and olives just got a healthy upgrade.
8. Celery Slaw with Apple and Blue Cheese
Savory and a little sweet, this celery slaw salad gets extra crunch from apple and carrot with a tangy flavor bump from fresh crumbles of blue cheese.
9. Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumbers and Artichoke Hearts
Greek salad gets pasta-fied in this addictive side which has all of the flavors you love in a classic Greek salad. It’s easily customizable too, so add more veggies if you like, and use a long or short noodle for your pasta!
10. Nicoise Potato Salad
Potatoes are the star of this light and colorful, easy-to-make Nicoise potato salad—a fun spin on a classic Nicoise salad that’s perfect for warm weather lunches, picnics, and more.
11. Crunchy Asian Cucumber Watermelon Salad
All it takes to make this super simple, totally fresh, cucumber, watermelon and red bell pepper salad is a few minutes of chopping and an easy sesame and lime-flavored Asian dressing for a totally crunchy bite.
12. Greek Chickpea Salad
Classic Mediterranean flavors are what make up this easy Greek chickpea salad with fresh veg, heart-healthy fats, and bright herbs keeping it light, lean and tangy.
13. Easy Mexican Coleslaw
Mayo haters rejoice, ’cause this coleslaw’s for you! It’s zesty and naturally-sweetened with honey, and boasts tons of awesome Mexican flavors, including fresh lime and cilantro (and of course hot sauce for good measure). Not to mention this slaw goes with anything.
14. Summer Melon Couscous Salad with Avocado, Grapes, and Mint
Pillowy pearl couscous provides the bulk of this fresh honeydew, grape, cucumber, and avocado salad tossed with fresh herbs laced in a ginger lime dressing that goes from breakfast or brunch to lunch and dinner with loads of summer’s seasonal flavors.
15. Sesame Soba Noodles
This Japanese sesame soba noodles recipe makes a simple Asian side dish or easy main meal served hot or cold and on the table in 20 minutes or less.
16. No-Mayo Potato Salad with Herbs
Easy to make and lighter to eat, this healthy no-mayo potato salad with fresh herbs and an easy olive oil dressing is the perfect side dish for a crowd.
17. Grilled Corn Salad with Tomato and Avocado
When fresh corn and tomatoes are at their summer best, this easy salad with creamy avocados that’s simply dressed with a hint of Mexican jalapeño, lime juice, and garlic, is a healthy recipe that’s sure to become the star side dish of every potluck and barbecue you make it for.
18. Thai Quinoa Salad
This versatile power salad can be eaten for lunch, but it also doubles as a hit side for any potluck or cookout. It features protein-packed quinoa, crunchy peanuts, tons of crisp, colorful veggies, and fresh herbs, and a satisfying sesame-ginger-lime vinaigrette.
19. Mediterranean Orzo Salad
This vegetarian Mediterranean orzo pasta salad with crunchy vegetables and spinach, briny olives, and feta cheese makes a healthy, easy-to-make, meal-prepped meal or flavorful pasta salad side.
20. Berry Delicious Fruit Salad Recipe
A mix of berries, melon, oranges and pineapple gets tossed with honey, fresh orange and lime juice and mint, making for a healthy, colorful and bright fruit salad that’s both light and refreshing.
21. How to Make the Best Broccoli Salad
This healthier take on classic broccoli salad features fresh, crunchy broccoli florets topped with a light dressing with a little sweetness from golden raisins, cranberries and pineapple for a super summer salad.
22. Healthy Quinoa Salad
Bright flavor and bold bites are what make this healthy quinoa salad with chickpeas, black beans, mango, and avocado in a limey dressing an easy side dish or simple vegetarian meal.
23. Creamy Tuscan Pasta Salad
When in doubt, a good pasta salad is always a safe bet for a potluck or party, and this one, inspired by the flavors of Tuscany, is a guaranteed hit. It’s got three different types of salamis (I mean, how can you go wrong there), provolone cheese, Italian white beans, black olives, tomatoes, baby spinach, onions, egg noodles, and a creamy Italian dressing you won’t be able to resist.
24. Cucumber Salad with Dill
Made with tangy vinegar, this quick and easy cucumber salad with dill and red onion pairs nicely with all your favorite summer dishes.
25. Asian Ramen Noodle Salad
If you’ve been to a potluck, you’ve had this salad in some form or another. It’s a classic, and always a hit, thanks to crunchy ramen noodles and cabbage, juicy oranges, and a crazy-addictive dressing (this version has less sugar)!
26. Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables
This creamy pasta salad recipe skips the mayonnaise for a lush sauce made with almond milk and avocado to make an easy grilled vegetable pasta salad you’ll happily eat guilt-free.
27. Classic Three Bean Salad (That’s Really Four)
Besides knowing how to use a can opener, there’s no need for any special talents when you make this easy three bean salad. And with a homemade dressing, this pantry salad is a classic potluck favorite that can be made in 15 minutes or less.
28. Tomato and Hearts of Palm Salad
This light and healthy salad takes just 10 minutes with a sharp knife for a little slicing and chopping to pull together and is the perfect addition to any potluck barbecue.
29. Outrageous Herbaceous Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
This easy Mediterranean chickpea salad is infused with flavor thanks to a heaping helping of fresh herbs with a garlicky lemon dressing that ups the crunch from red bell pepper, celery and red onion for a simple side dish or topping for greens.
30. How to Make the Best Potato Salad
While it isn’t the healthiest salad on this list, I simply couldn’t leave my favorite potato salad of all time out of this round-up. It’s the potato salad I grew up with and that started my summer-side-salad obsession. While nobody does it quite as well as my mom, I highly suggest you be like me and still make it all summer long.
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