Summer is almost here which means we’re about halfway through this year. So if you started a new diet at the beginning of this year it might be the time you’re questioning your decisions. You might miss greasy pizza and might be getting tired of the same Caesar salad & chicken breast dinner. However, if you’re serious about your diet and making a change in your health then maybe you just need to spice up your food selection. These 10 summer salad recipes are both delicious and super healthy making them perfect for keeping you on your diet!
1. The Best Kale Salad
There are many summer salad recipes involving kale, however, this one is aptly named “the best kale salad.” This recipe makes a delicious salad that is well-balanced while also giving you great flavors. The homemade dressing is especially good comprised of white balsamic vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt & pepper! The salad is comprised of pecans, onion, Boursin cheese, grated carrot, chopped avocado, cherry tomatoes, kale of course, and a little bacon! Okay so it’s not extremely healthy but besides the bacon, it has got a great variety of vegetables. It should definitely make your list of go-to summer salad recipes.
2. Summer Garden Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Summer salad recipes are especially great when you get to make your own dressing instead of just buying it at a store. This recipe for a summer garden salad is made up of corn, green beans, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, and scallions. To make the vinaigrette you’ll need a food processor. You’ll combine basil, sugar, and salt until the basil is very finely chopped. Add your vinegar and mustard and process it until it’s combined well, then slowly add in the olive oil until you get a smooth mixture. Perfect for lunch or dinner and any summer occasion!
3. Broccoli Salad with Honey Yogurt Dressing
Now I know what you’re thinking: Broccoli salad? But trust me, this will easily make your go-to summer salad recipes once you give this a taste. The recipe uses broccoli, cherry tomatoes, celery, red onion, edamame, raisins, sunflower seeds, and maybe some bacon if you want. To make the delicious honey yogurt dressing you’ll whisk together garlic powder, olive oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, Greek nonfat yogurt, and a bit of salt & pepper to taste. You won’t regret trying out this broccoli salad, and you’ll likely make the honey yogurt dressing again for something else!
4. Marinated Vegetable Salad
Some summer salad recipes like this one take advantage of marination to really maximize on delicious flavors. This recipe uses a marinade of olive oil, balsamic vinegar/wine vinegar, water, thyme or basil, and garlic. You’ll pour this mixture over your vegetables and let it stand for about an hour, or cover and chill it for about a day while stirring every so often. The recipe recommends letting it be served at room temperature to really help the full flavor of the vegetables come through! You could even garnish with some toasted pine nuts for additional crunch.
5. Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
This recipe takes full advantage of the delicious tastes of fruit and the health benefits of quinoa. You can customize this recipe pretty extensively using whatever color quinoa you like, as well as using different fruits if you prefer. This recipe uses red quinoa and a combination of blueberries, strawberries, mango, and mint if you’d like. The dressing is super easy to make just use some honey, juice of a large lime, and some finely chopped fresh mint. You’ll get an amazing tasting fruit salad with a good health boost from the quinoa. Easily on the list for go-to summer salad recipes if you want something refreshing and healthy!
6. Spicy Grilled Salmon Salad
Here’s a great, well-balanced salad utilizing delicious grilled salmon and a grapefruit coconut salad dressing. The recipe is pretty easy to make with the hardest part obviously being grilling the salmon. You’ll make a nice spice rub for the salmon out of sea salt, paprika, cayenne, oregano, cumin, and black pepper. Then you’ll grill the salmon (skinless, ideally) for about seven minutes. The salad is comprised of your choice of greens such as arugula, or mixed baby greens, as well as grapefruit, chopped almonds, coconut, dill, and basil. The dressing is also easy to make with just grapefruit juice, melted coconut oil, and a bit of Dijon mustard! Enjoy this delicious salad for any meal and make sure it’s on your go-to list of summer salad recipes.
7. Strawberry Avocado Grilled Balsamic Chicken Salad
Summer salad recipes, like this one, are great to break out when you’re using the grill! This recipe makes a strawberry avocado grilled balsamic chicken salad, which is quite a mouthful. The great part of this recipe is the balsamic dressing is also used to marinate the chicken, both efficient and delicious! The dressing is made of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, oregano, Dijon mustard, salt & pepper, and some plain Greek yogurt. Use about a quarter of your dressing and marinate your chicken for about half an hour. While that happens you can whip up your salad of spinach, arugula, strawberries, pecans, and avocado. Grill up that chicken, add it and the remaining balsamic dressing to your salad, and enjoy!
8. Grilled Broccoli Caesar Salad
This recipe is a creative alternative to the traditional Caesar salad where it utilizes grilled broccoli instead of lettuce. Another example of summer salad recipes where you’ll utilize the grill and that warm summer weather when cooking. You’re going to cut your broccoli into pieces, but leaving the stems long. That way you can wrap delicious prosciutto around each stem! You’ll also use “cubed” bread, but the recipe suggests they just pulled small pieces from a loaf with their hand. You want to grill the bread and broccoli for a couple of minutes, getting good char marks on them both. For the dressing, you’ll use thick yogurt (Greek yogurt), parmesan, Worchestershire sauce, minced anchovy (or anchovy paste), Dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and salt & pepper! It’s a really easy recipe that’s healthy, delicious, and that you won’t soon forget.
9. Spinach Lentil Beet Salad with Balsalmic
If you want summer salad recipes that are tasty, healthy, and filling then this might be for you. For this recipe, you’ll use a combination of spinach, cooked lentils, fresh beets, sliced orange (or red bell pepper), cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese. The recipe’s author recommends getting steamed lentils and steamed/peeled baby beets, that way you save yourself time on cooking and they taste delicious! The recipe also gives you a homemade balsamic dressing for the salad made of balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper, and minced garlic. This salad is really well-balanced giving you a filling meal while also providing lots of healthy vitamins and nutrients.
10. Cashew Crunch Salad with Sesame Dressing
This healthy, summer salad makes for a delicious and filling meal. A key part of this particular recipe is shredding various of the ingredients like the green & purple cabbage, and the carrots. This helps them absorb the delicious dressing better and also gives you more overall crunch. In addition, you’ll also use cilantro, sliced green onion, cooked edamame, and roasted cashews in the salad. You can even use crunchy chow mein noodles if you’d like, or add some protein like chicken or fish! The dressing is made of olive oil, white vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt, garlic powder, and Greek yogurt (or mayo if you’d prefer). One crunch bite of this salad and you’ll be throwing it on your greatest-of-all-time list for summer salad recipes!
What are your favorite healthy summer salad recipes? Share them with us in the comments below!
Featured Image Source: Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash
I have a passion for helping others and see journalism as a great way to reach and impact many people. Born in Texas but raised in the San Francisco Bay Area! Then with a short detour in Boulder, Colorado to get my bachelor's in Journalism with a minor in political science. I'm a determined, motivated individual striving to make a difference in this world. I have hopes to play a role in the continued development of journalism and in maximizing efforts to inform and inspire the public. Check out my articles on Society19!