The 10 Best Summer Picnic Salad Recipes Ever

Salads for Kids
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Let’s go on a picnic. Summer is the best time of the year to go on a picnic. The weather is perfect, the landscape is blooming and it feels like a mini vacation to be outside. I love packing up a picnic basket and heading outdoors to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery. This special get-away doesn’t cost much and is an enjoyable way to spend some time with family and friends. To get you inspired, below I am sharing my favorite best summer picnic salad recipes ever.

Best Summer Picnic Salad Recipes Ever

Salads are a refreshing and easy dish to take on a picnic. They can be made ahead of time – ready to eat, they stay fresh in a cooler and offer a nutritious lunch packed with energy. A salad can be the main course or a side dish to your favorite picnic meal.

Fresh ingredients can be found in your backyard garden or at the local farmer’s market. There is no other season that offers such fresh quantities and quality than summer.

Fresh Garden Tomatoes for Summer Salads

Picnic Essentials Checklist

  • Table Cloth – Use a traditional red and white checked cloth or simply a blanket, or beach towel. A tablecloth will make the table or ground look festive and offer a clean place to sit and eat.
  • Picnic Basket or Large Container
  • Plates, Cups, Silverware, Paper Towels (Use as Napkins)
  • Condiments if Needed
  • Water for Drinking and Washing Up
  • Cooler
  • Salad – Main Course or Side Dish
  • Fresh Bread
  • Favorite Main Course if Salad is a Side Dish (Chicken, Hamburgers, Brats, Sandwiches, etc.)
  • Fruit for Desert
  • Wine or Favorite Beverage

Just pack up and go – enjoy the season.

Pack Up and Go on A Summer Picnic

1. Summer Fresh Garden Salad

This is one of my favorite summer salads. Start with a layer of greens and add some fresh produce from the garden. Nothing tastes better than a freshly picked tomato or green pepper.  Yum!!!

Sprinkle on a light layer of dressing or just eat as is. Add some protein to your salad with a few of your favorite nuts, eggs or cheese.

Summer Fresh Garden Salad

Mix and Match Ingredient List

  • Bed of Greens – Spinach, Lettuce, Spring Mix, etc.
  • Fresh Garden Tomatoes Wedges
  • Fresh Green, Red or Yellow Pepper
  • Shredded Red Cabbage
  • Fresh Sliced Cucumber
  • Fresh Carrot Strips
  • Sliced Radish
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Hard Boiled Egg Wedges

2. Fresh Melon and Berries

Choosing a salad that combines fresh melon and berries offers plenty of water to keep you from becoming dehydrated in the summer heat. The sweet tasty watermelon is perfect for eating outdoors. Prep the melon beforehand into cubes so it is easy to eat with a toothpick or fork. This type of salad can be served as a cold plate or mixed in a bowl.

Watermelon and Berries Salad

Ingredients – Mix and Match

Use any of the ingredients below or add your favorites to create a delicious Fresh Melon and Berries Salad. Mix it all together or serve as a cold plate.

  • Baby Spinach or other Fresh Greens
  • Fresh Melon – Water, Cantaloupe or Honeydew
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Fresh Pineapple
  • Fresh Blueberries
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Fresh Raspberries
  • Cheese Cubes
  • Favorite Nuts – Walnuts, Pecans, Peanuts, Cashews
  • Other Berries & Melons

3. Left Over Rotisserie Chicken Salad

Combine last nights leftover main course into today’s salad. Top a bed of greens and vegetables with leftover chicken, ground beef, shredded beef, steak or pork. The tasty bits of meat add flavor to a salad, and it is a fast and easy recipe for serving last nights leftovers. This is also a tasty salad to take to work for a delicious lunch.

Left Over Rotisserie Chicken Salad Ingredients

Mix and Match Ingredients

  • Bed of Greens
  • Tomato Wedges
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Chopped Green Onion
  • Sliced Radishes
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Shredded Red Cabbage
  • Boiled Egg Slices

4.Salads for a Large Crowd

A fun way to make a salad for a large crowd is to create a mini salad bar. This is not only an easy way to prepare for a big event, it also allows your guests to choose what they want in their salads.

Prepare the ingredients ahead of time and place in individual containers.

Salads for a Large Crowd

Mix and Match Ingredients

Pick and choose a variety of colorful ingredients that would go well on a salad. Avoid ingredients that most people would avoid. Keep it simple or make it as elaborate as you want. Everyone loves a salad that contains their favorite foods.

5. Just for Kids – Build a Salad

This a favorite among the younger crowd. Set out a table full of ingredients and let the children design their own salads. They will have a lot of fun making it and even more fun eating it.

Check out this story that I wrote for children to think about while creating a Halloween Salad. Children love to cook and create in the Kitchen. Making a salad is a safe and inspiring way for young chefs to learn the magic of making their own food.

Salads for Kids

6.Unusual Salads

These are super fun to make because you can use your imagination and combine it with the ingredients that you have on hand to make something unique.

The salad below is sprinkled with Chia Seeds to give it a unique taste and look. What other things could you use as a topping on your salad?

Unusual Salads

7. Spinach and Fruit Salad

Start with a layer of spinach placed evenly on a plate, add your favorite fruits and a scoop of cottage cheese. No need to add dressing to this type of salad.

Best Fruit Salads Ever

8. The Best Fresh Vegetable Salad

Are you looking for a  vegetable salad for someone who is vegetarian or on a special diet? There are so many vegetables on the market today that it should be easy to create a salad for that special person.

The best place to start is by asking the person you are cooking for what they can and cannot eat. Then create a delicious salad that is sure to please.

  1. Find out which ingredients they can eat.
  2. Discuss if it needs to be organic. (Best)
  3. Are there toppings/dressings that they can eat?
  4. Better to plan ahead than to have an unhappy guest.

Foodie Glen Best Salad Recipes Ever

9. The Best Quick and Easy Picnic Salad

A quick and easy salad is one that the ingredients are in your fridge and you have a few minutes to wash, cut and dice.

If you know you will be short on time during the week then use the weekends to do your grocery shopping and prep as many of the ingredients as you can. Some ingredients need to be washed and prepped just before eating.

Green Pepper Salad Recipe

10. The 10 Best Summer Picnic Salad Recipes Ever Video

What is your favorite salad to take on a picnic?

Please share your favorite recipes below.

Summer Garden Salad

Best Summer Salad Ever
Taste Testers
[Total: 1   Average: 4/5]

Summer is the perfect time of year for eating salads. The ingredients can be grown in our backyards and eaten freshly picked. My favorite is a fresh tomato on top of a bed of lettuce, mixed with garden produce. Add an egg for your protein and you are set to go.

This salad is a meal in itself. The flavors blend well and the textures make it a delight for the eyes. These delicious flavors can be eaten without a dressing or tossed with your favorite flavor. For those watching calories a simple salsa sauce makes a perfect low-cal dressing.

A medium Red Tomato has 22 calories. If you choose to use a small Cherry Tomatoes there are only 3 calories in each one. The tomato is also rich in Potassium and has a little Calcium plus many other vitamins and minerals. Now that’s a delicious diet treat.

Best Summer Salads EverIngredients

  • Fresh Garden Tomatoes
  • Fresh Garden Cucumbers
  • Fresh Garden Radishes
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Fresh Mushrooms
  • Hard Boiled Egg
  • Black Olives
  • Red Cabbage
  • Fresh Green Onion

Tomato Storage Tips:

Store your tomatoes unwashed at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.
The flavor of a tomato is diminished if it is refrigerated.
Store tomatoes that are not quite ripe in a paper bag until they are ripened.
To prolong a tomatoe’s shelf life store with the stem down.
Wash your tomatoes before eating.

Green Pepper Salad Recipe

Green Pepper Salad Recipe
Taste Testers
[Total: 1   Average: 5/5]

This Green Pepper Salad Recipe is perfect for serving during the summer months.  Mix it with other fresh produce from your garden such as tomatoes, cucumbers and spinach for a delicious treat. The peppers are tasty and crunch. To make this salad more colorful use a variety of color peppers. This is one of my favorite salads packed with nutrition. Makes a great salad to take to work for your lunch.


  1. Start with a layer of baby spinach.
  2. Add a layer of sliced cucumbers and radishes evenly spaced in a circle pattern.
  3. Next, add a layer of green pepper.
  4. Place slices of a hard-boiled egg around the salad.
  5. Add red tomato slices.
  6. Next sprinkle on some diced red cabbage, pecans and black olives.

Green Pepper Salad IngredientsIngredients

  • Fresh Green Peppers
  • Fresh Baby Spinach
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Black Olives
  • Carrot Slices
  • Red Cabbage
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Sliced Radishes
  • Pecans
  • Hard Boiled Egg

Fresh peppers mixed with these ingredients are tasty enough that you don’t even need to add a dressing.

About Peppers

A Green Pepper is also referred to as a Bell Pepper or Jon’s head. A green pepper turns colors as it ripens. You can find them in a yellow, orange and red color. As the color changes so does the sweetness of the pepper. Green peppers are less sweeter than yellow and so on. It is also interesting to note that the red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients than the green peppers.

How to Slice a Pepper

Select a firm pepper with a shiny skin without blemishes or wrinkles. Wash the pepper thoroughly before slicing.

There are several different ways that you can use to slice a pepper. Choose the best method that works for you.

Method 1

  • Take a sharp knife and cut off the top and bottom of the pepper.
  • Save the ends and use them for diced peppers.
  • Slice one side of the pepper, then open the pepper and carefully use your knife to remove the seeds and core.
  • Cut the pepper in half and lay flat on a cutting board, then slice the pepper in either long strips (Julienne) or wedge shapes.

Method 2

  • With a sharp knife cut off the top of the pepper.
  • Slice the pepper skin from the top to the bottom to remove the core. (See Video)
  • Cut the pepper into your favorite shape.

Video: How to Slice a Pepper

Peppers should be stored dry, unwashed in the refrigerator.