The 10 Best Summer Picnic Salad Recipes Ever

Salads for Kids
Taste Testers
[Total: 2   Average: 5/5]

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.

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Salad

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Salad
Taste Testers
[Total: 3   Average: 5/5]

One of our favorite quick and easy suppers is a ready-to-eat rotisserie chicken from our local Piggly Wiggly grocery store.  We serve it with a few fresh vegetables for a delicious fun meal. Often this leaves us with some leftover chicken and we have found that creating this awesome salad the next day is a real treat. Use last night’s leftover rotisserie chicken for the main topping on this salad.

Quick and Easy Directions

  • Wash all of the fresh produce ingredients before prepping them.
  • Slice, dice and cut your veggies into bite size pieces.
  • Mix the red cabbage, spinach, leaf lettuce and kale in a large bowl.
  • Place a layer of the mixed greens on the bottom of your salad plate.
  • Next, add a layer of cauliflower. Notice how the white of the cauliflower contrasts against the green.
  • Layer and arrange your other ingredients.
  • Note: Substitute any of these ingredients for what you have in available.
  • The Chicken can also be substituted for leftover Thanksgiving Turkey.

Left Over Rotisserie Chicken Salad IngredientsIngredients

  • Fresh Baby Spinach
  • Fresh leaf lettuce
  • Fresh Kale
  • Red Cabbage
  • Cauliflower Flowerets
  • Fresh Cucumber
  • Fresh Green Onions
  • Tomato
  • Hard Boiled Egg
  • Leftover Rotisserie Chicken
  • Add your favorite nuts and seeds to taste.

Homemade Oil and Vinegar Dressing


Homemade Oil and Vinegar Dressing


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Freshly Ground Black Peppercorn
  • Raw Wild Natural Honey


We use a recycled plastic honey bottle to mix our Vinegar and Oil dressing. It makes a perfect container to pour the dressing evenly on the salad. If you don’t have a special bottle for your dressing you can mix it in a bowl and spoon it over your salad.

Try it Your Own Way

Leftover Chicken Green Salad

Unusual Salad Recipes

Best Vegetable Salads
Taste Testers
[Total: 4   Average: 4.8/5]

This salad is fun and healthful for you to eat. It combines many healthy ingredients and is topped with chia seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds or beans. Follow the steps below and create your own version of this Unusual Salad Recipe.

Step One

Prep your ingredients by washing and slicing them into shapes. Wash the spinach and set out on a towel to dry or use a salad spinner. Arrange your ingredients on a plate. It is best to get everything ready before you begin to build your salad.These ingredients can be prepped ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. You can use either fresh spinach or your favorite leaf lettuce.

Prep Your Veggies


Step Two

Once you have all of your ingredients prepped. Line up your plates and begin to layer your salad. Start with a generous layer of spinach. Spread the salad across the bottom of the plate.Layer Your Salad Ingredients

Step Three

On top of the layer of spinach place evenly a ring of kohlrabi, radish and red pepper. Add your lighter colors first and then accent them with your darker color ingredients.

Creating Beautiful Salads

Step Four

Continue to layer your ingredients. Carefully place your slices in artful arrangements. Notice how these ingredients are placed in a circular pattern evenly spaced. Mix the colors to create beautiful looking salads. Notice how each layer adds more beauty to the salad. Food should be a feast for the eyes and for the stomach.

Unique Salad Creations

Salad IngredientsBest Salad Ingredients Ever

  • Baby Spinach
  • Cucumbers
  • Red Pepper
  • Carrot Slices
  • Kohlrabi
  • Tomato Wedges
  • Red Cabbage
  • Boiled Egg
  • Radish

Unique Salad ToppingsUnique Salad Toppings

Besides just adding a dressing you can dress up your salad with different kinds of seeds and nuts. We added Chia Seeds and Thousand Island Dressing to one Salad and the other Salad was topped with Chia Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Cashews and Cooked Beans.


Thousand Island Dressing IngredientsQuick and Easy Thousand Island Dressing

  • 3  T of mayo per boiled egg
  • 1 1/2 T Ketchup
  • 1/2 T Sweet Relish
  • Dice the egg
  • Add Salt and Pepper to Taste.
  • Mix all together.
  • Makes one or two servings.

Substitute your favorite brands of Relish, Ketchup and Salad Dressing.

Video: Get the Scope on Chia Seeds

Have you heard the buzz about Chia Seeds – Nature’s Superfood. In this video Nutritionist Ashley Koff explains how the Chia Seed is grown and what it can do for you. Learn about the different kinds available and the nutrition value. Chia seeds provide a lot of fiber and helps you to feel full. It makes a great topping for your salads. Ashley talks about how she carries Chia Shots when she travels and adds them to her salads. Notice how unique the salad pictured above looks when the Chia Seeds have been added.


Best Spinach Salad Recipe Ever

Best Spinach Salad Recipe Ever
Taste Testers
[Total: 3   Average: 3.7/5]

Salads make great gifts to give to your friends and family. This Spinach Salad seems to have a little bit of everything in it – making it a nutritious powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. The salad can be made ahead of time and kept fresh in the refrigerator for several hours.

These salads were made to give to our children who were in the processing of moving to a new home. Our goal was to provide a nutritious easy to eat meal – something that they could eat on the run. We used paper plates for the dishes and wrapped them in plastic wrap so cleanup was quick and easy.

Step One

Start by washing the spinach and cutting all the ingredients in different shapes. This can be done ahead of time. The ingredients will stay fresh for several days if placed in an air tight container and refrigerated.Salad Ingredients Prepped ahead of time.

Step Two

Place a healthy layer of spinach evenly on the dinner plate. If you are making more than one salad – line up your plates in a row and work each layer at the same time. The Spinach can be substituted for any other leaf lettuce.First Layer a Plate of Spinach


Step Three

Sprinkle a layer of cut red cabbage on top of the spinach. Notice how beautiful the purple color of the cabbage looks on top of the green spinach. Red cabbage is one of my favorite accent colors on a salad. Red Cabbage on Spinach


Step Four

Spread a layer of thinly sliced radish slices evenly on the salad. The radishes add a nice spicy flavor to the salad.Layer of Radishes on Spinach


Step Five

Add some colorful orange carrot slices and kohlrabi slices cut into wedge shapes. The carrot and kohlrabi add a crunchy texture to this Spinach Salad.Carrot and Kohlrabi Layer


Step Six

Add three red pepper rings and the chunks of fresh cucumber. During the summer it is easy to find Red Peppers. The red peppers are a little sweeter than the green peppers and the vibrant red pops on the salad.Layer of Red Pepper on Spinach Salad


Step Seven

Distribute the fresh tomato wedges inside the red peppers and in the spaces outside of the red pepper. Summer tomatoes are always red, juicy and full of flavor.Layer of Tomatoes on Spinach Salad


Step Eight

To add some more color,sprinkle a layer of red cabbage on top of the salad. Notice how beautiful all of these colors and shapes look.Layer of Red Cabbage on Top of Salad


Step Nine

Cut a hard-boiled egg into quarters.  (Length-wise). This makes the egg into a wedge shape. Place the egg wedges in an even pattern on top of the salad.Slicing a Hard Boiled Egg


Step Ten

Top with your favorite dressing and enjoy. Two of these salads we were giving as a gift so we simply wrapped them in plastic wrap and they were ready to go. A nice treat for the kids after a long day of packing and moving.

To make a quick and easy delicious Thousand Island Dressing, mix in a small bowl about 1/4 cup salad dressing, a squeeze of ketchup and a squeeze of sweet relish. Taste and adjust the amounts as needed. Add a dash of salt or black pepper to taste. Take a fork and gently mash the hard boiled egg and then mix it all  the ingredients together. This amount should be enough for two servings.

It is OK to mix up and change your ingredients each time you make a dressing. That way the dressing is never boring and always has a little different flavor. Be creative and make your own salad recipe.



Home Made Thousand Island Dressing


Spinach Salad IngredientsSalad Ingredients

  • Spinach
  • Red Cabbage
  • Red Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Kohlrabi
  • Cucumbers
  • Red Pepper
  • Tomatoes
  • Hard Boiled Egg


Video: Learn How to Wash and Prepare Spinach