The 10 Best Summer Picnic Salad Recipes Ever

Salads for Kids
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[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.

Spooky Halloween Salad Recipes

Best Halloween Salad
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[Total: 5   Average: 4.2/5]

 

Serve this salad for Halloween lunch before the kids go Trick or Treating. Ask your children to help you make this salad and share this fun Halloween story with them. Use your imagination to enhance the story.

This Spooky Halloween Salad Recipe is made by adding a scoop of cottage cheese on top of a bed of greens, mixed with a few raw vegetables. This nutritious lunch will give your little trick or treaters the energy they need to participate in the holiday festivities.

Here is a little story that you can tell while making your salad.  

Step1

Start with a Layer of Greens

First Layer a Plate of SpinachOnce upon a time there was a Kingdom of lush green leaves that covered the land. They were magical salad greens. When the children ate the greens they were transformed into unusual characters. Some became Superheroes such as Spider Man, Super Man, Bat Man and Wonder Woman. Others became a Princess, Elsa or the Lil Mermaid. A few became Ghosts and Scary Witches.

The children had fun becoming someone else for the day.

Step 2

Add a Scoop of Cottage Cheese

Scary figures began to appear in the neighborhood. There were ghosts, goblins, Jack-o-Lanterns and Witches hanging out in people’s yards. Everywhere you looked you saw evidence that something special was about to happen.

At first the ghosts didn’t have any eyes or mouths and they were bumping into everything scaring the little children.

Step 3

Make a Ghost Face

Add some carrot chips to your ghost so that they can see. Now add a big smile to make them friendly. Just for fun add an olive for the nose.

Ghosts are not scary when they are wearing a big smile.

Halloween Salads

 

Step 4

Sprinkle a Layer of Fall Colors


Spooky Halloween Recipe IngredientsAs you look outside, you will see that the leaves on the trees have changed their colors. The green leaves are turning red, yellow and bright orange.

Sprinkle some color on your salad. Add some red & yellow pepper with bits of red cabbage. Red peppers add a sweet flavor to the salad.

Step 5

Sprinkle on Some Snow

Parmesan Cheese Salad IngredientWinter is about to arrive. Outside the squirrels are busy finding acorns on the ground. Watch them closely as they bury these nuts in the fallen leaves. Squirrel away a few nuts in your salad.

Soon the snow will be falling and covering the ground. Add some snowflakes to your salad.  Cheese graters are sharp so be careful and safe.

Step 6 

Enjoy Your Salad before Your Treats

Now that you have your lunch ready to eat, enjoy the colors and the flavors. Eating this salad will give you plenty of energy to visit the neighbors. As you go Trick or Treating notice the magical world around you. Do you see the ghosts and goblins? Have the leaves on the trees turned colors? And most of all, can you find any squirrels hiding their nuts before winter comes?

 Don’t forget to share your Halloween Treats with those you love.


Happy Halloween Salad IngredientsIngredients for Halloween Salad

  • Romaine Lettuce or Other Greens
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Red Cabbage
  • Red & Yellow Pepper
  • Kohlrabi
  • Radish
  • Tomato
  • Egg
  • Cucumber
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Optional Nuts
  • Optional Olives
  • Favorite Dressing

This salad is low in calories and high in nutrients.The perfect treat for little ones.

 

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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
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[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
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[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

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.

Recipe:

  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.

Best Fruit Salad Recipe Ever

Best Fruit Salads Ever
Taste Testers
[Total: 5   Average: 3.8/5]

Fruit salads are great to eat for breakfast, mid-morning snack or as a light nutritious desert. One of the best fruit salads ever combines several colorful fruits layered on a bed of spinach or lettuce. The contrast color and textures of red strawberries, blueberry and green spinach is one of nature’s beautiful creations.

This salad has a serving of low-fat cottage cheese in the center. There is no need to add salad dressing. The cottage cheese adds just the right amount of flavor and moisture which makes a great substitute for dressing.

If you plan to make this salad for a bag lunch than keep the cottage cheese in a separate container until you are ready to serve it. I like to take this lunch to work and eat it outside on a warm summer day. It feels relaxing to eat and provides energy for the rest of the day.

Purchase your fruit and vegetables from your local farmer’s market because seasonal produce adds extra flavor.

To get the most flavor from your fruits and vegetables purchase them from your local farmer’s market.


IngredientsBest Fruit Salad Ever

  • Baby Spinach
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Fresh Pineapple
  • Frozen Blueberries
  • Cottage Cheese

 

 

Video: Best Fruit Salad Recipes Ever

Just layer your favorite fruits on a bed of greens and enjoy.

Best Summer Salads Ever

Green Salad Recipes
Taste Testers
[Total: 2   Average: 3/5]

One of the joys of summer is being able to pick produce from our gardens and serve a bountiful meal to our family. This salad has fresh tomato, fresh strawberry on a layer spinach. The colorful reds, greens, orange, purple and white show natures true beauty. The cottage cheese makes a great dressing and adds a little protein, along with the egg and nuts. Vitamins and minerals make a powerful meal.

Ingredients

best_summer-Salads_ever_strawberries1
Ingredients for Summer Salads
  • Fresh Tomato
  • Fresh Strawberry
  • Fresh Radish
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Fresh Green Onion
  • Fresh Carrots
  • Fresh Red Cabbage
  • Pecans
  • Cashews
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Lowfat Cottage Cheese
  • Hard Boiled Egg

Tips for Storing Strawberries

  • Do not wash the strawberries until you are ready to eat them.
  • If storing for more than a day the refrigerator is the best place to store your strawberries.
  • Store on a flat plate or shallow bowl on a layer of paper towels and cover.
  • If you will not be using the strawberries within a few days then you should freeze them.