No-Cook Salads For When It's Too Hot To Turn On The Oven
Because sometimes, cooking with heat is simply out of the question.
Published Jun 26, 2017 9:00 PM
There’s nothing quite like a summer salad that takes the season’s freshest veggies and fruits and brings them together for a revitalizing meal. When the thought of adding heat into the kitchen at the end of a long, sun-filled day is less than appetizing, look no further than these delicious and varied offerings. Whether you serve up several of these to make a heartier spread or just one to accompany your favorite protein, you’ll find flavors that satisfy every food craving and that make quick work of this week’s CSA box.
The iconic purple salad at Tartine in San Francisco is every bit as delicious as it is Instagrammable. Featuring a medley of fruits and vegetables, you can serve this dish either as a light dinner or as a side dish.
[Originally published June 7, 2016; updated on June 26, 2017]
This simple and colorful melon ball salad mixes sweet and savory for the perfect refreshing summer dish.
Berry Feta Spinach Salad With Creamy Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing
Healthy and filling: two words we love to describe our salads. Bursting with fruit, this salad by Carlsbad Cravings is served with a hearty helping of spinach and some crumbled cheese to give it a little more substance.
Tropical Fruit Salad
At least one person is guaranteed to ask “What is that?” when you serve this gorgeous-hued dish with dragonfruit (aka pitaya). Matched with fruity favorites like mango, kiwi, and blueberries, this salad by Eat To Thrive is a playful and light dish or dessert.
Watermelon Radish, Orange, and Goat Cheese Salad
Watermelon radishes are a completely underused vegetable considering how stunning they are. This salad by Alexandra’s Kitchen makes good use of their pink-hued and green-tipped appeal. The vibrant orange complements the radish’s bitterness and color.
Grilled Peach Salad With Maple Bourbon Dressing
Hello gorgeous! We’d paint this salad beauty if she didn’t sound so delicious: grilled peaches, arugula, berries, red onions, and gorgonzola on top of a bed of farro. Drizzled with maple bourbon dressing, this salad by Taste With The Eyes is seriously speaking to us—as in “Come eat me NOW!”
Mason Jar Greek Salad
If you’ve been trying to avoid the salad mason jar trend, now is the time to wave the white flag of surrender and give this Greek version by blogger Reeni Pisano a try. Loaded with light and leafy greens on top, you can dig down for the feta, red onions, olives, and other goodies chilling and marinating on the bottom-or dump it all into a bowl and mix together for a blend of deliciousness.
Tomato Mozzarella Salad With Balsamic Reduction
Caprese salads always go over well. While this dish by blogger Little Broken requires minimal culinary skill, it does depend on quality ingredients, so pick the best and freshest basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes you can find. Nab a baguette or some crusty bread and dinner is served.
Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad
We love that Hapa Nom Nom’s nicoise version gilds the lily by adding a sesame seed crust to seared Ahi tuna. Almost all of the other ingredients can be prepped beforehand, so you can pull together a healthy and protein-filled meal in minutes when you are ready to eat. For a no-cook version, pick up some high quality canned tuna.
Roasted Beet, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Salad
We cheated a bit on this one: The beets do need to be roasted, but you can make them ahead of time when the heat isn’t too oppressive or wrap them in foil and add them to the grill instead. The beets, fresh goat cheese, chopped nuts, and spinach used in this dish by Recipe Runner are a salad standby —we might try topping this one with a light citrus-y vinaigrette in lieu of one that is balsamic-based to make it more summery.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Foodie Crush’s Mediterranean quinoa salad takes all the favorite Greek flavors like feta, roasted peppers, and olives, and combines them with peppery salad greens and protein-packed quinoa for a tasty dinner that will also make for delicious leftovers.
Blackened Shrimp, Asparagus, and Avocado Salad With Lemon Pepper Yogurt Dressing
In addition to looking gorgeous, this entrée salad by Cafe Delites features of-the-moment and flavorful seasonal ingredients like asparagus and basil. It’s also super quick-about 10 minutes to make (including cooking the shrimp, if you can brave the stovetop) making it ideal for those evenings when meal planning takes a backseat to a post-work run or drinks with friends.
Macedonian Chopped Salad With Tomato, Feta, Cucumber
Bring this chopped salad (known as shopska salata)to your next potluck or picnic and watch it disappear. Salty feta gets balanced by hydrating cucumber and flavorful tomatoes. We could eat this dish by Diethood by the bowlful.
Shaved Carrot Salad With Pistachio and Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Shaving carrots instead of chopping them into rounds or julienning them completely changes their texture as well as their appearance. While they aren’t meant to fool anyone into thinking they are noodles, the raw carrots soak up this exotic-sounding, yet easy pomegranate vinaigrette. Chopped pistachios add a toothsome bite to this yummy salad by Feasting At Home.
Mandarin Pasta and Spinach Salad With Teriyaki Dressing
Perfect for kid-friendly affairs, this pasta salad by Creme de la Crumb will get snatched up. The bow-tie pasta is ideal for grabbing on to the teriyaki dressing; the colors of the mandarin oranges and spinach contrast beautifully. Extra tang comes from cranberries while pine nuts give a nutty flavor nuance. (Yes, pasta does need to be cooked, but you can make a big pot in advance and keep it in the fridge to use throughout the week.)
Apple Cranberry Pecan
The flavors may trend a little toward fall with crisp apple slices and tangy cranberries, but we crave this nutty and nourishing salad by Damn Delicious all year long.
Israeli salads are often made from red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, but Feasting At Home’s version stands out because of how finely diced the ingredients are. In addition to eating it as an appetizer, we’d use it like a salsa and serve it with hummus and pita or use it to top fresh grilled fish. Lots of herbs add to the heavenly scent and flavor.
Melon Fruit Salad With Honey, Lime, and Mint Dressing
We feel more hydrated just looking at this luscious melon-filled salad by Cooking Classy. Topped with a light honey, lime, and mint dressing, we are looking forward to consuming bowls of this after a hot day on the beach.
Zucchini and Fresh Corn Salad
Zucchini and yellow squash take the place of pappardelle in this seasonal and simple dish by Foodie Crush. Crumbled cheese, sprinkled fresh herbs, corn just off the cob make the salad taste like summer in a bowl.
Grilled Vegetable Panzanella
Panzanella, an Italian bread salad, can stand up to strong flavors, so feel free to riff on this recipe by Joyful Healthy Eats and include any of your favorite grilled vegetables. The tasty chunks of grilled bread make the salad a welcome treat for kids and adults alike.
Southwest Pasta Salad With Chipotle-Lime Greek Yogurt Dressing
We had to include a pasta salad into the mix for picnic and party-goers. This southwestern version by Ambitious Kitchen includes corn, black beans, red peppers, and avocado and gives it a fresh, light twist by coating it with a spicy, tangy dressing made with Greek yogurt.
No Noodle Pad Thai Salad
Oh pad thai-how we love thee! Cookie And Kate’s version is definitely lightened up, featuring daikon, carrots, bean sprouts in lieu of rice noodles. Between the crunchy veggies, yummy peanut sauce, and easy-to-prepare tofu recipe to top the salad, this alternative pad thai may even become your preferred style for sweltering summer days.
Chili Lime Salmon Fajita Salad With Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
When you are feeling like you’ve been hitting the repeat button with regards to your salads and your proteins, awaken your tastebuds with Half Bake Harvest’s salmon fajita salad. Rubbed with spices, the salmon gets quickly cooked and served with a bounty of fresh veggies.
Grilled Romaine Salad
If you’re one of the many people who never knew that you could grill romaine lettuce, here’s your opportunity to give it a go. Floating Kitchen’s recipe then fills the lettuce “boats” with the winning combo of corn, avocado, and basil; we’d also try it with tomatoes, basil, and olives for an Italian twist.
Seven Layer Salad With Creamy Salsa Vinaigrette
We can’t decide what we love best about this salad: the rainbow effect, the abundance of fresh veggies combined with a protein punch from the black beans, the admiring looks we’re going to get when we serve this at gatherings all summer long. In any case, there are plenty of reasons to give this sunny salad by Soup Addict a spin.
Tahini and Soba Noodle Salad
Soba noodle salads are a healthy alternative to those made with white pasta (and if you use 100% buckwheat noodles, they are also gluten-free). This one by The Full Helping adds edamame, carrots, cilantro, and a delectable tahini dressing and is an ideal summer meal that you can serve chilled or at room temp. Make a big batch ahead of time for busy weeks; take-out won’t stand on chance when this salad is at your reach.
Crunchy Taco Kale Salad
Jessica Merchant’s kale salad is absolutely bursting with color, flavor, and freshness. Jalapenos add some heat, tortilla strips give crunch, and a creamy, cooling avocado, Greek yogurt, and lime dressing ties all the flavors and textures together.
White Bean Kale Salad With Tahini Dressing
This is what we imagine we’d eat while dining with an healthy, wealthy contessa in Italy (with the ingredients picked from her expansive garden, naturally). While we wait on that invite, we’ll still be making this filling and delicious salad from Minimalist Baker.
Asian Broccoli Salad With Peanut Sauce
This dish will satisfy your craving for Chinese take-out while forgoing the inevitable MSG and salt hangover. Gimme Some Oven’s creation features lots of fresh chopped broccoli and peanuts with a savory, spoon-licking-good sauce.
Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
Brussels sprouts often get baked or sautéed into oblivion; this salad by Kelly Senyei keeps it simple by shredding these veggies (as well as kale) and adding a refreshing and light lemon dressing.