AdobeStock_81058038Summer just flipped over on the calendar so it’s time to start eating like it.

I’ve curated my favorite summer salads that are easy, healthy, and tastier than anything you’ll find in the bottom of fast food paper bag.

 

 

 

 

  1. Panzanella With Marinated Chickpeas and Chimichurri

chickpea-panzanella-I-howsweeteats(via howsweeteats.com)

You had me at “thick cubes of italian bread”.  And homemade chimichurri?!  It’s too much to ask for, but I’ll take it.  Get the recipe here.

  1. Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

1-Thai-Quinoa-Salad(via The Ambitious Kitchen)

Monique at The Ambitious Kitchen knocked it out of the park with this vegan and gluten-free quinoa-based salad.  It’s hearty, crunchy, and best of all, peanut-buttery with a thai-inspired sauce your friends will talk about for days.

  1. BLT Pasta Salad

BLT-Pasta-Salad2-1(via life-in-the-lofthouse.com)

No summer salad repertoire is complete without a) Ranch Dressing and b) a pasta salad of some description.  Voila!  This BLT Pasta Salad, which can be thrown together in just a few minutes.  Get the recipe here.

  1. Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad

Crunchy-Asian-Ramen-Salad-8(via gimmesomeoven.com)

Here’s a fun twist on the crunchy ramen noodle salad that has appeared at literally every American BBQ since the dawn of time (I’m pretty sure that’s not an exaggeration).

The addition of edamame, avocado, and sliced mango give this classic salad a sweet and creamy twist.  Find the recipe here.

  1. Berry Salad in Honey Mascarpone

Berry-Salad-with-Honey-Mascarpone-03(via carlsbadcravings.com)

I actually hate fruit salad.  It’s usually filled with melon, and let’s be honest here, I always feel cheated when the melon-to-berry ratio is disproportionate.

This berry salad is a dream, though―full of fresh berries and grapes with no honeydew in sight.  The creamy/sweet/tart honey mascarpone adds the perfect balance.  Get the recipe here.

  1. Grilled Watermelon, Feta, and Basil Salad

GrilledWatermelonFetaandBasilSalad(via reciperunner.com)

Apparently grilled watermelon is a thing and it’s magical.  If you haven’t tried it, you need to go, now, and do it.  Fire up the BBQ and make it happen.  Check out the full recipe here.

  1. Southwestern Chicken Salad With Creamy Cilantro Dressing

South-Western-Chicken-Salad-with-Cilantro-dressing-7-of-14(via gimmedelicious.com)

Science has proven that, for a small percentage of the population, cilantro tastes like soap, so I really hope Science is also working on a cure.  I feel bad for people this is true of―cilantro is one of my favorite foods and they are missing out on so much.

Like this recipe, with a creamy cilantro dressing, protein-packed chicken and beans, with a tasty southwestern flair.

  1. Springtime Cobb Salad

spring-cobb-salad-I-howsweeteats(via howsweeteats.com)

I’ll let it slide that this is technically a “spring” salad since it has the luscious addition of crunchy chickpeas―this salad seriously needs to make it into your summer dinner party rotation.

If you’re serving this at a BBQ, try grilling the asparagus, rather than pan frying for a beautifully sweet and smoky flavor.  Find the recipe here.