3 Simple Summer Salad Recipes


Ahhhhhhh, sweet summertime! Bring on the sunshine, long daylight hours, extended time with family and friends, and lots of great food! Here are three summer salads to add to your recipe arsenal for that next family picnic or barbecue.

3 Simple Summer Salad Recipes 1 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

Classic Pasta Salad

3 Simple Summer Salad Recipes 2 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

A classic Italian dressed pasta salad may just be the perfect summer side dish. Packed full of crunchy veggies, cold noodles, and tangy dressing, this salad keeps well and is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Not to mention, it’s hard to mess up! Feel free to add your favorite veggies or whatever you have on hand to create your own custom creation.

  • 16 ounces of pasta noodles (we like using a combination of tri-color rotini and penne, but you can use whatever shape you please!)
  • 4 cups of chopped veggies of your choice (we recommend cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, celery, broccoli, and radish)
  • 1/4 cup of diced green onion
  • 1 cup of cubed cheese (consider slicing mozzarella cheese sticks for the perfect bite size pieces!)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of sliced and diced salami, pepperoni, or turkey (feel free to omit for vegetarian version)
  • 2/3 cup of sliced olives of your choice (try black, green, or Greek!)
  • 1 1/2 cups (or to taste) of Italian Salad Dressing of your choice (we recommend Newman’s Own Family Recipe Italian Dressing)

Note: This recipe will serve approximately 10 people. You can easily cut it in half if need be.

How To:

1. Cook noodles according to package directions, strain, and then let cool in the fridge (or run under cold water).

2. Once noodles are cool, add in all of the other ingredients and mix well.

3. If preparing a day in advance, conserve about 1/2 cup of the salad dressing to add in right before serving. The noodles tend to suck up the dressing that was previously added.

Sundried Tomato & Mushroom Quinoa Salad

3 Simple Summer Salad Recipes 3 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, you are missing out! This grain has recently gained immense popularity for it’s high nutritive value, packing in antioxidants and a good dose of protein. This fresh and tangy quinoa salad is perfect to eat as a meal by itself or serve alongside your favorite main dishes.

  • 2 cups dry quinoa (rinsed thoroughly)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock
  • 1 small bag (3 oz.) of sundried tomatoes
  • 8-10 diced medium sized crimini mushrooms (or whatever type you like)
  • 1/2 cup minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup of diced green onion
  • 1/4 cup of fresh minced cilantro
  • 1/4 cup of fresh minced basil
  • 3 small lemons (zest & juice)
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
How To:

1. Bring stock to boil, add quinoa, reduce to simmer, cover & cook for 20 minutes. Set aside.

2. Heat a splash of olive oil in a skillet. Add garlic, green onion, mushrooms & sundried tomatoes. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Add cooked veggies and quinoa together in a large bowl. Mix in basil, cilantro, lemon juice & zest, and add salt & pepper to taste.

4. You can eat while it is still slightly warm or stick it in the fridge and serve chilled. This salad is delicious at any temp!

Pea Salad

3 Simple Summer Salad Recipes 4 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

This creamy and refreshing summer salad packs the perfect combination of sweetness, crunch, and zest. Serve this alongside a smoky piece of grilled meat and you will not be disappointed!

  • 16 ounce bag of frozen sweet peas
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh sugar snap peas
  • 4 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1/4 of a large red onion, diced
  • 2 tsp fresh minced dill
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
How To:

1. Thaw frozen peas overnight in fridge.

2. Mix together peas, crumbled bacon, onion, and dill in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together sour cream, mayo, sugar, and salt and pepper.

4. Add sour cream dressing to the pea mixture and incorporate well.

5. Chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before serving to develop the best flavor. Enjoy!

Product Recommendation

For mixing, storing, and serving your summer salads, we highly recommend Pyrex Mixing Bowls. This set includes 8 glass bowls in various sizes with lids!

Photo Credit: Dreams To Do



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Ariel is a working mom of two (expecting baby #3 next July!) who is married to her high school sweetheart. When she isn’t at the office or playing with her young kiddos, you can find her writing on her personal blog, Dreams To Do. Ariel is a lover of inspirational words, photography, coffee, reality TV, and of course, her family. You can connect with Ariel on Twitter and Facebook.

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