When the weather cools, and the leaves begin to change, it doesn’t mean we have to abandon our picnic ambitions. Also, the cooler weather certainly doesn’t mean we have to scratch salads from our fall picnic menus.
No matter the season, salad is always an easy picnic food, especially when we talk about robust, make-ahead salads.
From Harvest Salad recipes to fall quinoa salads and healthy vegan slaws, we've rounded up some of the best autumn salads for your next alfresco spread.
Whether you're packing the picnic backpack with fall-inspired picnic sandwiches for a picnic in the great outdoors. Or, planning an alfresco holiday get-together with friends and family, these fall salads celebrate the spoils of the harvest and make a healthy addition to any fall picnic.
Nothing says fall salad more than a roast pumpkin salad with walnuts. With only a few ingredients, this delicious roast pumpkin salad with quinoa is bursting with the flavours of the Mediterranean and the Middle East and is so easy to make.
While available all year round, autumn heralds the peak of broccoli season so what better time to incorporate this nutritious and delicious veg into your picnic salads.
There's also nothing better than a roast potato to warm the soul, even when served cold. Team these pair for a delicious no mayo picnic potato salad.
Easy to make, this roast potato and broccoli salad with roast garlic dressing is a great make-ahead salad that gets better with age.
Serve as the central dish at a fall picnic, as a side to roasted or bbq meats or with antipasto ingredients such as grilled peppers, slow-roasted tomatoes and dips such as a delicious and on point smoked pumpkin hummus.
Chicken salad is one of those underrated salads that often gets left behind in the wake of leafy superfoods, pulses, and grains.
The beauty of chicken salad is it is so easy to make, can be used in a variety of different ways - also think wrap or sandwich filling, and it can be adapted to match the season.
Using Greek yoghurt for the dressing makes a healthy change from mayonnaise and cranberries, apples and pecans not only give the salad great texture, but they also add a delicious fall profile to the salad.
Fall really is the time you should be enjoying pecans. It's when they are truly at their best, especially in a salad. What makes this roast pumpkin-based salad with sweet bursts of pomegranate different is not just the sweet and salty toasted pecans that give it incredible crunch.
Using kale as the foundation makes it a fantastic make-ahead salad, cause kale loves a good soak in a citrusy vinaigrette. But also the addition of salty bacon bits give it an extra burst of flavour that will make this salad a fall favourite.
So easy to make, this salad is a real crowd-pleaser. Using only a few quality ingredients is what makes this salad so good, full of bold flavours and crunch. Often, it is in the simplicity of a dish where the magic happens.
Bacon, blue cheese, and pecans on robust baby spinach finished with an easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing – it's as simple as that. Perfect as a main picnic dish or as a side, this delicious salad will hold it's own at a fall picnic bbq or a fancy fall garden party.
The stand out with this gorgeous picnic salad is not so much about the vegetables you use but the fresh and zesty tahini spin on a traditional coleslaw dressing.
Embrace the season with this coleslaw as long as you opt for bright and robust veg and fall is the perfect season for such veg. Think bright peppers, beets, carrots, apples and cabbage with a finish of fresh cilantro.
A versatile salad, this fall-inspired slaw also works well as a wrap or sandwich filler or a fresh finish to pulled pork.
Sweet, tart, crunchy and packed with protein, this apple salad is a celebration of the harvest season. While taking its cue from the Waldorf Salad, this salad steers away from a creamy dressing and instead lets apple and pomegranate balsamic vinegar's compliment the sweetness of the apples.
The sweetness of this fall salad lends itself to both sweet and savoury. Serve it as a stand-alone brunch picnic salad with yoghurt or let the sweetness bring out the best in a savoury dish such any bbq pork picnic fare.
Who doesn't love coleslaw and there's rarely a time of year it's not a welcome picnic addition. The healthy oil-free dressing is what really sets this coleslaw recipe apart.
None of the fat and cholesterol of mayonnaise but with a creamy finish, this vegan coleslaw makes a perfect side dish option for picnics, cookouts and potlucks. Best of all, you can whip it up in less than 15 minutes.
A hearty harvest salad recipe brimming with greens, grains, protein, and best of all healthy fats.
A beautiful fall as colourful as the season itself, this salad made with greens, apples, dried cranberries, roasted pecans and couscous all drizzled in an apple vinaigrette, can be made in under 20 minutes.
While Israeli couscous makes the salad substantial enough to stand alone (maybe with a side of crunchy bread) you can also add chicken to make a complete meal of it.
We often think of summer when we think tomato salad but this fresh tomato salad can be enjoyed year-round. Whether using grape, cherry or Roma tomatoes pairing juicy tomatoes with a simple marinade makes for an enjoyable dish.
The beauty of this salad is the versatility of it. You can serve it bruschetta style with crusty baguette (you're going to want to soak up all those beautiful marinade juices), as a side salad or as part of a mezze style platter.
You won't find a more seasonal fall salad than the Waldorf Salad which brings together late summer and early autumn flavours.
For a healthy alternative to the classic creamy dressing, this vegan take on the classic Waldorf salad uses a deliciously creamy apple cider vinegar dressing instead of mayonnaise for a lighter and fresher version.
Because eating seasonal is always best, this vegan Waldorf is a fabulously healthy salad for any fall picnic menu.
Hats off to the make-ahead salad. Asparagus makes a very forgiving salad foundation especially when paired with olives, tomatoes, a hint of blue cheese and the freshness of lemon.
A great bbq companion, this salad also makes a great side to Charcuterie boards as it compliments strong cheeses and cured meats. It's also the perfect salad from stong smoked fish such as smoked salmon.
Lightly blanched asparagus will do well with a soak in vinaigrette so it can be made well in advance of your picnic or bbq.
Tangy lentil salad with sun-dried tomatoes and green onions has vibrancy and bite. Protein-packed lentils make it satiating, while red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard give it a punch of flavour.
Light but filling, this salad can be adapted to so many other picnic dishes. Fill a pita or flatbread and heap on some hummus. Scoop it into lettuce cups or load it in the bottom of a Mason Jar salad and top with fresh veg.
Another great make-ahead salad, this fall salad will keep in the fridge for about a week so you can make a batch and use it throughout the week with so many dishes beyond your picnic.
They say make hay when the sun shines. We say make pesto while the basil grows.
Channel the last bits of summer with this Roasted Summer Pasta Salad with Homemade Pesto. Much like bean salads, pasta salads make great picnic fare all years round as pasta is a pantry staple and there is so much you can do with it.
The beauty of this dish as a fall salad is you have glorious roasted vegetables such as roasted vine tomatoes which impart extra flavour and work well served as a warm salad should you feel the desire to picnic on a cold day.
Dressed in a delicious walnut parmesan pesto, this pasta salad is food for the soul.
What about a fall-inspired fruit salad? Try this Fall harvest fruit salad with apples, walnuts, grapes, and homemade coconut whipped cream. Paleo and vegan-friendly, it makes a great side dish or even a sweet finish to all your fall picnics.
Want a sweeter version of a creamy fall apple fruit salad but with fewer calories. This creamy apply fruit salad with creamy peanut butter inspired dressing makes a great picnic snack or dessert without the guilt.