Summer, picnics and salads seem to go hand in hand and without a doubt, our thoughts turn to summer salad staples such as coleslaw, pasta and potato salad.
However, there is a whole world of salads beyond the old favourites. There are even some exciting ways to breathe new life into the creamy three.
If it’s a summer beach picnic or family bbq picnic in the park, you can’t go wrong with these picnic salads for hot weather.
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Summer Picnic Salads
Whether its a summer vegan salad, something fresh, something fancy or a robust salad mix to feed a crowd. We've even got elegant salads perfect for a romantic picnic date.
There's no reason why your summer picnic salads can't be the belle of the picnic basket this season with these great summer salad ideas.
Smoked Duck, Fig & Grilled Pear Salad
Light and delicious, this elegant duck, fig and grilled pear salad will make a statement at any summer picnic spread.
Tender slices of smoked duck breast with sweet figs and sticky grilled pears topped with salty goats cheese. A simple yet classy salad that is easy to pre-prepare and pull together last minute. An excellent make-ahead picnic salad that will be sure to impress.
We even give you the know-how on how to smoke a perfect duck breast and delicious variations for those who don't fancy duck.
Summer Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Summer is the time for zucchini's, so why not make the most of them at their freshest.
Raw zucchini ribbons marinated in a zesty vinaigrette with nuts, salty cheese - vegan or regular, and crunch corn and walnuts. A perfect make-ahead summer salad that won't wilt under pressure.
Herbed Couscous Salad with Tofu
Full of fresh summer flavours, this Mediterranean inspired couscous salad with tofu is so easy to prepare and has boundless variation possibilities. Switch fresh herbs to suit the style, add olives or roasted red peppers for more Mediterranian flare or change your veg to suit the season.
Asian Coleslaw Recipe
Fresh, zesty and colourful, this easy to make crunchy Asian coleslaw recipe can add so much versatility to your picnic backpack or basket. It can be made well in advance and keeps well.
Served it as a light and fresh side or add shredded chicken or pork to make it the picnic main. Add it to summer sandwiches, wraps or burgers for an Asian twist or team it with fresh rice paper rolls for an Asian inspired picnic.
Creamy Crunchy Coleslaw Recipe
Prefer a creamy coleslaw? This crunchy coleslaw recipe ticks a lot of boxes. A great make-ahead salad (it gets better with time), this creamy coleslaw is loaded with seeds and nuts, making it a substantial and nutritious main salad dish served with sides. You can also load this onto wraps, sandwiches or burgers for a deliciously crunchy salad alternative
Perfect for a vegetarian picnic menu.
Quinoa Beet Salad with Dill & Mustard Seed
Simple to make, this quinoa beet salad works well as a main salad or as a side dish. Crunchy carrot, vibrant greens, and aromatic herbs, this fresh, colourful salad will lend itself to so many picnic menu ideas. Switch the ingredients out to suit your taste or style or even what ingredients you have on hand. Beetroot is very forgiving like that.
The beauty of this beetroot salad recipe is the simplicity of it, and as we say in our picnic tips – simplicity is key to perfect picnics.
Chickpea & Arugula Pasta Salad
Bursting with ripe summer tomatoes and fresh arugula, this chickpea pasta salad is the perfect summer make-ahead picnic salad.
A great alternative to creamy pasta salads, which is perfect for summer, this pasta salad can be made even the day before and will only get better with time. Substantial enough to serve as a main or as a hearty side.
Broccoli Potato Salad Recipe With Roast Garlic Vinaigrette
While a creamy mayo potato salad might be a picnic and bbq staple, much like pasta salad, the potato salad has so many variations.
Breathe new life into the picnic potato salad with potatoes roasted in their skins, combined with crisp sautéed greens and the freshness of a zesty vinaigrette dressing bursting with the full flavour of slow-roasted garlic.
Finish with a crumble of salty feta or goats cheese and some toasted nuts of your choice.
Creamy Pesto Potato Salad
Love a more traditional creamy potato salad? This Pesto Potato Salad is bursting with fresh summer flavours of basil and is quick and easy to make.
Cauliflower Salad Recipe
Like a creamy salad but don't want the carbs of pasta or potato? This Creamy cauliflower salad with tasty sundried tomatoes hits the mark every time. Easy to make and holds well for a few days, it's a great make-ahead summer salad and is a perfect option for a low carb or keto picnic menu.
11 Delicious Picnic Pasta Salad Ideas
Pasta salad is such a summer picnic staple we dedicated an entire list to it. With so many fantastic pasta salad ideas around, it’s not surprising it is the go-to picnic salad of choice. We've got everyone's favourite creamy pasta salads, classic Italian flavours to tuna macaroni, chicken and vegan varieties.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to great pasta salads which is why you'll find plenty of inspiration to jazz up your pasta salad repertoire here.
Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad with Feta & Walnuts
While readily available all year round, beets are at their best in summer, so why not put them to work.
Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad is such a fabulous side dish or main meal and so easy to make. This salad is especially great as you can have all the components ready to go. It literally takes minutes to put it together – A perfect make-ahead salad, especially for picnics.
Kale Slaw (With A Creamy Lemon Garlic Dressing)
For a delicious variation and nutrient-dense take on traditional coleslaw, kale slaw is the answer.
With much of the same ingredients of a traditional coleslaw, kale takes up much of the heavy lifting previously done by cabbage and yoghurt steps in to ease some of the unhealthy burdens of mayo.
What you are left with is a deliciously creamy and crunchy coleslaw that doesn't just add some variety to your salad life, it's also better for you.
Zucchini Tomato Basil Salad (with Lemon Vinaigrette)
When the summer months are exploding with tomatoes, basil, and zucchini, this take on a Caprese is a gorgeously light and breezy summer salad.
A fresh and colourful Zucchini Tomato Basil Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette reminds us; sometimes less is more. Keeping it simple using the seasons produce can often reap the greatest rewards.
Giant Couscous, Tomato & Rocket Salad
Fresh, light and summery, this Giant Couscous, Tomato & Rocket Salad gives a fresh summer salad a little more oomph. When you want a little more substance in your salad without the bulk, couscous is a wonderful salad helper.
Throw in fresh tomatoes and rocket dressed with Mediterranean flair and you have a summer salad winner. So easy, so delicious. And while it looks to be a delicate salad, it will hold well in the fridge for a day or two without becoming sad.
Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad
Crunchy almonds paired with the slight sweetness from dried cranberries put a new spin on the traditional chicken salad. Have it on its own or put it in a sandwich or wrap; either way, this chicken salad is a summer standout.
You can use baked, poached or rotisserie chicken and the beauty of this salad; you can make it well in advance and even with the cranberries, it's still keto-friendly with only five net carbs per serving.
Jayme's Summer Vegetable Salad (Whole30)
There is a lot to be said for the simplicity of a bright, fresh summer vegetable salad. As we know; sometimes, less is more when it comes to flavour, and summer is a great time to celebrate delicious summer veggies.
Avocado, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper in a super simple dressing, this has to be the easiest summer salad in your picnic arsenal.
Paleo Strawberry Spinach Salad with Rotisserie Chicken in a Mason Jar
Pack summer into a very portable mason jar with this delicious Paleo Strawberry Spinach Salad with Walnuts and Rotisserie Chicken.
It is so easy to make, and by using mason jars, you can make individual salads which are very picnic portable. Put a whole new summer spin on the chicken salad with blueberries and a strawberry vinaigrette.
It’s also gluten-free and Whole 30 friendly, so a very unguilty pleasure.
Vegan Mexican Corn Salad
Light, refreshing and so full of flavour, this Mexican corn salad is a cinch to whip up and the perfect summer picnic dish. A fabulous dish for a picnic with a Mexican theme.
The corn is charred on the grill to give the salad a lovely hint of smoke, tossed together with a creamy and citrusy dressing and topped with vegan feta cheese.
Avocado, Black Bean & Corn Salad w/ Cilantro Lime Dressing
For a simple and delicious addition to your summer salad rotation, try this Avocado Black Bean Corn Salad in a zesty cilantro lime dressing. It's quick and easy and adds a fresh and colourful dish to your picnic spread.
Serve it with tortilla chips, pita bread, crackers, rice or cornbread.
Trail Mix Rice Salad
Take a popular and healthy snack and mix it with a rice salad for a delicious picnic spin on two very portable meals. This Trail Mix Salad is packed with all the things you love about trail mix (minus the chocolate chips of course) – dried fruit and nuts mixed with whole grain rice and a lovely, fresh dressing.
Deliciously healthy, light and fresh, this vegan and gluten-free salad is perfect for summer picnics and an obvious choice for a summer hiking picnic.
Vegan Chickpea Salad
Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are masters of the salad. They bring a lovely nutty flavour, bulk out a salad without being stodgy and are very good for you. They also lend themselves to so many variations of flavours.
This protein-packed raw vegan chickpea salad with sweet turmeric dressing is a simple no-cook dish or snack. It will also keep well in the fridge for up to a week which is a perfect make-ahead salad for a summer picnic or cookout.
White Bean Salad - White Bean & Blueberry Salad with Turmeric Dressing
It's so easy to make your summer picnic salads healthy and delicious when you have salad inspiration like this. A salad that is not only delicious and healthy, but it's also a detoxification and anti-inflammatory powerhouse.
A creamy, anti-inflammatory tahini turmeric dressing brings this simple white bean salad to life along with blueberries, basil, mint and pickled red onions, while broccoli sprouts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds bring a nutritious boost and crunchy texture.
Full of fibre and healthy fats, it's a summer salad stunner that will quickly make it to your regular salad rotation.
Olivier Salad – Russian Salad Recipe
Get multicultural with your potato salad repertoire by adding a little Russian flair.
Olivier Salad is a tasty Russian Potato Salad that's popular during the holidays. Dating back to the 1860s; the recipe was once a closely guarded secret and included ingredients such as crayfish, smoked duck, caviar, and grouse.
Now, this delightful potato salad is found all over the world, using slightly less decadent ingredients but no less delicious. As with any potato salad, it's easy to make and can be made ahead, so makes it a perfect summer picnic candidate.
Low Carb 7 Layer Salad
This Low Carb 7 Layer Salad has all the indulgence without the guilt. Loads of veggies layered with turkey bacon and cheese, topped with a sweet and tangy, creamy, low carb dressing without the sugar.
This champion salad is best when made ahead and left to sit in the fridge overnight, which makes it a no-hassle win for picnics and bbq's.
Greek Bean Salad
Who doesn't love a Greek salad? After all, feta makes everything better. Now you can Greek up your boring old bean salad for a tasty salad that will hold up to the rigours of alfresco dining.
This fabulous Greek Bean Salad has four types of beans, lots of veggies, feta cheese, topped with a light zesty dressing. A gorgeous side dish or serve it as a picnic main with toasted baguette or pita.
Moroccan Carrot Salad with Oranges
Fresh and fragrant, this Moroccan Carrot Salad with Oranges is bursting with flavour. Herbs and spices such as cinnamon and cumin combined with sweet oranges give this vegan carrot salad the incredible balance of sweet and savoury that Maroccan food does so well.
Light and refreshing, this 15-minute salad will bring a splash of aromatic colour and flavour to your summer picnic.
Sensible Picnic Salad Storage Containers
S’well Stainless Steel Triple-Layered Vacuum Insulated Food Bowls
These stylish 2 in 1 containers (16 oz | 450 gm and 21.5 oz | 610 gm) are perfect for picnic salads. Triple-Layered Vacuum-Insulation keeps salads cold for hours and they can double as a serving bowl. They come in a range of gorgeous colours and designs to suit your picnic style.