Looking for healthy and easy summer salad recipes? Check out some of these ideas for using up extra summer veggies and try one or all of these no-fuss and refreshing summer salads.
All you need to know for healthy, easy, summer salad recipes
If you are lucky, you may have a surplus of fresh produce, such as tomatoes, green beans, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, and basil in late summer. But after a couple of weeks, plain vegetables can get a little boring, even if they're fresh from the garden. What to do? Make salad! Hearty salads of chunky mixed vegetables with a protein like cheese or chicken tossed in are super easy and healthy. Serve them as a side dish or as a main dish. Make extra, so you have leftovers. Unlike lettuce salads, these work well the next day.
Clever kitchen hacks for making refreshing and easy summer salads
Some vegetables like corn, green beans, and eggplant require cooking. Save the leftovers or cook the vegetables ahead of salad prep time.
Slice corn from the cob and break the pieces up a bit. Cut green beans into two or three smaller pieces. Eggplant chunks also work well in salads.
Slices of steamed or sautéed zucchini work well in salads.
If you're using your vegetable salad as a main dish, boost the protein content with grated or cubed cheese. Hard cheeses work well for grating. Feta, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, gorgonzola, or other softer cheeses offer perfect contrasting flavors in salads, too.
Leftover cooked meat like chicken, beef, and turkey adds protein and stretches your budget. Leftover chunks of fried tofu make a satisfying vegetarian option.
Firm fish such as cooked salmon, shrimp, and tuna hold up well in salads.
The texture and flavor of pecans, walnuts, almond slivers or slices, and cashews delight the palate when added to salads. Toasting or heating in a dry skillet makes them especially tasty for your healthy summer salad recipes.
Canned beans are a great go-to high protein ingredient. The flavors and texture of beans blend well with fresh vegetables. Store canned beans in the refrigerator ahead, so they're cold and ready when you decide to make a vegetable salad. Drain the beans and rinse them briefly in cold water before tossing them with the vegetables.
Add thawed, frozen, shelled edamame (green soybeans) for a mildly flavored plant protein.
There's no need to add a lot of heavy dressing to your healthy summer salad recipes. Let the flavors of the vegetables shine.
You might want to add some acidic flavor to brighten the taste of your salad, especially if you're using canned beans. A splash of lime juice is great-other possibilities: lemon juice, cider vinegar, rice vinegar, balsamic, or an infused vinegar.
Fresh herbs such as chopped fresh basil, dill, or cilantro add an ideal punch to many vegetable salad combinations.