This hearty and colorful main-course salad is easy to throw together when I get home from work, because it uses canned black beans and Mexicorn and packaged chicken breast strips. I sometimes add a can of ripe olives and fresh cherry tomatoes from our garden.
Green, kidney and wax beans combine for a summer classic with a tasty twist. Thanks to some bold Mediterranean flavors, it’s not hard to close your eyes and imagine yourself on a Greek island. —Vivian Levine, Summerfield, FL
Two types of store-bought beans, a convenient can of olives and lots of cheese make this easy pasta salad, shared by Sandra Gordon of Emmett, Idaho, a cinch to assemble at home. With a creamy dressing, it's a festive medley that's sure to earn praise at potlucks. TIP: Try other small pasta noodles, and for a fancier look, serve it on a bed of Bibb lettuce.
When I want to bust out of my salad rut, I roast a medley of veggies and mix them with fluffy quinoa, a super-nutritious grain. Make a double batch to have an encore salad waiting in the fridge.—Julie Piasecki, Franklin, Massachusetts
I had a recipe for three-bean salad and added garbanzo beans for taste and color. It soon became my father and father-in-law's favorite - that made me happy since "the moms" are excellent cooks. Now for picnics, I'm asked to "bring the beans".
-Ruth Ann Ramuscak, Merrillville, Indiana
Each time I take this dish to a church supper, I get many, many requests to share the recipe. My family has enjoyed this tasty salad for years, and it works very well alongside ham, brisket or chicken. It is inexpensive to make, and the red onion rings add a nice touch of color to a meal. The real beauty of this salad is that it can be made well ahead of time.
To create a more interesting pasta salad, I added pasta to my favorite black-eyed pea salad. The result is different and delicious. Cucumber and green pepper give this picnic side dish a satisfying crunch.
—Melinda Ewbank of Fairfield, Ohio
"My family loves this zesty salad, and they eat it so fast that it barely has time to chill in the fridge," comments Cynthia Griffith from Danville, Virginia. Tip: Cynthia suggests serving this savory main dish over a bed of fresh torn greens.