59 Cold Salads to Make When the Weather Gets Hot

Updated: Jun. 21, 2024

When the temperature rises, reach for one of these refreshingly cold salads. They're perfect for a steaming hot summer day.

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Southwestern Pasta Salad

I created this southwestern pasta salad for a friend of mine who owns a catering business. I was told it was a hit at her events. —Valonda Seward, Coarsegold, California
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Southern Potato Salad

This Southern potato salad is perfect for a church supper or potluck. The pickles add extra sweetness. —Gene Pitts, Wilsonville, Alabama
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Juicy Watermelon Salad

This fruit salad has such a surprising yet fabulous mix of flavors that friends often ask for the recipe. Combine seedless watermelon varieties in yellow, red and pink for a colorful twist. —Heidi Haight, Macomb, Michigan
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Turkey and Pasta Ranch Salad

This easy pasta salad is loaded with fresh veggies, and the classic ranch dressing makes it appealing to kids. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Bacon Salad

Everyone in my family loves this bacon avocado salad—even the younger kids! The recipe’s been shared too many times to count. —Noreen McCormick Danek, Cromwell, Connecticut
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Confetti Macaroni Salad

The bits of bright red and green in this easy macaroni salad remind me of fun confetti. The inspiration for the dish came from a recipe I found in a church cookbook when I was a young writer responsible for a newspaper’s food section. —Renee Page, Rochelle, Illinois
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Heirloom Tomato Salad

This is a simple yet elegant dish that always pleases. Not only is it tasty, but it is healthy, too. The more varied the colors of the tomatoes you choose, the prettier the salad will be. —Jess Apfe, Berkeley, California
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Broccoli Almond Salad

This colorful broccoli almond salad is easy to make in advance. Add the nuts and bacon just before serving so they stay nice and crunchy. —Margaret Garbade, Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Blood Orange Avocado Salad

My refreshing side salad is such a nice addition to dinner. Use regular oranges if you can’t find blood oranges. Finely chopped walnuts work well in place of the pomegranate seeds, too. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Chicken Pasta Salad

My family loves pasta salads, but usually they have too much mayonnaise or oily dressing. Using hummus gives this dish a great taste and texture, while also increasing its nutritional profile. Adding chicken (store-bought rotisserie chicken works well), makes this pasta salad a complete meal. —Jenny Lynch, Rock Island, Illinois
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Sweet & Sour Squash Salad

This salad goes over really well with all ages, and it's a good way to get kids to eat summer squash. —Opal Shipman Levelland, Texas
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Summertime Tomato Salad

My crazy good salad has cherry tomatoes, squash and blueberries together in one bowl. Then I layer on the flavor with fresh corn, red onion and mint. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey
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Gluten-Free Potato Salad

In college, my best friend and I debated whose mom made the best potato salad. Turns out they were almost identical! Even though I've since tweaked our recipe, this gluten-free potato salad still takes me home again. —Ellie Martin Cliffe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Pesto Pasta Salad

This garden pesto pasta salad makes for one mighty tasty side (or main) dish.
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Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

We live at the edge of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, where there are lots of small farms. Country markets are plentiful here, so potatoes are a staple. I use them up in this delicious old-fashioned potato salad recipe. —Nancy Grove-Nichols, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania
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My sister and I created this fresh salad at one of our “recipe nights” and it’s been a hit ever since! Try red pepper flakes for a little kick if you’d like, or add Greek pepperoncini. —Jennifer Freier, Algonquin, Illinois
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Cauliflower Broccoli Salad

This broccoli cauliflower salad has been to as many family gatherings as I have! It holds well and leftovers are still tasty a day later. —Linda Kangas, Outlook, Saskatchewan
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Creamy Potato Salad Recipe

My grandma makes the best potato salad, but she doesn’t use a recipe! So I watched while she put together “a little of this and a little of that” and jotted a creamy potato salad recipe that comes close. The dressing also works well for making deviled eggs. —Jill Steiner, Hancock, Minnesota
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Avocado & Artichoke Pasta Salad

A squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of cilantro and a little avocado make this a creamy and zingy pasta salad. —Carrie Farias, Oak Ridge, New Jersey
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Ham and Swiss Salad in a Jar

Home cook Stacy Huggins from Valley Center, California, sent us a great recipe for a ham and Swiss salad, and we turned it into this lunchbox-friendly version. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cajun Potato Salad

Here in Louisiana, we love dishes that have a little kick! This one does the trick. —Amanda West, Sibley, Louisiana
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Tangy Cilantro Lime Confetti Salad

I love standout salads that burst with flavor—the kind that make you feel as if you're splurging without having to eat that piece of chocolate cake. This is one of my very favorites, and everyone I serve it to loves it as well. —Jasey McBurnett, Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Cauliflower Potato Salad

Cauliflower in potato salad? You bet, along with carrots, olives and other yummy surprises. —Mike Schulz, Tawas City, Michigan
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Rice Salad

My family and friends all love this salad, which they’ve referred to as “the Greek salad.” No matter what you’re looking for—something with the Greek flavors you love, or just a healthy, simple salad—it will not disappoint! If you’d like, substitute orzo for the rice. —Sarah Hawkins, Wanatah, Indiana
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Healthy Potato Salad

This healthy potato salad is crunchy-delicious with a brilliant zesty dressing. —Brittany Allyn, Mesa, Arizona
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Fresh Summer Pasta Salad

While preparing lunch, I made this summer pasta salad for dinner. It was fast and easy; delicious and colorful. We love to enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies in season. I served this salad with almond crackers and sharp cheddar slices. So tasty! —Cathy Orban, Chandler, Arizona
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Ravishing Radish Salad

Showcase radishes in all their glory with a fresh, crunchy salad. Herbs and fennel take it up another notch. —Maggie Ruddy, Altoona, Iowa
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Sweet Potato Salad Recipe

My mother used to make this sweet potato salad recipe. We all liked it back then—and now my family likes it, too! —Willard Wilson, Woodsfield, Ohio
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Nicoise Salad

This garden-fresh salad is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Add some crusty bread and you have a mouthwatering meal. —Marla Fogderud, Mason, Michigan
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French Potato Salad

French potato salad is vinegar-based instead of creamy, made with Dijon mustard, olive oil, scallions or shallots, and fresh herbs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Strawberry Pasta Salad

Bow tie pasta with strawberries makes a refreshing salad, especially with a little chopped mint. I multiply it for leftovers. —Barbara Lento, Houston, Pennsylvania
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Potato-Bean Salad with Herb Dressing

My veggie garden inspired this creamy combo of beans, potatoes and fresh herbs. I toss them with a ranch-style dressing sparked up with Creole mustard. —Chris Cummer, Rincon, Georgia
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Almond-Apricot Chicken Salad

Here's a one-of-a-kind pasta salad that combines tender chicken, sweet apricots and crunchy vegetables. Plus, the lemony dressing can't be beat. —Susan Voigt, Plymouth, Minnesota
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Potato Salad with Apples

This potato salad with apples is a wonderful variation on an American summertime standby. Since Idaho is the potato state and a lot of apples are also grown here, I thought this would be an excellent recipe to represent my area. —Mary Pipkin, Melba, Idaho
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Summer Orzo Salad

I’m always looking for fun ways to use the fresh veggies that come in my Community Supported Agriculture box, and this summer orzo salad is one of my favorite creations. I like to improvise with whatever I have on hand, so feel free to do the same here! —Shayna Marmar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Grilled Potato Salad

To avoid turning my oven on in the summer, I grill just about everything—including this creamy grilled potato salad. My friends have dubbed this ‘The Best Potato Salad You’ll Ever Put in Your Mouth!—and I love that! —Gayle Robinson, Carrolton, Georgia
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Cranberry and Roasted Beet Salad

I created this as a healthy, tasty side dish to complement Christmas dinner. This enticing substitute for cranberry relish is excellent with turkey. Even the children loved it! Serve the beet blend alone or on a bed of salad greens. —Brianna St. Clair, Worland, Wyoming
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Instant Pot Potato Salad

I rarely make potato salad because it can be somewhat time-consuming. However, now that I know I can quickly cook the potatoes in a pressure cooker, I’ll be making this much more often! We prefer this Instant Pot potato salad with unpeeled red potatoes, but you can use another potato—with or without the skin. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Grilled Asian Chicken Pasta Salad

This cool noodle salad makes a great casual one-bowl dinner. —Sharon Tipton, Casselberry, Florida
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Loaded Potato Salad

Get a load of this loaded potato salad with sour cream, bacon, shredded cheddar, green onions and more. The ingredients come together to give you all the richness of restaurant potato skins at your next picnic. —Monique Boulanger, Greenwood, Nova Scotia
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Tortellini Caesar Salad

This salad was served at a dear friend's baby shower by a health-conscious friend, who suggested the dressing be prepared with low-fat or fat-free ingredients. Either way, the creamy dressing has plenty of garlic flavor and coats the pasta, romaine and croutons nicely. —Tammy Steenbock, Sembach Air Base, Germany
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Homemade Potato Salad

This homemade potato salad recipe doesn’t have many ingredients, so it isn’t as colorful as many that you find nowadays. But Mama made it the way her mother did, and that’s the way I still make it today. Try it and see if it isn’t one of the best-tasting potato salads you have ever eaten! —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York
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Whole Wheat Orzo Salad

In less than 30 minutes, I can put together this hearty salad of pasta, white beans and veggies. —Mya Zeronis, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Make-Ahead Hearty Six-Layer Salad

This salad is an all-time favorite. I reach for the recipe whenever I need a dish to pass. It is easy to make, can be assembled ahead of time and looks marvelous. —Noreen Meyer, Madison, Wisconsin
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Grilled Firecracker Potato Salad

I can eat potato salad like crazy. A little spice is nice, so I use cayenne and paprika in this grilled salad that comes with its own fireworks. —Ashley Armstrong, Kingsland, Georgia
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Loaded Baked Potato Salad

I revamped my mother’s potato salad to taste more like baked potatoes with all the fixin’s, which I love. This loaded baked potato salad is now the most requested dish at family gatherings. Even my mother asked for the recipe! —Jackie Deckard, Solsberry, Indiana
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White Ale Potato Salad

Take this one outside! My grown-up recipe uses beer instead of mayo, so you don't need to worry about keeping it cool. It's a really popular recipe on my blog, girllikestoeat.com. —Jenny MacBeth, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Shrimp Avocado Salad

The delicious taste and smooth texture of avocados and the crisp shrimp salad create a heavenly combination. Serve it as a cool and satisfying lunch or a light, quick and easy dinner. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Creamy Macaroni Salad

When we grill, my mother asks me to make this creamy macaroni salad. To make it extra creamy, I like to keep a small amount of dressing separate and stir it in just before serving. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland
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Dilled Potato Salad

What’s a picnic without potato salad? This recipe will add delightful new flavor to yours. The spices make the difference. —Cam Cox, Hemet, California
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Sour Cream Potato Salad

Italian dressing and horseradish make this sour cream potato salad different from most, plus those ingredients really add some zip! It’s perfect for picnics or potlucks. —Veda Luttrell, Sutter, California
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Italian Potato Salad

You'll want to take this simple-to-assemble potato salad to all your picnics and outings. It's always on the menu when my tomato plants yield a bumper crop. Feel free to improvise by adding other fresh vegetables.
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Tri-Color Pasta Salad

Tackle gatherings with a bright side dish. This tri-color pasta salad with broccoli, tomatoes, olives and a hardworking dressing is one of the easiest cold pasta salad recipes you could take. —Amanda Cable, Boxford, Massachusetts
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Red Potato Salad Recipe

This flavorful red potato salad recipe with egg is the perfect side for summer cookouts. The red potatoes really dress it up. —Margaret Blomquist, Newfield, New York
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Corn and Green Bean Salad

I love the crunch of veggies, so I combined them with a buttermilk Caesar dressing in this corn and green bean salad. It's good served immediately, but it's even better after chilling for a few hours. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Vermicelli Pasta Salad

I started making this salad because it’s loaded with peppers, my husband’s favorite. Don’t be surprised when there are no leftovers. —Janie Colle, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Potato Salad with Bacon

My family was tired of the same old potato salad at family functions, so I created this potato salad with bacon. Now I’m always asked to bring it to potluck gatherings. —Tami Gallagher, Eagan, Minnesota
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Ranch Potato Salad

I make this creamy ranch potato salad with cheese, bacon and ranch salad dressing. My sister asked for the recipe as soon as she tried it. —Lynn Breunig, Wind Lake, Wisconsin