94 Potluck Salads for a Big Crowd

Updated: May 21, 2024

Salads are the perfect summer potluck food. Here's a generous helping of salads that feed 12 or more people—just in time for warm weather!

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Yummy Corn Chip Salad

Corn chips give a special crunch and an unexpected flavor to this potluck favorite. Bacon adds a hint of smokiness, while the cranberries bring a touch of sweetness. It's the perfect picnic companion! —Nora Friesen, Aberdeen, Mississippi
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Black-Eyed Pea Tomato Salad

Spending time in the kitchen with my late aunt was so much fun because she was an amazing cook and teacher. This black-eyed pea salad was one of her specialties. It is easy to make and is a nice alternative to pasta or potato salad. Add cooked cubed chicken breast to make it a meal on its own. —Patricia Ness, La Mesa, California
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Artichoke Shrimp Pasta Salad

I have enjoyed this recipe for as long as I can remember. My mom made it famous, and she passed it down to me on my wedding day. It's one of those potluck staples that folks can't get enough of. —Mary McCarley, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad

For parties, I turn melon and prosciutto into an easy salad with a honey mustard dressing. To add zip, stir in fresh basil and mint. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington
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Balsamic Three-Bean Salad

Here's my little girl's favorite salad. She devours it just about as fast as I can make it. I suggest preparing it ahead of time so the flavors can get to know each other. —Stacey Feather, Jay, Oklahoma
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Artichoke Caprese Platter

I dressed up the classic Italian trio of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with marinated artichokes. It looks so yummy on a pretty platter set out on a buffet. Using fresh mozzarella is the key to its great taste. —Margaret Wilson, San Bernardino, California
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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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Favorite Fruit Salad

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, especially when our four children and nine grandchildren come to visit. They always ask for this salad when they’re here for dinner. —Doris Dion, Lake Ozark, Missouri
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Festive Bean Salad

I had experimented with all kinds of bean salads before I hit on this one. My husband loves all the different bean varieties, and corn adds to the color and texture. —Dale Benoit, Monson, Massachusetts
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Deli-Style Pasta Salad

Pasta provides a base for this tongue-tingling make-ahead salad. It has lots of fresh and satisfying ingredients topped with a flavorful dressing. It’s terrific to serve to company or take to a potluck. —Joyce McLennan, Algonac, Michigan
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Crunchy Apple Mixed Greens Salad

Whenever our staff celebrates a birthday or a special occasion, “Mary’s Apple Salad” is always at the top of the wish list! The ingredients can also be prepared the day before and put together in a flash for our teachers’ 20-minute lunch time. —Mary Robertson, Louisville, Kentucky
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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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Khmer Pickled Vegetable Salad

I grew up as a missionary kid in Cambodia, and most of my favorite foods have a Southeast Asian background. Locals love eating this pickled salad for breakfast, but I like it as a side for lunch or dinner, especially with chicken satay. —Hannah Heavener, Belton, Texas
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Macaroni Coleslaw

My friend Peggy brought this coleslaw to one of our picnics, and everyone liked it so much, we all had to have the recipe. —Sandra Matteson, Westhope, North Dakota
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Easy Peasy Slaw

I get tons of compliments when I bring out this slaw brightened up with peas, peanuts and poppy seed dressing. It’s fresh and colorful with a satisfying crunch. —Sue Ort, Des Moines, Iowa
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Garden Bow Tie Salad

Originally a vegetable dish, I added pasta to this salad for family gatherings and church potlucks. Try adding sliced mushrooms and diced tomatoes before serving. —Barbara Burks, Huntsville, Alabama
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Easy Macaroni Salad

This hearty pasta salad is sure to please appetites of all ages—and it serves a lot of folks! —LaVerna Mjones, Moorhead, Minnesota
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Color It Ruby Salad

Just looking at this bright red salad cheers me up—and then I get to taste it! For garnish, sprinkle on fresh chives and mild white cheese. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Tequila Vinaigrette with Greens

Here’s a zingy vinaigrette with Southwestern flair. We serve it with added toppings like apples, mandarin oranges, feta cheese and candied walnuts. —Janelle Lee, Appleton, Wisconsin
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Fresh Broccoli Salad with Lemon

The slightly sweet flavor of this salad's dressing is a great contrast to the rich bacon. You can substitute cauliflower for the broccoli if you prefer. —Janet Roth, Tempe, Arizona
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Connie's Tortellini Salad

Make this great salad for long weekends at the lake, so the family can just grab a bowlful whenever hungry. —Connie Eaton, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Fresh Heirloom Tomato Salad

This tomato salad is a summertime must. A standout dressing takes the tasty ingredients to a brand-new level. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Summer Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This refreshing recipe goes well with grilled fish or chicken. We enjoy the lemon vinaigrette dressing at room temperature, so I make it first and let it rest on the counter while I toss the salad together. —Julie Kirkpatrick, Billlings, Montana
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Fresh Green Bean Salad

I had a green bean salad at a local deli and enjoyed it so much that I tried to re-create it at home. The result was yummy! It lasts for several days in the fridge, and the taste keeps getting better. —Allison Brooks, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Special Sesame Chicken Salad

With its delicious mix of crunchy peanuts, tangy dried cranberries and mandarin oranges, this colorful pasta salad is a definite crowd-pleaser. Water chestnuts and a teriyaki dressing give this main dish its Asian flair. —Carolee Ewell, Santaquin, Utah
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Chickpea Cucumber Salad

This recipe is a crowd pleaser! My new husband and I bring it to parties, barbecues and other gatherings. It's a light but flavorful side dish that brings a little bit of Greek flavor to any meal. —Kristi Smith, Greenwood, Indiana
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That Good Salad

When a friend shared this salad recipe, it had a fancy French name. Our children can never remember it, so they say, "Mom, please make 'that good salad.'" Now our friends and neighbors request it for potluck dinners. It really is one of the best salad recipes. —Betty Lamb, Orem, Utah
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Heirloom Tomato & Zucchini Salad

Tomato wedges give this salad a juicy bite. It's a great use of fresh herbs and veggies from your own garden or the farmers market. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin
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Homemade Antipasto Salad

This colorful salad is a tasty crowd-pleaser. Guests love the homemade dressing, which is a nice change from bottled Italian. —Linda Harrington, Windham, New Hampshire
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Colorful Cornbread Salad

When my garden comes in, I harvest the veggies for potluck dishes. I live in the South, and we think bacon and cornbread make everything better, even salad! —Rebecca Clark, Warrior, Alabama
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Marinated Cauliflower Salad

I often serve this as an appetizer alongside a meat and cheese tray. But it can also be a side dish. —Stephanie Hase, Lyons, Colorado
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Garden Bounty Panzanella Salad

My sister gave me fresh tomatoes and basil, so I made a bread salad known as Panzanella. The longer it sits, the more the bread soaks up the seasonings. —Jannine Fisk, Malden, Massachusetts
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Marinated Fresh Vegetable Salad

This crisp, colorful salad is full of goodness from the garden. The light marinade lets the fresh flavor of the vegetables come through. For variety, I sometimes substitute sliced zucchini for the cucumber. —Harriet Stichter, Milford, Indiana
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Cucumber Shell Salad

Ranch dressing is the mild coating for this pleasant pasta salad alive with the fresh flavors of crunchy cucumber, onion and green peas. Someone always seems to want the recipe! —Paula Ishii, Ralston, Nebraska
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Bacon Macaroni Salad

This pleasing pasta salad is like eating a BLT in a bowl. Filled with crispy bacon, chopped tomato, celery and green onion, the sensational salad is coated with a tangy mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It’s a real crowd-pleaser! —Norene Wright, Manilla, Indiana
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No-Fuss Avocado Onion Salad

My mother, Nena, grew up in Cuba and learned many styles of cooking. She had a knack for making something incredibly simple taste amazing. This salad is proof. By itself, the dressing is really tart, but add the avocados and onions and it's the perfect complement. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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Citrus Avocado Salad

This delicious salad showcases grapefruit and oranges—and avocados! The tangy citrus fruits and mild avocados are nicely complemented by a sweet dressing. —Sonia Candler, Edmonton, Alberta
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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 brunches, potlucks, even tailgates. —Barbara Lento, Houston, Pennsylvania
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Grilled Shrimp Panzanella

I like to liven up typical tossed salad with tender grilled shrimp, bread cubes and feta cheese. The colorful dish is an attractive addition to party buffets. —Veronica Callaghan, Glastonbury, Connecticut
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Company Green Salad

I partially put this salad together and take the remaining ingredients (candied nuts, seeds, rice noodles and dressing) to mix in at the potluck. Works perfectly every time. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Sliced Tomato Salad

I got this recipe from my grandmother. It's a perfect platter to serve with burgers or hot sandwiches. —Kendal Tangedal, Plentywood, Montana
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Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad

I’ve tried many chicken salad recipes over the years, but this is my very favorite. It’s fresh, fruity and refreshing, and the cashews add wonderful crunch. Every time I serve it at a potluck or picnic, I get rave reviews—and ( always come home with an empty bowl! —Kara Cook, Elk Ridge, Utah
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Apple Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette

This seasonal salad will be a hit at any gathering. It’s also easy for weeknights; just halve the recipe. —Beth Dauenhauer, Pueblo, Colorado
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Summertime Tomato-Melon Salad

Looking for a savory summer salad? The combination of tomatoes, cantaloupe, avocado and greens sings with freshness and health. —Carolyn Kumpe, El Dorado, California
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Layered Salad for a Crowd

This salad is a favorite of my three sons. I took it to a luncheon honoring our school district’s food service manager, and she asked for the recipe. I like to make the dressing the day before so the flavors blend together. —Linda Ashley, Leesburg, Georgia
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Ramen Noodle Salad

With added crunch from ramen noodles and sunflower seeds, plus a sweet, glossy dressing, this lively salad is a definite crowd-pleaser! —Beverly Sprague, Baltimore, Maryland
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Veggie Chopped Salad

My husband's aunt gave me this recipe back in the '80s, and it's been a staple at our house ever since. I like to make it a day ahead because some time in the fridge makes it even better. Be sure to save yourself some leftovers, too. —Madeline Etzkorn, Burien, Washington
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Shrimp Veggie Salad

My family loves to have potluck barbecues during the summer. With several backyard gardens in the family, you can be sure one of us will bring a variation of this classic salad. Add a dash of your favorite hot sauce if you like to turn up the heat! —Karen Goodnature, Lompoc, California
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Tomatoes with Buttermilk Vinaigrette

We make the most of tomatoes when they are in season and plentiful, and I love an old-fashioned homemade dressing with summery taste. —Judith Foreman, Alexandria, Virginia
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Wheely-Good Pasta Salad

Red pepper pieces accent this yummy side dish, and the pasta wheels really drive the theme home. —Amber Kimmich, Powhatan, Virginia
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Beet Salad with Orange-Walnut Dressing

This salad is light and refreshing any time of year! In the winter, it can pair with heavier dishes; in the summer, it’s lovely on its own. Your family and friends will love the tasty homemade dressing. —Marian Platt, Sequim, Washington
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Holiday Lettuce Salad

Light with a hint of sweetness, this lettuce salad recipe will make everyone excited to eat their fruits and vegetables. —Bryan Braack, Eldridge, Iowa
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Grilled Lebanese Salad

Amazingly, even our kids eat their greens, herbs and garden veggies when they’re prepared this way. Fresh and healthy never tasted more delicious. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Spinach-Orzo Salad with Chickpeas

The first version of this salad was an experiment in mixing together some random ingredients I had on hand. It was a success, and several people at the party asked for the recipe—which meant I had to re-create it! It's healthy, delicious and perfect for warm-weather days. —Glen White, Kissimmee, Florida
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Pizza Salad

A fun summer dish, this is a different salad that tastes as good as it looks. I love to take it to parties—the wonderful zesty flavor really complements a barbecue! —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
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Kiwi-Strawberry Spinach Salad

This pretty strawberry kiwi salad is always a hit when I serve it! The recipe came from a cookbook, but I personalized it. Sometimes just a small change in ingredients can create a big difference. —Laura Pounds, Andover, Kansas
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Chili Cornbread Salad

A co-worker brought this wonderful dish to a potluck several years ago. She had copies of the recipe next to the pan. Now I make it for get-togethers and also supply copies of the recipe. I never have any leftover salad or recipes. —Kelly Newsom, Jenks, Oklahoma
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12-Hour Salad

This recipe was Mom's scrumptious scheme to get her kids to eat vegetables. She never had any trouble when she served this colorful crunchy salad. Mom thought this salad was a real bonus for the cook since it must be made the night before. —Dorothy Bowen, Thomasville, North Carolina
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Garden Spinach-Potato Salad

Not only is this summer side dish something to look at, it’s a treat for the taste buds, too. The medley of textures and garden-fresh ingredients perfectly complement one another for a delightfully different potato salad. —Marilyn Haynes, Sylacauga, Alabama
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I love when a recipe is simple to prepare but elegant enough to serve at a formal dinner. This pasta is best served warm, but you can chill it if you like. —Julian Wong, La Jolla, California
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Bacon and Broccoli Salad

You'll want to serve this family-friendly broccoli salad with bacon year-round. The broccoli gets a big-time flavor boost from bacon, toasted pecans, dried berries and a mayo dressing. —Cindi Read, Hendersonville, Tennessee
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Chicken Macaroni Salad

For sunny, lazy days, I make a loaded macaroni salad that’s like three salads in one. The mix of fresh veggies, sweet peaches and crunchy pistachios is a surprisingly delicious combo. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Southwest Shredded Pork Salad

This knockout shredded pork makes a healthy, delicious and hearty salad with black beans, corn, cotija cheese and plenty of fresh greens. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma
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Balsamic Green Bean Salad

Serve up those green beans in a whole new way–with a green bean salad recipe! The tangy flavors and crunch of these balsamic green beans complement any special meal or holiday potluck. —Megan Spencer, Farmington Hills, Michigan
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Easy Pasta Salad for a Crowd

Spinach, peppers and onions mingle with tangy feta cheese in this simple pasta salad. Feel free to make it ahead of time, so it’s ready when you are. —Jacquelyn Saintjohn, Cambridge, Massachusetts

If you’re looking for more delicious crowd-pleasers, be sure to explore these pasta salad recipes for a crowd.

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Yellow Squash & Watermelon Salad

I always like to bring this healthy option to parties and potlucks, and people seem to really appreciate that. No oil is necessary for this salad; the lemon juice combines with the feta to lightly coat the bright, fresh ingredients. —Camille Parker, Chicago, Illinois
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Chopped Garden Salad

This recipe is always requested by my children for their birthday meal or any other get-together. The flavor combination is so yummy. —Anna Sutherland, Camp, Arkansas
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Here’s a Southern take on a classic spinach salad. The simple dressing is delicious, and the black-eyed peas and pecans give it some heft. It is always a hit with my guests. —Debbie Ingle, Winfield, Alabama
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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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Panzanella Pasta

We take classic panzanella ingredients like ripe tomatoes, peppers and olives and toss them with hot noodles for a hearty pasta dish. My kids especially like the crunchy croutons. —Ashley Pierce, Brantford, Ontario
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Layered Garden Bean Salad

For easy entertaining, cover and refrigerate the salad a few hours before guests arrive so you don't have to bother with last-minute assembly. Turn it into a light lunch by adding sliced rotisserie chicken, salmon or tuna. —Melissa Wharton, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad

For this delightful salad, fresh spinach leaves are mixed with toasted almonds and dried cranberries and drizzled with poppy seed dressing. Because it uses dried cranberries, you can make it all year round, even in the middle of summer when fresh cranberries are out of season. —Michelle Krzmarzick Torrance, California
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My mother had a recipe similar to this one, but lost it, and no one could find the original recipe. After an exhaustive search on the internet, I decided to re-create the salad from memory. Mom thinks I did a pretty good job! —Daphne DeLaney, Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina
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Watercress & Orange Salad

Keep this recipe handy when you need to make a special salad quickly. The flavorful vinaigrette adds a refreshing touch to the greens and oranges. —Alpha Wilson, Roswell, New Mexico
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Cashew-Pear Tossed Salad

A friend who does a lot of catering fixed this salad for a staff party several years ago, and we all asked for the recipe. The unexpected sweet-salty mix and lovely dressing make it a standout. —Arlene Muller, Kingwood, Texas
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Summer Squash Salad

Packing a satisfying crunch, this salad is a tasty alternative to coleslaw. Like most gardeners, we usually have an abundance of squash and zucchini in summer, so this dish is a colorful way to use our fresh produce. —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida
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Sweet Macaroni Salad

A sweet out-of-the-ordinary dressing makes this macaroni salad special. My aunt gave me the recipe and it has become one of my favorites. I occasionally leave out the green pepper if I know that people don't like it, and it still tastes great. —Idalee Scholz, Cocoa Beach, Florida
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Raspberry Pear Salad with Glazed Walnuts

The sweet and tart tastes of this spectacular salad both surprise and please the palate. A raspberry vinaigrette ties everything together. —Diana Neves, Lafayette, California
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Watermelon Tomato Salad

Watermelon and tomatoes may seem an unlikely pair, but they team up to make a winning combination in this eye-catching salad. —Matthew Denton, Seattle, Washington
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Barbecued Bean Salad

This tangy, hearty salad is a refreshing dish to serve at a summertime picnic. Mild spices blend nicely with the beans and garden ingredients. Be prepared to bring home an empty bowl. —Linda Ault, Newberry, Indiana
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Meat Lover's Bread Salad

Growing up, we loved visiting a sandwich joint in Nebraska. The awesome sandwiches inspired my salad of bread and cold cuts for meat lovers everywhere. —Molly Atherton, Kansas City, Missouri
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Broccoli Salad Supreme

People can't get enough of the sweet grapes and crunchy broccoli in this colorful salad. I appreciate its make-ahead convenience. —Terri Twyman, Bonanza, Oregon
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Southern Cornbread Salad

To feed a crowd, especially when I want to make a good impression, I make this eye-popping cornbread salad. It’s beautiful in a trifle bowl. I love it in summer, when we can make it with our own garden produce. —Debbie Johnson, Centertown, Missouri
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Toss pears, blue cheese and spinach together to make this superb salad. Sugared pecans are easy to make and add a sweet crunch. If you like poppy seeds, feel free to add some to the vinaigrette. —Tamara Stimpson, Zephyr, Ontario
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Italian Fresh Vegetable Salad

Garden-fresh veggies are a hit at community potlucks. I carry the dressing in a mason jar to add just before serving. —Jeanette Hildebrand, Stafford, Kansas
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Seafood & Shells Salad

My family often asks for this salad during the summer months. The colors and flavor brighten up any potluck. —Rosalee Ray, Lansing, Michigan
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Spinach, Apple & Pecan Salad

One day, company was on the way, and I forgot to buy salad fixings. Scavenging the fridge for ingredients, I pulled these together and invented a salad superstar. —Kelly Walsh, Aviston, Illinois
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Asparagus-Spinach Pasta Salad

Fresh spinach, crunchy cashews and penne pasta are tossed with roasted asparagus to create this delightful spring salad. —Kathleen Lucas, Trumbull, Connecticut