Summer Potluck Salad Recipes for the 21st Century!

Summer Potluck Salad Recipes for the 21st Century! ~ it’s potluck season again and whether it’s the company picnic or a backyard barbecue, you’re going to need a few potluck salads you can be proud of.

potluck tableimage source: Issuu

Bean Salads

Take the good old 3 bean salad Grandma made, for instance. It was good, if a little slimy, and I’d argue that you can still make a killer bean salad from canned beans. With a little creativity and some great fresh ingredients, the bean salad can once again rule the potluck table!

  • Edamame Salad ~ an Asian inspired bean salad employing creamy edamame beans and lots of colorful crunch!
  • Chickpea Salad with Pesto ~ vibrant basil pesto makes a fabulous and unexpected dressing for this Mediterranean bean salad ~ the deeply toasted pine nuts are the bomb.
  • Charred Corn and Bean Salad ~ grilled and slightly blackened corn gives this salad a sweet smokey edge.

Pasta Salads

It’s the ultimate warm weather comfort food, who doesn’t love a pasta salad? But the same old mayo-drenched elbow macaroni doesn’t cut it anymore. Here are some inspiring pasta salad updates…

Chopped Salads

This might just be my favorite potluck category. I love a great chopped salad; they’re colorful, and so bamboo plate and fork friendly.

  • Chopped Israeli Salad ~ an old favorite on the blog, the fresh crunch of this salad is epic. In Israel they eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
  • Chopped Asparagus Salad ~ this colorful salad makes a beautiful presentation.
  • Cowboy Caviar ~ this micro-chopped salad can double as a dip!

Vegetable Salads

Summer’s bounty is starting to pour in, and vegetable salads are a great way to celebrate it.

Fruit Salads

Fruit salads can be amazing, or they can be downright yucky ~ it’s all in the details. Try one of these, there’s not a mushy banana or canned mandarin in the bunch.

Grain Salads

Hearty grain salads are the comfort food of the salad world. They’re especially helpful to vegans and vegetarians who have to hunt and peck their way through a potluck lineup.

  • Jeweled Tabbouleh ~ a dressed up version of the classic Middle Eastern cracked wheat salad.
  • Couscous Almondine Salad ~ a light airy salad with a sweet savory combination of chopped veggies and dried fruit. Made with no mayo to spoil on the potluck table, this makes a great working lunch, too.
  • Wheat Berry Salad with Beets ~ hearty and really delicious, the sweetness of the beets plays well with the earthy wheat berries.

Potato Salads

Potato salads can be incredibly…boring, so I suggest boosting them with extra flavor. For instance, how about dill pickles, a garlicky aioli dressing, or eggs, herbs and mustard seeds?

Green Salads

Green salads are not super common at potlucks but if you use sturdy greens and keep them chilled, they provide a welcome bit of freshness to the table.

  • Rainbow Chard Salad ~ this unusual salad is guaranteed to break up the potluck monotony. Rainbow chard is gorgeous and unexpected.
  • Loaded Wedge Salad ~ my loaded wedge salad is always a crowd pleaser. Can you say bacon and blue cheese?
  • Avocado and Herb Salad ~ the health nuts will flock to this salad.



No collection of summer potluck salads can be complete without the slaws. Light, bright, and so delicious, I load them on anything and everything.

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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Katherine Bicicchi
    July 5, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    Sue, I am so glad I found you again. After quite a while of not seeing you, I stumbled on your site and jumped for joy. Have to say, I am especially glad you are posting all these salads. I adore your desserts, but I am on a health kick because all my docs are telling me to do something about my diabetes. And also, I was feeling awful. So I just printed up your salads and am going to have fun with them. I made your previously posted asparagus salad. It was beautiful and my husband wolfed it down. So thank you for all your (must be) hard work. I adore cheery and tasty food, and yours is that. I expect to regain my former health, at which time I will explore the ice creams. Optomistically printing them!

  • Reply
    June 12, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    I’ve already made two of these salads and June isn’t over yet! The rainbow chard salad ended up being a hit! Thanks!

    • Reply
      June 12, 2019 at 8:32 pm

      Thanks Maren! I always lust after the rainbow chard at the farmers market and I’m so glad I have a recipe for it 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    June 2, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Now I’m currently craving all of these salads! How do I sign up for an invite to your next picnic?! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 2, 2019 at 6:21 am

    Thanks a bunch! Some great Summertime goodness here! Yum!

  • Reply
    Tricia | Saving Room for Dessert
    May 21, 2019 at 4:51 am

    What an incredible roundup – this makes me want to have a summer party with bowls of these gorgeous salads. Pinned!

  • Reply
    May 19, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Thanks so much! Love the site!

    • Reply
      May 19, 2019 at 10:37 am

      You’re so welcome Doroth!

  • Reply
    May 19, 2019 at 8:05 am

    What a fantastic resource, just in time for summer entertaining. I’ve already gone to several of the recipes and pinned them, and I very much appreciated the many tips you include in your recipes (loved reading about how best to prepare gluten-free pasta, as I have several friends/relatives who require it, but I’ve never been a fan. Will have to try your tips to make it tastier!). Thanks so much – this will be my go-to list this summer for sure!

    • Reply
      May 19, 2019 at 8:13 am

      Thanks Jean, I have a passion for potlucks, and I can easily skip the grill and load up my plate with yummy salads. I’m glad this was useful for you ~ happy summer!

  • Reply
    May 19, 2019 at 7:35 am

    The salad on the lower right of the title graphic looks scrumptious surrounding the dressing. It looks like it may have shrimp in it as well. Which salad is it? Is the recipe in this collection?

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