Come summer, everyone is all about salads. Maybe it’s because your new fringe swimsuit sits looming in your closet, or simply that the dish is cold and refreshing in the sweltering heat. But who ever said a salad has to be full of greens? It could be as simple as a refreshing fruit salad or as intensive as a 20-ingredient pasta salad you’ll be eating for days. If you’re not a fan of leafy greens, but still want something light, check out these 18 lettuce-free salads you won’t have to force yourself to eat.


1. Bacon Potato Salad: Potato salad is a total crowd-pleaser, but it usually calls for babysitting at cookouts to make sure it hasn’t been out too long. With this bacon potato salad, however, you won’t have that problem — there’s no mayo! (via Averie Cooks)

broccoli salad

2. Roasted Broccoli Salad With Pine Nuts, Raisins and Feta: Broccoli salads should probably replace lettuce salads as the standard lunch of choice. This roasted version has a great balance of flavors, from sweet raisins to tangy feta. (via Yummy Beet)


3. Caprese Zoodle Salad: Prepare for any spiralized salad to be a topic of BBQ inquiry. Even though spiralizing is a fairly common practice these days, people are still mesmerized by the concept. This zucchini noodle salad is great because you get to use up all of that summer squash lurking in your garden. (via Hungry by Nature)


4. Carrot and Sunflower Seed Salad With Honey Lemon Dressing: Sweet carrot salad makes a perfect summer party side that adults and children will love. This one is lightly dressed with a honey lemon vinaigrette that’s super simple to make. (via Love Leaf)

chicken salad

5. Vietnamese Chicken Salad With Rice Noodles: The flavors of your typical barbecue can get a bit boring. How many times can you eat your aunt’s ramen noodle salad? This Vietnamese-inspired chicken salad provides a unique change in flavors while still offering that crunchy-cool effect you’re after. (via Coffee and Crayons)


6. Creamy Dill Cucumber Salad: Cucumbers are a seasonal summer gem. Everyone knows dill provides the perfect complement, so this salad makes all the sense in the world. Add some Greek yogurt for creaminess and you’re on your way to snacking heaven. (via The Healthy Foodie)


7. Date Orange Wheat Berry Salad: You may think wheat berry salads only belong in your favorite lunch bistro, but they totally deserve a spot at your cookout too. With fresh flavors like orange, mint and feta, this salad will make your guests think they were transported to the Greek Isles. (via My Little Tablespoon)


8. Edamame Black Bean Salad: No need for frills here. This simple salad combines some of the best flavors of summer with a simple lime vinaigrette. It would also make a great topping for grilled chicken or fish. (via Fork in the Kitchen)

jewel quinoa salad

9. Jewel Quinoa Salad With Orange and Poppyseed Dressing: Summer is all about the bright colors, so this salad fits right in. It’s sweet, tangy and full of interesting texture that makes the dish so special. With each bite, you’ll discover something new and exciting that you didn’t find in the bite before. (via The Accommodating Chef)


10. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad: Let’s face it: BBQs are prime time for over-indulging. If you want to keep things on the healthier side, this Mediterranean salad has your back. (via The Butter Half)


11. Mexican Panzanella Salad: Don’t be afraid to throw your salad ingredients on the grill with the main course. There are *no* rules at summer cookouts. This Mexican take on Panzanella salad utilizes the grill to char squares of sweet cornbread chunks. Yum! (via Eat Love Eat)


12. Broccoli and Grape Pasta Salad: There’s nothing quite like that classic sweet and salty comb0 for a summer pasta salad. Whip up the five-minute dressing that goes with this salad and be prepared for everyone begging for the recipe. (via Chelsea’s Messy Apron)


13. Spring Pea Pasta With Truffle Oil, Lemon and Mint: Bring the farmers’ market to your cookout by using your whole bounty in one pasta salad. Aside from every herb you can think of, this salad has just enough truffle oil to make it irresistible and addictive. (via Feasting at Home)


14. Pesto Pasta Salad: The most difficult part of this salad is boiling the pasta — that’s how easy it is. Homemade pesto is great here, but you can also use store-bought if you’re in a pinch. (via Real Food Real Deals)


15. Roasted Corn and Avocado Salad: This salad is absolutely phenomenal. The roasted corn is sweet and caramelized, while the avocado lends a creaminess that can’t be beaten. You seriously have to try this out, especially if you’re grilling a spicy protein alongside it. (via The Endless Meal)


16. Tomato Avocado Salad: Basic doesn’t have to be a bad thing. This tomato avocado salad is about as basic as they come, and it couldn’t be more delicious. Feel free to nosh as-is or use it as a light taco filling. (via Cooktoria)


17. Tuna Farro Salad: You have to double up on dishes this good. Your BBQ guests will devour every last bite, which means a large batch is necessary so you can have lunch the next day. (via Tasty Seasons)


18. Watermelon Mint Salad: Is it dessert? Is it a side dish? You be the judge. Whichever way you decide to eat it, this watermelon salad will hydrate and cool you off in a flash while providing serious sustenance. (via Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish)

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