Are you craving something fresh and light? Look no further than cold salads! These refreshing dishes are perfect for hot summer days or when you just want a healthy and satisfying meal. Whether you're a fan of leafy greens, pasta, or protein-packed ingredients, there's a cold salad recipe out there that will tickle your taste buds.
In this blog post, we'll explore the best cold salad recipes that are not only delicious but also easy to make. So, get ready to dive into a world of vibrant colors, crisp textures, and tantalizing flavors. Let's get started!
1. Easy Cold Pasta Salad
Easy Cold Pasta Salad is a refreshing and flavorful salad that combines rotini pasta with broccoli, bell peppers, red onion, and Parmesan cheese. The zesty Italian dressing adds a tangy and herbaceous kick to the salad.
It's a simple recipe that is always a crowd-pleaser and can be easily customized with your favorite vegetables. Perfect for a light and satisfying meal or as a side dish for any occasion.
2. Cold Pasta Salad
The Cold Pasta Salad recipe is a refreshing and easy-to-make dish perfect for spring and summer gatherings. Made with rotini pasta, a variety of fresh vegetables, black olives, chickpeas, and crumbled feta cheese, this salad is packed with flavor and texture.
The homemade lemon mustard salad dressing adds a tangy and zesty element to the dish. It is recommended to let the salad sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Overall, this Cold Pasta Salad is a delicious and versatile option for a light lunch or side dish.
3. Cold Green Bean Salad
Cold Green Bean Salad is a refreshing and easy-to-make salad that is perfect for summer. Made with fresh green beans, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and a herby vinaigrette dressing, it comes together in under 15 minutes.
The blanched green beans provide a crisp and vibrant texture, while the combination of flavors from the tomatoes, olives, red onion, and Italian salami adds a delicious savory element. This salad is versatile and can be enjoyed as a main or side dish. It's a great option for meal prep as it stays fresh in the fridge for up to three days.
4. Cold Sesame Noodle Salad
Cold Sesame Noodle Salad is a delicious and refreshing Asian side dish, perfect for summer picnics or as a light meal.
The combination of whole grain thin spaghetti noodles, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, grated carrot, and diced green onions creates a flavorful and satisfying dish. It's a versatile recipe that can be enjoyed by both adults and kids, making it a great addition to any meal.
5. Asian Ramen Salad
Asian Ramen Salad is a crunchy and flavorful cold salad that is quick and easy to make. It features crispy ramen noodles, coleslaw mix, slivered almonds, sesame seeds, and green onions, all tossed in a sweet and tangy homemade dressing.
This salad is a crowd-pleaser and perfect for potlucks or cookouts. The combination of textures and flavors makes it a refreshing and satisfying dish.
6. Zesty Italian Pasta Salad
Zesty Italian Pasta Salad is a refreshing and flavorful cold salad made with bowtie pasta, zesty Italian dressing, cherry tomatoes, banana peppers, mini pepperonis, mozzarella pearls, chopped spinach, and diced red onion.
It's a simple and easy recipe that is perfect for summer BBQs or as a side dish any time of the year. The combination of Italian flavors and colorful ingredients make this salad a delicious and visually appealing option.
7. Asian Quinoa Salad
The Asian Quinoa Salad is a refreshing and light cold salad that combines the flavors of Asian cabbage slaw with quinoa. Tossed in a delicious ginger dressing, this salad is packed with protein, iron, and fiber. It is perfect as a side dish or a vegan main and is great for barbecues or potlucks.
The combination of red and green cabbage, cooked quinoa, carrots, cilantro, almonds, and purple onion creates a satisfying and nutritious salad. The Asian dressing adds a tangy and flavorful touch. Overall, the Asian Quinoa Salad is a quick and easy recipe that the whole family will enjoy.
8. Coleslaw Pasta Salad
Coleslaw Pasta Salad is a refreshing and flavorful dish that is perfect for summer gatherings. Packed with veggies, coleslaw, and a delicious dressing, this salad is a crowd-pleaser. The addition of cheese cubes or shredded cheese would enhance the taste even more.
It pairs well with grilled meats and is a hit at potlucks and BBQs. Remember to cool the pasta completely before mixing to avoid a gummy texture. Overall, this salad is a must-try for its creamy and crunchy combination.
9. Italian Pasta Salad
Italian Pasta Salad is a delicious and refreshing cold salad that is perfect for potlucks, picnics, or as a make-ahead meal. Made with rotini pasta, fresh mozzarella pearls, salami, black olives, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and a zesty homemade Italian dressing, this salad is packed with flavor and texture.
It can be customized with additional vegetables or protein, and it can also be made gluten-free. With its vibrant colors and bold flavors, Italian Pasta Salad is a crowd-pleaser that will be the star of any gathering.
10. Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing is a classic and delicious cold salad recipe. Made with spaghetti noodles, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and red onions, this salad is packed with flavor and crunch.
The zesty Italian dressing adds a tangy and zesty kick to the dish. It can be made ahead of time and tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld together. This salad is a perfect side dish for potlucks and summer parties.
11. Cold Chicken Macaroni Salad
Cold Chicken Macaroni Salad is a flavorful and creamy pasta salad that is perfect for picnics, cookouts, or any gathering. The salad features tender pasta, shredded chicken, and a creamy dressing that coats the ingredients well.
It is a versatile recipe that can be customized with your favorite add-ins. Overall, Cold Chicken Macaroni Salad is an easy and budget-friendly option for a delicious cold salad.
12. Classic Macaroni Salad
Classic Macaroni Salad is a colorful and delicious cold pasta salad made with grated carrot, onion, and bell pepper tossed in a creamy mayonnaise-mustard dressing. It is the perfect side dish for BBQs, summer potlucks, and picnics.
The combination of flavors and textures in this salad is delightful, making it a crowd-pleaser. The addition of vegetables like red radish, celery, and red cabbage adds a healthy and vibrant touch. Overall, Classic Macaroni Salad is a must-try recipe for any salad lover.
13. Cold Asian Noodle Salad
Cold Asian Noodle Salad is a vibrant and flavorful vegan dish that can be made in under 30 minutes. The combination of fresh, crunchy veggies, noodles, and a zesty peanut sauce creates a delicious and addictive flavor. It can be enjoyed as a light main dish or a flavorful side salad.
The recipe is customizable with various veggies and can be made gluten-free or low-carb. It is a great option for meal prep and can be served cold or heated up. Overall, Cold Asian Noodle Salad is a crowd-pleasing and nutritious option for a meatless meal.
14. Pasta Salad Dressing
Pasta Salad Dressing is a versatile and customizable recipe that allows you to create your own delicious dressing for pasta salad. It can be made with a variety of oils, vinegars, and spices, giving you the freedom to adapt it to your taste preferences.
Whether you prefer a creamy or vinaigrette-style dressing, this recipe has you covered. It is easy to make and can be stored for up to two weeks in the fridge. With its pantry-friendly ingredients and endless variations, Pasta Salad Dressing is a must-try for any pasta salad lover.
15. Spaghetti Salad
Spaghetti Salad is a versatile and crowd-pleasing cold pasta salad recipe. Tossed in a savory homemade Italian dressing, it is bursting with fresh veggies and zesty flavors.
The addition of cheese and pepperoncini adds extra depth to the dish. It can be easily customized to be vegetarian or vegan by omitting the salami. Perfect for picnics and potlucks, this colorful and refreshing salad is sure to be a hit.
16. Best Broccoli Salad
Best Broccoli Salad is a refreshing and satisfying cold salad recipe made with crunchy broccoli, bacon, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds. The sweet and tangy dressing, made with mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar, adds a delicious flavor to the salad.
It can be made ahead of time, making it perfect for summer gatherings or potlucks. Optional additions include other raw vegetables, different types of nuts, and shredded cheese. Overall, this salad is a crowd-pleaser and a great way to enjoy broccoli.
17. Broccoli Salad
Broccoli Salad is a delicious and hearty cold salad that is perfect for BBQs and get-togethers. It features a homemade dressing that adds a tangy and creamy flavor to the dish. The combination of broccoli, bacon, sunflower seeds, and craisins creates a delightful mix of textures and flavors.
This salad can be made ahead of time without losing its texture, making it a convenient option for busy schedules. Overall, Broccoli Salad is a tasty and versatile recipe that is sure to be a hit at any summer gathering.
18. Macaroni Salad
Macaroni Salad is a creamy and refreshing side dish that is perfect for cookouts, parties, or barbecues. It combines tender elbow macaroni with cheddar cheese, red onion, celery, red bell pepper, and peas, all coated in a delicious dressing made with mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, dijon mustard, fresh dill, salt, and black pepper.
It's easy to customize by using different types of pasta or adding hard-boiled eggs. Overall, Macaroni Salad is a simple and tasty option for a cold salad.
19. Bacon Cauliflower Salad
Bacon Cauliflower Salad is a delicious and refreshing cold salad that combines crispy bacon, crunchy cauliflower, and a tangy dressing. The addition of craisins or golden raisins adds a burst of color and sweetness to the salad.
The recipe can be easily customized with different ingredients like green onions, sunflower seeds, or broccoli florets. It is best enjoyed right away to prevent the lettuce from becoming soggy. Overall, this salad is a crowd-pleaser and a great addition to any meal.
20. Cold Peanut Noodle Salad
The Cold Peanut Noodle Salad is a refreshing and satisfying meal prep option for summer. It features whole wheat spaghetti, finely shredded red cabbage, carrots, cilantro, green onions, and chopped peanuts.
The star of the dish is the homemade Peanut Lime Dressing, which is tangy, sweet, and creamy. The salad can be enjoyed immediately or stored in containers for up to 4-5 days. It's a great choice for those looking for a light and protein-packed salad option.
21. Broccoli Bacon Salad
The Broccoli Bacon Salad is a delicious and easy-to-make cold side dish that is perfect for summer picnics and BBQs. It features steamed broccoli, crispy bacon, sweet cranberries, and salty nuts, all tossed in a creamy dressing made from Greek yogurt and mayonnaise.
This healthy salad is a great option for any outdoor gathering and can be prepared ahead of time. The combination of flavors and textures in this salad is truly delightful.
22. Cucumber Tomato Salad
Cucumber Tomato Salad is a refreshing and vibrant cold salad perfect for summer. It combines crisp cucumbers, juicy cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, green onion, and radishes, all tossed in a zesty lemon dressing. This simple and flavorful salad is a crowd-pleaser at barbecues and pairs well with a variety of main dishes.
Additions like chickpeas, avocado, or cheese can be incorporated for added protein and creaminess. It can also be customized with different herbs and seasonings. Overall, Cucumber Tomato Salad is a light and healthy option that is easy to prepare ahead of time.
23. Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad
Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad is a quick and easy cold salad recipe packed with flavors. Made with fusilli pasta, canned tuna, mayo, Greek yogurt, cucumber, red bell peppers, and more, this salad is perfect for lunch, light supper, picnics, and more.
The creamy dressing with a hint of dill adds a delicious touch to the dish. Enjoy it immediately or let it chill in the fridge for even more flavor.
24. Cold Shrimp Salad with Dill
The Cold Shrimp Salad with Dill is a refreshing and light salad perfect for warm weather. The combination of citrus and dill with bite-sized shrimp creates a delicious flavor. It can be served as a salad, in a Po' Boy sandwich, or over lettuce.
The recipe allows for flexibility with the choice of shrimp, whether it's fresh, frozen, or canned. The creamy dressing with mayonnaise, dill, red onion, and celery adds a creamy and tangy element to the salad. Overall, this salad is a great option for a quick and easy summer meal.
25. Easy Macaroni Salad
Easy Macaroni Salad is a refreshing and colorful cold side dish made with pasta and a light, creamy sauce. It features a medley of vegetables like red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and red onion, which add a burst of flavor and crunch.
The macaroni is cooked to al dente perfection, ensuring a satisfying texture. This simple and versatile salad is perfect for summer gatherings and can be made ahead of time. It's a great way to showcase the fresh flavors of the vegetables without overwhelming them with heavy sauces.
26. BLT Pasta Salad
BLT Pasta Salad is a refreshing and flavorful cold salad that combines crispy bacon, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and shredded romaine lettuce with rotini pasta. Tossed in a creamy ranch dressing, this salad is perfect for a quick and easy meal or as a side dish for potlucks.
The addition of avocado adds a creamy texture and the bacon adds a satisfying crunch. Overall, BLT Pasta Salad is a delicious option for those looking for a simple and tasty cold salad recipe.