Top 18 Refreshing Summer Salads for BBQ

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor BBQs with family and friends. And what better way to complement your grilled meats and veggies than with a refreshing and delicious salad?

Salads can be a great addition to any BBQ, providing a healthy and flavorful option for guests. I will share with you my top 15 summer salads for BBQ that are sure to impress your guests and leave them wanting more.

Free Couscous Salad photo and picture

If you are looking for a classic potato salad or something more unique like a watermelon feta salad, there is something for everyone on this list.

These salads are not only delicious but also easy to make, so you can spend more time enjoying the company of your guests and less time in the kitchen.

Classic BBQ Salad Staples

As the summer season approaches, it’s time to start thinking about the classic BBQ salad staples that will complement your grilled meats and veggies.

These salads are easy to make, delicious, and perfect for any outdoor gathering. Here are a few of my favorite classic BBQ salad staples.

1- Traditional Potato Salad

No BBQ is complete without a traditional potato salad. This classic salad is made with boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, and diced celery and onion.

It’s a creamy and tangy side dish that pairs perfectly with grilled chicken or burgers. You can also add some bacon bits or pickles to give it an extra kick.

Summer Salads for BBQ

2- Creamy Coleslaw

Another classic BBQ salad staple is creamy coleslaw. This salad is made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and a creamy dressing made with mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and celery seed.

It’s a refreshing and crunchy side dish that complements any grilled meat. You can also add some raisins, cranberries, or nuts to give it a sweet or nutty flavor.

best coleslaw recipe creamy mayonnaise carrots cabbage kfc copycat

3- Pasta Primavera Salad

If you’re looking for a lighter and more colorful salad option, try a pasta primavera salad. This salad is made with cooked pasta, fresh vegetables like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers, and a tangy dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.

It’s a refreshing and healthy side dish that’s perfect for a summer BBQ. You can also add some grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a complete meal.

Pasta Primavera

Grilled Delights

As a barbecue enthusiast, I always look for ways to incorporate grilled flavors into my summer salads. Here are my top three grilled summer salads that will surely impress your guests:

4- Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad

Grilled corn and avocado salad is a perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. The charred corn adds a smoky taste to the salad, while the creamy avocado balances the flavors.

To make this salad, grill fresh corn on the cob until it’s charred, then cut the kernels off the cob and mix with diced avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro. Drizzle with a simple dressing made of lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Bowl of corn and avocado salad

5- Chargrilled Vegetable Medley

A chargrilled vegetable medley is a colorful and healthy addition to any barbecue spread. Grilling vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and enhances their flavors.

To make this salad, grill a variety of colorful vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and asparagus until they are slightly charred.

Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and toss with a simple vinaigrette made of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning.

Chargrilled marinated vegetables

6- Barbecue Chicken Salad

Barbecue chicken salad is a classic summer dish that never goes out of style. Grilled chicken adds a smoky flavor to the salad, while the fresh vegetables and herbs make it light and refreshing. To make this salad, grill boneless, skinless chicken breasts until they are cooked through, then slice them into strips. Toss the chicken with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and avocado.

Drizzle with a homemade barbecue sauce made of ketchup, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and apple cider vinegar.

Loaded BBQ chicken recipe in a bowl ready to be served.

Refreshing Fruit Mixes

When it comes to summer BBQs, a refreshing fruit salad is always a crowd-pleaser. Here are two of my favorite fruit mixes that are perfect for any summer gathering.

7- Summer Berry Salad

This salad is bursting with the flavors of summer berries. It’s a colorful and healthy addition to any BBQ spread.

In a large bowl, mix the berries. In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey and lemon juice. Pour the honey mixture over the berries and toss to coat. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad |

8- Citrus and Mint Salad

This salad is a refreshing and tangy mix of citrus fruits and fresh mint. It’s a perfect palate cleanser between bites of BBQ.

Arrange the citrus slices on a platter. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and lime juice. Drizzle the honey mixture over the citrus slices and sprinkle with fresh mint. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Citrus Salad with Mint Vinaigrette

9- Vibrant Broccoli and Beetroot Salad

This is a super easy Broccoli and Beetroot Salad. Broccoli and Beetroot Salad can be prepared without any hustle in some time. You can enjoy this salad in picnics with BBQ.

10- Cucumber Beetroot Salad Recipe

Cucumber Beetroot Salad is a nutritional punch that is a beet salad combined with feta cheese, cucumber, and dill. This flavorful, crunchy, and healthy cucumber beetroot salad can be made in just 10 to 15 minutes.

Mediterranean beetroot cucumber salad

International Inspirations

When it comes to summer salads for BBQ, I love to explore international flavors. Here are three of my favorite international-inspired salads that go well with BBQ.

11- Riviera Salad Recipe

The Riviera Salad is a fresh and vibrant salad inspired by the Mediterranean region, particularly the French Riviera.

This salad brings together a vibrant mix of crisp vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, olives, and sometimes capers, and feta cheese.

Free Green and Red Sliced Vegetables in White Ceramic Bowl Stock Photo

12- Healthy Mediterranean Chickpea Salad For Summer

This nutritious salad is our family favorite which is made by tossing chickpeas with fresh tomatoes, crisp cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, feta, parsley, and bright lemon vinaigrette.

This Healthy Mediterranean Chickpea Salad provides you with an excellent nutritional profile combining all necessary vitamins and minerals that goes perefectly with any grilled food.

vegan mediterranean chickpea salad

13- Greek Tzatziki Salad

This refreshing salad is a twist on the classic Greek tzatziki dip. It combines cool cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and tangy feta cheese with a creamy tzatziki dressing.

To make the dressing, mix Greek yogurt, minced garlic, lemon juice, and chopped fresh dill. This salad is perfect as a side dish or even as a light main course.

A Mediterranean chopped salad made with chopped romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, orange and yellow bell peppers, kalamata olives, english cucumbers and feta cheese all tossed in a creamy tzatziki dressing with cracked black pepper sprinkled on top

14- Mexican Bean Salad

This colorful salad is packed with protein and fiber, thanks to the black beans and corn. It also has a spicy kick from the jalapeno pepper and a tangy flavor from the lime dressing.

To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, and cumin. This salad is perfect for a summer BBQ or as a filling lunch.

Mexican bean salad with corn, tomato, cilantro and garnished with lime in white bowl.

15- Asian Slaw

This crunchy slaw is a refreshing blend of cabbage, carrots, and bell peppers, with a sweet and tangy dressing. To make the dressing, whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and ginger. This salad is perfect as a side dish for grilled meats or as a light lunch.

Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing

16- Lebanese Fattoush Salad

17- Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh salad is a Middle Eastern herb and bulgur salad – is zingy, fragrant, and SO refreshing. Perfect for a mezze platter or BBQ picnic!


Mediterranean chickpea salad in a large white bowl on a table.

Dressings and Vinaigrettes

I know that a good dressing can make or break a salad. When it comes to BBQ salads, it’s important to have dressings that complement the smoky flavors of the grill.

Here are a few of my favorite dressings and vinaigrettes that are perfect for summer BBQ salads.

1- Honey Mustard Dressing

Honey mustard dressing is a classic dressing that pairs perfectly with grilled chicken or pork. To make this dressing, simply mix equal parts honey, Dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and whisk in olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. This dressing is sweet, tangy, and has just the right amount of creaminess.

2- Balsamic Reduction

Balsamic reduction is a simple dressing that adds sophistication to any salad. To make a balsamic reduction, simmer balsamic vinegar over low heat until it thickens and reduces by half.

This process intensifies the flavor of the vinegar and creates a syrupy consistency that is perfect for drizzling over salads. I like to mix balsamic reduction with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper for a simple yet delicious dressing.

3- Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing is a crowd-pleaser that goes well with just about anything. To make ranch dressing, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, and a packet of ranch seasoning mix.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. This dressing is creamy, and tangy, and has just the right amount of herbs and spices.

File:Horseradish And Dill Sour Cream (140491931).jpeg - Wikimedia Commons

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