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Jazz up your summer salad recipes

Brandi is natural born food lover of anything from gourmet cheeses and wine down to plain baked breads. When not in the kitchen cooking, she loves to be outdoors, especially near the ocean. She puts her focus mainly on healthy organic ea...

Salads don't have to be boring

Need help sprucing up those boring salads? Here we share three different takes on three different salads to help keep your plates full of flavor. Simple and quick to prepare these salads are ideal for entertaining or as a light meal for your family.
Salads don't have to be boring

Sometimes salads get a bad rap for being too plain and just, well, boring. These salads are not only loaded with lots of flavors and textures, they are also healthy. Great for hot days when you don't want to heat up the kitchen and perfect if you are entertaining guests at your next cookout. They take no time at all to prepare and the best part is you won't feel guilty after eating them.

Grilled summer corn salad with agave lime dressing recipe

Yields 4-6 servings


  • 4 ears summer corn, cleaned (husk and silk removed)
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced in half
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, sliced long way
  • 1 yellow summer squash, sliced long way
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro, jalapeños and lime wedges for garnish


  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Lightly coat the vegetables (corn, bell peppers, onions, zucchini and squash) with olive oil. An easy way to do this is just drizzle the oil over the tops of the vegetables and, with your hands, gently rub it onto the vegetables, making sure they are all coated.
  3. Place the vegetables on the grill and grill for about 10 to 15 minutes, watching carefully so that they do not burn. (The corn does take longer than the other vegetables to cook.) Once the vegetables are done grilling, remove them from the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Once cool, remove the corn kernels from the cob and add them to a large mixing bowl. Dice the onions, bell peppers, zucchini and squash, adding to them to the bowl and mixing everything well.
  5. Toss the salad with the agave lime dressing and allow the salad to chill for at least an hour. Before serving, mix the salad well and top with fresh slices of jalapeño, cilantro and lime wedges.

Agave lime vinaigrette recipe

Yields 1/2 cup


  • 4 limes juiced and zested
  • 4 fresh cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar (more or less depending on your taste and how sweet you want it)
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a blender add all of the ingredients except the olive oil and puree until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Add the olive oil and blend again until the dressing is thick or to desired consistency.
  3. Remove from the blender and store for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Orange and avocado spinach salad with citrus dressing recipe

Yields 2 large dinner salads or 4 small side salads


  • 6 cups organic baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1 large or 2 small navel oranges, sliced thin
  • 1/2 small red onion very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Croutons (optional)


  1. Arrange the spinach in two large salad bowls or four small salad bowls
  2. Add the diced avocado, several slices of the navel orange, red onion and crumbled feta to each of the salads.
  3. Tops with homemade croutons and drizzle with the citrus dressing. Serve immediately.

Citrus dressing recipe

Yields 1/2 cup


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (you can also substitute avocado oil)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a food processor or blender add all of the ingredients. Blend on high or until the dressing is smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Summer melon and feta salad with citrus honey vinaigrette recipe

Yields 2 large salads or 4 small salads


  • 4 cups baby arugula, washed and dried
  • 2 cups watermelon, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup honeydew melon, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, julienned


  1. Place the arugula, melon chunks, cucumber and mint in a large mixing bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette to the salad and toss making sure its nicely coated. Best if served immediately.
  2. Serve with extra dressing on the side if desired.

Citrus honey vinaigrette recipe

Yields 1/2 cup


  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 medium-sized shallot
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons good-quality honey (I used a local orange blossom honey)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Store covered in an airtight container for up to one week

More salad ideas

Caprese bread salad
Chicken pita salad
Greek wedge salad

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