Light Salad Meals for Summer

Light Salad Meals for Summer

Light salad meals are a great idea for hot weather menu planning. With just a few fresh ingredients you can make a meal quickly and easily. I like having a few standby recipes for those warm summer-like days. Here are a few of my favorite easy salad meals.

These easy salad recipes can be served in a variety of ways so you can always have a variety of meal ideas that are simple to make.

I love the creaminess of cottage cheese and here is a really simple salad with just four ingredients. This is a great salad to serve as a wrap sandwich or even a cold pasta topper. This recipe make 3 to 4 servings.


cottage cheese – 1 (16oz) container

marinated artichoke hearts – 1 cup chopped

sun-dried tomatoes in oil – 1/4 cup chopped

pitted oil-cured black olives – 1/4 cup finely diced

(you can use regular black pitted olives if you prefer)


– Simply place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine completely.

Easy Salad Meal Ideas:

    • Layered Wrap Sandwich: Serve this cheese salad as a layered wrap sandwich. Take a soft tortilla shell and layer it with washed spinach or lettuce leaves. Next place the cottage cheese salad on top of the greens. Then place any of the following on top of the cheese salad; strips of thinly sliced avocado sections, deli ham, chicken or roast beef slices. Roll up the wrap and enjoy.
    • Stuffed Potatoes: Make a quick salad meal by using this creamy salad as a topping for baked potatoes. Serve along with steamed and chilled asparagus drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Pasta Topper: Another idea for a light salad meal is to serve this cheese salad recipe over whole grain cooked and chilled pasta such as rotini, elbow macaroni or farfalle. I like to serve this with warm garlic bread slices on the side.

Here is another four ingredient recipe that make a delicious light salad meal. It is a refreshing crab salad that is packed with flavor. This recipe makes two servings but you can simply double the ingredients to make four servings.


cooked crabmeat – 2 cups (flaked or lump – broken into pieces)

dressing of your choice – 3 to 4 tbsp (Italian, French, or Caesar are good choices)

marinated artichoke hearts – 1 jar (7.5 oz) (drained and cut into small chunks)

fresh watercress – 2 cups (washed and chopped)


– Break the crabmeat into pieces and marinate in a bowl with the salad dressing for one hour.

– After one hour, add all the other ingredients and toss seafood salad well to coat.

Easy Salad Meal Ideas:

    • Crab Salad with Roasted Veggies: Serve this quick crab salad recipe on top of romaine lettuce with a side of roasted vegetables.
    • Crab Stuffed Avocados: Another easy idea is to serve this delicious salad scooped into an avocado half and serve along with rye toast with melted cheese on top for a quick meal.
  • Layered Crab Salad: You can also serve this as a layered salad by layering the crab salad into parfait glasses alternating between layers of peeled orange segments and the crab salad.

Try this simple chicken salad that is filled with great depth of flavor created with chicken, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and more.


chicken – 2 cups cooked, cooled and cubed

garlic – 2 cloves finely chopped

sun-dried tomatoes in oil – 1/3 cup chopped (use oil for dressing)

broccoli – 1 1/2 cups chopped (raw or steamed)

fresh squeezed lime juice – 1 tbsp

Note: If you do not like raw broccoli, you may steam it lightly before adding to salad.


– In a mixing bowl, add the chicken, garlic, tomatoes, broccoli, lime juice and the oil from the tomatoes. Toss well to combine.

Easy Salad Meals:

    • Chicken Salad with Udon Noodles: Serve this easy chicken salad over udon noodles with peach and cucumber slices on the side.
  • Easy Garlic Chicken Salad: Serve chicken salad over a bed of spinach leaves and shredded cabbage with a bowl of cold tomato soup and whole grain crackers.