Green Bean Salad

Green bean salad is a fresh, crunchy, bright, and delicious salad full of tomatoes, almonds, and green beans tossed in a quick lemon vinaigrette. 

Also called a French Green Bean Salad, it can be as fancy or as basic as you like, it’s a perfect complement to any summer dish, from barbecue ribs, to pork chops! It’s colorful, tasty and goes with anything.

Green bean salad ready to be served topped with almonds in a bowl.

What’s in a Green Bean Salad?

Only the best of everything marinated, that’s all! Garlic, cherry tomatoes, a little lemon juice, vinegar and oil, and this cold, crunchy salad is a perfect side dish to nearly any entrée you’re serving. Don’t forget the almonds!

Adjust the vinaigrette or the seasonings and make it as tangy as you like! Even on top of a bed of greens, it can be a meal all on it’s own!

Extra additions

This salad is simple and delicious but feel free to change it up with your own additions or alternatives:

  • goat cheese or feta cheese
  • slivered red onion
  • quinoa or grains
  • pine nuts, pecans or walnuts
  • toasted bread crumbs

Ingredients for green bean salad like tomatoes, almonds, and dressing.

How to Blanch Green Beans

Blanching veggies means to boil them for a short period and then to plunge them into cold water to stop cooking.

  1. Wash: Rinse them and then cut or snap off each end.
  2. Boil: Add prepared green beans into boiling water for a couple of minutes, just until tender crisp.
  3. Ice Bath: Let their bright green color emerge and then remove them from the boiling water and plunge them into a bowl of ice water.

The ice bath is the part that radically stops the cooking process, first they are plunged into hot water to cook them, then into cold water to suddenly stop the cooking process. This makes them cooked, but bright green and crunchy and perfectly ready to eat in a salad!

To Keep Green Beans Bright Green

A quick tip I learned at our local culinary school… when boiling green beans (or any other green veggie like asparagus) add a pinch of baking soda to the water. This won’t change the flavor but will keep the beans a vibrant green (rather than a dull color) for a beautiful dish!

How to Store It

Green bean salad will last at least a week as long as it stays cold. Keep it covered tightly and refresh the flavors with salt and pepper as needed.

The Best Main Dishes for Green Bean Salad

Green Bean Salad goes with everything! Any kind of protein; chicken, beef, or pork lend themselves perfectly to the crispy, crunchy flavors this salad brings to the table! It even works by itself! It’s also a great work-day salad for when you are dining at the desk!

More Delicious Side Salads

Green Bean Salad

This easy green bean salad with tomatoes is colorful, tasty and goes with anything, so it is a perfect addition to a barbecue or a potluck!

  • 1 lb green beans (trimmed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil (chopped)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds
  1. Bring water and baking soda to a rolling boil. Cook green beans 4- 5 minutes or until tender crisp. Drain beans and place in an ice bath.
  2. Combine lemon juice, sugar, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl. Add green beans and tomatoes and allow to marinate at least 30 minutes.
  3. Top with basil and almonds just before serving.

Recipe inspired by Jamie Dean.

A serving bowl of green bean salad with tomatoes and toasted almonds.
A serving bowl of green bean salad with tomatoes and toasted almonds.
Top photo - A serving bowl of green bean salad with tomatoes and toasted almonds. Bottom photo - ingredients assembled to make green bean salad.

Orzo Pasta Salad

This Orzo Pasta Salad is filled with fresh veggies and has a fresh lemon taste.  Perfect for your next potluck! 

Orzo pasta is fast and friendly to make that is an added bonus to this salad. If you love orzo try this Italian Orzo and Sausage Skillet, Lemon Parmesan Garlic Orzo with Asparagus or Southwest Orzo Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing.

Orzo Salad

Orzo Pasta Salad

Hey everyone! Chelsea back from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. Today I’ve got an easy pasta salad with NO MAYO!

Don’t get me wrong, I love pasta salads with a rich mayo dressing, but sometimes they aren’t the best if you have to transport them or have them outside during a hot day.

This pasta salad is perfect for hot summer days because it won’t go bad if it sits out for a little. It is best chilled, but it won’t get bad quickly either!

It is a win-win for everyone at your next get together.

I will warn you though, this orzo pasta salad will not last long and everyone will be asking you for the recipe.

The last BBQ I went to I had to right down the recipe multiple times before I could even finish my own plate.

This is a great salad that has garden vegetables, is light and tasty but OH. SO. FILLING! The perfect combination!

What you need to make an orzo pasta salad:

This salad is packed with veggies and has a fresh taste from the lemon.

You can easily switch up the veggies to what you like best.

Pretty much anything goes in this one!

  • Orzo- make this according to the package directions.
  • Lemon zest- add an intense amount of flavor with no bitterness.
  • Lemon juice- the citric acid aids in the mixture with a slight sour taste.
  • Olive oil-is best for harmonizing, enhancing and building the flavors together, plus it adds to the body and depth.
  • Salt- a dash of extra flavor.
  • Garlic- mince garlic is best for that intense flavor compared to garlic powder.
  • Honey- this will be an added sweetener with layers of flavor.
  • Corn- fresh or frozen will work for this pasta salat.
  • Red bell pepper- chopped bell pepper adds a sweet and crunchy flavor.
  • Zucchini- subtle and not overpowering vegetable that adds just the right amount of taste.
  • Salt and pepper- for added flavoring.
  • Mozzarella- cut into chunks and add to the salad for a soft, moist texture that is full of a milky flavor.
  • Basil- is associated with a strong, pungent and sweet smell that tastes a little like pepper.

How do you make orzo pasta salad?

  • Orzo Pasta: Make the orzo according to the package directions. Drain and rinse the orzo pasta with cold water. Then drain and place in a large bowl. Let is cool completely.
  • Dressing: Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, garlic, and honey. Whisk until well combined.
  • Vegetables: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together in one bowl the corn, red pepper and zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then add to a sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes flipping every 7-8 minutes in the preheated oven. (Cook until crisp tender)
  • Combine: Toss completely cooled vegetables, completely cooled pasta, cubed mozzarella, and ribboned basil with the dressing and chill in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

What is orzo?

Orzo is a type of short cut pasta that resembles grains of rice, only a tad bit bigger.

It can also go by the name “risoni.”You can find orzo in the pasta aisle in the grocery stores.

How do I use orzo?

Orzo is cooked on the stove top and boiled, similar to most pastas. You can use orzo like you would rice or in a variety of pasta dishes.

Tips for making orzo pasta salad:

  • You will want to cool your orzo completely to prevent it from clumping together. Running it under cold water in a colander will quickly help the salad cool.
  • You can make this salad 4 to 6 hours before you plan to serve it.
  • If you prefer to use a different cheese other than mozzarella, try goat cheese or feta substitute.
  • As a substitute or an addition there are plenty of other vegetables that will go well with this salad.
  • Adding nuts will also enhance this pasta salad.

Orzo Salad

Looking for more pasta salads?! Enjoy these ones!

Orzo Pasta Salad

This orzo pasta salad is filled with fresh veggies and has a fresh lemon taste.  Perfect for your next potluck! 

  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small zucchini (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup cubed mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup ribboned basil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain and place in a large bowl.
  3. While orzo cooks, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, oil, salt, garlic, and honey. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Toss the corn, chopped red pepper, & chopped zucchini with olive oil and salt and pepper on a tray.
  5. Cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping every 7-8 minutes in the preheated oven. (Cook until crisp tender)
  6. Remove and allow to cool.
  7. Toss completely cooled vegetables, completely cooled pasta, cubed mozzarella, and ribboned basil with the dressing and chill in the fridge until ready to enjoy.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste!
  9. Enjoy!

Asian Chopped Salad with the perfect crunch!

Asian Chopped Salad is a crispy healthy meal! Just a little bit savory, a little exotic, but a whole lotta’ color and crunch! This salad is loaded with… you guessed it, chopped veggies including cabbage, cilantro, green onions and an assortment of fresh crunchy veggies to create this delicious salad! 

Topped with teriyaki grilled chicken thighs or Asian beef skewers, this salad makes for a filling meal on its own. It also makes a great slaw for burgers or hot dogs! It’s great with practically anything!

Asian chopped salad dressing being poured over the bowl full of ingredients.

What’s in Chopped Salad?

As you’d imagine… a variety of chopped veggies! Chopped salads can be any combo of flavors and veggies (I have a great marinated salad I love too).

This recipe beats anything you can buy pre-made at the store. Cabbage, bell peppers, peas, carrots, and bean sprouts all blend perfectly in a healthy, crunchy combination of flavor! Top with a zesty sesame ginger dressing for the perfect final touch!

It’s better than a salad kit because you can use any quantity of ingredients you like! Extra sesame seeds or almonds? Sure! Extra red bell peppers or a little less shredded cabbage? You can even mix this Asian chopped salad dressing with a dash of Sriracha for a spicy kick!

Pro Tip: gently saute the almonds and let them cool completely before adding to the salad. Toasting nuts burn off some of the oil, keeping them crunchy longer as well as more flavorful!

Asian chopped salad ingredients in a bowl.

Dressing for Chopped Salad

I use a simple homemade Sesame Ginger Dressing to compliment the veggies in this easy chopped salad. Homemade dressing is so easy to make and has the best flavor.

A store bought dressing will work well in this recipe. If you purchase sesame ginger dressing, I love to add one of the following to each up.

Choose one per cup of dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon orange juice or a bit of orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sriracha or to taste
  • a squeeze of lime juice
  • a dash of soy sauce

Keep in mind homemade dressing is loaded with flavor and doesn’t need any additions.

Asian chopped salad ingredients being combined with salad spoons.

My Favorite Additions!

  • Veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, cucumbers, soybeans (edamame), pepperoncini peppers, or asparagus
  • Nuts & Seeds: black sesame seeds, or toasted cashews or peanuts (in place of almonds)
  • Noodles: Deep-fried crunchy Asian noodles or crispy Asian noodles (wontons), crispy wonton strips (add as a garnish)
  • Meat & Eggs: shrimp, BBQ pork, smoked salmon, hard-boiled eggs, or chicken

How Long Will Chopped Salad Last?

Keeping your Asian style salad fresh by not overdressing it. The best part about this salad is that it is super crunchy. So, don’t overdo it by soaking it in too much dressing!

If it DOES get a little soggy, freshen the flavors with some new crunchy things of your choice! A bit of lemon juice and salt and pepper will renew your salad in a jiffy!

Asian-Fusion Recipes

Asian Chopped Salad

Deliciously crunchy Asian inspired salad.

  • 1 romaine heart (chopped)
  • 1 cup green cabbage (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup purple cabbage (thinly sliced)
  • 1 red pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup snap peas (sliced)
  • 1 cup carrots (julienned)
  • 2 green onions (thinly sliced)

For Serving

  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup Sesame Ginger Dressing (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup almonds (toasted)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  1. Wash, prep and chop all vegetables

  2. Heat sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat and toast almonds for 3-5 minutes or until slightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

  3. Combine all ingredients together and toss with dressing.

  4. Top with toasted cilantro, almonds and sesame seeds.

Top image - Asian chopped salad mixed in a bowl with salad spoons. bottom image - Asian chopped salad dressing being poured over the salad ingredients.
Close up of Asian chopped salad mixed in a bowl.
Asian chopped salad combined in a bowl.

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad is fresh, delicious and light and packed with amazing flavor!  Tossed in a tangy lemon glaze and topped with feta cheese, you won’t be able to get enough!

Fresh garden ingredients and summertime happiness all in one bowl! If you love salads try this Italian Avocado Cucumber Tomato Salad, Chilled Cucumber Tomato Salad, Farro Caprese Salad or Creamy Cucumber Salad.

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad

I am happy to report that I survived the move this weekend.  Whoa.  Moving is the most exhausting thing in the world.  And as the years go by you just keep collecting stuff.  And then your kids collect stuff.  And your house is borderline hoarders because you get so attached to the weirdest things.

I finally got to the point where I just had to get rid of it!  Even after the movers come you are left with all of this little stuff and nick nacks that you just don’t know what to do with.   So many trips are made after the move just to take all of the stuff you didn’t know what to do with before to the new house.

But we are so excited to be in our new house!  It is so amazing to finally be in a place to call our own.

It is so hot right now.  And moving in it is so much worse!   I don’t even have much of an appetite in the summer because it is so bad and all I crave are salads, popsicles, and no bake treats.

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad

What you need to make arugula salad:

LOVED this quick and easy salad.  I could have eaten the whole entire thing by myself.  I love fresh avocados but when you mix it in a salad with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers it is incredible.

  • Avocados: cut into chunks
  • English cucumbers: leave it unpeeled and chopped into pieces
  • Roma Tomatoes: cut into chunks
  • Red onion: cut into slices
  • Argula: Mixed greens also works well
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice: best to use a squeeze of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Feta Cheese

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad ingredients

How do you make Arugula salad?

  • Mix: In a large bowl combine avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and arugula. Gently toss together.
  • Whisk: In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, and lemon juice. Add to the veggies and toss.
  • Serve with crumbled feta cheese.

I loved the addition of the feta cheese.  I always sprinkle everything with a little feta because it is so good.  This salad is so simple but packed with so much flavor.  It makes a light and healthy dinner that you guys are going to love!

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad

What is arugula?

Arugula offers an herbaceous, peppery flavor with hints of nuts and mustard. Leaves allowed to mature too long on the arugula plant will become bitter in taste.

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad

Is arugula healthy for you?

  • Cancer Fighting Power food
  • Hydrating Leafy Green
  • Good for Bone Health
  • Helps Reduce Inflammation in the Body
  • Cleanses and Detoxifies the Body
  • Protects the Aging Brain From Cognitive Decline

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula ingredients in a bowl

Can you make this salad ahead?

Yes! I love an easy salad that can be made ahead of time. This does well sitting in a refrigerator for about 4 hours ahead of time. Since everything is so fresh it is hard to leave any longer.

The avocados will begin to turn brown and mushy. Tomatoes will become soggy. Which in turn will lead to a dreadful and unpleasant looking salad.

Presentation and flavor is key to eating healthy and successfully!

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad

Varieties when making arugula salad:

  • Cheese: goat cheese or shaved parmesan instead of, or in addition to the feta cheese.
  • Vegetables: carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower
  • Nuts: pecans, walnuts or almonds
  • Salad: mixed greens or spinach salad tastes good too.

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad

Looking for more salad recipes?! Here are my faves!

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad

 

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad

Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad is fresh, delicious and light and packed with amazing flavor! Tossed in a tangy lemon glaze and topped with feta cheese, you won't be able to get enough!

  • 2 avocados (diced)
  • 1 english cucumber (sliced)
  • 3 roma tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (sliced)
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  1. In a large bowl combine avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and arugula. Gently toss.
  2. In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, and lemon juice. Add to the veggies and toss.
  3. Serve with crumbled feta cheese.

Cucumber Tomato Salad (easy and fresh)

Cucumber Tomato Salad is a classic salad, light, cooling, and oh-so refreshing. This easy salad is made with sliced cucumbers & juicy tomatoes and enhanced with slivers of red onion and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.

Serve cucumber tomato onion salad next to grilled or roasted meats or fish, such as marinated beef or chicken kabobs, grilled salmon, or pork tenderloin.

Cucumber tomato salad in a wooden bowl.

How to Make Cucumber Tomato Salad

When the farmer’s markets start overflowing with juicy garden fresh veggies, I take my cue to make a big bowl of cucumber tomato salad.

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients (per recipe below).
  2. Slice all vegetables and toss with the dressing.

I love using a combination of fresh or dried oregano and basil in this salad to bring out its Mediterranean essence. Chopped fresh dill, thyme, and-or parsley deliver equally excellent herbal notes.

Overview of cucumber tomato salad ingredients in a wooden bowl.

English cucumber is ideal for this recipe. The peels are tender enough that there’s no need to remove them, and the seeds are virtually nonexistent. If you only have regular salad cukes on hand, those are perfectly suitable as well. Just peel them, and, if the seeds seem tough, scoop them out and then slice.

Dressing for Cucumber Tomato Salad

Honestly, this salad really doesn’t need much, a simple dressing allows the flavor of the veggies to shine and keeps the salad light and fresh.

A splash of vinegar and a bit of olive oil with salt & pepper. I most often use red wine vinegar but you can use your favorite (infused oils and vinegars are great here too).

Cucumber tomato salad ingredients in a wooden bowl with dressing being poured on top.

Can I Make it Ahead?

This salad tastes great served cold and ca be made ahead. Of course it’s best made the day you’re serving it but you can keep it for a couple of days and drain any juices. Whenever I’m planning this dish and need to get a jump on dinner, I partially prep the tomato-cucumber salad.

  1. In the same bowl you plan to make the salad, whisk together the wine vinegar, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper.
  2. Peel and cut the onion into slivers and toss in the vinaigrette.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for up to a day in advance.

The onions will stay crunchy while helping the dressing mellow and develop flavor. To assemble the salad, all you have to do is slice the cucumbers and tomatoes, toss with the onion and vinaigrette mixture, and briefly refrigerate before serving.

More Fun Additions

You can have a lot of fun with this recipe, by treating it as a foundation. Go ahead and layer in other fresh and tasty ingredients like crumbled feta, mozzarella balls, avocado chunks or chopped fennel bulb. Got stale bread? Even better, turn this into a Panzanella Salad to make it a meal!

The options are limited only by your own creativity!

Salads with a Cucumber Crunch

Cucumber Tomato Salad

This fresh summer salad provides the perfect crunch!

  • 1 long English cucumber (sliced)
  • 2-3 large tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 red onion (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs (parsley, basil and/or dill, optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss well.
  2. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving.

Cucumber tomato salad in a wooden bowl.
Cucumber tomato salad in a wooden bowl.
Top image - cucumber tomato salad in a wooden bowl. Bottom image - cucumber tomato salad ingredients in a wooden bowl with dressing being poured ontop.

Italian Pasta Salad

Italian pasta salad is one of my favorite cold pasta salad dishes!  Fresh and colorful vegetables, cheese, salami, and Italian vinaigrette are tossed with your favorite pasta to create an unforgettable dish for just about any summer occasion.

Pasta salads are one of my go to potluck dishes from easy and fresh Greek Pasta Salad to a delicious Caesar Pasta Salad and of course my famous Dill Pickle Pasta Salad! Not only does everyone love them, pasta salads are super easy to make and  they’re even better when made ahead of time!

A bowl full of colorful Italian Pasta salad ready for a potluck!

Potluck Perfect Pasta Salad

Whenever summer rolls around, we always seem to be headed to barbecues, potlucks, and patio parties. Of course I’m always asked to bring a big pitcher of Classic Mojitos (it’s the drink I’m known for) but I almost always bring a cold pasta salad recipe along too!

This Italian Pasta Salad recipe is a really fun twist on a classic pasta salad because it’s loaded with so many goodies. It travels well and goes with pretty much anything.

Big Bold Flavors

This easy pasta salad recipe is loaded with flavor, you can add in your own favorite Italian inspired ingredients; diced artichokes and sun dried tomatoes also make great additions! 

Ingredients for pasta salad:

  • Bold Flavors: cheese, salami, olives and Italian seasonings add a big punch of flavor
  • Crunch: Bell pepper adds great  for color, crunch and flavor
  • Veggies: I love the juicy tang tomatoes add, throw in some cucumbers or any veggies you have on hand

A small serving of colorful Italian Pasta salad ready for a potluck!

Noodles for Pasta Salad

Tri-color rotini does an amazing job at holding the cheese and Italian dressing in the crevices for max flavor, but you can use shells, or whatever medium noodles you happen to have handy!

Cook the pasta al dente so it isn’t mushy and it holds up well to the dressing.

Tips to Make the Perfect Italian Pasta Salad

  • Cut your veggies small: Cutting your vegetables into pieces slightly smaller than bite-sized will ensure that you get a taste of everything in each bite!
  • Don’t overcook your noodles: Overcooking will make a mushy pasta salad as the acids from the dressing will break down the starches farther. Shock your noodles once they are cooked al dente in cold water for best results!
  • Cool your pasta before adding the toppings: You don’t want to begin to cook your vegetables while you toss everything together!
  • Let your pasta salad sit before you serve it: This gives the dressing a chance to really permeate your veggies and pasta, resulting in a more flavorful and delicious Italian pasta salad!
  • Keep it colorful: If you are adding some extra veggies you have on hand, keep your pasta salad fun and colorful! I love adding things like artichokes, shredded carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, peppers, etc.

A bowl full of colorful Italian Pasta salad ready for a party!

Italian Pasta Salad Dressing

To make this recipe quick and easy, I use a bottled Italian dressing but of course homemade Italian Dressing is amazing if you have the ingredients on hand.

Make ahead… The best thing about this pasta salad recipe is that it gets better as it sits and the flavors blend! It’s the perfect make ahead side dish, it takes 20 only about minutes to prepare. What could be better than that?

As this Italian pasta salad sits in the fridge, the acids in the dressing actually work to help break down the starches in the pasta and the proteins in the veggies, resulting in a more flavorful and tender pasta salad (so be sure not to overcook your noodles)!

To Make Homemade Italian Dressing combine the following:

Favorite Pasta Salad Recipes

Italian Pasta Salad

Tender pasta, ripe juicy tomatoes, crisp bell peppers, salami and mozzarella cheese are tossed in an Italian dressing for the perfect make ahead side dish.

  • 16 oz tricolor rotini
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (cubed)
  • 1/3 cup red onion (diced)
  • 8 oz salami (chopped)
  • 1 cup bottled Italian vinaigrette dressing
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Rinse under cold water.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss.
  3. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Repin this Super Summer Salad!

Italian pasta salad is one of my favorite cold pasta salad dishes!  Fresh and colorful vegetables, cheese, salami, and Italian vinaigrette are tossed with your favorite pasta to create an unforgettable dish for just about any summer occasion. #spendwithpennies #summersalad #pastasalad #easysidedish #easyrecipe #pastarecipe #healthyrecipe #freshsidedish

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Creamy Cucumber Salad is a refreshing summertime staple at any picnic, barbecue or potluck. Crisp cucumbers and fresh summery dill all tossed in a simple sour cream dressing. 

This easy recipe is made in a snap with ingredients that are probably already in the kitchen. It takes just minutes to make and is the perfect side dish next to grilled chicken or barbecue ribs. Especially with a side of grilled corn on the cob!

Creamy cucumber salad in a glass bowl.

What’s in Cucumber Salad?

Cucumber Salad is a delicious summery blend of cucumbers, dill, and dressing! With a dressing made of sour cream, mayo, lemon juice, and vinegar, you’ve got the basics down! It’s just seasonings and a dash of sugar from there!

CUCUMBERS:

I prefer long English cucumbers for this recipe as they are thin skinned and don’t require peeling (although you can peel them if you prefer).

If using regular field cucumbers, the skins can be tough so I’d suggest peeling them or at least peeling some strips. The seeds on field cucumbers are larger so I often cut them in half and scrape the seeds out to keep the salad from getting watery.

ONIONS: White onions are optional but add great flavor to this cucumber salad.  Pick onions with the white papery skin (not the yellow skin) as they’re a little bit milder.  Thinly slice the onion and soak it in cold water while preparing the salad to take off a little bit of bite from the onion.

For a heartier version, stir in some shredded cabbage. Scoop it into a wrap for a quick and refreshing vegetarian lunch!

Cucumber salad ingredients in a glass bowl.

How to Make Creamy Cucumber Salad

This creamy cucumber salad starts with fresh crisp cucumbers.

  1. Peel the cucumbers if desired and seed if using field cucumbers.
  2. Slice into ¼ inch pieces.
  3. Mix together the remaining ingredients and gently stir in the sliced cucumbers.

Refrigerate one hour before serving. Garnish with chopped dill.

TIP: While it’s optional, scraping out the seeds of the cucumbers will keep the salad from getting watery. If using smaller cucumbers, it’s not necessary to scrape them.

Two images showing cucumber salad ingredients in a both and the creamy dressing being whisked in a separate bowl.

Dressing: Creamy or Vinaigrette

I’ve always made a creamy dressing for this cucumber salad with sour cream, a dab of mayonnaise and a hint of vinegar for some tang.

To make it healthier, substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream (I often to this on my baked potatoes or to top chicken fajitas)!

If you prefer a Cucumber Salad with a Vinegar Style Dressing, you can simply replace the dressing in this recipe with:

  • 1/3 cup white vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • salt & pepper

How Long Will it Last in the Fridge?

Creamy Cucumber Salad will last several days as long as it is kept cold and covered. It’s best when it’s fresh but it’s easily refreshed. Try adding a few more crunchy cucumbers or even some chopped white onions!

To Make Ahead

This recipe can be made 4 or 5 hours in advance for the best flavor, this way the cucumbers stay crispy! If you’d like to make it further ahead, slice the cucumbers and onions if using and toss with the dressing just before serving.

More Cucumber Favorites

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Cucumber salad is a refreshing summertime staple.

  • 2 long English cucumbers
  • Optional: 1/3 cup sliced white onion

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or plain greek yogurt)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • salt to taste
  1. Peel the cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds if desired and slice into 1/4″ slices.
  2. Combine all dressing ingredients and toss with cucumbers.
  3. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

This Creamy Cucumber salad with dill is the perfect quick and easy side for any barbecue or picnic! You can use greek yogurt or sour cream for a delicious side everyone will love!

Top image - creamy cucumber salad in a bowl, Bottom image - cucumbers being sliced.
Creamy cucumber salad in a bowl.
Creamy cucumber salad in a bowl

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Creamy Cucumber Salad is a refreshing summertime staple at any picnic, barbecue or potluck. Crisp cucumbers and fresh summery dill all tossed in a simple sour cream dressing. 

This easy recipe is made in a snap with ingredients that are probably already in the kitchen. It takes just minutes to make and is the perfect side dish next to grilled chicken or barbecue ribs. Especially with a side of grilled corn on the cob!

Creamy cucumber salad in a glass bowl.

What’s in Cucumber Salad?

Cucumber Salad is a delicious summery blend of cucumbers, dill, and dressing! With a dressing made of sour cream, mayo, lemon juice, and vinegar, you’ve got the basics down! It’s just seasonings and a dash of sugar from there!

CUCUMBERS:

I prefer long English cucumbers for this recipe as they are thin skinned and don’t require peeling (although you can peel them if you prefer).

If using regular field cucumbers, the skins can be tough so I’d suggest peeling them or at least peeling some strips. The seeds on field cucumbers are larger so I often cut them in half and scrape the seeds out to keep the salad from getting watery.

ONIONS: White onions are optional but add great flavor to this cucumber salad.  Pick onions with the white papery skin (not the yellow skin) as they’re a little bit milder.  Thinly slice the onion and soak it in cold water while preparing the salad to take off a little bit of bite from the onion.

For a heartier version, stir in some shredded cabbage. Scoop it into a wrap for a quick and refreshing vegetarian lunch!

Cucumber salad ingredients in a glass bowl.

How to Make Creamy Cucumber Salad

This creamy cucumber salad starts with fresh crisp cucumbers.

  1. Peel the cucumbers if desired and seed if using field cucumbers.
  2. Slice into ¼ inch pieces.
  3. Mix together the remaining ingredients and gently stir in the sliced cucumbers.

Refrigerate one hour before serving. Garnish with chopped dill.

TIP: While it’s optional, scraping out the seeds of the cucumbers will keep the salad from getting watery. If using smaller cucumbers, it’s not necessary to scrape them.

Two images showing cucumber salad ingredients in a both and the creamy dressing being whisked in a separate bowl.

Dressing: Creamy or Vinaigrette

I’ve always made a creamy dressing for this cucumber salad with sour cream, a dab of mayonnaise and a hint of vinegar for some tang.

To make it healthier, substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream (I often to this on my baked potatoes or to top chicken fajitas)!

If you prefer a Cucumber Salad with a Vinegar Style Dressing, you can simply replace the dressing in this recipe with:

  • 1/3 cup white vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • salt & pepper

How Long Will it Last in the Fridge?

Creamy Cucumber Salad will last several days as long as it is kept cold and covered. It’s best when it’s fresh but it’s easily refreshed. Try adding a few more crunchy cucumbers or even some chopped white onions!

To Make Ahead

This recipe can be made 4 or 5 hours in advance for the best flavor, this way the cucumbers stay crispy! If you’d like to make it further ahead, slice the cucumbers and onions if using and toss with the dressing just before serving.

More Cucumber Favorites

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Cucumber salad is a refreshing summertime staple.

  • 2 long English cucumbers
  • Optional: 1/3 cup sliced white onion

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or plain greek yogurt)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • salt to taste
  1. Peel the cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds if desired and slice into 1/4″ slices.
  2. Combine all dressing ingredients and toss with cucumbers.
  3. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

This Creamy Cucumber salad with dill is the perfect quick and easy side for any barbecue or picnic! You can use greek yogurt or sour cream for a delicious side everyone will love!

Top image - creamy cucumber salad in a bowl, Bottom image - cucumbers being sliced.
Creamy cucumber salad in a bowl.
Creamy cucumber salad in a bowl

Southwest Chickpea Salad

Southwest Chickpea Salad is a delicious and fresh chick pea salad filled so many delicious flavors and textures!  This salad is fresh and healthy and easy to make!

Party in your mouth with so many fresh and full of life flavors! Needing some healthy salads to finish you off this summer?! Try this Pasta Cobb Salad, Blackened Chicken Avocado Power Bowls or Berry Quinoa and Kale Salad.

southwest chickpea salad

Southwest Chickpea Salad

Oh man.  Life lately.  Just when you think that life is going to slow down a big change happens to make your life busy again.  We are getting ready to close on a new house in a couple of weeks and will start the moving process.  Again.

We move so much that I should just leave everything in boxes.  But this time it is kind of exciting because we will finally own a home.

My husband has been finishing school and we have just been renting and moving from place to place.  So it is exciting and nerve wracking to become first time home owners.

On top of getting ready to move we are surviving the last month of school.  I don’t know about you guys but the last month of school is hard!  It is funny how I would wake up with my boys every day and pack them a lunch and walk them to school.  Now my son wakes himself up to an alarm and gets him and his brother ready. I am ready for summer!

How to make Southwest Chickpea Salad

  • Combine. In a large bowl mix together black beans, chickpeas, corn, tomatoes, avocado, and olives.
  • Whisk. In a small bowl blend your lime juice, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt and cilantro until creamy.
  • Add. Combine all ingredients to the salad and toss ingredients until combined, Garnish with feta cheese if you would like a little extra softness.

southwest chickpea salad ingredients in a bowl

When life gets so busy I love making easy, fresh and delicious recipes.  I am seriously in love with chick peas lately and this salad is full of so many delicious ingredients.  Black beans, tomatoes, corn, olives, avocado and cilantro.  It is fresh, easy and full of flavor!

You guys are going to love all of the flavors and spices in this Southwest Chickpea Salad!  You are going to love how fresh and healthy it is and it is perfect for upcoming potlucks and picnics.  It is vibrant and full of color and flavor and I know that it will be a hit wherever it goes.

Can you make this ahead of time?

Yes! I love to make this salad ahead of time and meal prep it for the week. It is light and tasty and so simple to make.

How long does chickpea salad last?

This salad is great stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 5 days. Perfect for meal prepping or just enjoying with friends for lunch! I love all the garden fresh flavors along with these chickpeas!

Who loves fresh salad?! Here are more to try!

southwest chickpea salad

Southwest Chickpea Salad

Southwest Chickpea Salad is a delicious and fresh chick pea salad filled so many delicious flavors and textures!  This salad is fresh and healthy and easy to make!

  • 15 ounce can black beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas (rinsed & drained)
  • 15 ounce can corn
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (chopped in half)
  • 2 medium avocado (diced)
  • 1 small can of diced olives
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese for garnish (optional)
  1. In a large bowl combine black beans, chickpeas, corn, tomatoes, avocado, and olives.

  2. In a small bowl whisk the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt and cilantro.

  3. Add to the salad and toss ingredients until combined, Garnish with feta cheese.

 

German Potato Salad

Closeup of German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad is a great alternative to the traditional American Potato Salad and has loads of flavour from a tangy, bacony dressing!

Who doesn’t love potatoes? They taste great whichever way you cook them, be it scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes or wedges!

German Potato Salad served on a platter

German Potato Salad

Hot bacon dressing, soft boiled potatoes and lots of bacon – what’s there not to like! If you are bored of the regularly creamy potato salad, this German Potato Salad is a must try. Flavours like you won’t believe it. It’ll be the first thing that’ll vanish at potlucks and picnics.

You will need baby potatoes for this salad. Its traditionally made with baby red potatoes but Yukon gold will also work. Leave the skin on because it adds more texture and flavour to this salad. The potatoes are boiled till tender and then tossed with the dressing.

Potatoes for German Potato Salad

Hot Bacon Dressing

The best part about this salad is the tangy, hot bacon dressing. It’s made with red onions, mustard, vinegar, sugar and bacon fat of course. It’s what makes this salad so unique and so yum! The onions are cooked in the rendered fat from the bacon and then everything is tossed together to make a delicious dressing for these warm potatoes. Don’t worry if it looks like there’s too much dressing. Once you toss it, the potatoes will soak it all up.

I love using thickly cut bacon for this so that there is enough fat rendered for the dressing. And I like my bacon on the crispier side because that crunch is amazing in this salad.

Make sure to use red onions here. The tanginess and that sharp flavour is super important here. White onions just won’t cut it.

This salad makes a great side and can be served warm or cold. So depending on the weather, you can either serve it immediately or chill it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Closeup of German Potato Salad

More Salad Recipes for Picnics and Potlucks:

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Berry Cheesecake Salad

Italian Macaroni Salad

Lemon Dill Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad is a great alternative to the traditional American Potato Salad and has loads of flavour from a tangy, bacony dressing!

  • 2 pound Baby Potatoes (cut in half)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Salt (divided)
  • 5 slices thickly cut Bacon (diced)
  • 1 medium red Onion (finely diced)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Dill
  1. Place potatoes to a boil and add a tablespoon of salt to it. Boil them till they are fork tender. Drain and set aside.

  2. Cook the bacon till the fat starts to render, and then add the onions. Cook the onions and bacon for 5 more minutes and then remove the onions and bacon in a large bowl. Reserve the remaining bacon fat and pour it into a small jar to make the dressing.

  3. Add the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, dill and half teaspoon salt to the jar with bacon fat and shake well to make the dressing.

  4. Add the potatoes to the large bowl with bacon and onions and pour the dressing on top. Toss well to combine. Serve warm or cold.