4 Fresh and Easy Salad Recipes
4 Fresh and Easy Salad Recipes
For me, outdoor cookouts always signal the beginning of summer. Even though we are still working on finishing up our school year with just a few more days until the finish line, my mindset has already shifted to summer. This past Sunday, our church hosted a picnic after the service. They provided the entree and dessert, but asked attendees to bring a side dish or salad. Here are a few of my favorite salads (some that have been in my family for generations) that I always bring to a cookout!
1. Broccoli Salad (Recipe by Trisha Yearwood)
I made this salad to take to our church picnic. My husband told me when he went for seconds, there wasn't much leftover! The simple mayonnaise dressing and bacon makes this broccoli salad extra yummy. I love that it is easy to make. The longest part of making this salad is cooking the bacon!
The original recipe was shared with us by my sister-in-law, Becky, and since then, nearly every one of us will make this salad for any of our gatherings. You can count on everyone loving it and it comes together in a matter of minutes. Her pro tip is to press a clove of garlic for each head of romaine lettuce you use. (For us, the more garlic, the better!) Scroll to the end of the above link for Becky's recipe.
3. Leah's Mandarin Salad with Italian Dressing Recipe
My mother-in-law describes her recipe as "a regular salad with romaine lettuce, spring onions, thinly sliced orange bell pepper, thinly sliced carrot, and red cabbage. I make homemade Italian dressing. Lastly, saute slivered almonds and butter with a little sugar sprinkled on top at the very end. Add sliced mandarin oranges as a garnish."
Here is her Italian dressing recipe:
Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp parmesan freshly grated
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
**Send along some sliced grilled chicken with this recipe or any of the recipes above and it becomes a meal for a friend.
4 Fresh and Easy Salad Recipes
4. Grandma's Molded Cranberry Salad
My grandmother always served a Jell-O salad when hosting a gathering. I remember the colorful, jiggly dish dancing on the table and always thought it was an extra special treat when she added whipped cream to the top. Here is the recipe she cut out of a newspaper and gave to me. I treasure it more now since she passed away.
Molded Cranberry Salad
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cherry Jell-O
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • walnuts
**In a bowl, dissolve Jell-O in hot water and add cranberry sauce. Let cool, then put in the refrigerator to chill. Once it starts to set, fold in sour cream and nuts and place in mold. Simply unmold when ready to serve!
Here is a recipe that's similar, but with a few extra ingredients.
After our church picnic, I sat on my front porch and noticed neighbors gathering in their yards too for Memorial Day weekend. Hearing the sounds of laughter and smelling the delicious scents of food on the grill was heartwarming to me.
Do you see a salad recipe you'd love to try? Or maybe you have a time-tested family recipe you want to share with us! Share with us on Facebook or Instagram and tell us what makes it special for you!
Happy cookout season!
*For the Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing recipe shown above, click here.
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Scott & Adina
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