14 Summer Salads That Don't Need Refrigeration - Perfect for Picnics!

One of the best things about summer is dining al fresco. Whether at a beach, in the park, or on your backyard patio, there is just something special about enjoying a meal in the elements. When preparing for an outdoor feast, the food you choose likely has to be able to go sans refrigeration for a period of time. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. The below list of fourteen no refrigeration salads are not only fresh and delicious, they can move from countertop to picnic blanket without risk of spoilage.  As a side dish or the main attraction, these salads will help you put together an easy outdoor meal. They all follow at least one of the following general rules for a refrigeration-free dish. Amp up protein lost from meat and cheese with hearty grains or beans. Swap lettuce and spinach for sturdier greens like radicchio and kale to avoid wilting, and substitute mayo with oil, vinegar, or citrus for longer lasting salads with bold flavors. With the variety of salads on this list, you can try a different one for every picnic and potluck this summer, and they pair perfectly with a blanket and a beverage.

1. Red Quinoa and Mango Salad

Crunchiness, creaminess, and sweetness all in one salad! With mango, black beans, and pepitas, textures and flavors are not lacking in this bright and fruity quinoa salad. (Recipe and photo: Taste Love & Nourish on NoshOn.It)

Red Quinoa and Mango Salad

2. Curried Quinoa and Asparagus Salad

For a more savory quinoa salad, look no further. With asparagus, chickpeas, and apples, this salad has enough substance to be a main course. Prepare this the night before to allow for the flavor of the curry dressing to really come out. (Recipe and photo: The Clever Carrot on NoshOn.It)

Curried Quinoa and Asparagus Salad

3. Barley & Heirloom Tomato Salad

Barley, black forbidden rice, and heirloom tomatoes make for a beautifully striking combination. The tomatoes are prepared two ways (raw and roasted), and the juices from the cooked tomatoes double as a deeply flavorful dressing for this salad. (Recipe and photo: Golubka)

Barley & Heirloom Tomato Salad

4. Plum Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a traditional Middle Eastern side dish whose clean flavors complement rich meats. Summer is the peak season for plums, and this recipe incorporates the stone fruit for a uniquely sweet and seasonal take on the classic tabbouleh. (Recipe and photo: Kitchen Konfidence)

Plum Tabbouleh

5. Simply Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

Two summer staples – pasta salad and grilled vegetables – are combined in this simple recipe. The inspired lemony basil dressing is the finishing touch on this fresh from the garden pasta salad. (Recipe and photo: Inspired Taste)

Simply Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

6. Chinese Noodle Salad with Citrus, Snow Peas, and Spicy Cashews

Asian flavors abound in this rice noodle salad that can be served at any temperature. Let the fresh vegetables and noodles soak up the sesame ginger marinade for at least thirty minutes for maximum wow factor. (Recipe and photo: Grown to Cook)

Chinese Noodle Salad with Citrus, Snow Peas, and Spicy Cashews

7. Raw Kale, Cabbage, and Carrot Salad

Thinly sliced kale, cabbage, and carrots are sturdy enough to maintain their texture and color when mixed with the sweet and tangy vinaigrette. Eat this Asian-inspired chopped salad with a pair of chopsticks if you’re feeling ambitious. (Recipe and photo: Gourmande in the Kitchen)

Raw Kale, Cabbage, and Carrot Salad

8. Ruby Red Radicchio Salad

This eye catching salad will have you seeing red…literally. Ruby red grapefruit, radicchio, and beets are combined with a (fittingly) pink peppercorn dressing for vitamin-filled salad that will have you wondering why you ever used iceberg lettuce in the first place. (Recipe and photo: Wholehearted Eats)

Ruby Red Radicchio Salad

9. Blueberry Corn Salad

The sweetness of the blueberries and corn contrasts with the spiciness of the jalapeno in this easy yet complex tasting summer salad. As the blogger states, skip cooking the corn for an entirely raw salad in less time. (Recipe and photo: A Healthy Life for Me)

Blueberry Corn Salad

10. Spicy Pickled Cucumber Salad

This recipe requires a little more prep time for the pickling of the thinly sliced cucumbers, but the final flavors are well worth the wait. The spicy, vinegary cucumbers are a refreshing side salad to any rich noodle dish or grilled meat. (Recipe and photo: China Sichuan Food)

Spicy Pickled Cucumber Salad

11. Lemon-Parsley Bean Salad

Thanks to the lemon, fresh herbs, and protein from the chickpeas and kidney beans, this classic salad is exciting and satisfying enough to be upgraded from side dish to main course when paired with slices of pita bread. (Recipe and photo: Cookie and Kate)

Lemon-Parsley Bean Salad

12. Lemon Dill Potato Salad

Summer without potato salad would be like fall without pumpkin pie. Ditch the dairy for a just as delicious potato salad that can travel with you. (Recipe and photo: Never Enough Thyme on NoshOn.It)

Lemon Dill Potato Salad

13. Sweet Potato and Poblano Salad with Honey and Rosemary Dressing

Switch up your potato salad game by using sweet potatoes in place of red or yukon golds. Grilling brings out the smokiness of sweet potatoes, which pairs well with the sweet honey and mildly spicy poblano peppers. (Recipe and photo: The Noshery)

Sweet Potato and Poblano Salad with Honey and Rosemary Dressing

14. Summer Fruit Salad

Our list would not be complete without a fruit salad, and this grape and berry salad with a simple lemon syrup does not disappoint. The addition of mint leaves makes an already bright salad even more refreshing on a warm summer day. (Recipe and photo: Jo Cooks)

Summer Fruit Salad