Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or attending a potluck, these 17 salads are the secret to making your Memorial Day cookout sizzle. No more last-minute chopping and mixing while your guests patiently wait for their food.
With these make-ahead salads, you can do all the prep work in advance and have them ready to go when it’s time to serve. You save time and reduce stress!
From refreshing salads bursting with summer flavors to healthy salads packed with wholesome goodness, this collection has something for everyone.
Amish Potato Salad
Amish potato salad is a classic make-ahead side dish that’s perfect for summer BBQs. With its creamy dressing, tender potatoes, and a touch of tanginess, it’s a crowd favorite. This delicious potato salad pairs well with grilled meats or as part of a picnic spread.
Get the Recipe: Amish Potato Salad
Lime Jello Salad
Lime Jello salad is a refreshing and nostalgic dessert that brings a burst of citrusy goodness to summer cookouts. With its vibrant green color and sweet-tart flavor, it’s a fun and playful addition to any gathering. This cool and jiggly treat will bring back memories and create new ones.
Get the Recipe: Lime Jello Salad
Cajun Pasta Salad
Spice up your summer cookouts with this flavorful Cajun pasta salad. The combination of cooked pasta, colorful veggies, and zesty Cajun dressing creates a bold and tangy salad that will impress your guests and add a kick to any gathering.
Get the Recipe: Cajun Pasta Salad
Broccoli Crunch Salad
This broccoli crunch salad is a crowd-pleasing option for summer cookouts. With crisp broccoli florets, crunchy almonds, and a tangy dressing, it’s a refreshing and nutritious addition to any outdoor gathering. Make it ahead of time, and the flavors will meld together, resulting in a deliciously satisfying salad that pairs well with grilled meats or as a standalone dish.
Get the Recipe: Broccoli Crunch Salad
Ramen Noodle Salad
Add a unique twist to your summer cookouts with this flavorful ramen noodle salad. The combination of crunchy veggies, toasted almonds, and savory dressing creates a satisfying and refreshing dish.
Get the Recipe: Ramen Noodle Salad
Blue Cheese Coleslaw
Blue cheese coleslaw is a delicious twist on the classic summer side dish. The creamy coleslaw is elevated with the bold and tangy flavors of blue cheese, adding a unique and irresistible element to every bite. It’s the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats, burgers, or sandwiches, bringing a refreshing crunch and a burst of flavor to your summer cookouts.
Get the Recipe: Blue Cheese Coleslaw
Add some Southwestern flair to your summer cookouts with this Texas caviar recipe. The combination of black-eyed peas, colorful veggies, and zesty dressing creates a flavorful and satisfying salad. This versatile dish can be enjoyed as a salad, dip, or side dish with grilled meats.
Get the Recipe: Texas Caviar
Old Fashioned Pea Salad
Prepare this old-fashioned pea salad in advance for a cool and refreshing side dish that’s perfect for summer gatherings. The combination of crisp peas, crunchy bacon, and creamy dressing creates a delightful medley of flavors and textures.
Get the Recipe: Old Fashioned Pea Salad
Orange Fluff Salad
This vibrant orange fluff salad is the perfect make-ahead dessert for summer days. With its creamy texture, citrusy flavor, and hints of sweetness, it’s a refreshing treat on a hot day.
Get the Recipe: Orange Fluff Salad
7 Layer Salad
Wow your guests with this impressive 7 layer salad that is as visually appealing as it is delicious. With layers of fresh lettuce, crispy bacon, tangy cheese, and other colorful veggies, it’s a showstopper at any summer event.
Get the Recipe: 7 Layer Salad
This chickpea salad is a fantastic salad for summer cookouts. With its protein-packed chickpeas, crisp veggies, and refreshing dressing, it’s a nutritious and flavorful side dish. This versatile salad that complements grilled meats or works as a standalone vegetarian dish.
Get the Recipe: Chickpea Salad
This refreshing cherry salad is a perfect make-ahead dish for summer cookouts. The combination of sweet cherries, crisp lettuce, and tangy dressing creates a burst of flavors that will impress your guests.
Get the Recipe: Cherry Salad
Capture the essence of summer with a classic Caprese salad. With its vibrant colors, fresh basil, juicy tomatoes, and creamy mozzarella, it’s a simple yet elegant dish that celebrates the best of the season.
Get the Recipe: Caprese Salad
Lemon Basil Orzo Pasta Salad
Add a burst of freshness to your summer cookouts with this lemon basil orzo pasta salad. The zesty lemon dressing, fragrant basil, and perfectly cooked orzo create a delightful and light dish that is full of flavor.
Get the Recipe: Lemon Basil Orzo Pasta Salad
Beet Salad with Apples and Carrots
This vibrant beet salad with apples and carrots is a delightful make-ahead option for summer cookouts. The combination of earthy beets, crunchy apples, and sweet carrots creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.
Get the Recipe: Beet Salad with Apples and Carrots
Pistachio Fluff Salad
Pistachio fluff salad is a sweet and creamy make-ahead dessert that brings a touch of nostalgia to your summer cookouts. With its combination of fluffy whipped cream, crushed pineapple, and crunchy pistachios, it’s a delightful treat for all ages.
Get the Recipe: Pistachio Fluff Salad
Amish Broccoli Salad
Amish broccoli salad is a classic make-ahead dish that deserves a spot on your summer cookout menu. The combination of crisp broccoli florets, crunchy bacon, and a creamy dressing creates a flavorful and hearty salad.
Get the Recipe: Amish Broccoli Salad