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17 Marvelous Make-Ahead Salads to Make Your Memorial Day Cookout Sizzle

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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.

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Amish Potato Salad

spoonful of Amish potato salad.
Amish Potato Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

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

broccoli crunch salad on a fork
Broccoli Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

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

dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of cowboy caviar
Texas Caviar. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Texas Caviar

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

side view of 7 layer salad in a trifle bowl
7 Layer Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

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

Chickpea 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

Cherry 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

caprese salad with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pearls.
Caprese Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Caprese 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 in a bowl with a spoon.
Pistachio Fluff Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

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

pinterest collage with potato salad, fluff salad, caprese salad and broccoli salad photos.

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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