10 hearty and refreshing summer salads to keep you satisfied at lunch


Southwestern black bean salad/stock image

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Here come the dog days of summer. Temperatures are sure to hit highs that make the idea of chewing too overwhelming to consider. Stay refreshed and full with the following ten salads that are hearty enough to keep you filled, but light enough to make you feel like you're keeping cool.


1. Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Salad

Eats Well with Others 

Eats Well with Others whips up this hearty meal. The cumin adds an earthy smokiness to the dressing, which is balanced perfectly by tart lemon and sweet honey. This salad was made with roasted potatoes and cauliflower, but you can add any veggie you have on hand. We love versatility and delicious practicality.


2. Mexican Street Corn Salad

It Is a Keeper 

It Is a Keeper is not messing around about this tasty salad that takes Mexican street corn to a whole new level. The warning is clear: when you make this salad, and you kind of really have to make it, you'd better make a big batch because it will disappear fast. We believe it, too. Who can resist corn grilled to charred perfection, slathered in zesty, creamy, cheesy sauce — usually so messy to eat — in salad form? Not us. Serve it hot, cold or at room temperature.


3. Rainbow Salsa

Gimme Some Oven 

Gimme Some Oven wanted to make a hearty salsa that included all the colors of the rainbow and inadvertently made Cowboy Caviar — a black-bean-and-corn Southwestern salsa. The colorful ingredients include Roma tomatoes and red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, corn and yellow bell peppers, jalapeño and fresh cilantro, black beans (blue) and red onion (purple). Add some fresh lime juice, a few seasonings and in a few minutes — however long it takes you to chop everything up — you can dig in. Although this is a salsa, it does make a great lunch that you can graze on.


4. Pinto Bean Salad

Kalyn's Kitchen 

This salad, prepared by Kalyn's Kitchen, is the one you want to make if you have a hankering for some fresh tomatoes. It's made with tomatoes, pinto beans, avocado, red onion and cilantro (optional).


5. Tangy Raw Cauliflower Salad

Give Recipe 

Give Recipe prepares this crunchy mixture of raw cauliflower, red bell pepper, mung beans and greens. The cauliflower is grated because it's quicker and easier, but if you want your salad to look pretty (and why not?) you can chop it up into very small florets. If mung beans aren't your cup of tea, you can substitute with any of these. The dressing for this salad is important. The tanginess offsets the raw cauliflower, which tastes a little like red cabbage. It's made with lemon, vinegar, homemade pomegranate molasses, salt and dried mint — so no need to feel guilty for slathering it on generously.


6. Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Dine and Dish 

You don't need much dressing for Dine and Dish's spicy shrimp and avocado salad. A splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar is all you need on this amazing summer salad that combines hot Sriracha shrimp and fresh, creamy California avocados. Party in your mouth? Indeed.


7. Grilled Vegetable Salad with Raw Green Mole

Bon Appetit 

Bon Appétit got our attention with this grilled vegetable salad with raw green mole. The uncooked mole gets heat from jalapeño, cooling freshness from lettuce and herbs and a touch of richness from toasted seeds. Bonus? If you have any leftovers, use it as a dip for crudités.


8. Mexican Five-Layer Bean Dip

Eats Well with Others 

Eats Well with Others scores again with this five-layer bean dip, which is hearty enough to take to the office for lunch. It's made with layers of refried beans, fresh tomato salsa, black beans, spicy pickled jalapeños and crumbled queso fresco. Sure, it's perfect as an appetizer, but just as satisfying to graze on at lunchtime with some tortilla chips or even crackers. Eats Well with Others recommends these black bean crackers — made from actual black beans — by Breton. They really do seem like the perfect vehicle for transporting scoopful after scoopful of dip from the pan into your mouth. And it will make your celiac friends happy.


9. Gluten-Free Fiesta Pasta Salad

The Healthy Apple 

Speaking of gluten-free recipes, we couldn't resist this fiesta pasta salad recipe by The Healthy Apple. Corn and zucchini are the stars of this hearty meal.


10. Grilled Shishito Peppers

Two Peas and Their Pod 

Two Peas and Their Pod bill this as an appetizer or side dish, but rules are made to be broken and who says you can't pack a helping of this for lunch? Nobody is who. Just enjoy these sweet and mild Japanese peppers. Make them on the grill if you can, and add a little sea salt as well as Blue Diamond’s Sriracha almonds — they add the perfect amount of kick and crunch!