As the temperatures heat up this summer, stay away from your hot stove (or BBQ) and make cool, refreshing summer salads instead. Not only are salads light, crunchy, and fun to eat, eating salad may also be one of the healthiest (and easiest) eating habits that you and your family can incorporate into your everyday life. And the best part about making salads is that you can customize them to include the vegetables and fruits that you and your loved ones like most.
And since we believe that your summer should be hassle-free, easy, and fun, here are eight simple three-ingredient summer salads for you and your nearest and dearest to try. We’ve also included some summer side salads that are always crowd-pleasers at any cookout.
3-Ingredient Mediterranean Cucumber and Tomato Salad
This 3-Ingredient Mediterranean Cucumber and Tomato Salad is super easy to make and features three key ingredients: tomatoes, cucumbers, and parsley. To make this simple tomato and cucumber salad, dice six tomatoes and one large cucumber into small pieces. Then chop about ¾ or so of parsley. Combine everything into one large mixing bowl, season the salad with a pinch of kosher salt, and let it sit for about five minutes.
You can also add a traditional Mediterranean salad dressing to your cucumber and tomato salad, if you’d like. All you need to do is add a splash of extra virgin olive oil, and add either the juice of one lemon or two teaspoons of lemon juice. You can also use lime juice instead of lemon juice.
3-Ingredient Avocado Chicken Salad
Have leftover grilled chicken from last night’s dinner? Use it to make this 3-Ingredient Avocado Chicken Salad for lunch the next day. This avocado chicken salad is not only delicious, it’s also healthy since you’re replacing mayonnaise, which is typically used, with creamy fresh ripe avocado.
Simply add two cups of shredded chicken, one large avocado (cored and chopped), and ¼ cup of chopped cilantro in a bowl. Then mash all of the ingredients with a fork until well combined. And that’s all there is to it. Talk about easy, right? You can serve the avocado chicken salad on top of sliced avocado, lettuce, a pita, croissants, or on bread.
3-Ingredient Quick Pasta Salad
Sure, you can make an elaborate pasta salad with lots of different ingredients, but when you’re crunched for time, this 3-Ingredient Quick Pasta Salad recipe has your back. All you need is your favorite salad dressing (probably already in your refrigerator), some pasta, and a bag of broccoli slaw.
Cook the pasta, drain it, and then rinse it with cold water. After that, chop up your broccoli slaw into little bits. Mix the pasta, your favorite dressing, and the slaw. Then put the pasta salad in your refrigerator and let it chill. You can test your pasta salad by stirring it after a few hours of chilling. Add more salad dressing, if you think it’s needed, and return the pasta salad back to your refrigerator. Then take it out when you’re ready to serve it, and enjoy!
3 Ingredient Potato Salad
Potato salad is one of those classic side dishes that’s usually expected at any summer cookout. This 3 Ingredient Potato Salad is made without mayo, making it healthier than traditional potato salad, but without any flavor compromise.
This recipe will take about 40 minutes total to make, with 10 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes of cooking time. The ingredients required to make this potato salad are 1 ½ pounds of potatoes, three to four green onion stalks, and a ½ cup of champagne vinaigrette dressing, which is made with champagne vinegar (in case you were wondering!).
First, wash the potatoes and cut them into bite-sized chunks. Then boil the potatoes in salted water until they’re tender. It’s very important not to over boil the potatoes. When the potatoes are tender, drain them and set them aside to cool. Place the cooled potatoes in a large bowl and then add diced green onions to the potatoes. Add about a ½ cup of champagne vinaigrette to the bowl and stir the ingredients to coat well. Then refrigerate the potato salad until you’re ready to serve it.
3-Ingredient Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad
This 3-Ingredient Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad is a low-calorie and low-fat spin on classic tuna salad. How is this accomplished, you ask? By taking out the mayo and adding plain yogurt!
For this Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad recipe, you’ll need canned tuna (you can use your favorite type), low-fat plain Greek yogurt, and jarred pickle relish to add a bit of sweetness and bite. Open your canned tuna and drain out the water, and then stir in the low-fat plain Greek yogurt and pickle relish. You can also add salt and pepper to taste. You can serve this Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad with veggies and crackers, on toast with avocado slices on top, or on top of a leafy green salad.
3-Ingredient Easy Avocado Salad Recipe
Guacamole lovers will be big fans of this 3-Ingredient Easy Avocado Salad Recipe since it’s a little bit like a deconstructed guac. The three key ingredients that you’ll need are avocado, lemon juice, and green onions. You can also add salt and pepper to taste, if you’d like.
To make this avocado salad, cut each avocado in half and remove the pit. You can do this by abruptly sticking the sharp end of a knife into the pit and twisting it. Just make sure to be careful when removing the pit from your knife. Then cut each half into two to three strips, peel, and slice. Then, in a large salad bowl, combine the avocados, green onion, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir gently with a wooden spoon and serve as soon as possible since avocados start to oxidize and brown when they’re exposed to oxygen. This avocado salad is best when eaten within six hours.
3-Ingredient Fresh Salad Recipe
This 3-Ingredient Fresh Salad Recipe is a bit of a choose your own adventure type of salad recipe. The three main ingredients are leafy green veggies, fresh herbs, and crumbled soft cheese. However, it’s up to you to decide what goes into your fresh green salad with cheese.
You can add either arugula, chard, kale, spinach, or whatever type of leafy green veggies that you have into a bowl. Mix in fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, parsley, oregano, rosemary, mint, thyme, dill, or chives. And then basically add any type of cheese that will crumble. So, goat cheese, feta cheese, blue cheese, and gorgonzola are all great options. And if you’d prefer to use a shaved cheese instead of a crumbled cheese, that’s fine, too. Some shaved cheese options to consider are parmesan, asiago, or manchego. And if you’re vegan, try toasted pine nuts instead. You can also dress this salad with a little extra virgin olive oil and a splash of lemon juice.
Summer Watermelon Salad – 3 Ingredients
For those of you who love sweet and salty combinations, this Summer Watermelon Salad recipe is for you. It’s also a great dessert for any summer cookouts.
To make this simple summer watermelon salad, mix four cups of cubed watermelon (about ¾ of an inch), a ½ cup of feta crumbles, and ground pepper (for taste). The watermelon and feta cheese will provide the sweet and salty combo, while the fresh ground pepper will add a little kick. And if you want to pre-portion your servings, consider serving this summer watermelon salad in a mason jar.