52 Specialty Salads Recipes

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Sometimes they are the main course, sometimes a lunch and sometimes they are the side dish... And if you count Jell-o salad you can even make a dessert of a salad.

Here are a few of my favorite salads that get far more Ooohs and Aaahs than that simple chopped head of lettuce.

Links include Potato Salads, Cole Slaws, and Plenty of greens and fixins' Salads... And more than a few matching FRESH MADE Jam Jar make it yourself Salad Dressings!


Spinach Salad with Warm bacon Dressing and Shrimp

What could be better??? The illusion of healthy with shrimp, lots of salad extras and BACON BACON BACON BACON (and even Bacon Dressing) and BACON BACON BACON and spinach

Super Greens Salad with Walnuts and Apples and a fresh made Honey Mustard Apple Vinaigrette!!!

Fast and east to assemble, yet has a very dramatic presentation.  But the star of this show is the amazing honey mustard vinaigrette recipe!

World's Best and Easiest Fruit Tray

This one is (for the price) just about as good as it gets.  Love the dramatic presentation.  But also LOVE LOVE LOVE the cost.  This tray comes in at about $12 for the tray.  Fruit ain't cheap. Here's my favorite!

Of all the slaw recipes I have made, I believe I like this the best. The combination of sweet (Mostly from extra carrots, grated to release their natural sweetness), Snappy tang from a little Cider Vinegar, and the Earthy taste of Celery Seed.

And Cole Slaw...

Of all the slaw recipes I have made, I believe I like this the best. The combination of sweet (Mostly from extra carrots, grated to release their natural sweetness), Snappy tang from a little Cider Vinegar, and the Earthy taste of Celery Seed.

Apple ColeSlaw Bag of Cole Slaw Upgrade

This is loaded with sweet crisp Apples, sweetened with honey, has a crisp crunch not only from the bagged cole slaw but also from the apples. A terrific combination!  Perfect for a Pork Chops and Apple Slaw Sandwich!

Cole Slaw - German Potato Salad Style COLESLAW !!! A Bag of Coleslaw Upgrade

This has all the flavors of a classic German Potato Salad (without the potatoes).  A thick grainy mustard sauce, combines with tangy cider vinegar and of course Bacon ... sweetened with brown sugar.  Yeap, all the good stuff that makes a German potato salad popular.

Cajun Buttermilk ColeSlaw for Cole Slaw Dogs...
Chili Dogs

A regional specialty that deserves wider availability.  It really glows when paired with an Appalachian style Slaw Dog!  A great balance of heat and sweet with a bit of sugar and some sweet creamy thick buttermilk. 

Mixed Greens with Apple, Grapes, Craisins, Walnuts
With a Fresh Made Apple Vinaigrette

A classic example of turning something simple like a bag of lettuce greens into something special.  And the recipe for the fresh made Jam Jar Vinaigrette is so simple and will personalize the taste even more.  Lots of variety of tastes and textures and DELICIOUS-ness!

Smoked Pork Tenderloin and Spinach Salad

A BEAUTIFUL Presentation! An easy to follow COMPLETE recipe These pork medallions are LOADED with BBQ Grilling flavors and pairs perfectly with the colorful fruit LOADED Spinach Salad... Thank you ALABAMA PITMASTER Book AUTHOR CHris Lilly!

Orange Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

It may sound like an odd combination, but the sweet, citrus, savory cheesy, Earthy nutty combination is FANTASTIC!!! Love this out of the box, INCREDIBLY EASY Salad, no cooking, just deliciousness! An incredible pretty presentation perfect for a dinner party!

Pea and Bacon Salad - Old School Side Dish

Here's another June Cleaver style 50's Church Basement Nostalgia recipe. Goosed up a bit with a few extra ingredients, but a version of this has been around for decades.  Wonderful served cold, easy to transport. Deliciously easy to make (only cooking is the eggs and bacon, other than that it is an open, measure and mix recipe).  Tastes Great, Easy to Make and may be one of those perfect PotLuck dishes for any pass a plate occasion!

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

I turned to the latest SUPERFOOD, Quinoa for this recipe and it tasted wonderful.  FUll of different tastes and textures.  It was a HUGE hit, beautiful colors and unless you think about it you would never know how good for you it is.  Sweetened with a touch of honey... This one is a MUST make!

Massaged Kale Salad... LOADED with bright summer flavors

You may think that raw kale is too rough to make a raw salad... you would be wrong.  The trick is the massage (details in the post).  Then just fill up with summery extras like orange slices, tomatoes, onions, craisons... you name it.  This is cut, massaged and ready in advance but is also very dramatic to prepare table side.  Once the Kale is massaged into tenderness, assembles in a minute.  Also includes a simple vinaigrette  recipe.

Grilled Romaine Lettuce Salad

Really... GRILLED LETTUCE!  and it changes the nature of the lettuce.  The heat brings out the natural sugars of the lettuce.  They were always there, just hard to taste.  Plus, BEAUTIFUL GRILL MARKS.  takes only a couple of minutes and becomes something special and memorable.  This is what grill masters do!

Grilled Romaine Salad with Pecan Vinaigrette

What a FANTASTIC Start to an evening on the grill.  Grilling lettuce adds extra flair and panache to your meal.  The star is this sweet, Earthy, slightly tart Honey Vinaigrette topping.  LOVE This for so many reasons!

Dressed Up Mixed Green Salad with Hazelnuts

WITH Jam Jar Honey Vinaigrette recipe... I love this salad for a group event... The mixed greens has an exotic look, combined with Apples, Hazelnuts, slightly pickled Onions and a fresh made Honey Mustard Vinaigrette combine for a beautiful tasty and unusual salad. PLUS, makes a great topping for a grilled fish!

Creamy Dilly Broccoli Slaw

Shhhhhh - Don't tell anyone but this is about as easy as it gets.  I used a bag of pre cut Broccoli Slaw, added the extras and seasoned with herbs and made it pretty with a little red and green garnish.  Hands on work, maybe 5 minutes, but the dish is WONDERFUL!  Creamy Herbal Deliciousness with the illusion of lots more work  than it was, a Perfect BBQ, PotLuck Side Dish Salad

Hawaiian ColeSlaw - Tropically Sweet

Another incredibly EASY ColeSlaw recipe using all pre-packaged materials... Just mix, chill and eat.  There are wonderful exotic flavors unusual for a slaw... Sweet candy cherries, Mandarin Oranges and Pineapple.  Use as a topping for a BBQ Sandwich or as a side dish.  People LOVE THIS!  AND EASY EASY EASY!

Honey Apple and Cheddar ColeSlaw

ColeSlaw is GREAT (except for all the bad ones I have tasted). Too much vinegar, too much Mayonnaise, too... something). This is the best (and EASIEST) I have ever made. A little sweet, a lot crunchy and extra creamy. Just the right amount of wet ingredients and the secret to too much vinegar is to add a little sugar as needed. GREAT TASTING and EASY!!!

Island Lover Tropical Broccoli COLE SLAW

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this Broccoli Slaw recipe loaded with tropical sweet Mango and Pineapple flavors, colorful and a delight STAND OUT dish that makes a table beautiful (and tasty)!

BETTER THAN KFC Cole Slaw - Kentucky Fried Chicken CopyCat Recipe

 BBQ and Grilling Time Secret Extras Catering Side Dish Recipes... YEAP, you can have the MOST POPULAR COLE SLAW in your home! All MADE FAST AND EASY with bagged cole slaw. Just a few pantry staples and all teh texture and taste of Kentucky Fried Chicken is there!

Waldorf Salad Style Cole Slaw

This is a Bag of Cole Slaw upgrade. Simple and CHEAP turns into something Simple CHEAP and now DELICIOUS when the classic ingredients of a famous Waldorf Salad are combined with this easy simple and cheap bagged cole slaw upgrade

Watermelon, Tomato and Onion and Feta Summer Salad

Cool, Sweet, Crunchy, Savory mix of summer tastes.  Comes together in MINUTES - FAST EASY And Summer DELICIOUSNESS in a bowl!  Fresh and unique summer take along salad!

Panzanella Beer Bread and Tomato Salad

Beer Bread is PERFECT for any out door BBQ, the bread is dense, the alcohol cooks out (NO ALCOHOL), leaving a bread flavored with Hops and Malts and stays texturally ideal for this salad of fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers all marinated in a Honey Mustard Vinaigrette!  The salad is BEST when made several hours in advance leaving time free for Grilling meat!

Tomato Salad with Roasted Garlic, Olives and
Pearl Mozzarella Balls

Fresh Tomatoes highlight this crisp seasonal specialty (although if you select carefully, year round tasty tomatoes are available).  Nothing like a really fresh tomato salad!  A little zipped up version of a Caprese Salad!  FRESH, LOCAL AND DELICIOUS!

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

The vegetable version of the story of the ugly duckling. Locally sourced, Fresh and filled with flavor. This is that rarest of salads that simply will not be the same in January when hot house tomatoes and vine ripened fresh leaves just a bare bones hint of the taste of a truly fresh Heirloom Tomato! So, if you never have, give those gnarly ugly beasts a chance. Slice a few, add a little cheese and some fresh basil and give yourself a seasonal treat!

Quinoa - Craisins - Almonds - Grains - Spinach !!!

And all flavored with a fresh made HONEY LEMON VINAIGRETTE.  Oh MY, so good you will not know how good for you this is!  All of the popular SUPERFOODS are combined into something colorful, flavorful, and so filled with mixes of flavors; your family and friends will insist this becomes a regular dish!  EASY and a STAND OUT DISH!

One Peachy Pasta Spinach Salad

Beautiful Colors... Amazing mix of tastes and textures.  A wonderful crowd pleasing salad loaded with summer tastes that you can have year round.  The easy to make shaker jar Honey Peach Vinaigrette, flavors both the pasta and the spinach adding a ONE-TWO PUNCH of Peach flavor to the entire dish!  DIYing this is as simple as opening a bag, a can and a box. Only cooking involved is the pasta. The Vinaigrette takes seconds to measure and just a minute or two of shaking.
Orange-Teriyaki Spinach Pasta Salad

Beautiful mix of Colors, Textures and Tastes, Bright Oranges, Crunchy Water Chestnuts, healthy Earthy Spinach, Fresh Made Orange-Teriyaki Asian influenced Salad Dressing soaked Pasta and finally topped with the pop of Honey Roasted Peanuts!

Spinach, Sweet Pecans and Apple Salad with a
Champagne Maple Vinaigrette

This is an OMG Salad.  Lots of little extras... Goat Cheese crumbles add a surprising taste, Sweet/Heat Candied Spicy Pecans, Tart Snappy crispy Apple slices, Pickled red onions (pretty and tasty) and a sweet Maple vinaigrette all blend together for a salad worthy of company, Holiday meal or when you want to show off at a PotLuck!

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese and Bacon

Here's a bit of a new twist on a decades old classic... The Immortal Iceberg Lettuce Wedge with Blue Cheese. The Hit of hundreds of afternoon luncheons and catered events.  Never mind that it is just about the simplest salad to serve, no tossing, almost no cutting or tearing.  I made a couple of changes, one BIG one that improves on the classic!

Dave Makes Cobb Salad

A CLASSIC Salad, Made famous in Hollywood and in the backyards of Kansas. Basically, just loaded up with wonderful ingredients, made easy with a Rotisserie Chicken! And one more of my "52 Uses For a Rotisserie Chicken"! Ingredient list PLUS a wonderful Mustard Vinaigrette recipe in this link

Mandarin Orange and Peach Salad (with Peach Vinaigrette)

Load that salad up... Canned peaches and Mandarin Oranges are the stars of this beautiful healthy alternative. Even has a Fresh mad PEACH AND ORANGE Honey Mustard VINAIGRETTE RECIPE to really goose up the flavor!

An Italian Classic gets a Party Appetizer on a Stick update. Recipe includes a terrific flavored DIY Garlic and Herb Tutorial. GREAT LOOK EASY, TO DO and DELICIOUS!

Tomato - Cucumber - Red Onion Holiday Salad in a Fresh Made Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Love this salad, wonderful Holiday Colors, Mix of textures and seasonings. The fresh made HONEY MUSTARD COATING adds a fantastic PUNCH of flavor. Perfect for potluck or any family get together!

Stained Glass Jell-O

THIS IS SOOOO EASY! And the spectacular presentation is the hook for a delicious tasting treat. The new NEON colors and Bold flavors of Jell-o will make this EASY Dish stand out among a table full. The individual cubes are suspended in creamy sweetened milk gelatin... Sweet, Boldly flavored and DELICIOUS... Oh and EASY EASY EASY!

Patriotic Red White and Blue Stained Glass Jell-O!

Three Cheers for the Red White and Blue!  Perfect for 4th of July or when you are ina patriotic mood!  THIS IS SOOOO EASY! And the spectacular presentation is the hook for a delicious tasting treat. The new NEON colors and Bold flavors of Jell-o will make this EASY Dish stand out among a table full. The individual cubes are suspended in creamy sweetened milk gelatin... Sweet, Boldly flavored and DELICIOUS... Oh and EASY EASY EASY!

Egg Salad - Goin' Old School

What's more old school than Egg Salad? This here is a basic recipe your Grandma would be proud of, with just a few interesting extras and a couple of tips.

From "How to Boil Eggs" to an unusual ingredient (Sour Cream), this is the BEST Egg Salad I have ever had.
Ramon Noodle Asian Salad

It is FAST to put together. Total kitchen hands on time, about 15 minutes.  It is EASY to put together. This is a matter of opening a few bags. It TRAVELS WELL and actually TASTE BEST WHEN MADE IN ADVANCE. Which leads to ... Delicious! Hints of Asia, lots of greens (even well hidden Broccoli), Salty, Sweet from the sugar, A little crunchy for texture and ... Well... DELICIOUS!

Ramon Noodle Broccoli Cole Slaw

This is my most visited recipe page for a BBQ side dish.  It is very very easy!  The recipe calls for pre-packaged Ramon Noodles plus a pre-packaged broccoli slaw (easy to find in any grocery store).  Add a few pantry staples and you have something new, colorful, tasty and a CROWD PLEASER!
Works great as a stand alone side dish but also makes a terrific slaw to top a Hamburger or Pork Chop Sandwich!

Island Lover Tropical COLE SLAW

I LOVE this upgrade for an inexpensive bag of cole slaw you can buy at about any grocery store. Tropical sweet Mango and Pineapple added to a mayo based vinaigrette makes this SHINE!

My growing attempts to UPGRADE A STORE BOUGHT BAG OF COLE SLAW. This one is a great treat with more than hints of Dijon Mustard. Delicious and EASY

This is a Bag of Cole Slaw upgrade. Simple and CHEAP turns into something Simple CHEAP and now DELICIOUS when the classic ingredients of a famous Waldorf Salad are combined with this easy simple and cheap bagged cole slaw upgrade

Cowboy Caviar (Relish)
Bright and colorful enough to look great on a family Potluck, Church social or neighborhood get together. Versions of this recipe are floating around. Some call this Texas Caviar (they use Black Eyed Peas). I changed mine up a bit, adding more Cowboy ingredients... Chili Beans, BBQ Sauce and additional BBQ friendly spices.

Giddy Up Flavors throughout!
QUICK and EASY Pesto Pasta with Peas

And I do mean QUICK and EASY... 20 minute side dish, uses jarred Pesto sauce and just a few pantry staples.  This pasta salad works as a cold salad or fresh hot.  The recipe comes with hints and tips for a perfect pasta every time!  Enjoy indeed

DEVILED EGG PASTA SALAD - Church PotLuck Side Dish... This is a FANTASTIC side dish. Surprisingly tasty, creamy sweet and tangy pasta salad. Best served cold, travels well so PERFECT to bring for any POTLUCK DINNER! All the taste of Deviled Eggs added to the sauce!

Fast And Easy RANCH Mac and Cheese

Deliciously EASY. just cook the pasta, meanwhile heat, mix and finally eat... Amazingly fast... It only takes minutes to cook the pasta and the same minutes to mix up the cheese sauce. Everyone loves the taste of ranch dressing. Now you get that same hint of flavor in this side dish. Creamy, cheesy, fast, easy and delicious! A perfect side dish.

Creamy Pasta Pea Salad

I LOVE this recipe, Creamy Sweet Cheese-y Pasta with beautiful colorful snappy sweet peas.  All seasoned to perfection.  Served cold or at room temperature, the perfect addition to any party, large get together, family function, Church Social or PotLuck.  EASY to make, best when made well in advance (day before DIY Dishes are the best for time management).  Plus makes a Vegetarian main dish option when needed.

Italian Deli Pasta Salad

Like the name says... ITALIAN DELI.  Salami, Spicy Brown Mustard (Vinaigrette), pickled veggies and all the flavors of a deli (even the smell)!  Served cold, comes together fast, travels well (perfect "take along" dish).  Great for a backyard BBQ or for a family/church PotLuck!
Doritos Taco Corn Salad

This is a classic recipe from the 70's but still just as tasty and just as beloved as any side dish could be.  Seasoned with crumbled Doritos Brand Taco chips... Plenty of spice, Flavored with Ranch Dressing... Plenty of flavor... All wrapped around delicious Sweet Corn.  Making this a crowd favorite for any gathering!

Cowboy Cornbread Trifle - A Savory BACON Side Dish!

Such a Winner...  A BEAUTIFUL PRESENTATION of layers of Ranch Seasoned Mayonnaise on top of Smoked Cheddar Cheese on top of a Cowboy Salsa of beans, tomatoes, onions and more... PLUS BACON BACON BACON!  This one got Ooohs and Aaahs and was GOBBLED UP!

"Old School" Dressed Up Mustard Potato Salad

This is a very basic mustard based potato salad. Name the church basement affair for the last hundred years and you probably have seen this served.BUT... Add some BACON )of course for extra flavor, celery and onions for crunch, eggs and chives for color and panache and just a touch of your favorite BBQ sauce for even more flavor (and panache) and this is not your 100 year old recipe.

Old School indeed, just a little bit extra dressing up!

Cheddar Cheese Potato Salad

It is a winner in every sense. Always popular whenever I serve it. has all the classic ingredients, yellow mustard, hard cooked eggs and onions. But it gets all dressed up with the Salad Sprinkle, the Sharp Cheddar, Red Skinned potatoes (leave the skin on, better for you but also adds to the beauty). It also gets a zippy addition with a dollop of BBQ sauce. THE BETTER Mousetrap... Um POTATO SALAD!

Sweet/Heat Pickled Potato Salad

This is an unusual and POPULAR take on a more traditional mustard yellow potato salad.  Sweet Bread and Butter Pickles (and the brine) add a sweet vinegar taste while the optional Jalapeno Peppers and even more optional Tabasco Sauce adds that HEAT that sets this apart from the rest.

Grilled Mustard Aioli Potato Salad

This is my NEW FAVORITE! The parboiled potatoes are coated in a mustard flavored mayonnaise and then grilled to a crusty charred perfection.  Leaving a crunchy crispy coating over fluffy soft potato.  Add a few herbs and BACON and this becomes my very favorite POTATO SALAD!  Easy Fun and DELICIOUS!!!

Yukon Gold Corn and Potato Salad

What a FANTASTIC mix of flavors... Sweet Corn added to potatoes.  Toss in Sweet pepper slices (or Jalapeno if you like).  Add a zesty BBQ slash HONEY slash Vinaigrette and the whole thing becomes a beautiful side dish, unusual mix of colors and tastes.  NO MAYO, so perfect for BBQ or big Family Dinners... or POTLUCKS!

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