Six Party-Friendly Salad Recipes

6 minutes, 9 seconds Read

No party or event is complete without a salad. Great hosts know that the vibrant greens and unique ingredients found in party salads have the potential to complement the main course and excite guests.

When it comes to choosing a party-friendly salad, the choices can be overwhelming. No wonder hosts often throw lettuce and veggies together and call it a day! But with extra consideration, your salad is an opportunity to tie your event together and show off your hosting skills.

Of course, they’re healthy, too! Salads help with digestion and are an efficient way to get our bodies the necessary nutrients. This can be especially helpful during heavy, barbeque-centric summer events.

Here are six party-friendly salad recipes to elevate your hosting game!

Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

   Yield:    6 Servings     Prep Time:     30 Minutes


Grilling this veggie gives a grilled corn salad a rustic feel that will satisfy guests and subtly elevate barbeques and cookouts. The real key is the cilantro vinaigrette—it’s simple to make but gives the salad a wow factor that will have your guests coming back for more!


  • 6 shucked ears of corn
  • A large sweet onion cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • 1/2 cup olive oil and a little extra to brush
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 limes for a 1/3 cup fresh juice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro
  • 2 chopped avocados
  • 2 chopped yellow tomatoes
  • 1 drained and rinsed 15-ounce can of pinto beans
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped pimientos


  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high. Brush olive oil on your corn and onion rings and season them with salt and pepper. Throw them on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until they’re charred and tender—about eight minutes for the onion rings and ten for the corn. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a blender, pulse your lime juice and 3/4 cup cilantro until it’s chunky. Slowly add a steady stream of olive oil as the blender runs to make the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Chop the onion and cut the corn off the cobs. Combine with the avocados, tomatoes, beans, and pimientos in a large bowl. Give the remaining 3/4 cup cilantro a rough chop and add to the bowl. Drizzle with the dressing, toss well, and season with salt and pepper.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Yield:  5 Servings Prep Time:  15 Minutes

The authentic Asian flavors and textures in Chinese chicken salad provide a unique twist on your garden variety party salad. If you’re feeling adventurous, experiment with add-ins like mandarin orange slices, water chestnuts, baby corn, or snow peas.


  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1 head shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 head shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves 
  • Asian salad dressing
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup wonton strips


  1. Toss the shredded chicken with Asian dressing in a large bowl until all the pieces are well coated. Allow the chicken to sit for at least ten minutes after tossing so the flavors can soak in.
  2. Combine the lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, green onions, and cilantro in the bowl and toss.
  3. Just prior to serving, pour dressing over the salad and toss.
  4. Garnish with red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, almonds, and crispy wonton strips. Serve and enjoy immediately to ensure the toppings are crisp.

Watermelon Feta Salad

Yield:  10 Servings Prep Time:  20 Minutes

Watermelon and cheese is a surprisingly delicious combination. And this watermelon feta salad is a refreshing summer appetizer that’s eye-catching on trays and platters. This quick and beautiful salad option will get all your guests talking! 


  • Half of a small seedless watermelon cut into 1-inch chunks (approximately 12 cups)
  • 5 sliced Persian cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of either white balsamic or rice vinegar
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted pistachios


  1. Combine the cucumbers, watermelon, 1/4 cup mint, salt, and a nice amount of pepper in a large bowl.
  2. After drizzling the ingredients with the olive oil and vinegar, toss well.
  3. Spoon the salad onto a platter. Top with feta crumbles, pistachios, and the remaining 1/4 cup mint. Grind pepper over the top to taste.

Caprese Salad

Yield: 6 Servings Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Few party salads are as versatile as the caprese salad. It’s fresh enough to serve as a delightful, irresistible starter. But when served with toast, it’s also hearty enough to substitute for a bruschetta.


  • 7 ounces of halved bocconcini (or cherry mozzarella)
  • 1 pound of halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup torn or roughly chopped basil leaves
  • Balsamic glaze or reduction

Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 small garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of dried oregano, parsley, and thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper


  1. In a jar, combine the ingredients for the salad dressing and shake vigorously. Adjust to taste.
  2. Place the tomatoes, bocconcini, and most of the basil in a bowl. Drizzle with fresh dressing and toss gently.
  3. Transfer to a shallow serving bowl. Drizzle with balsamic reduction before topping with remaining basil. Serve immediately.


Individual Blueberry, Arugula, and Feta Salads with Toasted Pecans

Yield: 3 Servings Prep Time: 10 Minutes

For an elegant touch, try a tray full of individual salads. The personalization will delight your guests, especially if the salad containers are an inspired choice of serveware. As a bonus, keeping the salads apart ensures every bite is just right and that the delicious toppings aren’t picked off or hidden beneath a pile of greens.


  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup feta crumbles
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast pecans for 5 to 6 minutes on a cookie sheet.
  2. Fill each container with arugula leaves.
  3. Top with blueberries, toasted pecans, and feta crumbles.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  5. For an extra kick, add cracked black pepper to taste.

Chickpea Salad

Yield: 6 Servings Prep Time: 20 Minutes

This year-round salad is full of protein and plenty of flavor! It’s versatile, too. Substitute chickpeas for other beans like navy, kidney, or pinto to your liking. You can even make it ahead of time—just be sure to wait to add the avocado and basil until you’re ready to serve.


  • 15-ounce drained and rinsed can of chickpeas
  • 6 oz. cubed feta
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into half moons
  • 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 diced orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cubed avocados
  • 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup torn basil

Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 grated garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. In a large bowl, fold the chickpeas in with the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, avocado, tomatoes, parsley, feta, and basil.
  2. Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl until combined. Pour over the salad, gently fold, and serve immediately.

From Leafy Greens to Cherished Memories

The smallest details can transform your party into a lasting memory for your guests. Even something as simple as a salad can set the stage for a night to remember.

Don’t worry about scouring old cookbooks or food blogs for the perfect salad. These party-friendly salad recipes will add the right flourish, nutrients, and pop of color to your event.

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