Three on Thursday :: Summer Salads

BBQ chicken salad with cilantro ranch dressingWhen it comes to food, summer means two things to me:  salads and grilling.  In the fall and winter, I’m all about soul-warming soups and comforting casseroles.  But when the weather warms up, I find myself craving salads on an almost-daily basis.

In this edition of Three on Thursday, I’m sharing a few of my favorite summer salads.

{1}  BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing  This recipe from Picky Palate is my husband’s favorite salad.  He’s still thanking me for introducing him to it.  

The recipe calls for grilled chicken, but you can also bake it, use the slow cooker, or boil it.  Boiled chicken sounds kind of unappetizing, doesn’t it?  But by the time you shred or thinly slice it and slather it with your favorite barbeque sauce, you should be good, and you didn’t have to turn on the oven or light the grill.  I don’t know about you, but I’m loathe to use my oven when it’s sweltering outside, and our schedule doesn’t always allow time for grilling, no matter how much better it makes the food taste.

{2}  Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing  This salad is a simple combination of torn spinach leaves, sliced hard-boiled egg, and crumbled bacon.  And my mom’s hot bacon dressing, of course.

If you make a double batch of the dressing, and cook extra eggs and bacon, you can quickly throw this one together at any time in the next two or three days with minimal effort.  That’s about how long I’m comfortable storing hard-boiled eggs in the fridge.  I’m no food-safety expert though, so use your own judgment there.

{3}  Spinach, White Bean, and Bacon Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing  This recipe originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of my very favorite food magazine, Cooking Light.  Obviously, I’m been making it for a while now.  

Between the beans and the bacon, you can easily make a summer meal of this salad.  The best thing about it, though, is the dressing.  The combination of maple syrup, vinegar and Dijon mustard gets me every time.  

Do you eat more salads in the summer?  Tell me about your favorite one.


This post includes my associate links.  If you make a purchase through these links, I’m paid a small amount in way of advertising fees. 



  1. No bacon for me (I’m vegetarian) but other than that your spinach bean salad sounds wonderful :)

    • Shana Norris says:

      I hope you’ll have a chance to try it, Rachel. It would be find without the bacon, as long as you have that marvelous vinaigrette :)

  2. These all sound so great for a summer night- I love salads with corn in them- yum!

    • Shana Norris says:

      Kate, my husband loves salads with corn, too. I have to keep an eye on him if he’s helping me cook, because he’ll try to double or triple the amount of corn if I’m not watching.

  3. Spinach and bacon are a winning combination in my book! Actually all these salads look delicious!!

    • Shana Norris says:

      I agree about spinach and bacon. I feel guilty for loving bacon as much as I do, but it’s just so. good.

  4. Yum!! They sound delicious.
    Thanks so much for sharing this at our “Best Of The Weekend” party”! I have pinned this to our party board and to another large board as well.
    Have a great weekend and we hope to see you back next week!

    • Shana Norris says:

      Thanks, Claire. It was fun, and I found a few yummy looking recipes that I just had to pin, too.

  5. These sound awesome! I definitely need to eat more salads – and I like eating cooler food in the summer, so now is the time to go for it, right?

    Stopping by from SITS :)

    • Shana Norris says:

      Definitely go for it, Katie :) Thanks for stopping by. That SITS Saturday round-up is pretty mammoth!

  6. I’m craving a salad right now! These look so good. Pinning immediately. :) Thanks for linking up at LOBS.

  7. These all look amazing – I will definitely be trying all of them! Pinning right now!! And following you! Thanks so much for linking up with us at LOBS!!

    • Shana Norris says:

      Thanks for hosting, Michelle. We’re on vacation so I didn’t have time to visit as many links as I’d have liked. I’ll have more time to browse next week.

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