Try these 7 Easy Salads for Summer for quick and easy lunches and dinners. Use Rubbermaid FreshWorks containers to help keep your fruits and veggies as fresh as possible.
Thanks to Rubbermaid for sponsoring this post.
I’m excited to share some easy salads for summer in today’s post. They are jam-packed with deliciousness. Warm weather is finally here and for a lot of people that means they start craving salads. They’re light and fresh, but can easily be made into a full meal! Which is why it’s no coincidence May is National Salad Month! I’ve been testing up a storm over the past month and I’ve come up with 7 delicious combos that I can’t wait to share with you.
But first, I want to introduce you to my new storage containers. A few weeks ago, my friends at Rubbermaid reached out to see if I’d be interested in testing out their FreshWorks containers. As someone who buys a lot of fresh produce, I readily agreed. Over the next few weeks, I tested out the various sizes on a variety of fruits and veggies, including lettuce, kale, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli and more!
I was very pleased with the results and wanted to show you a few side-by-side comparisons. For the comparison, I bought two of everything and left one in the plastic bag from the grocery store and put the other in a FreshWorks container (without washing) and left them in the fridge for at least 4 days before checking on them.
Here are the results for the kale and lettuce:
For the kale, I pulled the leaves off the stems so I could fit them in the container but did not wash or cut them. They stayed crisp and fresh. The kale in the bag was soft and wilted when I took it out to check on it.
For the lettuce, I pulled the leaves off the stem so I could pile them up in the container but did not wash or cut them. The leaves stayed vibrant, crunchy and fresh vs the wilted leaves on the head of lettuce stored just in the plastic bag.
I found less of a difference on spinach stored in FreshWorks versus leaving it in a plastic tub or container that it came in at the store, but the FreshWorks certainly didn’t negatively impact the produce.
I also tested out the smaller FreshWorks containers on strawberries and blueberries. I bought two pints in plastic packaging from the store, transferred one to the Freshworks and left the other for 4-5 days. Here are the strawberry results.
The ones in the FreshWorks container stayed pretty much blemish-free whereas the ones in the original container had several bad or spoiled spots after several days.
Other types of produce you could use these containers for include green beans, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, raspberries and more! The storage containers use a lid with patented FreshVent technology to regulate airflow and create the optimal environment for produce. All you have to do is move your produce into the FreshWorks containers after purchasing and refrigerate to help reduce moisture and spoilage. Don’t wash or cut your produce before storing! The CrispTray at the bottom of the container helps elevate the produce away from the moisture and promotes proper airflow to help reduce spoilage. Pretty cool huh?
So now that you know the best way to store all of your nice fresh produce, let’s talk about how to use it to make these 7 delicious salads – one for every day of the week! I tried to include a variety of toppings, proteins and leafy green bases so hopefully, there will be something for everyone!
I often use a mix of spinach and leaf lettuce for my salads, while my husband prefers solely using kale. Feel free to change up the greens in each salad and use your favorites. You could also swap in your favorite fruits and veggies to make a combination more appealing for your personal tastes!
Here’s a run-down of some of the flavor combos we’ve been loving lately:
Barbacoa Taco Salad
I made a big batch of this Slow Cooker Barbacoa and ate it all week long in this Barbacoa Taco Salad. You can prep pretty much all of the components ahead of time so all you have to do is assemble and eat. Here’s what you need:
- Fajita peppers & onions
- Black beans
- Red onion
I use my favorite salsa in place of salad dressing on this one! You can also try mixing salsa with some plain Greek yogurt for a creamier dressing!
Blueberry Chicken Sausage Salad
This one is packed with all of my favorite things. Chicken sausage comes fully cooked so I like to just sear it in a pan for a couple minutes. I prep the roasted sweet potatoes ahead of time by thinly slicing, misting with avocado oil and sprinkling with paprika and cayenne. Then I roast at 400 for 20 minutes or so, flipping once. When ready to assemble, here’s what you need:
- Chicken sausage
- Leaf lettuce + spinach
- Roasted sweet potato coins
- Crumbled goat cheese
Sometimes I add avocado to this one as well, and I like it with a balsamic vinegar dressing.
Mediterranean Chop Salad
This Mediterranean Chop Salad is a vegetarian option that’s super easy to throw together. You can chop the veggies ahead of time and store them in the fridge and you can hard boil some eggs and cook a batch of farro ahead of time as well. When you’re ready to assemble, grab some spinach from your FreshWorks container and add:
- Red onion
- Hard boiled egg
- Farro (or another whole grain)
- Everything Bagel seasoning (optional)
- Crumbled feta (optional)
I use the hummus as the dressing for this one, but you could also add some Italian dressing if you wanted. Sometimes I swap the plain hummus & everything bagel seasoning for spicy hummus to give it a little kick!
Strawberry Chicken Kale Salad
This Strawberry Chicken Kale Salad is another one that’s super easy to meal prep. We always grill a big batch of chicken on the weekends in the summer and I like to cook a batch of farro or rice to have on hand as well. When ready to serve, I simply massage the kale with a little lemon juice and olive oil and then top it with:
- Grilled chicken
- Pumpkin seeds for an added crunch
This salad is great with Italian or honey mustard dressing!
Warm Bacon Kale Salad with Shrimp
To change things up, I occasionally like to enjoy a warm salad. Shrimp is one of my favorite quick-cooking proteins so this salad comes together in a jiffy. I just saute some bacon, mushrooms and kale for a few minutes. Then once the bacon starts to crisp up, I add tomatoes and shrimp. Once the shrimp are cooked (should take 5 min or less), I add some chopped hard boiled egg and balsamic vinaigrette.
Here’s a recap of what you need:
- Hard boiled eggs
- Balsamic vinaigrette
You could also try eating this one cold and see how you like it and feel free to swap spinach for kale.
Thai Peanut Chicken Salad
This Thai Peanut Chicken Salad is one of my favorites for summer. Again, I use grilled chicken that I’ve cooked previously so it comes together quickly. I just steam some peas and whip up a quick peanut sauce while my rice noodles are cooking. Then I toss the noodles, peanuts, peas, and some red peppers in the peanut sauce, serve over a mix of leaf lettuce and spinach and top with peanuts for a little extra crunch!
No need for extra dressing on this one. The peanut sauce makes the perfect dressing.
To make enough sauce for two salads I use:
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp sweet thai chili sauce
- 1-2 tsp ginger
Whisk together in a small bowl and then toss with 6-8 ounces of chopped chicken and however many rice noodles you want. If you want to make more salads or want it extra saucy you can always 1.5 times or double the sauce recipe!
Avocado Tuna Cake Salad
Tuna cakes are another quick and easy protein source that are perfect for salads. I like to fry a couple in a pan (crispy) and serve them over spinach and combine with some previously roasted sweet potatoes (soft) and some freshly chopped peppers, onions and walnuts (crunchy) for the perfect combination of textures and flavors.
To make these tuna cakes for two salads, I just combined:
- 1 can tuna
- 1/2 a medium avocado
- 1/4 cup panko
Mix well and form into 6 small patties. Fry in avocado oil over medium high heat for a couple minutes each side. I like to use flavored tuna (garlic and herb is my favorite) to make it even easier, but if you’re using plain tuna, just throw in a few of your favorite seasonings – curry powder, paprika, cayenne pepper or lemon pepper seasoning all work great!
I like this one with salsa for a dressing as well, but feel free to use your favorite. I have a sesame ginger dressing that I also love that’s great with this combo!
So there you have it! 7 Easy Salad so for summer. Be sure to let me know if you try any of these combos and feel free to leave your favorite salad combos in the comments! I’m always looking for new flavor combos!
To check out all of the Rubbermaid Freshworks containers, check out their website! You can also find them at stores like Target, Meijer, Kroger, Bed Bath & Beyond and on Amazon. And be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!