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5 summer salads to help you cool down in hot weather

Potato salad in yellow bowl next to fork on blue wood table

Oh my, is it hot this week in Illinois! So, these five cold summer salad recipes will certainly taste great to help beat the heat. 

I like salads (and recipes like salsa with a mix of different fruits and veggies) for a couple reasons. One, there are multiple different nutrients in one bite. Two, sometimes these foods are more fun and enjoyable to eat than munching on plain carrot sticks or an apple.

Plus each recipe has an ingredient that is growing in Illinois during summer months, from fruits to veggies to herbs, so check out your local farmers markets, roadside stands, community supported agriculture subscriptions, and local farms to shop local.

Join me in cooling down by making and enjoying one of these recipes this summer. Be sure to tag Illinois Extension on social media with a photo of your recipe!

Glass bowl filled with jicama, blueberries, strawberries, mandarin oranges on a wood background

Jicama Summer Salad  Print recipe | Video
serves 6

Potato salad in a white bowl with a plastic picnic fork

Bacon Potato Salad  Print recipe | Video
serves 6

Light green bowl filled with quinoa salad

Fiesta Quinoa Salad | Print recipe | Video
serves 8

Green bowl filled with mocktato salad on layered white and yellow plates

Mocktato Salad | Print recipe | Video
Serves 6

Close up of tabbouleh salad in a white bowl

Tabbouleh | Print recipe | Video
Serves 6


Posts combined and originally published in 2016, 2017, and 2018; content updated in 2022.


Healthy Eats and Repeat
How much difference is there between canned and frozen foods? How should you cook venison? When is the best time to buy avocados? Get answers to these questions as well as other tips, tutorials and recipes for common kitchen foods and items with University of Illinois Extension Nutrition & Wellness Educator Caitlin Mellendorf. Build your best life. Trust Extension to help.

Caitlin Mellendorf is an Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon and Piatt Counties in Central Illinois. She is a Registered Dietitian and her work focuses on helping community members gain the knowledge, skills and tools to live healthier, more nutritious lifestyles. This includes providing programs and answering questions about heart health, diabetes, food safety, food preservation, grocery shopping and cooking. You can reach Caitlin by email at or call 217.877.6042.