50 Picnic Salad Ideas

Don't forget the sides! Round out your menu with these crowd-pleasers from Food Network Magazine. 

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Photo By: Justin Walker

Pimiento Macaroni Salad (No. 2)

Cook 1 pound macaroni; drain and rinse. Toss with 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, one 8-ounce jar pimientos (drained and chopped), 4 chopped scallions and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne; season with salt.

Cold Peanut Noodles (No. 5)

Cook 1 pound Chinese egg noodles; drain and rinse. Whisk 1/2 cup peanut butter, 3 tablespoons each soy sauce, Sriracha and rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon each sesame oil and grated peeled ginger. Toss with the noodles, 1 each chopped red bell pepper and cucumber, and 1/2 cup chopped cilantro; season with salt.

Italian-Deli Pasta (No. 9)

Cook 1 pound penne; drain and rinse. Mix 1/3 cup mayonnaise and 3 tablespoons each olive oil and red wine vinegar. Toss with the pasta, one 16-ounce jar giardiniera (drained and chopped), 1 cup each diced provolone and salami, 1/4 cup each chopped parsley and basil, and salt and pepper.

Three-Bean Salad (No. 11)

Boil 1 pound each trimmed green and yellow beans until tender, about 7 minutes; drain and rinse. Whisk 6 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon each dijon mustard and chopped tarragon. Toss with the beans, one 15-ounce can small red beans (rinsed), 1 sliced shallot, and salt and pepper.

Black Bean-Corn Salad (No. 14)

Whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons honey and the juice of 3 limes. Toss with two 15-ounce cans black beans (rinsed), 1 cup thawed frozen corn, 1 diced bell pepper, 1 bunch chopped scallions, 1/2 cup cilantro, and salt and pepper. Add 1 diced avocado.

Pecan Rice Salad (No. 16)

Cook 2 cups brown rice in 4 cups simmering water, covered, 45 to 50 minutes, adding 1 cup chopped green beans during the last 5 minutes. Let cool. Toss with 1 cup each chopped mixed herbs and salted roasted pecans, 1/3 cup olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper.

Citrus Quinoa Salad (No. 18)

Cook 1 1/2 cups quinoa in 3 1/2 cups simmering water, covered, about 15 minutes; let cool. Toss with 1 bunch chopped scallions, 1 sliced fennel bulb, the segments from 1 orange, 1/4 cup each olive oil and orange juice, and salt and pepper. Top with fennel fronds.

Cauliflower Tabouli (No. 20)

Make Tabouli (No. 19), replacing the bulgur with 1 grated head raw cauliflower. Use 2 bunches parsley.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad (No. 27)

Toss two 15-ounce cans chickpeas (rinsed) with 2 diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup each crumbled feta and chopped kalamata olives, 1/4 cup each chopped parsley and mint, 6 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Beet Salad (No. 31) 

Toss 6 chopped cooked large beets with 1/2 cup each chopped pistachios and parsley, and 1/4 cup each sherry vinegar and olive oil; season with salt. Top with crumbled goat cheese.

Panzanella (No. 34)

Toss 8 cups toasted cubed crusty bread with 2 1/2 pounds chopped tomatoes, 1/2 sliced red onion, 1 cup torn basil, 2/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup each capers and red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Caprese (No. 35)

Toss 2 pounds assorted chopped tomatoes, 1 pound cubed mozzarella, 1 cup each chopped celery and basil, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Herbed Tomato Salad (No. 36)

Toss 3 pints halved cherry tomatoes with one 14-ounce can hearts of palm (rinsed and chopped), 1/2 cup each chopped mixed herbs and crumbled goat cheese, 3 tablespoons olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper.

Apple Slaw (No. 40)

Mix 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons chopped chives. Toss with 10 thinly sliced celery stalks, 2 thinly sliced green apples, and salt and pepper.

Creamy Potato Salad (No. 44)

Boil 2 1/2 pounds quartered new potatoes, about 20 minutes; drain and toss with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Let cool. Mix 1/2 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar. Toss with the potatoes, 3 chopped hard-cooked eggs, 1 cup chopped celery, 1/4 cup each chopped chives and dill, and salt and pepper.

BLT Potato Salad (No. 45)

Make Creamy Potato Salad (No. 44), omitting the eggs, celery and herbs. Toss with 1 head chopped romaine, 6 crumbled cooked bacon slices, 1 cup diced tomatoes, and salt and pepper.