15 Light and Fresh Salad Recipes For Your Next Potluck

close up view of seven layer salad in a glass bowl

Don't get us wrong, we love those mayo-filled potato and macaroni salads at a potluck as much as the next person. But sometimes you want a lighter option to choose from too. That's where these fresh vegetable-based salads come in. Their refreshing flavors will have everyone going back for more, and they're probably the easiest thing you can offer to bring to the potluck. Scroll through to find your next potluck go-to.

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Napa Cabbage Salad

This crunchy salad is complete with ramen noodles, sesame seeds, and slivered almonds. Be sure to bring the crunchies with you in a separate container and add them right before serving so they don't get soggy.

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Strawberry Spinach Salad

This Strawberry Spinach Salad is a classic summertime recipe. Juicy strawberries pair with tender spinach coated in a sweet poppyseed dressing for a salad even picky eaters will want to eat.

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Seven Layer Salad

Seven layer salad in a clear trifle dish so all layers are visable.
Meredith Food Studios

Not only does this salad taste delicious, it also looks gorgeous on the potluck table. The layers include chopped lettuce, onion, peas, shredded cheese, cauliflower, bacon, and a creamy dressing.

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Quinoa Vegetable Salad

A simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette coats this quinoa salad loaded with a rainbow of fresh vegetables and some fresh herbs. You can easily substitute in whatever fresh seasonal veggies you have on hand.

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Thai Cucumber Salad

All you need is a handful of ingredients (most of which you probably have on hand) for this sweet and tangy salad filled with fresh cilantro and the crunch of peanuts on top.

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Avocado Watermelon Salad

a bowl of cubed watermelon, diced avocado, and torn baby spinach leaves

Juicy watermelon and creamy avocado are a textural match made in heaven. An olive oil and lime dressing adds a nice hit of citrus adds brightness to this fresh side dish.

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Mediterranean Zucchini and Chickpea Salad

zucchini and chickpea salad on plates
Victor Protasio

This simple Mediterranean-inspired chickpea salad is so easy that you could probably memorize the recipe. Simply dump all the raw ingredients into a container, mix it up, and let it chill for a few hours to allow the flavors to marinate.

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The Talk of the Potluck Kale and Apple Salad

Sweet and savory flavors combine to create this delicious salad that even picky eaters will love. Use your favorite sweet apples — recipe creator Dani Steinbach recommends Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Gala.

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Tangy Spinach Salad

The tang in this salad comes from the dressing made apple cider vinegar and mustard. It helps balance the rich toppings: hard-boiled eggs, bacon, and stuffing mix. The stuffing acts as flavorful croutons — but they will soften up when you add the dressing, so add them last if you want to keep them crunchy.

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Three Bean Salad With Celery

As the name suggests, this salad is made up of three different kinds of beans (kidney, garbanzo, and green) plus crunchy celery for some added texture all tossed with an easy-to-make vinaigrette. Feel free to swap in whatever canned beans you have on hand to give it your own spin.

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Southwest Layered Salad

No one will be able to get enough of this layered salad with roasted red peppers, black beans, white corn, sweet onion, green chile peppers, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, and cilantro. The salad is super simple to make, and the homemade dressing is just as easy since all you have to do is stir together a packet of ranch dressing mix, a package of taco seasoning, buttermilk, and yogurt.

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Summer Veggie Salad

Grab your fresh summer veggies and make this simple salad. All you need is corn, black beans, avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, olive oil, cilantro, and limes for a salad that's bursting with flavor.

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Blue Cheese and Dried Cranberry Tossed Salad

Spice up your regular tossed salad by adding blue cheese, toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and balsamic vinaigrette. It'll be the perfect savory, sweet, and tangy combo that will have everyone going in for seconds (and thirds).

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Classic Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Caesar salad with croutons in a wooden salad bowl
Classic Caesar Salad. Allrecipes

You can never go wrong with a Caesar salad. This delicious salad is made entirely from scratch — from the homemade Caesar dressing all the way to the homemade croutons. And yet it's so quick and easy that you'll never understand why you used store-bought ingredients before.

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Super Summer Kale Salad

This refreshing salad is loaded with flavor thanks to the sweet and tangy dressing, edamame, blueberries, cashews, and roasted sunflower seeds. Make sure to allow the dressed salad to chill for a few hours to help the kale soften slightly for a more tender bite.

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