Chef John's Salads

Salad recipes provided by Chef John.

Staff Picks

My Big Fat Greek Salad

Rating: 4.86 stars
68
You can't go wrong with this Greek salad, especially if you remember the only and most important tip: toss it with the vinegar first before adding olive oil. If you don't, it will not taste as good. Which reminds me, giving the amounts here is very difficult, since this really should be made to your tastes, so please use the ingredient list as a very rough outline.

Chef John's Panzanella

Rating: 4.79 stars
47
The key to this panzanella is frying the bread cubes in loads of olive oil in a skillet, which obviously makes them crispy. But the healthful fat also soaks into the bread cubes and renders them semi-waterproof, or dressing-proof. The same goes for the dusting of Parmesan cheese applied halfway through the crisping process.

Corn Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing

Rating: 4.36 stars
46
Simple deliciousness, that's what this is. This corn salad recipe is one of my favorite summer side dishes. It's a perfect complement to just about any meat you pull off the grill, and can be dressed in countless ways. Serve at room temperature.

Shrimp and Pasta Shell Salad

Rating: 4.65 stars
146
When I want to make a macaroni salad just a little bit extra-special, nothing does the trick like some small, sweet shrimp. This is one of my favorite summer salads, and it's oh-so-easy.

Watermelon, Feta and Cashew Salad

Rating: 5 stars
2
Inspired by a similar salad I had in a San Francisco cafe, I came up with my version of this amazing combination of sweet, salty, juicy, creamy, crunchy, and mmmm.

Grilled Hearts of Romaine

Rating: 4.64 stars
30
This is truly and ridiculously easy. The trick is to get the grill grates very hot. And the result? A lightly caramelized surface and a slightly smoky flavor. The insides stay cool and crisp. It's quite a contrast of tastes and textures.

Grilled Shrimp Louie

Rating: 4.71 stars
23
The dressing for this dish is made to use with crab, but I think the smoky grilled shrimp are a great summertime twist. Make the dressing ahead of time and chill it before you adjust the seasonings.

Fava and Butter Bean Salad

Rating: 4.64 stars
8
This salad is so delicious, so refreshing, so satisfying, and so easy that you must try it. One key to this simple combination is letting it chill in the fridge for a few hours to marry all the flavors. You can substitute parsley or basil for the mint, but I beg you to try it with the mint. There is something about the taste of fava beans that the mint really brings out like no other herb.

German Tater Tot® Potato Salad

While this recipe may upset a few Germans, it's a risk I'm willing to take. Tossed with a warm bacon dressing and made easy with crispy, crunchy, frozen potato nuggets, this take on a German potato salad makes an already easy recipe even easier. If you're a fan of Tater Tots®, you'll find this salad to be spectacular in taste, texture, and appearance. Plus, there's no peeling, slicing, or boiling necessary!

Smashed Cucumber Salad

Rating: 4.62 stars
43
By crushing our cucumber before we cut it, we produce flavors that un-smashed cukes can't. When you crush the cells in a vegetable, as opposed to cutting cleanly through them, certain compounds get mixed together, which can result in a significantly different flavor. In cucumbers this is a good thing--onions, not so much. But this salad is one of my all-time favorite cold summer side dishes. The only decision you're going to have to make is how long to let the cucumbers marinate--half an hour or so or not at all.

Perfect Potato Salad

Rating: 4.6 stars
36
This is my mother Pauline's recipe. It's pretty much a classic American salad but remember, if you add onions, use sweet onions and chop with a very sharp knife, allow potatoes to cool to room temp before dressing them, and always taste for salt.

The Perfect Picnic Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is almost always the most disappointing side dish at the picnic or cookout, but this recipe shows you how to transform what is normally an "afterthought" to a dish that's good enough to enjoy on its own, or as the perfect complement to grilled meat. Top this with extra fresh chopped herbs if you like.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Chef John's Classic Macaroni Salad

"Chef John, you never disappoint! In my opinion, this is one of the best macaroni salads I've ever tasted." – France C

Deviled Egg Noodle Salad

Rating: 4.73 stars
6

Just so everybody's clear, we are not making deviled eggs and then turning them into a noodle salad. We are actually making a salad with the same flavors, using egg noodles. Because we use so many ingredients that typically are used for deviled eggs, this salad really did have a similar flavor profile, and tastes amazing. Garnish the salad with freshly chopped chives and green onions.