21 vegan salads for healthy summer lunches

Author: Helen Greaves

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From classic leafy greens to Thai-style noodles, these summery vegan salad recipes offer something for everyone. There's even a vegan pizza salad!


Summer is the season of salads, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. What could be better than sitting in a sunny garden or park, enjoying a fresh, light meal filled with colourful veggies?

Salads truly embody the essence of summer, offering a delightful combination of nourishment and taste. Plus, as a veg-centric meal, they offer a lot of options for vegans.

One of the greatest advantages of summer salads is their ease of preparation. With minimal cooking required, they save you from toiling away in a hot kitchen on scorching days. Salads are all about simplicity and convenience, making them an ideal choice for quick meals or outdoor gatherings.

When it comes to salads, the possibilities are endless. Whether you prefer hearty grains, fresh greens, or unique combinations of fruits and vegetables, there’s a vegan salad recipe out there to suit every palate.

In this roundup, we’ve curated a collection of tantalising summer vegan salad recipes to inspire your culinary creations. These recipes celebrate the bounty of the season while showcasing the versatility of plant-based ingredients.

So let’s dive in and discover the vibrant flavours and textures that await us in these delightful vegan summer salads.

1. Chickpea and Watercress Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

With its refreshing lemon and olive oil dressing, this easy-to-make salad has a bright, fresh flavour that’s perfect to enjoy on a hot summer’s day.

The combination of protein-rich chickpeas, slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, and leafy green watercress make for a nutritious and delicious lunch or side dish for a barbecue or garden party.

This salad keeps fresh in the fridge for up to four days, so it’s perfect for meal prepping lunches for the week, or to make ahead of time for a summer gathering.

Chickpea and watercress salad with roasted tomatoes in bowl with dressing on the side


2. Vegan Kale, Cannellini Bean and Sundried Tomato Salad

A sprinkle of chilli flakes and a swirl of Dijon mustard dressing add a warming kick to this salad that makes it the perfect accompaniment to sizzling burgers and kebabs from the barbie.

This wholesome and filling salad can be served warm as a delightfully different side dish, but it’s just as delicious served cold. Pack the cooled salad in an airtight container to transport it to parties, picnics, or work day lunches.

Kale and Cannellini bean salad in bowl


3. Vegan Pink Pickled Turnip and Lentil Salad

If you’re looking for a vibrant vegan salad to steal the show at a barbecue, look no further than this pink pickled turnip salad!

This Middle Eastern-inspired dish is filled with flavourful and nutritious ingredients, and it looks beautiful too.

The pink pickled turnips are the star of this salad, adding a sweet and sour flavour and a satisfying crunch to the dish.

pink pickled turnip salad

4. Griddled Asparagus and Freekeh Salad with a Green Herb Dressing

Freekeh is an ancient grain similar to bulgar wheat, which is roasted and rubbed to bring out its rich, nutty flavour.

It’s slightly smoky and pairs beautifully with the bright flavours of the asparagus and green herb dressing in this stunning cooked salad.

This light-but-filling salad is perfect for a summer lunch and is delicious served warm or cold as an accompaniment to meals.

Asparagus and freekeh salad with green herb dressing

5. Vegan Freekeh Salad

This fruity freekeh salad is the perfect side dish to add a punch of colour and a refreshing sweetness to your summer spread.

With a rainbow of veggies and extra added crunch from a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds, this Mediterranean-inspired salad is a real summer crowd-pleaser.

It’s delicious on its own, but we recommend serving with flatbread and griddled tempeh for a wholesome meal filled with sunshine.

colourful freekeh salad with pomegranate seeds

6. Jackfruit “Tuna” and Sweetcorn Pasta Salad

For a vegan twist on a classic pasta salad, you need to try this delicious jackfruit dupe.

With creamy vegan mayo, crunchy sweetcorn and onions, and tender tuna-style jackfruit this standalone salad is filled with appetising textures and flavours.

It makes a perfect lunch to enjoy in a sunny park for a bit of weekday lunchtime escapism.

pasta salad with jackfruit tuna and sweetcorn

7. Vegan Pesto Salad with Broccoli, Sweet Potato & Chickpea

With roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas and a satisfying crunch from raw broccoli, this salad is a real winner!

A garlicky pesto sauce brings this wholesome dish together beautifully. It makes a perfect lunch or light dinner for the summertime.

This dish can be enjoyed warm and freshly made, but is just as delicious cold the next day.

Vegan salad with chickpeas, broccoli and sweet potato

8. Vegan Greens and Beans Salad

This summer salad is seriously green! It’s packed full of veggies like spinach, broccoli, avocado, and asparagus for maximum flavour and nutrition.

With chickpeas and red kidney beans for protein and comforting roasted sweet potato, this salad is a filling meal all on its own, but it also makes a brilliant side dish for a plant-powered barbecue.

Green vegan salad with chickpeas

9. Vegan Mexican Corn Salad

This spicy sweetcorn salad is inspired by Mexican elotes, or Mexican street corn. This dish is traditionally made by charring corn on the cob on a grill and smothering it in a creamy chilli and garlic sauce.

This mixed-up version is perfect as a sharable side dish and is easily scoop-able onto burgers and hot dogs while still having all the sultry, spicy flavour of traditional elotes. 

Sweetcorn salad with cherry tomatoes, veggies, and a creamy chilli sauce

10. Vegan Heritage Tomato Panzanella

This traditional Italian salad will give you a tantalising taste of the Tuscan sunshine.

It’s a brilliant salad for helping to avoid food waste, as you can use up your old, stale bread to create something delicious.

Panzanella is a stunningly simple meal on its own, but it will also look wonderful served up on a platter at a garden party.

Tomato salad topped with chunks of ciabatta bread

11. Vegan Kale Tabouli Salad Recipe

Gluten-free quinoa gives this Middle-Eastern salad an inclusive twist. With wholesome kale and flavourful sundried tomatoes, it’s packed with flavour and nutrients.

If you’re making this ahead of time or taking it out for lunch, keep the zesty olive oil and lemon dressing separate and stir it in at the last minute before eating.

Add into a warmed pita with hummus and falafels for a filling meal.

Tabouli salad with quinoa, kale, and sundried tomatoes

12. Raw Tabouli Salad with Raw Vegan Falafel

Tabouli salad is a light and tasty salad, and this one gets a distinctive flavour from the use of fresh mint. This raw vegan version uses cauliflower rice instead of bulgar wheat for a lower-carb alternative.

This recipe also gives instructions on how to make your own veg-packed raw vegan falafels in a dehydrator, but you could also serve the tabouli salad separately as a side dish. Serve it alongside grilled plant-based kebabs and burgers, or make it part of a full raw vegan feast.

Tabouli salad with raw vegan falafel

13. Vegan Tofu Lettuce Wraps

For a salad with a difference, try serving up lettuce wraps filled with crunchy veggies and crispy fried tofu.

These wraps can be served up pre-made and ready to grab, or can be left de-constructed so dinner guests can enjoy making their own.

They make a great addition to the kids’ table at family barbecues, or a fun lunch after a morning of frolicking in the sunshine.

deconstructed lettuce wraps with grated carrot, cabbage, and tofu. Children's hands reach for the plate

14. Raw Vegan Greek Salad Pizza

Have you ever looked down at your healthy plate of salad and thought “I wish this was a pizza”?

Well, this recipe may be the answer to your prayers. Made from a raw almond and flaxseed base topped with classic Greek salad ingredients and vegan tzatziki, this healthy raw pizza is the best of both worlds.

Enjoy one whole as a main meal, or cut into slices to share as a side or snack.

flaxseed and almond pizza crust topped with greek salad


15. Lao-Inspired Larb

This vegan larb uses mushrooms instead of meat for a satisfyingly savoury salad.

Larb is a popular salad from Laos that uses a mix of ground meat and refreshing, flavourful ingredients like mint, lime, and chilli.

This vegan version of the classic larb mixture tastes fantastic served up in large, crisp lettuce boats.

mixture of mushrooms and veggies served in lettuce boats

16. Vegan Crunchy Thai Noodle Salad 

This fragrant Thai-style salad is filled with fresh, raw vegetables and cashew nuts for plenty of crunch.

Served cold, this noodle dish makes the perfect light meal to enjoy at home or away on a hot summer’s day.

Thai-style noodle salad with raw vegetables, served on platter and plate

17. Raw Vegan Pad Thai Salad

Pad Thai is a popular choice for a takeaway, but sometimes it’s a bit too hot and heavy to enjoy in a heatwave.

That’s where this dish comes in. With fresh, crunchy vegetables and a fruity pad Thai dressing, this salad will help you keep your cool.

Raw vegan pad thai salad served in hollowed out pumpkin

18. Smoked Tofu & Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad

Crisp slices of smoked tofu make the perfect topping for this rich and delicious walnut pesto pasta salad.

With olives, tomatoes, and a simple homemade pesto sauce this salad is an easy and effective lunch for a sunny day when you want to spend less time in the kitchen, but still enjoy a wholesome meal.

Spiral pasta with olives, tomatoes, pesto sauce, and slices of smoked tofu

19. Italian Rice Salad

Italian rice salad is the perfect side dish to enjoy in the sunshine. It’s nutritious and flavourful and gets an extra protein punch from both chickpeas and tofu.

This salad is loaded with Italian flavour from delicious olives, tomatoes, and veggies, and will complement a wide range of summer meals.

Italian rice salad with vegetables

20. Lentil Salad with Mango Chutney

This lentil salad gets a bright, sunny flavour from the sweet mango chutney. Meanwhile, creamy feta-style cheese makes this dish feel really decadent.

The flavourful salad makes a satisfying summertime lunch, and can be made using pre-cooked lentils for a super speedy meal.

Salad made from lentils, cucumber, cherry tomato, vegan feta and mango chutney

21. Potato Salad With Lemon & Herbs

The fresh, zesty flavour of lemon and herbs in this potato salad gives it the perfect flavour to complement a summer picnic in the sun.

With no mayo in sight, this vibrant dish makes a refreshing change from store-bought potato salad.

sliced potato salad with green lemon and herb dressing and chickpeas

Want more summer meal inspo? Try one of these sizzling vegan barbecue recipes

Featured photo © mizina via Adobe Stock

Written by

Helen Greaves

Helen has been vegan since 2018 and has a background in vegan food marketing and social media. She's mother to a mischief of rats, and loves to spend her spare time making vegan cakes and bakes.

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