Gimme Some Oven

17 Make-Ahead Salads That Everyone Will Love!

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A collection of my favorite make-ahead salads (pasta salads, green salads, chicken salads, you name it!) that are perfect for any gathering!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone! ❤️

I hope that you have some fun plans for the 3-day weekend ahead — hopefully involving lots of time soaking up some R&R with those you love, pausing to give thanks for those we love who’ve gone before us, and of course, hopefully eating lots and lots of delicious springtime food al fresco.

My weekend is already looking like it’s going to be a tasty one. Barclay and I have a pre-wedding date night planned on Saturday. (<– Today marks one week away from our big day, yay!)   Then my good friends are throwing my bachelorette party this Sunday night, which I’ve heard is featuring some killer homemade Mediterranean food, amongst other stops that evening. (Can’t wait.)  Then on Memorial Day, we’re having a big potluck going-away party for another good friend who’s moving away next month. (For which I’m planning to bring along this 5-ingredient Pasta Salad, yum.)  Other than that, I’m just excited about a nice low-key weekend at home before all of the wedding festivities kick off this week. TGIF.

That said, since this is one of the prime weekends of the year for picnics and potlucks and pasta salads, I thought I would sign off for the weekend with some recommendations for my favorite salads. They are all recipes that you can make ahead of time, then chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to go. They are all perfect for sharing with those you love. And, if I do say so myself, they are all mighty delicious.

Hope you find one or two that you love! And cheers to a lovely weekend ahead!

This Rainbow Antipasto Pasta Salad is the perfect way to use up leftover antipasto ingredients! Plus, it's easy to make, tossed with a zesty Italian herb vinaigrette, and absolutely delicious! |

Rainbow Antipasto Pasta Salad: “Loved this! It had all of my favorites and more. I added raw red and yellow peppers, and I LOVED the kale addition. Saved this to my recipe book and will be making again! It was a hit at our bbq!” -Whitney

Lightened-Up Chicken Salad Recipe -- made with Greek yogurt and all of the classic ingredients we all love! |

Lightened-Up Chicken Salad“I love chicken salad and lighting it up means lunch is planned for today. Thanks for the guilt-free recipe!” -Trina

This Lemony Artichoke Pasta Salad is quick and easy to make ahead of time, and tossed with asparagus, Parmesan, and a delicious lemon basil vinaigrette. Perfect for potlucks, or even as a side or main dish for dinner! |

Lemony Artichoke Pasta Salad“Made this for Mother’s Day, and we all LOVED it! My husband had 3 helpings and he kept saying how good it was. Next time I think I’ll add in some fresh lemon zest too! Great recipe ?” -Alissa

Easy Asian Quinoa Salad |

Asian Quinoa Slaw“Yum! We had company from out of town and served this with burgers after they had worked up a big appetite biking most of the day. It was a big hit. The next day we added some leftover fresh corn off a cob and some cilantro to the slaw and it was pretty unbelievable! I have shared this recipe with my whole family. Thanks!” -Rene

This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is made with lots of fresh basil and feta, tossed with a simple lemony vinaigrette, and it's SO fresh and delicious! Plus, it's naturally gluten-free and quick and easy to make. |

Cucumber Quinoa Salad“LOVE this recipe! Made it for a potluck last evening and it was a hit. I actually was worried about mixing the sauce in too early because I thought it might get soggy, but I had some leftovers for lunch today and I must say it actually tastes better the next day! Thanks for the delicious recipe I will be making this again.” – Hannah

This Pizza Pasta Salad recipe is quick and easy to make, it's tossed with a simple Italian vinaigrette, and you can customize it with all of your favorite pizza toppings! |

Pizza Pasta Salad“Thanks for this recipe, Ali! We’ve taken your inspiration and customized this with our family’s favorite toppings: Italian sausage, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, and crushed red pepper. We love it!” -Anne

This Berry Fruit Salad can be made with just about any fresh berries you have on hand -- strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, you name it! Perfect for summer. :) |

Berry Fruit Salad“I’ll never get over the beauty of fresh berries! So gorgeous! I need to make this before the summer ends!” -Anna

This Mediterranean Pasta Salad is SO GOOD! Love all of those cucumbers, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, red onions, and feta cheese. Perfect for a potluck! |

Mediterranean Pasta Salad: “This was awesome! I’ve tried a million pasta salad recipes trying to find a solid go-to recipe, and I’ve finally found it! The flavor of the vinaigrette is perfect. Happy day!” – Joanna

This Zesty Lentil Spinach Salad recipe is ready to go in about 30 minutes, made with hearty lentils, sauteed veggies, lots of fresh spinach, and a tangy lemon dressing. It's SO delicious, and also makes great leftovers! | (Vegetarian / Gluten-Free)

Zesty Lentil Spinach Salad“This salad was so good, I over ate because I couldn’t stop munching! I used arugula instead of spinach and it worked well too! Thanks for the recipe!” -Heather


This Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe is quick and easy to make, tossed with a delicious balsamic vinaigrette, and perfect for picnics, potlucks, or just a regular weeknight meal! |

Super-Easy Caprese Pasta Salad“We made this for a potluck this week and LOVED it! The flavor was awesome, and it was so easy to make. Bookmarking this for the future for sure!” -Jen

This Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad is easy to make, perfectly sweet and savory, and always the hit at a potluck! |

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad“I made this for a big family gathering and it was a HUGE hit. I asked my husband to test it to make sure it was seasoned properly and I almost had to stop him from eating too much. Thank you for this recipe!” -Stephanie

This Asian Chicken Chopped Salad recipe is quick and easy to make, packed with fresh ingredients and zesty chicken, and tossed with a heavenly creamy sesame ginger vinaigrette. So delicious!! |

Asian Chicken Chopped Salad“I just had to stop by and tell you that I absolutely L O V E this salad. I have made it no less than ten times since reading the recipe. I’ve even shared it with my co-workers and they were as amazed as I was at how absolutely delicious this recipe is. Seriously. I was surprised. With or without the chicken, this recipe is fantastic! It’s my new favorite make-ahead lunch recipe. I can make a big bowl of this on Sunday and have it to eat all week. Yum!!” -Pam
Mediterranean Farro Salad -- this simple dish is quick and easy to whip up, and full of the best flavors! |

Mediterranean Farro Salad“Made this for a cold side for Easter. Turned out really nice. Very healthy and delicious. To save time I used my spiralizer to cut the onion and cucumbers. Thanks!” -Rachel

This Kale Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese is full of big savory flavors, easy to make ahead of time, and so delicious! |

Kale Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese“Both my husband and I loved this salad. I used almonds rather than pecans because my hubby is “mentally allergic” to pecans. My first time preparing a recipe with kale. Definitely a keeper–the recipe and kale!” -Anne

Kale Caesar Salad -- made with a lighter and delicious lime Caesar dressing |

Kale Caesar Salad“This is the BEST caesar salad ever!!!! My husband is obsessed (what?!). Much better than a mayo based caesar dressing. I’ve done it with shredded chicken and salmon also and it’s fabulous. Thank you!!!” -Mary-Ella


This Veggie Lovers' Pasta Salad is easy to make with whatever veggies you have on hand, it's tossed with a yummy white balsamic vinaigrette, and it's absolutely perfect for a party or picnic or potluck (or any regular weeknight dinner)! |

Veggie Lovers Pasta Salad“We love this recipe!! It’s now our go to way to use up leftover veggies. That vinaigrette always pulls everything together. :)” -Kristie

I absolutely LOVE this 5-ingredient Pasta Salad! All you need is some pasta, mozzarella, roasted red peppers, arugula, and pesto, then -- voila -- a mega-flavorful and delicious dinner will be yours to enjoy! |

5-Ingredient Pasta Salad“I made this for a potluck picnic tonight. In spite of the fact there were at least 30 other dishes there, this pasta salad completely disappeared, and quickly. My ridiculously picky husband mostly avoids leafy greens, but he actually ate all the arugula in this. He even said he would eat it again. Thanks!” -Christy

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12 comments on “17 Make-Ahead Salads That Everyone Will Love!”

  1. Well thank you so much! I’m set for the entire weekend! They all look GREAT!

  2. definitely trying one or two of these recipes this weekend.

  3. These all look so yummy. Definitely making the Rainbow Antipasto tonight.

  4. Super great roundup! Hope your Memorial Day Weekend is amazing =)

  5. What a fantastic roundup and perfect salads for summer dinners! I pinned many of them and cannot way to make the Kale Caesar this week!

  6. Thank you for sharing the great post.

  7. I made the 5-Ingredient Pasta Salad and it was AWESOME! My family absolutely loved it as much as I did. It was simple and quick to make. Thank you!

  8. Can the ramen salad be made ahead or must it be served immediately?