The Best Classic Salad Recipes To Make For Any Occasion

There are so many reasons why salads make an excellent staple in your diet. When most of the ingredients in your recipes are made up of fruits and vegetables, you are getting a major nutritional boost!

Salads are not only refreshing, but they can also be very easy to prepare. Most importantly, you’ll only need about twenty minutes to whip up one of these salads as a great appetizer—or even a meal in itself.

If you are looking for some great salad recipes to try, keep reading!

Here is our list of the best classic salad recipes.

Classic Potato Salad

classic potato salad

A spring or summer barbecue isn’t complete without a Classic Potato Salad, right? You may have your very own recipe for this picnic staple. But surprise your family with something new and give our version a try. This potato salad recipe uses apple cider vinegar to give the potatoes a tangy kick.

If you include this recipe in your menu, make it a day before you plan to eat it. The flavors are even better, because the ingredients have meshed well overnight. Just keep this salad in your fridge.

Keep in mind that this salad is best served chilled. Also, take note that it has to be consumed right away. Due to the mayonnaise and sour cream, there is a tendency for it to go bad after an hour of being out.

Right now, while you’re staying home, you don’t have to worry about traveling. But when social gatherings open up again, keep in mind the following suggestion: If you are traveling to a destination this is over an hour away, keep your potato salad in a cooler with some ice.



  • 2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 3 large eggs, hard-boiled and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 large dill pickle, finely diced
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped


  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • 3 tablespoons pickle juice 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Wash, peel, and cube the potatoes. Boil the potatoes for about 20-25 minutes, until cooked.
  2. Drain the water. Then, transfer potatoes to a large bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Let them cool to room temperature.
  3. Finely dice the cooled eggs and add to the cooled potatoes.
  4. Add celery, red onion, green onion, pickle, and fresh dill.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the salad dressing ingredients until fully combined. Pour over the potatoes and gently mix, careful to not entirely crush the potatoes.
  6. Refrigerate the salad for at least one hour prior to serving.
  7. Garnish with dill, green onions, and pickles before serving.

Cobb Salad

cobb salad recipe

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Here’s a salad that has so many ingredients, you can consider it a full meal already! It has not only chicken but also bacon, eggs, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and blue cheese. You can have this salad for brunch as it will surely satisfy your hunger.

To make your Cobb Salad better, you can add your own marinade to the chicken breast so that it will have extra flavor. You can also mix and match and exchange the other ingredients to get a salad recipe that is more suited to your taste.


Grilled chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste


  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 6 cups Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 6 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup croutons 


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1/2 avocado 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese 


  1. Season the chicken breasts then grill until cooked. Once cooked, set aside.
  2. Fry the bacon and boil the eggs. Then, chop the bacon and the eggs once fried.
  3. Make the dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse until well combined and smooth.
  4. Assemble the salad in a large salad bowl.

Pesto Pasta Salad

pesto pasta salad

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Instead of cooking spaghetti to pair with your barbecued meat, why not make this Pesto Pasta Salad instead? All you need to do is cook the pasta and add your favorite pesto sauce to it. You can add other ingredients like cheese and olives if you want.

And if you are going to make your own pesto, you can prepare it faster if you use a food processor.


  • 12 ounces penne pasta (or any short pasta type)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 cup basil pesto, refrigerated
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5 cups fresh mozzarella (small, ball-shaped)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts  
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley  


  • Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • Once cooked, drain it, and then place the pasta in a large bowl.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella balls, olives, pine nuts, red onion, and parsley.
  • Pour the pesto on top and toss to coat evenly.
  • Serve.

Classic Egg Salad

egg salad recipe

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If you have some extra eggs around the house, this is the perfect salad recipe for you. What better use for them than for Classic Egg Salad? This salad is filling but will not break your budget. And you can even turn it into a sandwich for an afternoon snack.

Just prepare hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, some mustard, onions, dill, salt, and paprika to taste. You can also add some diced pickles to make it even better. All you need to do is combine all the ingredients together, and chill before serving!


  • 6-8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise, or more
  • 1 tablespoon mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon  pickle juice (or lemon juice)
  • 1/2  small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced pickles (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon green garlic (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Boil and peel the eggs. Chop them into 1/4 inch pieces and add to a medium bowl.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

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If you are looking for a salad that is refreshing and healthy, this Mediterranean Couscous Salad is absolutely perfect. To prepare the couscous, you just need to add it to some boiling water. And take note of the right ratio to achieve the perfect fluffy consistency.

Aside from the ingredients in the recipe, you can add others you’d like, such as nuts or even chicken or shrimp.


  • 3-4 cups cooked couscous 
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 2  cucumbers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled


  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook couscous according to the package directions.
  2. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Then, combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, except feta cheese.
  4. Add dressing and toss. Add feta cheese and toss.
  5. Garnish with more parsley and serve.

Classic Waldorf Chicken Salad

classic waldorf chicken salad

Did you know that the Waldorf salad has been around since 1893? It was given the name because it was first served in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The maitre d’, Oscar Tschirly, is credited for creating this dish, which was originally just celery, apples, and mayonnaise.

Over the years, variations have been made to the original salad recipe. Our version of the Classic Waldorf Chicken Salad includes additional ingredients like chicken, walnuts, grapes, and raisins.

And it is so easy to make! You just need to prepare the dressing first and then combine all the ingredients. And if you are not a fan of walnuts, you can easily use other types of nuts, such as almonds. You can make this dish two or three days in advance, just make sure to store it in the fridge.



  • 3 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 green apple, cored and chopped into cubes
  • 2 red delicious apples, cored and chopped into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup green grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup raisins 
  • 1 cup red or blue grapes, halved


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 cup yogurt 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 


  • 1/4 cup whole walnuts (or pecans, almonds, or nuts of choice)


  1. In a small bowl, stir together all the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Then, add all the rest of the ingredients to the bowl. Add the dressing mixture and stir well to combine.
  3. Refrigerate prior to serving.

Seven Layer Salad

seven layer overnight salad

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Wondering how to change up family dinner this week? Or planning ahead and racking your brain on what you will bring to the next family gathering? This Seven Layer Salad will easily feed at least 12 people! You can pair it with some barbecued ribs or fried chicken.

Also called an Overnight Salad, you can prepare this the day before eating and keep it in your fridge.

A seven-layer salad may sound like it is hard to do, but really, all you have to do is assemble the ingredients and add the dressing in between the layers. The chopped bacon can be added just before serving.

And choose a glass bowl or pan when making this salad recipe so you can see just how pretty the layers look!



  • 1 medium head iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 7 hard-boiled eggs, cooled, peeled, and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes 
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 14 slices bacon, cooked and roughly chopped


  • 1 cup sour cream 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 
  • 5 cups mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill 
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley 


  • In a bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
  • Place lettuce on the bottom of a large bowl or you can also use a 9×13 casserole dish.
  • Top with the first 5 ingredients, uniformly layering each other on top of the other.
  • Next, add some of the bacon and drizzle half of the dressing on top.
  • Layer the remaining ingredients in the following order: defrosted peas, diced tomatoes, diced green onions, and the cranberries.
  • Spread the remaining dressing on top. Then, spread the shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Cover the salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Serve!

These classic salad recipes will never fail to please a hungry family or surprise guests. And best of all, you can prepare some of these ahead of time for a quick snack or meal. So try them out for yourself, and enjoy!

Which of these classic salad recipes is your favorite? Share with us in the comments below. And we’d love to see the salads you make!

Looking for more great recipes to make for your family? Check out these restaurant recipes you can master at home!

classic salad recipes

All photos courtesy of Catalina Castravet and Sweet and Savory Meals.

 About the Author

My name is Catalina Castravet, and I created Sweet and Savory Meals. I am a professional chef and food blogger who is always on the lookouts for tasty and delicious recipes. Over the past 10 years, my team and I have created well over one thousand recipes, starting from quick breakfasts, to delicious dinner meals. All the recipes are shared for free with our beloved followers and readers. Cooking is my love and passion.

The post The Best Classic Salad Recipes To Make For Any Occasion appeared first on Rare Norm.


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