60+ No-Cook Appetizers and Salads
During summertime in the South, it can get too hot to even think turning your oven or stovetop on. Luckily, hot summer temps don’t have to hold you back from exploring delicious new recipes. These no-cook appetizers and salads showcase the best of summer’s gorgeous produce. Without having to put much work in, you can still show up at the church potluck or neighborhood cookout with the prettiest appetizer or salad in sight. Whether you’re in the mood for an old-school no-cook appetizer like pimiento cheese or crab dip, or you want to branch out with no-cook recipes that will be new to guests like pimiento cheese-stuffed pickled okra and West Indies crab salad, these no-cook recipes have your back for every event. Busy weeknights call for quick, easy dinner recipes, and these no-cook salads fit the bill beautifully. Don’t waste a minute of summer standing by the stovetop. These no-cook appetizer and salad recipes are summertime saviors.
Barbecue-Peach Summer Rolls
Recipe: Barbecue-Peach Summer Rolls
No need to break a sweat assembling all the rolls yourself. Make a small batch to kick-start the party, then offer a platter of the fresh ingredients with the dipping sauce so guests can build their own. Just dip the rice paper sheets in hot water as directed, and wrap with a damp towel to keep them soft. Look for rice paper rounds in the international aisle of large grocery stores or Asian markets.
Easy Summer Appetizer Board
Recipe: Easy Summer Appetizer Board
No Southern appetizer board is complete without spicy-sweet pickled okra. Our new obsession: Wickles Wicked Okra (wicklespickles.com). We also recommend Olli Salumeria salami, slow-cured in Virginia and found in gourmet grocery stores across the South, but you can choose any of your favorite cured meats.
Watermelon "Steak" Salad
Recipe: Watermelon "Steak" Salad
Not your mother's fruit salad. A cold, thick, steak-like slice of ripe watermelon pairs unexpectedly well with salty Cotija cheese and a smoky vinaigrette. Also try it with leftover grilled chicken or beef.
White Cheddar-Chive Pimiento Cheese
Here's the secret to nice pimiento-cheese texture: Grate the cheese by hand, half on the large holes of a box grater and half on the small holes. Choose an aged sharp Cheddar cheese for extra bite. Chopped chives and Dijon mustard add piquant punch in place of grated onion.
BLT Salad with Olive Vinaigrette
Recipe: Tomato-and-Watermelon Salad
Combine sweet, juicy watermelon chunks with fresh tomato, onion, and a red wine vinaigrette for a salad that is the essence of summer.
Green Goddess Dipping Sauce
Recipe: Green Goddess Dipping Sauce
No need for lots of chopping; let the food processor do all the work in this delicious herb-packed sauce.
Tomato-Cucumber Bread Salad
Recipe: Tomato-Cucumber Bread Salad
If you'd like to assemble the salad ahead of time, reserve croutons until just before serving; store in the refrigerator.
Creamy Cucumber Soup
Recipe: Creamy Cucumber Soup
English, or hothouse, cucumbers have thin skins, few seeds, and mild flavor. English cucumbers are sold wrapped in plastic, rather than coated in wax.
Recipe: New Ambrosia
This recipe is a fresh way to use citrus. Sprinkle toasted sweetened flaked coconut over each serving, if desired.
Recipe: Mango Salad
Create a colorful and healthy salad by combining mango slices, tomato, cucumber, corn, basil, and a lime vinaigrette, then tossing with arugula.
Avocado Fruit Salad
Recipe: Avocado Fruit Salad
You can prepare this salad a day ahead, but don't cut up the avocado or add garnishes until just before you serve it.
Recipe: Blueberry Salsa
Fresh blueberries provide the sweet while jalapeño pepper, bell pepper, and cilantro provide the savory. Serve with toasted flour tortilla strips for an easy appetizer or side dish.
Recipe: Olives Scaciati
Double the recipe—as we did here—for a dramatic presentation that will feed a large group.
Creamy Crab Dip
Recipe: Creamy Crab Dip
Fresh lump crab is the star of this easy dip recipe, and the flavor of Lowcountry favorite Old Bay seasoning shines through.
Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss
Recipe: Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss
This farm-fresh salad might be the prettiest way to use up that rotisserie chicken in your fridge.
Feta-Olive-Fresh Herb Cheese Ball
This springy cheese ball will brighten up any cheese and charcuterie platter.
Bitter Greens Salad with Lemon and Pecorino
This is the perfect mixed green salad. With a bright, tangy vinaigrette, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a main dish like grilled steak, fish, or chicken, or a beautiful starter salad.
Recipe: Watermelon Gazpacho
This summery chilled soup is the perfect appetizer for an outdoor dinner party—dressy but cool.
Herbed Shrimp-and-Rice Salad
Recipe: Herbed Shrimp-and-Rice Salad
Your guests will never know this colorful, light salad was made with shrimp you didn’t cook yourself and microwaveable rice, but they don’t have to.
Recipe: Succotash Salsa
A summer-favorite side dish gets appetizer treatment with this easy dip everyone will love.
Tropical Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Recipe: Tropical Chicken Lettuce Wraps
This fresh, 15-minute appetizer gives us another reason to love store-bought rotisserie chicken.
Sesame, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad
No one will guess that the most beautiful summer salad to hit the potluck only took you 10 minutes to throw together.
Stuffed Endive with Herbed Goat Cheese
These veggie bites are a hostess-favorite appetizer. Why? They look pretty, they’re easy to grab-and-go, they’re not messy, and they’re so easy to put together.
Shaved Carrot, Asparagus, and Apple Salad
This springy update on a classic coleslaw recipe is light, bright and oh-so-pretty.
Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Hummus
Recipe: Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Hummus
You can make a gorgeous platter of crudité and homemade pita chips to surround this Southern spin on classic hummus.
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad
Add something fresh to the cookout spread with this easy, colorful salad.
Melon, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Skewers
This bite-size version of a melon salad has the perfect sweet-salty balance.
Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad
Recipe: Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad
There’s no need for fuss: This simple chicken salad recipe will do the trick at any luncheon.
Smoky Brussels Sprout Slaw
Recipe: Smoky Brussels Sprout Slaw
Sweet, salty, tangy, smoky—this crunchy slaw recipe has it all, and everyone will be begging for your secret.
Strawberry Caprese Salad
Recipe: Strawberry Caprese Salad
Celebrate spring with this fresh salad that can be served over French baguette slices as an appetizer or mixed greens as a starter salad.
Fresh Fruit Salad
Recipe: Fresh Fruit Salad
Every luncheon, potluck, and brunch spread could use a simple, delicious fruit salad, like this lightly dressed one.
Turnip Green Salad
Recipe: Turnip Green Salad
This fresh salad is full of beautiful produce and topped with our own homemade Green Goddess Dressing that you’ll want to keep in the fridge for good.
Tomato, Peach, and Corn Salad
Recipe: Tomato, Peach, and Corn Salad
This summer stunner showcases all those gorgeously fresh fruits and veggies you picked up at the local farmers’ market.
Creamy Feta-and-Herb Dip
Recipe: Creamy Feta-and-Herb Dip
This rich homemade dip is so much better than store-bought, and yes, guests will be able to taste the difference.
Apple, Celery, and Romaine Salad with Pancetta and Blue Cheese
This starter salad is endlessly elegant but so simple to make.
Spicy Pineapple Slaw
Recipe: Spicy Pineapple Slaw
This crunchy, festive slaw recipe combines sweet pineapple with spicy jalapenos for a side dish that can get the party started.
Recipe: Tomato Tea Sandwiches
What’s a shower or luncheon without an arrangement of tea sandwiches? This recipe takes a Southern classic and makes it portable for parties.
Zucchini Noodle Salad
Recipe: Zucchini Noodle Salad
This fresh salad is a sunny starter or perfect pair with a hearty main dish protein like steak, chicken, shrimp, or fish.
Classic Pimiento Cheese
Recipe: Basic Pimiento Cheese
This might be a simple pimiento cheese recipe with very few ingredients, but it surely doesn’t taste basic. Set it up with crackers and crudité or make tea sandwiches with it for easy grab-and-go access.
Recipe: Strawberry-Tomato Salad
The only directions needed for this pretty salad? “Stir together all ingredients.” You’re welcome.
Recipe: White Gazpacho
Hosting a summer dinner party? Impress everyone with this lovely chilled soup that only takes a blender and a little time in the fridge.
Clementine-and-Collard Greens Salad
This healthy yet hearty salad is bright and beautiful for your table, and store-bought rotisserie chicken comes to the rescue yet again.
Guacamole with Jicama
Recipe: Guacamole with Jicama
If you love to try new ways with good ole guac, this will be your favorite, guaranteed.
Squash Ribbon Salad
Recipe: Squash Ribbon Salad
You just need six ingredients and a veggie peeler to throw together this pretty summer salad.
Cream Cheese-and-Walnut Stuffed Celery
At appetizer time, there’s something nostalgic about a classic relish tray. This easy bite comes together quickly, but the cream cheese, honey, and walnut filling is to die for.
Brussels Sprout Slaw with Apples and Pecans
This fresh, crunchy slaw has everything you could want in a side dish, and the presentation is much prettier than the time you spent on it would let on.
Mini Caprese Bites
Recipe: Mini Caprese Bites
These savory bites are the easiest appetizer for guests (and hostesses) on the move.
West Indies Crab Salad
Recipe: West Indies Crab Salad
Showcase fresh lump crabmeat with this old-school recipe from Mobile, Alabama. Guests who haven’t had it before will fall in love.
Ombré Citrus Salad
Recipe: Ombré Citrus Salad
This salad is beautiful enough for a holiday spread but easy enough for a last-minute get-together.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Mango Bites
Recipe: Prosciutto-Wrapped Mango Bites
No one wants to ruin their appetite on heavy appetizers before an amazing dinner. These fresh bites strike the perfect sweet-savory-salty balance without getting your guests too full pre-dinner.
Recipe: Watermelon Salad
Summer produce shines in this simple salad that will start the meal off on a bright note.
Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Pickled Okra
This fun appetizer is about as Southern as it gets, and it’s so ideal for a casual cookout.
Whipped-Cream Corn Salad
Recipe: Whipped-Cream Corn Salad
If you don’t have time to make corn pudding before the potluck, no worries! This no-cook salad has all the fluffy goodness you crave.
Caesar Salad Bites
Recipe: Caesar Salad Bites
Everything you love about Caesar salad, in pick-up form! Don’t fuss with tossing a salad (or said salad getting wilted and soggy during the party) with this colorful starter.
Herbed Cucumber-and-Tomato Salad
Recipe: Herbed Cucumber-and-Tomato Salad
This Greek-inspired side dish is fresh, easy, and only gets better the longer it marinates.
Cheddar-Horseradish-Walnut Cheese Ball
Take the stress out of entertaining with a cheese ball that doesn’t stand a chance at providing leftovers once guests taste a bite.
Recipe: Carrot-and-Fennel Salad
This quick salad recipe is bright and fresh to accompany any main dish.
Herbed Goat Cheese-Melon Party Bites
This four-ingredient appetizer looks beautiful but takes basically no work on your end, which makes it a busy hostess win.
Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
Recipe: Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
We updated the classic caprese with farm-fresh cherry tomatoes for easy big-batch serving.