Best 6 Side Salads That Will Be a Hit At Any Party

grape salad dessert recipe

I love side salads, especially during the Spring & Summer when there are a lot more get-togethers. And I love easy-to-make and inexpensive ones even better!

These 6 Side Salads will be a major hit for any summer party!

1. Pasta Crab Salad

As a staple among summertime parties, this crab salad will surely please most folks (who like crab). To keep it staying cool during a party, place in a bowl over another bowl that contains ice.

The original Recipe is found at

pasta crab salad recipe summer food

Mix Ingredients:

  • 1 C. Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 C. sour cream
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dill
  • 2 C. cook penne pasta
  • 1 package imitation crab
  • 1/2 tsp. old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 C. chopped celery

2. Cowboy Salsa (AKA Cowboy Caviar)

The is among one of the favorites served at any party…and often the first to go! We serve this with scoop tortilla shells. You can find an alternative recipe at

Mix All Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt & pepper
  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (11 ounce) can super sweet corn, drained (see notes)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro


3. Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil

This is a super easy throw-together recipe with a little chopping. It’s fresh and tasty that may even seam a bit of an upgrade from most regular party side dishes. This would be a lovely dish to bring that will be something a bit different than the usual.

Mix Ingredients:

  • 2 containers small tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 package mozzarella, diced
  • 1 can large olives diced
  • 2 TB Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing


4. Italian Medley Salad

Again, this a very common dish that is served during summertime parties. Original recipe found at

Mix Ingredients:

  • 16 oz uncooked rotini noodles
  • 1 cup sliced olives (about 1/2 can)
  • 1 cup sliced carrots (about 18 baby carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup diced red pepper (1 red pepper)
  • 6 oz salami
  • 12 oz Italian dressing


5. Broccoli Salad (YUM!)

This is one of my all-time personal favorites, often used throughout the year as a side dish. This does have a two-part process of making the dressing first separate from the other ingredients, but it is well worth it!

Plus, you can easily make this into a healthier version by using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and less sugar or a sugar substitute.

See our recipe here — Broccoli Salad Recipe.


Mix Ingredients:

  • 5-6 cups broccoli florets 1 lb, this was about 2 1/2 heads of broccoli for me (450g)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese thicker, not finely shredded (115g)
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries (85g)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled bacon (60g)
  • 1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds (60g)
  • 1/3 cup red onion diced into small pieces (50g)

Dressing made separate

  • 3/4 cup mayo I use olive oil mayo (175g) (Can be ommitted)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (70g) (or 1 C Greek Yogurt as a substitute)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar (40g) (ommited or use a sugar substitute)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

The original recipe can be found at


6. Grape Salad

This is my most requested recipe from friends and family. This grape salad dessert is something that I absolutely love to divulge in especially when the red grapes in the store are big and firm and juicy! I like to use only red grapes, but feel free to use both red and green to mix it up!

Mix Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds green seedless grapes, washed and dried well
  • 2 pounds red seedless grapes, washed and dried well
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar


  • Combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Use and electric hand mixer to beat until creamy and smooth.
  • Add grapes fold them into the cream cheese mixture.
  • Sprinkle brown sugar and walnuts on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.



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