15 Salads Perfect for Al Fresco Menu

As spring gives way to warmer summer days, it’s time to dust off the BBQ covers, clean up with the deck and get out the picnic basket. With a few months of al fresco dining coming around, these salads will no doubt come in handy!

Collage of salad images with text overlay "15 Salads for Al Fresco Menu"

What Does Al Fresco Mean?

Al fresco is a borrowed Italian word that means to dine in open air.
This would include sitting out on the deck in your backyard, having a picnic at the gardens or a lunch table outside at a winery.

What Does Al Fresco Mean in Italian?

The English use of the term al fresco does not actually have the same meaning in its original language, Italian.

The word “fresco” means fresh, cool, chill or crisp. Italian would say, for example, “keep the wine al fresco”. Perhaps the term was used to describe sitting outside when dining to keep cool.

What Makes A Good Salad for The Outdoors?

Al fresco dining for us home cooks usually means eating outside or entertaining friends and family on the deck. It could also mean going for a picnic at the gardens or meeting up with some friends at the local park.

Whatever the occasion you may have, we have the salad for you. Here is what makes a good salad for outdoor dining:

Raw salads: No cooked components make it easy to put together without worrying if they need to stay warm or not taste good after transportation.

Right ingredients: If you have to pack up a salad and you won’t be eating it until later, some salads don’t do well as they can turn soggy or end up in a pile of water.

Withstand the heat: You need salads that can withstand the sun and at the same time provide you with a nice, cool side dish.

Seasonal produce: Honing in on summer produce that will help to expand your repertoire of salads which you otherwise can’t have all year round.

So, from stone fruit to berries and seafood to cheese, we have a whole bunch of salads that we know will work beautifully when dining al fresco. Our collection will last you for quite a few weekends over the warm season.

Thai Prawn Salad with Chilli Tamarind Dressing on a blue plate with a fork resting on the plate

Thai Prawn Salad with Chilli Tamarind Dressing

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Freshly grilled prawns, aromatic Thai herbs and a zesty Chilli Tamarind salad dressing with a good kick of chilli, this Asian-inspired salad is mouth-watering goodness.

Perfect for the warm, balmy days when you’re entertaining outdoors.

Drizzling honey over Fresh Fig Salad Recipe With Mango

Fresh Fig Salad Recipe With Mango

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Nothing quite beats drizzling honey over freshly sliced figs except the accompaniment of mangos and toasted pine nuts. This fig salad epitomises the summer months and perfect for those long lunches under the warm sun.

Scallop Sashimi Salad with Finger Limes and Tobiko

Scallop Sashimi Salad with Finger Lime

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Dressed to impress, this is a delicate plate of scallop sashimi floating in a pool of blush pink ruby grapefruit dressing.

Garnished with fennel fronds, finger lime pearls and crunchy tobiko on top, you will love this stunning salad appetizer for your al fresco menu.

Ruby Grapefruit, Watermelon Panzanella Salad

Ruby Grapefruit, Watermelon Panzanella Salad

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Sweet juicy watermelon and zesty ruby grapefruit paired with warm olive oil toasted sourdough, this is our twist on the classic Panzanella salad that tastes fantastic at your summer next gathering.

Parmesan Chipotle Corn Salad with Black Beans on a white plate with gold cutlery and 2 corn on the cobs

Parmesan Chipotle Corn Salad with Black Beans

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Smoky, earthy and salty, this Chipotle Corn Salad is accompanied by simple, fresh ingredients.

This budget friendly salad is easy to make and fantastic for those warmer months as you host a casual al fresco lunch with family and friends.

Grilled Apricot Salad with Prosciutto on a black plate with rose gold cutlery

Grilled Apricot Salad with Prosciutto

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Sweet, salty and creamy! We absolutely love this simple to make Grilled Apricot Salad complemented by the salty and smoky flavours of prosciutto crudo. Add some dollops of creamy goat’s cheese to round off the salad.

Chopsticks lifting a serve of Chinese Cabbage Salad

Chinese Cabbage Salad with Tamarind Nam Jim

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Light and fresh Chinese cabbage salad tossed together with a spicy tamarind nam jim dressing and crunchy chilli peanuts, this is a super easy Asian slaw you need to try.

This salad is great for a BBQ or if you’re simply sitting outside enjoying the sunshine!

Gem Lettuce and Chicken Salad with Sriracha Aioli in a bowl with dressing and pepitas on the side

Chicken and Gem Lettuce Salad with Sriracha Aioli

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No boring Chicken and Gem Lettuce Salad with spicy, tangy sriracha aioli all balanced with sweet, crunchy and wholesome vegetables. This is a healthy and delicious meal in one.

Cilantro Chimichurri Prawn Salad on a round black plate

Cilantro Chimichurri Prawn Salad

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Elevate this summer prawn salad with an aromatic cilantro chimichurri sauce.

Perfect for those balmy al fresco dining afternoons when your family and friends are over for a BBQ!

a fork holding a grilled pineapple piece with peanut dressing on the top

Grilled Pineapple Cucumber Salad

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Grilled sweet pineapple slices with fresh crunchy cucumber layered with a spicy peanut dressing takes this Asian salad to the next level of deliciousness.

A super refreshing salad to be enjoyed when sitting out in the garden or patio.

Orange Fennel Salad

Orange Fennel Salad

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Quick and refreshing orange fennel salad with creamy buffalo mozzarella and aromatic rainbow peppercorn scattered on top.

Bright and cheerful plate of deliciousness ready to go.

Canary Melon Salad with Halloumi

Canary Melon Salad with Halloumi

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Easy salad with halloumi balanced perfectly with sweet canary melon, salty prosciutto, peppery rocket and crunchy shaved fennel.

A great refreshing salad to lift the summer vibes.

Spicy Roasted Broccoli Cauliflower Salad on a grey plate with gold cutlery

Spicy Roasted Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

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Transforming humble broccoli and cauliflower into a spicy, savoury salad with a punchy gochujang salad dressing and pops of raw apple cucumber and wombok for a refreshing balance.

Smoked Salmon Avocado Salad

Smoked Salmon Avocado Salad

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A classic marriage of savoury smoked salmon with creamy avocado and then a pop of freshness with the zucchini ribbons, arugula and mint leaves.

A delicious, easy salad for a quick lunch in the sun!

Mango Avocado Salad with Crispy Chorizo

Mango Avocado Salad with Crispy Chorizo

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Soft sweet mango and creamy avocado slices with peppery watercress and smoky crispy chorizo plated perfectly to excite the eyes and the taste buds.

Love the refreshing and sweet mango for BBQ days and the creaminess of the avocado.

More Salad Recipe Collections

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10 Comments

  1. Another excellent salad recipe collection from you guys. Everything looks beyond delicious. Again, don’t know which one to try first. I’ll go with grapefruit watermelon Panzanella. I have all the ingredients in my fridge.

    1. Awww thanks! Glad you love the collections. Summer salads are the best and love be able to use all that produce when in season.

  2. I wish I could really try all these! They all look good and delicious!

  3. YES to summer dining. We love eating on the patio, and having bbq parties. These salads look fantastic. Great as side dishes on the brunch menu too.

  4. This selection of salads should keep me going through the summer! Love them all, but I’m especially eyeing that watermelon and panzanella salad….YUM!

  5. Mihaela | https://theworldisanoyster.com/ says:

    Wow, great choices! I must try the grilled apricot salad asap.

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