You Can Win Friends With Salad! Delicious BBQ Worthy Salad Recipes

When we think about a BBQ cookout, we usually imagine meats such as ribs, steak, sausage, and even chicken. 

As this classic Simpsons scene shows - it's hard to win over the crowd with salad!

But our side dishes are just as important - especially the salads. Salads are the link that combine all the delicious food items together.  They are there to provide extra freshness, cutting the heaviness of meats and other side dishes.

Ask ten people what the best salad is for a grill and you are likely to receive a variety of answers. There are countless options out there. With a little creativity, you might not even need a recipe. Think there aren't delicious Vegetarian BBQ Ideas? Think again!

Here at Fire Food Chef we think about BBQs non-stop! Whether it's cooking with friends, catering events or just relaxing at home, it's our goal to help you enjoy your BBQs with great recipes and product reviews you can trust! 

For the Lean Bean

Green Bean and Egg Salad

Green Bean And Egg Salad

Green beans and eggs are a surprisingly fantastic mix. Whether your grill is on Easter Sunday or Labor Day, this combo is a unique and tasty one - even for the bean haters among us. Toss in some bacon for an added crunch and top it off with a parmesan vinaigrette dressing.

It will only take 15 minutes of preparation until your salad is guest-ready. So grab your best chef’s knife and take some notes.


  • 6 cups of spring mix lettuce
  • About 1/2 pound of freshly-trimmed green beans
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked to a crisp and cut into small pieces
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 cup of croutons

For The Parmesan Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • Salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • Water

Bring It Together

Fill a medium-sized pot halfway with water and bring it to a light simmer. Blanch the green beans (about three minutes). Cut the lettuce and onion - setting it aside in a bowl. Get a pan and crisp the bacon. Once done, remove and cut into small pieces.

Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half and place them in the bowl with the green beans, lettuce and sliced onions. Sprinkle the bacon and croutons on top. Give it a gentle toss to mix.

For the vinaigrette, grate the parmesan into a bowl. Then add the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Combine the ingredients well. Add some water if it's too thick. Pour it over the salad and it's ready to serve.

Mixed Bean Salad

Mixed Bean Salad

Vegetarians will definitely fall for this salad. It’s a combination of everyone’s favorite beans. It works great as a side to your steak, plus you'll get some added protein.

Pick and choose which beans you love - leaving anything out that doesn’t fit your taste. In our recipe we’re using mixed beans, but you can easily modify it. For a little something extra, you could sprinkle some diced feta cheese on top.


  • 1 can of mixed beans
  • 1 lime
  • 1 chili
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • 2 scallion stalks
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 pinch of black pepper

Bring It Together

Drain the fluid from the can and set the beans aside in a bowl. Cut the lime in half and stir the juice in with the olive oil. Pour the mix over the beans.

De-seed the chili and chop it as finely as you'd like. Quarter the cherry tomatoes, cut the fresh coriander and the two scallion stalks - add it all to the bowl of beans. Sprinkle the salt and pepper, have a taste and it's ready to serve.

Fruit with a Twist

Watermelon Mint Salad

Watermelon Mint Salad

Watermelon might not be your first choice for a salad ingredient. But when coupled with the perfect components, watermelon makes for an amazing salad.

It brings a sweet, refreshing taste to your main dish. And when you mix it with mint, you have yourself a bowl that simply calls out for summer.

This salad is unbelievably easy and quick to throw together. Its sweet, minty flavor is guaranteed to surprise everyone at your BBQ.

Finish it off with some cheese, such as feta, and cucumber. Sprinkle some flaky sea salt on top to make that final statement.


  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 3 cups of seedless watermelon
  • 1 medium cucumber (about 1 cup when chopped)
  • 1 cup of crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup of red onion
  • 1/2 cup of mint
  • Flaky sea salt (optional)

Bring It Together

Combine the extra-virgin olive oil with the red wine vinegar and salt. Whisk it together till it's nicely blended. Cut the watermelon into cubes. Chop the cucumber and mint. Go easy on the chopping though as you'll want some texture in the end.

Crumble the feta pieces and dice the onion. Mix all the ingredients together and add a pinch of flaky sea salt on top for that last bit of zing.

Strawberry Arugula Salad

Strawberry Arugula Salad

Strawberries are a summer must-have. This sweet berry is destined to make a statement - making you look like a master chef.

To complement the sweetness, add some arugula leaves, goat’s cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette. On top, toss some sunflower seeds for that extra crunch and you'll be ready to go.

This might be a salad more geared towards adults - with the addition of the sometimes-potent goat cheese. If you're a family man, you can always swap it out with a lighter alternative.


  • 5 ounces of arugula
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil
  • 1 pound of strawberries
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 4 ounces of crumbled goat cheese or feta
  • 1 ripe avocado (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 3 medium radishes
  • 1 medium jalapeño (optional for extra heat)

For The Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup (honey is fine, too)
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Bring It Together

Rinse the arugula and leave it in a bowl. Chop the basil, red onion and cut the radishes into fine slices. Halve the strawberries and place everything together in a dish.

Take out a pan and lightly roast the sunflower seeds. Sprinkle them with some salt to enhance their flavor. If you like spicy, you can add a finely-chopped jalapeño. Crumble the cheese and sprinkle on top.

For the balsamic vinaigrette, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. When you're ready to serve, pour it over the salad and toss everything together.

Pineapple Cucumber Salad

Pineapple Cucumber Salad

Fruits and grilling are the makings of a delightful summer combination. Pineapple is a classic choice here - mixing perfectly with those savory flavors.

This tropical fruit, combined with the crunch of a fresh cucumber, is the one salad you'll want next to your sticky ribs.

Plus, it's an eye-catcher for the crowd - bringing that final touch to your BBQ table.


  • 1 ripe pineapple
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 limes
  • 1/3 cup of cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

Bring It Together

Cut the pineapple and cucumber into small, bite-sized cubes. Zest and juice the two limes. Chop the cilantro and mix everything together. Taste the salad. If you feel it needs more flavor, you can add some salt and pepper.

You could also add some sliced lime to the salad for a final garnish - giving it that picturesque look to impress the woman in your life.

Spice It Up


Curtido Slaw

Curtido is a Mexican slaw. It's an effortless, fat-free take on our traditional coleslaw. If you're hosting a taco fest, this will make the perfect topping.

Otherwise, it's excellent on the side - paired with grilled chicken or another meat.


  • 1 small white cabbage
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 premade pizza crust
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Bring It Together

Finely shred the white cabbage. Thinly slice the red onion and the two carrots, then mix. Combine the apple cider vinegar with the sugar and whisk it well.

Bring it all together and give it a good toss. Chop the coriander leaves and then set them aside to add before serving.

Leave the slaw in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for everything to come together. The dressing will marinate the cabbage - giving it that extra flavor. Before serving, sprinkle the coriander on top and add salt and pepper to taste.


Fattoush Salad

Fattoush is a Middle Eastern salad or side dish. Originating from Lebanon, it's brought together with roasted flatbread, cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions. Thanks to the sumac, it has a little spice - adding a kick to your BBQ plate.

It's a straightforward salad to get together. You can toast the flatbread, as we'll do here, but you can also leave it as is if you prefer.


  • 2 round pita breads or flatbreads
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 of a medium cucumber
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of sumac (optional)
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar
  • A pinch of sugar

Bring It Together

Cut the bread into bite-sized triangles or chunks and place them in a dish. Drizzle some olive oil and add salt and pepper. Mix it well until it covers the bread. Place them on the grill until they are crisp.

Cut the cucumber and tomatoes into chunks. Thinly slice the onion, then de-seed and cut the red pepper. Chop the coriander and garlic. Zest and juice the lemon and mix it with the red wine vinegar and sugar. Combine everything, add the flatbread and you're ready to serve.

Cabbage Koshimbir

Cabbage Koshimbir

Here we have another take on slaw. Koshimbir is an Indian cabbage salad with a punch of chili - bound to get your taste buds going.

It adds that crunch to your dish which might just have you going back for more. The oriental spice mixture combines well with the meaty flavors cooking up on your grill.


  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1/2 a head of white cabbage
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green chili
  • 1/2 of a lemon

Bring It Together

Heat a pan, add the oil and mix the spices. Let them heat up thoroughly to bring out their full, flavor potential. When they begin to crack and sizzle, they're done.

Chop the cabbage, and thinly dice the onion and chili. Combine everything and squeeze the lemon juice over the top. Give it a generous pinch of salt, mix again and you're ready to serve.

The Classics

Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad

A cobb salad is an all-American favorite. It's a great option to put on the buffet table for the guests who take it easy on the red meat - or those who are extra hungry and want both.

It combines everything into one dish - eggs, bacon, chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. There are many varieties of this extraordinary salad. But here I present to you a classic recipe, bound to have your party bowing to the chef.


  • 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cups of olive oil
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 12 ounces of cooked chicken
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 ounces of crumbled blue cheese
  • 5 ounces of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped chives

Bring It Together

Mix olive oil, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a jar - shake it well.
Crisp up the bacon and chop or crumble it.

Coarsely chop the lettuce and place the pieces on a large plate. Cut the eggs and cherry tomatoes into halves and cube the chicken.

Cut some thin slices of avocado and set everything in rows on top of the lettuce. Add the bacon to one side and place the blue cheese in the middle.

Finish off with a drizzle of the dressing and add some chopped chives on top.

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

A greek salad is an old favorite. It's easy to make and goes with almost any occasion.  It's great on its own but even better when combined with a juicy piece of meat. The subtle flavor of the oregano and those salty olives become a necessity to have on your grill table.

The greek salad only has a few simple ingredients. There's no lettuce but that crunchiness comes from the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers instead.


  • 1 packet of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup of kalamata olives
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 3/4 cup of crumbled feta

For The Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil

Bring It Together

Cut the tomatoes in half and slice the cucumber into small, bite-size cubes. Finely chop the onion and halve the olives. Mix it and add the crumbled feta cheese.

For the dressing, you'll need to combine the vinegar and juice from the half lemon with the olive oil. Sprinkle the dried oregano, along with salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk it well and pour over the salad.


Coleslaw Salad

I know this is the third cabbage salad, but personally, I love a good slaw and we can't forget the most traditional option.

This might not be the healthiest salad out there, but for a backyard BBQ party, this is a must-have. Now I'm not talking about that old, stinky slaw served in the school cafeteria.

This creamy dressing is made with high-quality mayonnaise and combined with crunchy cabbage - bound to satisfy many.


  • 1 head of green cabbage
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3/4 cup of high-quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Spanish onion
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of celery salt
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring It Together

Shred the cabbage and grate the carrots. Mix the mayonnaise with the sour cream, sugar, vinegar, mustard and celery salt. Grate the onion and add to the blend.

Whisk the wet ingredients together and combine with the cabbage. Add salt and pepper to taste and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes before serving.


So there you have it - 11 perfect salad recipes for your BBQ cookout. These will all give you that taste of a light summer's evening with your family and friends.

Some are a bit different and will likely leave you with lots of flavor in your mouth - while others are your more classic combinations. Now you can choose which one you'd like to serve at your next grill party - or why not make them all?

About the Author William Clay

William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.