It’s Memorial Day, and since we’re finally coming out of the pandemic, you know what that means...BARBECUES! It’s been so long since we’ve all socialized, many of us have forgotten how to do it! So I’ll tell you one thing my grandmother told me: never go to a party empty-handed.

 But with so many people dieting and trying to lose their COVID-19 (as in a 19 lb weight gain!), it’s nice to have some salad options. And no one said salads have to be boring. So here are some potluck salads to wow your guests while also helping your waistline. 


Coleslaw is standard BBQ fare, so it’s nice to change it up once in a while. This appetizing version calls for two kinds of cabbage, as opposed to most recipes. But with coleslaw, it’s all about the dressing. This version gives you the option of two yummy dressings—the more traditional, creamy mayonnaise base or a vinaigrette base. Both are delicious and easy and even allow you to switch it up every year! 

Potato Salad

Potato salad is another common backyard dish. You've had it a million times, and it always tastes the same, right? Not anymore. This French potato salad isn’t like the others and puts a tasty spin on the classic dish. With herbs and no mayonnaise, it’s sure to leave an “oh la la” impression. It also happens to be vegan, which is always a thoughtful option to offer at a party.  

Rainbow Antipasto Pasta Salad

Have you ever heard the expression “you eat with your eyes”? Well, it exists for dishes like this colorful, appetizing pasta salad. Who DOESN’T love this classic? Noodles, dressing, veggies...mmmm... And you can add cheese, olives, meat and anything else you want. This is a scrumptious way to use up leftovers from your fridge, because with this salad, less is NOT more.

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Take a trip to the Mediterranean with this mouth-watering salad. With healthy veggies like English cucumbers and Kalamata olives, mixed with lentils and feta cheese, this salad will please everyone. The crowning touch is the sweet red wine and honey vinaigrette that will surely send you on a gastronomical cruise to the sea.

Bruschetta Salad

This fresh and delicious salad offers a glimpse of Italy. And it couldn’t be simpler! Just use the ever-popular trio of tomato, basil and mozzarella with some garlic-flavored bagel chips...delizioso! Or for those Italian food purists, just skip the chips and eat it with pieces of artisan Italian bread instead. Now you can eat fan-favorite bruschetta with a fork!

Quinoa Party Salad

Protein is all the rage right now, and quinoa, in particular, is definitely having a moment. It’s so healthy and versatile, it’s the perfect addition to any dish. It’s tasty, it’s high in protein and fiber, and you can add it to virtually anything, including this vegetarian dish that will even have meat eaters asking for the recipe. Quinoa isn’t the only star, however. Let’s not forget corn, beans and peppers for a traditional Mexican taste. 

Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad is a staple of backyard get-togethers for a reason—it’s a crowd-pleaser. Cheese and pasta? Um, yes, please! But it doesn’t have to be fattening for it to be good. This recipe is just as tasty as typical macaroni salad but with a couple of small tweaks no one will even notice. Add some veggies and swap in whole wheat pasta (or even chickpea or lentil pasta) for a unique taste and some extra protein and fiber. 

Pudding Fruit Salad

At every barbecue, someone brings the inevitable boring fruit salad. Sometimes it’s great! And sometimes, if the fruit is bad, it’s...awful. This fruit salad will always taste amazing due to a unique twist—pudding! OK, OK, so it’s not the HEALTHIEST of fruit salads. But it’s still a fruit salad! And it’s sure to brighten up your barbecue.

  You’ll probably only have enough time to make one or two of these salads this Memorial Day. But remember, there’s always July 4th! Have a safe and happy holiday.


Arlene Isenburg

Arlene Isenburg