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Sensational summer salads

The weather's heating up, so it's time to embrace light and fresh lunches and laid-back dinners. And thanks to our seasonal recipe ideas, your summer salads will be anything but boring

Dress up your salad

An easy fix to make your salad taste amazing is by adding interesting dressings, flavour-boosting ingredients, and an array of contrasting textures.

As a rough guide, start with a bag of salad leaves, then add two or three tasty toppings. Finally, finish with your favourite dressing.

Discover these flavour combinations in store and get set to take your salad to the next level – all that’s needed is some fresh leaves!

The Ploughman’s
Toss chopped apples, celery and radishes through a bag of fresh watercress. Crumble over some cheddar cheese, then serve with crunchy cheese crispies on top, and Ploughman’s chutney on the side.

Sardine Caesar salad
Arrange crunchy Romaine lettuce leaves on a plate and top with tinned sardines in olive oil, soft boiled eggs, Parmesan shavings and creamy Caesar dressing. Serve with Italian flatbreads on the side.

Mackerel and beetroot salad
To a bag of Italian mixed leaves, add some flaked tinned mackerel, chopped pickled beetroot, chopped cocktail cornichons and crushed toasted hazelnuts. Finish with a cucumber and mint dressing.

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The ultimate summer salad

Grown on the Isle of Wight, where long sunshine hours make them taste super sweet, our summer selection tomatoes are the stars of this simple summer salad.

To make it, simply arrange a selection of tomatoes on a plate or platter. Crumble over some feta cheese and scatter over a few of your favourite fresh herbs, such as mint or basil.

Finish with a simple dressing made with equal parts extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon juice, along with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Enjoy as it is, or serve alongside steak or fish.

Read about M&S tomatoes

How to up your salad game

Salads should never feel like rabbit food. Try these simple ideas to give yours an easy flavour boost.

  • Try adding roasted veg, such as squash, carrots, aubergine, courgettes or peppers. Simply roast in a hot oven with a little olive oil until soft and just charred. Cook with spices such as chilli flakes or nigella seeds, if you like, for even more flavour.
  • Grains add texture and make your salad hearty. Cous cous, cooked lentils or even leftover rice all work well.
  • Make your salad more filling by incorporating protein – whether it’s a soft-boiled egg, a handful of toasted nuts or seeds or some leftover chicken from your Sunday roast.
  • To give salads an umami flavour boost, crumble over your favourite cheeses. Think crumbled stilton, creamy torn mozzarella, feta cubes or shavings of parmesan.
  • Tinned fish is brilliant for building a flavour-packed salad – you can use the oil it’s packed in to make your dressing, and the fish adds savoury, punchy flavours. Tuna, mackerel or sardines all work well.

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Eat your greens (and reds, pinks and purples)

Try adding cooked veg to crunchy salad leaves to bring layers of flavour to the dish. Make a batch of cooked veggies at the beginning of the week to add to salads for easy weekday lunches. Give these vibrant ideas a go:

  • Blanch runner beans, peas and green beans, then crumble over ricotta and dress with olive oil, lemon juice and zest.
  • Roast broccoli and cauliflower in a hot oven until charred on the edges. Pile up with grilled halloumi, pomegranate seeds and a dressing made with olive oil and harissa.
  • Char a tin of sweetcorn in a hot pan with a little olive oil until golden and popping. Layer up in a salad with avocado, halved cherry tomatoes and crunchy gem lettuce.
  • Roast halved tomatoes with a little olive oil and salt and pepper in a low-heat oven until soft and tender. Whizz into dressings or spoon over grain salads.

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