Best Ever Backyard BBQ Summer Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Best Ever Backyard Summer Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

I love bringing a big bowl of delicious salad to summer BBQs and potlucks.

Why? Because most people expect salad to be just meh. Something they feel like they should add to their plate because everyone else is. Seriously though, how many people add salad to feel like they’re eating their veggies but totally leave it on the plate by the time you’re done eating?

So this is why I bring my best ever backyard bbq summer salad, because it’s so delicious people go back for seconds on just the salad.

Passes the Test

Two of our friends, Adam and James, both asked for this recipe after a potluck a few weeks ago (guys that love meat). My Doritos-for-dinner brother in law said to me while eating this salad, “Is this what salad’s supposed to taste like? Wow.”

So if this salad can pass the test of 3 guys, I know it’s a big hit.

Flavour Boosters

What makes this salad so f-ing delicious?

For one, the fresh basil, chives, and dried cranberries really boosts the flavour of the salad.

But it’s the dressing that really brings the whole backyard BBQ summer salad together. I steer clear of store bought dressings and make my one.

  1. Because they are a safe haven for inflammatory ingredients like refined sugar (aka cane juice), gluten, artificial colours/flavourings, and preservatives.
  2. It’s cheaper and stupid easy to make your own.

The Salad Dressing Formula

All you have to do is follow the 4-part salad dressing setup.

  1. Oil: opt for cold-pressed oils like olive, avocado, or flax.
  2. Acid: vinegar like apple cider vinegar, balsamic, or coconut; or lemon or lime juice.
  3. Sweetness: raw honey, maple syrup, or coconut syrup.
  4. Flavour: fresh or dried herbs and spices, mustard, garlic, shallots.

Once you have those in place you can add in some unrefined sea salt and any fun additions (like poppy seeds)! I also have an awesome recipe for a Creamy Hemp Heart Caesar Dressing and a delicious Strawberry Avocado Salad. Just so you have a few more options. 😉

Do you make your own salad dressing? Comment below and let me know!

Serves 6-8


Best Ever Backyard BBQ Summer Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

A super easy salad that's full of flavour. Perfect addition to your next backyard BBQ or potluck.

10 minPrep Time

10 minTotal Time


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    For the salad:
  • 6 cups organic mixed greens
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • ½ cucumber, halved and sliced
  • ½ red pepper, roughly diced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice
  • 2 tbsp cup fresh chives, chopped
  • Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp natural yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp soy-free vegan mayo (optional)


  1. Add all of the ingredients for the salad in to a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a blender or small food processor.
  3. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while the ingredients are mixing in the blender or food processor.
  4. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad. Store remaining dressing in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 10-14 days.


Dressing makes about 2 1/2 cups. Store any unused dressing in the fridge for 10-14 days.

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