Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad with Teriyaki Dressing

Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad with mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, pine nuts, cilantro and a light teriyaki dressing.  It’s a truly unique combination of ingredients that absolutely works to make a healthy and light, yet filling pasta salad.  It’s quick and easy and the only chopping required is for the cilantro.

Thank you, Carolyn M., for sharing this recipe!

Salad Ingredients:

8 ozs bow tie pasta

4 cups spinach leaves

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup pine nuts

1 small can mandarin oranges, drained

1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Dressing Ingredients:

1/3 cup teriyaki sauce (use the thinner version that resembles the consistency of soy sauce)

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 T. sugar

1/2 cup canola or olive oil

Cook pasta according to package instructions, rinse, and let cool completely.

Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a jar.  Cover and shake well.  Chill in the refrigerator.

Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large, covered bowl and store in the refrigerator.

When it’s potluck time, toss the salad with the dressing and serve!




Greek Orzo Salad

Greek Orzo Salad is a fresh and healthy, yet filling, potluck dish that really goes a long way!  The oil from the olives and artichoke hearts combine with the lemon juice to make a nice, light dressing that complements the orzo and veggies without being too overbearing.


6 to 8 ozs. of orzo, cooked according to directions

1 jar of pitted kalamata or black olives, drained and chopped

1 jar of artichoke hearts in oil, drained and chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 english cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 red onion, chopped

8 ozs. firm feta, drained and cubed

Fresh lemon juice, to taste

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Olive oil, to taste

Combine all of the above ingredients in a large bowl.  You may not need to use the olive oil as the oil from the olives and artichokes, combined with lemon juice, are usually enough.

Cover and store in the fridge until potluck time!  Can be made a day ahead of time.

Cilantro Corn Salad


Cilantro Corn Salad combines corn, cilantro, onions, and peppers with a rice vinegar and lime juice dressing to make an especially fresh, crunchy salad with a little kick!

Stacy brought this salad to a potluck at my house a few months back and it’s been on my list ever since!


5 ears of corn

Bunch of cilantro, chopped

Bunch of green onions, sliced

1/2 Anaheim green chili pepper, diced

Lime juice, to taste

Drizzle of olive oil

2 T. , or to taste, rice vinegar

Dash of sea salt

Chipotle chili powder, to taste

Boil the ears of corn for about 6 to 7 minutes.  Let cool and then cut off the cob.  Combine the corn, cilantro, green onions, and Anaheim pepper in a large bowl.  Add the lime juice, olive oil, rice vinegar, salt, and chili powder.

Store in the fridge until potluck time!  Can be made a day ahead of time.

Watermelon Cilantro Salad

Watermelon Salad with Cilantro

Watermelon, red onion, red bell pepper, and cilantro are combined with a squeeze of lime juice and a drizzle of olive oil to make this the perfect sweet and savory, yet healthy, summertime salad!  It’s a very easy and affordable potluck dish to make.  And did I mention that it’s also gluten-free?!?!

Stacy made it for a beach bonfire recently (she had it at a 4th of July party) and I fell in love it.  Thank you, Stacy, for sharing this recipe!


1 seedless watermelon, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Squeeze of lime

Drizzle of olive oil

Combine all of the above ingredients in a large bowl.  Cover tightly and keep chilled in the fridge until potluck time!


Beet Salad

Beet Salad2

Crumbled cheese, crunchy walnuts, sweet vinaigrette, and soft beets.  This Beet Salad has become a very popular menu item in healthier cafe’-type restaurants.  Easy to make, healthy, and delicious, it is a perfect potluck salad recipe. There is no measuring here.  All of the ingredients are to taste.


Steamed and peeled baby beets (I buy them already steamed and peeled.  Way easier!!)

Crumbled blue, feta, or goat cheese

Walnut pieces or sliced almonds

Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Chop the beets into bite-sized pieces.  Store in the fridge until potluck time.  Toss with vinaigrette, cheese, and walnuts right before serving!



Refreshing Watermelon Salad

Refreshing Watermelon Salad

The combination of watermelon, avocado, feta, and tomato make this a delicious, healthy, and Refreshing Watermelon Salad!

Heather L. had a similar salad at the Four Season’s Costa Rica and then re-created it. This is one of her go-to potluck salads and it is now one of mine. This salad always gets rave reviews and endless requests for the recipe.  Thank you, Heather, for sharing your recipe!


1/2 chilled seedless watermelon, cubed

1 large chilled tomato, cubed

1 large avocado, cubed and set aside

1 cup crumbled feta

6 large basil leaves, chopped (set aside a pinch or 2 for garnish)

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 chilled lime, juiced

Pink Himalayan salt, to taste

Finely ground pepper, to taste

Chill your serving bowl.  Layer ingredients in the order listed above in chilled bowl.  Season with oil, lime, salt, and pepper.  Gently toss.  Take a taste test to see if you need additional seasoning.

Tip:  Keep this dish chilled throughout the potluck by filling a slightly larger bowl with ice and placing your chilled bowl on top!

Spinach Strawberry Salad

Spinach Strawberry Salad

The combination of feta, strawberries, red onion, and walnuts make this an easy, delicious, and refreshing salad that is always loved at potlucks!

The first time I tried this salad, Aleigh made it with candied walnuts.  However, you can use regular walnuts or pecans, too. The key to this recipe is the Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette that she uses.

Thank you, Aleigh, for sharing this recipe!


Bag of spinach, washed and ready to eat

Strawberries, sliced

Feta cheese, crumbled

Red onion, sliced

Walnut or pecan pieces, broken (you can also use candied walnuts or pecans)

Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette (the one with the big strawberry on the front of the bottle)

Put the spinach leaves in a large bowl.  Layer with strawberries, feta cheese, red onion, and nuts.  Add the vinaigrette and toss right before serving.

Tuna Macaroni Salad

Tuna Macaroni Salad

I was craving a light and healthy macaroni salad when I created this recipe for Tuna Macaroni Salad.  The red onion and cornichons give it a wonderful crunch and the tuna provides enough protein that you can serve it as a main dish.  I recently made it at our annual campout with friends and it was a total hit!


1 lb. large elbow macaroni, cooked, rinsed, and drained

2 to 3 cans albacore or skipjack tuna in olive oil

3.8 oz can sliced black olives, drained

2/3 cup cornichons (small dill pickles), drained and chopped

Red onion, chopped

1 bottle of red wine vinaigrette

Place the macaroni in a large salad bowl.  Add the cans of tuna including their oil. Add the olives, cornichons, red onion, and vinaigrette, to taste.  Mix well and chill until potluck time!

Tarragon Potato Salad

Tarragon Potato Salad

This recipe is inspired by Ina Garten’s Tarragon Potato Salad recipe, with just a few revisions.  I was looking for a potato salad recipe that incorporated red potatoes, tarragon, and a dressing that isn’t too heavy.  For this recipe, I used red potatoes instead of gold Yukon and omitted the dill and green onions.  All of Ina’s recipes are fabulous, so you can make it either way!


2 lbs. red potatoes

1 cup good mayonnaise (Best Foods is always my first choice!)

2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 T. white wine vinegar

Kosher salt

Black Pepper

Red onion, chopped

Fresh tarragon, minced

Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces (typically in eighths, depending on the size of your potatoes).  Boil them until just soft.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Let the potatoes cool.

Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl.  Place the potatoes in a salad bowl.  Add the dressing and toss lightly.  Add the salt, pepper, onion, and tarragon, to taste.  Chill for at least two hours before serving.

Simple, Fresh, and Sweet Salad

Simple, Fresh, and Sweet Salad

This is Janae’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan potluck salad!  Pomegranate seeds, beets, almonds, and mint are tossed with butter lettuce and balsamic dressing  to create this delicious and truly Simple, Fresh, and Sweet Salad.


1 bag pre-washed butter lettuce

1 container pomegranate seeds

8 oz. steamed, peeled, and chopped baby beets (you can buy pre-steamed and peeled beets at Trader Joe’s)

1/8 cup sliced raw almonds

4 – 6 sprigs mint leaves, washed and torn with stems removed

Balsamic Vinaigrette –  Check the label on your dressing and make sure your dressing is gluten-free and dairy free!

Empty out the contents of the butter lettuce into a bowl.  Top with the pomegranate seeds, baby beets, almonds, and mint leaves.  Toss with balsamic vinaigrette and serve!