Salads are perfect for road trips. You don’t need to heat them up and they’re ready to go right out of your cooler. Just grab a fork!
All of these salads can sit in your cooler for up to four days and still taste delicious. In fact, some get even better as they “age”, the flavors deepening beautifully. All have been road-tested and are favorites I come back to time and time again.
All of these recipes (except the chopped vegetable salad) can be placed in small Tupperware-type containers to make individual servings that are ready to eat whenever you’re hungry.
Road Trip Recipe: Cucumber Salad
3 medium cucumbers
Small red onion
3 teaspoons salt
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup minced fresh dill
Salt and pepper
Halve cucumbers lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Slice cucumbers and set aside. Slice onions very thin. Put cucumber slices and onion slices in a colander and sprinkle with 3 teaspoons salt. Toss with salt to make sure evenly distributed.
Let drain in the sink for one hour, occasionally pressing down on the cucumber/onion mixture with your hands to press out any liquid.
Whisk sour cream, vinegar, dill, sugar and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Add cucumbers and onion and toss to coat. Put in your cooler and enjoy whenever! This salad is better if eaten within three days, but can last four.
Road Trip Recipe: Macaroni Salad with Ham and Peas
This salad is a meal in itself and extremely addictive. I found myself eating it for breakfast!
1 lb elbow macaroni
One 8 ounces (thick) slice of Black Forest deli ham
2 celery ribs
¾ cup flat-leaf parsley
1 cup frozen baby peas
½ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 ½ tablespoons milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fill a large pot with water, bring to a boil and add salt to the water. Dice ham and celery. Chop parsley.
Cook macaroni for 5 minutes, adding frozen peas for the last 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and run cold water over peas and macaroni to stop cooking. Leave to drain in a sink.
Using a large bowl, whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, and milk together. Add well-drained peas and macaroni, ham, celery, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste and combine well. This salad can be eaten cool or at room temperature but must be stored in your cooler. This salad easily lasts four days, assuming you don’t eat it all before that!
Road Trip Recipe: Milligan Potato Salad
This salad is a family recipe handed down for generations on my mother’s side. It’s a huge favorite and always requested by my brother when we’re home for a visit.
3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
2 medium Vidalia onions
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Put potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium to simmer potatoes.
Simmer for 25-30 minutes, testing to see if they’re done by using a fork to pierce (fork should be able to pierce the potato without too much pressure). As soon as you can pierce a potato with a fork, drain potatoes in a colander.
Thinly slice onion and then quarter slices for easy eating. Place on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Allow onions to sweat for 5 minutes and then blot with a paper towel.
Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and cut potatoes into bite-size pieces, placing in a large bowl. Sprinkle evenly with cider vinegar and then add mayonnaise and onions. Toss well to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. This salad easily lasts four days and tastes better and better every day.
Road Trip Recipe: Chopped Vegetable Salad
This is a really easy recipe for you to whip up before you hit the road.
One romaine heart
1 cup shredded carrots (you can buy these pre-shredded)
One pepper of every color (green, yellow, red, orange)
1 cup of crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and ground black pepper
Chop up romaine lettuce into bite-size pieces and put in a large baggie. You will add the lettuce when you’re ready to eat. Chop peppers into bite-size pieces and set aside.
In a large Tupperware-type container, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, thyme, and basil. Add shredded carrots and peppers to the dressing and toss. Add feta cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Seal and put the container and lettuce in your cooler. Make sure to bring plates and forks and serving spoons.
When ready to eat, add the lettuce to the mixture and toss to combine. Serve immediately. The prepped ingredients can last in your cooler up to 4 days, but don’t add the lettuce until you’re ready to eat as it will get soggy.