I love Summer Fresh salads, but sometimes I do not have access to them! This Summer Fresh Seven Grain Salad copycat recipe helps me out when I am just craving that delicious goodness!
I have an addiction.
We are all about homemade meals and such, but sometimes there is a meal out there that stands out and you cannot resist it. That is the case with Summer Fresh and their salads. I absolutely love them!
So convenient and hearty, I could eat them all day every day (no affiliation, just stating my love!) Even Mr. TCW, the non-salad-lover really enjoys these. I tend to buy their salads from Costco but since that can be quite the journey for us, I have started recreating recipes and this Summer Fresh Seven Grain Salad copycat recipe hits the spot! You cannot even see the difference between them! Just look for yourself!
I tried really hard to get that vinaigrette right. I am sooooo close, but you know what? My husband says he prefers my version (muahaha, okay, he loves me but I sure like hearing that!) We ate this salad for days because I decided to cook all my beans from scratch.... Yeah, beans expand and before you knew it I could make this Summer Fresh Seven Grain Salad copycat recipe 10x over... But it was worth it!
Of course, canned beans would work perfectly here (and are probably much preferred.) Don't get me wrong, working from dry beans is fine but for many you need to soak them overnight. Then you have to cook them and did I ever learn that some beans take a LONG time! That's okay though because this recipe can be made in advance. I like it both chilled and room temperature, but there is something about the chilled version. Maybe because I let the vinaigrette really soak into the salad.
I stayed true to their recipe for the most part, following the ingredients on their label. However, I did use avocado oil over canola oil just because I assumed avocado oil would be healthier (and I love how clear it is!) Maybe this was the reason for the minor taste difference? It shouldn't be a big deal, so use whatever oil you prefer (but one that is more taste-less than olive oil.) I also love all the grains and beans in here! Some I had never worked with before but I am so glad I did because I LOVED them all! A perfectly healthy summer salad, but also great for back to school and office lunches!
Couple of things to point out! I followed the ingredients listed on the container, not from their site (for some reason they differ.) I can find all my beans at my local grocery store except wheatberry, which I found at the Bulk Barn under "hard wheat kernels." But I believe the Bulk Barn carries everything else! I also don't really measure the beans or ingredients out. So if you have a favorite ingredient, or one you don't like that much, then change it up to your liking! I just cook up a bunch of beans and add them in (because even if you measure out ½ cup of each dried bean or grain, they are not going to result in the same yield: that is why I base this recipe on cooked ratios!)
Summer Fresh Seven Grain Salad Copycat
This copycat recipe is so simple if you go the canned route (but dry beans are a real treat!)
- ½ cup uncooked green or yellow lentils (6.5 oz cooked)
- ½ cup uncooked wheatberry (4 oz cooked)
- ½ cup uncooked green mung beans (5 oz cooked)
- ½ cup uncooked brown rice (6 oz cooked)
- ½ cup uncooked couscous (6 oz cooked)
- ½ cup uncooked navy beans (4 oz cooked)
- ½ cup uncooked adzuki beans (4/6 oz cooked)
- ½ cup uncooked black turtle beans (4 oz cooked)
- ½ cup uncooked pearl barley (5 oz cooked)
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- ½ cup chopped red pepper
- Salt and pepper
- 10 tbsp. canola oil (or avocado)
- 6 tbsp. soy sauce
- 8 tbsp. vinegar
- 4 tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ¾-1 tsp. citric acid
- Toss all the beans, grains, and veggies together.
- Whisk all the sauce ingredients together. Combine with salad mixture and chill until ready to serve. You can use more or less sauce based on your preferences.
This makes a BIG batch, so you can always halve it for individual use 🙂 If you find the salad too dry, whip up another half batch of dressing!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 503Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 966mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 12gSugar: 19gProtein: 14g
I know not all of these grains/beans can be found canned, but for the most part I consider this a super simple salad. Whether you go the from-scratch route, or the canned route, you will not regret your decisions! This will be coming out all autumn long!
Love this Summer Fresh Seven Grain Salad Copycat?! Try some of these recipes:
Roasted Tomato, Cucumber, and Bocconcini Salad
Jessica - The Novice Chef
I love a good copycat recipe! Thanks for sharing!
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet
I love grain salads and this looks totally delish! Well done on the copycat!
Amanda | The Chunky Chef
Whoa, now that is one amazing copycat!!
Erin @ The Speckled Palate
I've never heard of this Summer Fresh salad, but I definitely want to try your rendition because it sounds AMAZING. Seriously. There's something so refreshing and tasty about a salad like this in the summertime, and I need to try this soon!
Michelle | A Latte Food
I've never had this salad before, but I sure would love to try it! It looks so fresh, healthy, and absolutely yummy!
Melanie | Melanie Makes
A perfect summer salad - love that you made your own version!
--I've been madly looking for this very seven-grain salad recipe..will try it using canned mixed beans...should be a good flavor, using your copycat dressing recipe.. thanks, loads!!!
I would also love the Summer Fresh chickpea salad from Costco..Do you have the copycat version????
...will look for your reply....please!!!!
Woohoo! I actually bought the store-made version of the seven grain salad last night to compare again, and I find the store version a bit more tangier in the sauce. I may try adding more vinegar, but I am afraid that will be overboard. So close!!!
I need to try the chickpea salad! Next time I go to costco I will give it a try and see what I can do 🙂
Thanks for posting this recipe! I wonder if citric acid (powder) would give you the "tang" you're looking for. It's one of the last ingredients on the label but it could make a significant difference. I'm going to try your recipe in the next week (trying a small portion with the citric acid powder). i'll report back!
You are right! Let me know how that works out! I have no issues filling up my pantry with goodies 🙂
You could try using apple cider vinegar instead. It's not as tart and lends a nice balance to the spices.
Thanks, Linda! I have tried apple cider vinegar before with this recipe and it definitely changes up the taste (not in a bad way!)
I looove the chickpea salad too!!! Any chance you found a good copycat version of that??
I just bought this Summer Fresh salad at Costco. This is only my second time buying it. My Son remembered it from the other time and requested I start buying it regularly for his lunches. I think it is delicious and very conveniently packed but it seems a bit pricey. I told him I would buy it again but that I would be looking for a recipe. It was great to find yours. How does the cost of the copycat version made at home compare to the Costco?
I have made my version many times and we love it! A bit of a pain because all of my ingredients are dry (I soak the beans overnight,) so it does add in extra prep. But if you using canned ingredients, it should cut down prep BIG TIME! I cannot remember the last time I had the store-bought version because we really enjoyed this one (and I guess since we enjoyed it we didn't see a reason to go back, haha.) Hope this helps!
The missing spice in this recipe is CUMIN!! I have tried this recipe several times now to try and get the flavour just right, last time I had the actual salad from costco beside me to compare and I realized the distinct flavour is from cumin, I added lots about 3-4 tbsp and I also toasted cumin seeds and ground cumin in canola oil to bring more flavour out. Also the canola oil does make a huge difference in flavour, it is much more neutral. I tried avacado oil and olive oil but they both over powering. And one last thing add half a lemons juice or extra vinigar for more tang!
I will so have to give this a try! The issue I find with perfecting this recipe is that the labels on the container seem to be different from the Costco version, to the Metro version, and to their version posted on their site! 3-4 tbsp of cumin?! I only put 1 tsp. in my chili so I will start off slowly, lol. Olive oil is definitely not neutral but personally I don't taste much when it comes to avocado oil, but I will for sure try the recipe out with canola oil 🙂 Thanks for sharing and I cannot wait to try this recipe again for the 10th time, haha.
Do you really use plain old vinegar? Could one go with her fave ACV instead or would that change things too much? Also - THANK THE HEAVENS ABOVE FOR YOU!!!! This is one of my all time favorite things to buy at the grocery store. I LOVE 7 GRAIN SALAD!! Definitely making this over the weekend!
Haha, you definitely could!! I've made this recipe so many times since I posted, and I am always changing things up. I find adding cumin helps (but not too much: add a bit at a time.) Canola oil is great and stays true to the original recipe, but avocado oil does seem healthier (if people are looking at that sort of thing.)Enjoy!
Can you cook all the beans and grains together in one pot, and if so, for how long and with how much water? Please let me know and thanks!
Sorry, Monika, all the beans cook for different lengths so I would not cook them altogether (the wheatberry and navy beans take a long time.) If you can find them in canned form it makes the job a lot easier! And couscous takes only minutes 🙂
Can I ask...this is probably a dumb question. But are all the grains cooked or uncooked?
I love this salad and my Costco is a 4 hour drive away! so here is my version of the dressing.
CURRY VINAIGRETTE SALAD DRESSING
1/3 c Vegetable oil
2 T. Soya sauce
1/4 t. Sea salt
1/4 c White vinegar
1/3 c Honey
1/4 c Lemon juice
1/2 t. Turmeric
1/2 t. Paprika
1/2 t. Cumin
1/2 t. Coriander
1/2 t. Curry powder
1/4 t. Chili powder
1/4 t. Mustard powder
I am loving how many people are sharing their versions! I'll give this a try next time 🙂 Thank you!
I can\t wait to try this. I too have bought the Fresh version and I find there is some strange taste in it - so I am looking for something that can be adjusted. I am more of the school of "loosely" following recipes. , so this is a good base to work from in my opinion. Looking forward to soaking beans today to start this for weekend meal.
Yay! And I totally encourage loosely following recipes 🙂 We have been getting a lot of advice in this post so maybe we will figure out the secret recipe 🙂
It looks like a lot of work .... Can you cook some grains together?
Most of the grains require different cook times. However, if you are fine using canned ingredients, they come already cooked so way less work 🙂
Ohmygoodness... I've been looking for a copycat recipe for this salad for almost five years... A grocery store chain stopped carrying it, but I would still check their salads to see if it's there when I'm near their stores. Like, I did this 2 weeks ago (it's a bit of a trek to find a store). I managed to get a list of ingredients before they stopped, but it was the SPICES part that tripped me up. I've been meaning to experiment, but I haven't thought about the salad in a while until now. And then you tell me that this salad is at Costco all along?!! I might just have to make this salad/get a Costco membership now! Thank you so much!
I was looking for this recipe for quite sometime . Costo is so far from where I live and I absolutely love this salad. Thank you for taking the time to make a dupe.
You are very welcome! Costco is out of the way for us, too, so it's nice to have this recipe on hand 🙂
I also love this salad, as do my teens - great in a school lunch. I cook all my beans from dried, so I usually cook them and store the extra in the freezer so this fantastic salad can be made quickly.
To the reviewers commenting they'd like a bit more zing, you may want to try amchur, which is dried mango powder. This adds a tangy lemon flavour, without adding more liquid. Available at South Asian markets. Thanks for what I consider the best copycat recipe ever!
Best comment ever! 🙂 But seriously, thank you! I'm going to look out for amchur when I travel into larger cities (my small town doesn't have any South Asian markets.)
I love this salad and so glad you took the time to create this copy cat, I can't wait to make it.
I want to start with dried beans, can I cook all the beans together, do they require the same amount of cooking time, any insight appreciated...
I wouldn't cook them altogether as some definitely need much longer cook times 🙂 It is a bit of pain doing all dry, but so worth it cost-wise in the end! I just re-use my pots as I go without washing in-between to make the job easier 🙂
I have a soy allergy..any ideas on another element to add to the dressing? Cheers!
This article to soy sauce alternatives may help! I've heard good things about Bragg Liquid Aminos, but haven't tried it myself as I can never seem to find it! It makes for a great vegetarian Worcestershire sauce alternative, too 🙂
Could you post how long to prepare/cook each grain? That would help a lot! Thank you~
The next time I make the dish I can try that out (I do find cook time differs between certain brands though!) 🙂
So happy you made this recipe, I've been wanting to make it for a few years now but never got around to it and just decided to google it now. I can't wait to try it! Also thank you to the person who commented about freezing the beans once hydrated, I love that idea! Also I have amchoor on my shopping list for a chana masala recipe i love, so now i have more incentive to get it!
Thanks so much for making this copy cat recipe. I firstly tried the summer fresh salad from a grocery store and came home thinking, I'm SURE someone else has tried making one similar. I've made this salad with your recipe once before and it was AMAZING. The only ingredient I didn't use was wheatberry because I couldn't find it, but I used everything else in the exact amounts as listed and the salad still turned out great. I'm actually in the process of making this a second time for a BBQ get together this weekend... can't wait to share it!!
I have been trying to copy this recipe since the first time I had this salad. This recipe is a dream come true. Thank you thank you <3
Hello! I am looking for exactly this recipe because this is my favourite salad of all time ever. I went to bull barn and bought twice the ingredients plus some snacks and only paid $5 CDN! I am just wondering what I should do with each of the dry beans and things now. Thanks so much!
Isn't the Bulk Barn awesome?! Cooking all the beans separately is some work, but worth it (they all have different cook times.) I recently got a hold of citric acid and it really does make a difference in the salad! I need to get around to updating the recipe but I used 1 tsp. citric acid in my dressing and it added that tangy element that I found was missing. I'm going to try and get to this salad in the next few weeks!
I am so excited to try this recipe. I just had a summer fresh meal to go pack from Target and it had a seven grain salad in it. My first time ever hearing of it. The flavor was a little strong but I did like it so I searched and found you! After I printed the recipe I read all the comments and hand wrote them all in. Gonna play with it and take it to a party next weekend. Who says it has to be summer to enjoy this 🙂 THANK YOU!!!!!
Yes!! So funny to receive this comment as I JUST finished making a TRIPLE batch of this recipe! It barely fits into my largest mixing bowl and must be over 10 lbs! I finally grabbed some citric acid and found it really authenticated the recipe. I put in 2 tsp. for a triple batch, so if you can find some citric acid, I would recommend adding about 3/4 tsp. in with the other seasonings. Going to update the recipe now!
Omg I was so happy to find this recipe! I’ve been obsessed with this Summer Fresh salad lately and thought I would try to find the recipe. Thank you so much for this! I’ve just made this (omitting only the adzuki beans and cumin just because I didn’t have those items on hand) and it is amazing!! It’s a little sweeter than store bought and a lot less acidic but honestly, I prefer this recipe!
Woohoo! So happy to hear! I did end up finding citric acid at the store and that give it the acidic taste that is missing. But like you said, it is perfectly fine without it!
Quick question - how long do you think this salad would keep in the fridge?
I have kept it in the fridge for 3-4 days with no issues. I suggest a tight, sealed container and give it a stir here and there. You can also keep the veggies separate and just mix those in with servings so they do not wilt.
Just stumbled on this recipe as I was looking for more hardy summer salads and this was fantastic!! Thank you so much for sharing this will definitely become a staple recipe of mine 🙂
By far, the best grain salad ever!!!!!!!!!!!!
I used red wine vinegar and added crushed garlic and fresh lime juice to the dressing. Amazing. Thank you so much.
Hi, yes the Summer Fesh salad is fantastic but for the amount i would eat i would blow my budget. thank you for posting!
is that 1/2 a cup of dry beans or soaked?
16 cups is is a lot of salad!
thank you. Mike
PS. beans do not have to be soaked when using something like an instant pot. it slightly reduces cooking time though. For this onei will figure out which beans i can cook together.
We are currently under lockdown and I can't leave my municipality to go to Costco to get my husband's favorite salad, so I came upon yours and gave it a try. It is so delicious, actually better than the ones we get at the store. This will become a staple for summer in our house. We are also beekeepers and I used our own honey for the dressing 😉 Thanks so much for this recipe♥ Stay safe. - Natalie
Thanks for such a good recipe! You mentioned that you felt the dressing was missing something. I added some garlic powder and curry powder to mine and that seemed to add the ‘missing something’.
This might be a dumb question : )
In your ingredient list it says to use uncooked lentils/beans but in the instructions there are no directions to cook them ... Should we cook them according to the beans package instructions first?
Thanks! I love this salad and am excited to make it at home.
I'm not the writer of this recipe, (as you know, lol); but if I may respond. What I've done in the past; is put the longer cooking bean/grain in the pot first cook it for a bit, and then add the next bean/grain that takes a little less time, and then and the next bean/grain etc. It takes a bit of figuring out but it saves, time and mess in the long run. For instance if Wheatberries take and hour; put them on first bring to a boil, cook for 15 minutes; and then if the barley takes 45 minutes put it in next, etc. I hope that makes sense. You will need a large soup pan, and I add boiling water in between if needed.