Looking for a knock-out winter salad? These are the best winter salad recipes that make the most of the produce the season has to offer.
Winter food doesn’t need to be all brown and mushy. Nope, one of the best ways to keep eating vibrant, colorful vegetables in the cold months? A winter salad! You’ll be surprised by the amount of bright colors and varied textures you can pack into a salad. What are the seasonal ingredients that star in these winter salad recipes?
Leafy greens like kale and spinach
These ingredients combine into some of the most delicious salads you’ll have, the perfect accessory to a winter dinner. Ready to get chopping? Let’s go.
Here’s a standout fall or winter salad starring everyone’s favorite ingredient: Butternut Squash Salad! This one is a symphony in a bowl: hearty sweet squash pairs with crisp apple, chewy cranberries and a citrusy orange vinaigrette. All the best flavors of fall and winter ingredients sing together in perfect harmony!
The best winter salad recipe? This one. Crunchy pomegranate seeds make a beautiful confetti over the top of leafy greens. Add tart green apple slices, toasted pecans, and goat cheese or feta crumbles, and it’s a true symphony of flavor! Pick from a few different dressing choices: our favorites are apple cider vinegar dressing or pomegranate vinaigrette.
Here’s a dreamy winter salad: this brilliant Pear Salad! It’s a study in contrasts: fresh, juicy pear against funky gorgonzola cheese; bright pomegranate against savory shallot. Throw in some toasted pecans and cover it in tangy poppy seed dressing, and well: it’s absolutely irresistible.
Another great winter salad? Arugula beet salad! It features jewel-toned roasted beets with baby arugula, all covered in a zingy citrus vinaigrette. Add thin-sliced shallots and toasted walnuts, and it tastes sophisticated with minimal effort. Tip saving tip: make it with the precooked beets you can find in many stores these days. Or, you can roast your own beets! Either way: this salad needs to be part of your side dish repertoire for the winter.
Looking for a delicious winter salad featuring everyone’s favorite root vegetable? Try this Sweet Potato Salad! You won’t be able to stop shoveling in bites of this healthy side dish. The contrast of garlic roasted sweet potato cubes, feathery baby arugula, cranberries and creamy goat cheese hit it out of the park. Top it with tangy honey mustard dressing and well, you’ll want to park yourself in front of the bowl.
Citrus is available in the winter, so it's perfect for winter salads! Here’s a refreshingly simple recipe that’s just begging to jump on your table: citrus salad! It stars all the beautiful, vibrant citrus: tangy grapefruit, navel oranges, and sweet blood oranges. They’re drizzled with a zingy dressing, then topped crushed pistachios and fresh mint. It’s so gorgeous that you can’t help but eat it! This healthy side dish is perfect with salmon or to offset the richness of pasta.
Hearty kale is perfect for winter salads: depending on where you live, it might be available at farmer's markets all winter long. This is one of the BEST kale recipes we know of: we promise! Tuscan kale has the power to transform the minds of kale haters everywhere. If your complaint is that kale tastes bitter: it’s true! But after you taste this kale salad you’ll agree that kale smothered in a lemony, garlicky Parmesan dressing can only be one thing: over the top delicious.
Here’s a simple way to turn apples into a beautiful side dish: this stunningApple Salad recipe! Crisp tart apple slices pair with pops of pomegranate seeds, creamy goat cheese, and crunchy, cinnamon-spiced pecans. Toss them all over fresh greens with a zingy maple and apple cider vinegar dressing, and it’s truly salad perfection.
Winter is all about Brussels sprouts! One of our favorite ways to eat them is crispy roasted. The other best way to eat them? Shaved! Yes, thinly slicing the sprouts into feathery ribbons makes them taste like a sweeter version of cabbage! Add a pop of tart cherries, the bright crunch of the apple, and cover everything in a lightly sweet vinaigrette. You'll feel healthier bite by bite!
Here’s a bright, beautiful salad recipe that works in almost any season: this refreshing Grapefruit Salad! It pairs the juicy citrus fruit with nutty toasted almonds, salty feta cheese and a zingy poppy seed dressing. Give it a taste and the delicate, zingy, nut and creamy textures and flavors complement each other perfectly!
Another great winter salad? Fennel orange salad! It highlights all the beauty of sliced raw fennel and its subtle licorice essence. Add to that a famous pairing: juicy oranges, with their vibrant color and citrusy flavor! Throw it over greens with a zingy homemade citrus vinaigrette, and wow! It’s one of the most unexpectedly delicious salads you'll have.
This beet salad has all the right elements: roasted beets, baby greens, creamy goat cheese and a tangy balsamic beet dressing. Basically, salad perfection! The sweet, earthy flavor of beets pairs perfectly with the tang of a balsamic dressing. Here, we’ve used our favorite Best Balsamic Dressing: which takes just 5 minutes and 5 ingredients. The balance of tangy, sweet and savory in this dressing is mind-blowing.
Last up in our winter salad recipes...this delicata squash salad! This is no ordinary green side salad. It stars our favorite squash: the delicata, brilliantly sweet with edible skin (no peeling necessary!). Roast up that squash in just 20 minutes, and in the meantime prep those refreshing pomegranate seeds, crunchy pistachios, and tangy honey mustard dressing.
More resources for winter eating
There are lots of tasty recipes for eating in the cold months! Sometimes it’s easy to default to mac and cheese. But there are lots more ways to eat healthy in the winter. Here are some ideas:
Roast the squash: Make the Roasted Butternut Squash, following the instructions in that recipe. (We suggest making this portion in advance; store the roasted squash refrigerated until ready to use and bring to room temperature before serving.)
Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, orange zest, honey, and kosher salt. Gradually whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until a creamy dressing forms. (Store leftovers refrigerated and bring to room temperature before serving.)
Serve the salad: Add greens to a platter or individual salad plates, and top with the roasted squash, diced apple, cranberries, cheese crumbles, and chopped pecans. Drizzle with the desired amount of dressing (use approximately 6 tablespoons for 4 servings; store the remaining dressing refrigerated).