23 Showstopping Christmas Salad Recipes
It can be difficult to find a healthy side dish that can hold its own on Christmas—especially when it’s competing with decadent dishes like prime rib and scalloped potatoes! But these Christmas salad recipes are filled with fresh, beautiful and festive ingredients and are so delicious that your guests will be asking for seconds.
Apple, Fig, & Brussels Sprouts Salad
Salad dressing made from sweet and mellow white balsamic vinegar balances out the assertive greens and Brussels sprouts in this healthy winter salad. If you have one handy, a small mandoline makes it easy to slice the Brussels and apple.
Farro Salad with Cranberries & Persimmons
When shopping for this healthy salad recipe, be sure to pick up the right type of persimmons. The flat-bottomed Fuyus called for here are bright orange and have texture of an almost-ripe peach when ready to eat—perfect for salsas and salads, with or without the peel. Oval-shaped, darker orange and larger Hachiyas are only edible when almost liquid on the inside. The flesh is best used in baking or can be scooped out of the skin and eaten like custard. Underripe, they are off-puttingly tart.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Lemon-Chile Vinaigrette
Using the slicing blade of a food processor on Brussels sprouts creates a big, fluffy pile of crunchy sprout ribbons quickly. In this easy salad recipe, the shaved Brussels sprouts are dressed with a lemony vinaigrette spiked with crushed red pepper and sweetened with a bit of honey.
Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dressing
Pure maple syrup, as opposed to artificially flavored and colored “pancake” syrup, is an extraordinary cooking ingredient. Here it adds body as well as rich flavor to the dressing, providing a perfect counterpoint to the smoked cheese.
Best Caesar Salad with Crispy Parmesan
For a nutrient-packed twist, this healthy Caesar salad features spinach and kale in addition to romaine. But it's the Parmesan crisps that make this salad holiday-worthy.
Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad
This festive holiday salad recipe features plenty of oven-roasted broccoli and cauliflower combined with massaged kale. Why massage the kale? It helps tenderize the leaves and infuses the sweet-tangy flavor of the dressing directly into the heart of this healthy winter salad.
Simple Green Salad with Citronette
Frisée and radicchio are both assertive, slightly bitter greens that add festive color and texture to any salad. Match them with mellower-flavored greens, such as red leaf lettuce, baby spinach or even Boston lettuce.
Citrus Salad with Olives & Radicchio
This tangy winter salad recipe combines oranges and grapefruit with flavorful bitter greens. Green olives and a sprinkling of Manchego or feta cheese elevate this salad to Christmas-worthy status.
Wild Rice & Baby Kale Salad with Persimmons
This colorful, healthy salad recipe features persimmons—lightly sweet fruit, commonly grown in California, that ripen just in time to grace holiday tables. If you can't find persimmons, diced apples are a good alternative.
Apple-Cranberry Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese
The tangy-sweet dressing in this spinach salad beautifully amplifies the apples and cranberries—and the creamy goat cheese transforms it into such a wonderful salad that your guests are sure to ask for the recipe.
Massaged Broccoli Rabe Salad
In this broccoli rabe salad recipe, the dressing is massaged into the leaves and florets, virtually eliminating its bitter undertones.
Burnt Orange & Escarole Salad
The oranges in this healthy salad recipe are caramelized in honey and not actually “burnt.” The result is a citrus flavor that's more complex than just slicing the fruit onto your greens.
Fig & Goat Cheese Salad
The sweet-and-savory combination of the figs and earthy goat cheese will surely satisfy the palate. If you can't find dried figs, try swapping in dried apricots.
Winter Greens Salad with Pomegranate & Kumquats
Kumquats deliver a piquant burst of citrus, especially when eaten skins, seeds and all. Here we toss them with a trio of greens for their vivid orange color as much as their zestiness. Pomegranate seeds and pistachios bring a jewellike finish.
Mixed Greens & Citrus Salad
Any assortment of fresh oranges and grapefruit will work well in this easy salad recipe. If you can't find one of each variety listed, you can use all navel oranges, or 3 navel oranges and 1 grapefruit.
Beet & Goat Cheese Salad
This stunning winter salad gets its sweet, earthy flavor from roasted beets and balsamic vinegar. Creamy goat cheese and peppery arugula add color and balance, while toasted walnuts add crunch. A mandoline is the best way to get thin, even slices from the roasted beets.
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
This raw Brussels sprouts salad featuring shaved Brussels sprouts, toasted pecans, sweet-tart cranberries and nutty Parmesan cheese is tossed with a light and lemony vinaigrette. You can shave the Brussels sprouts using a chef's knife—or use the slicing attachment of your food processor to make it even easier. This quick and easy recipe is perfect for fall or anytime you have crisp, fresh Brussels sprouts on hand.
Mixed Green Salad with Pomegranate, Dates & Bacon
Jewel-like pomegranate seeds star along with bacon, tangy clementines and sweet dates for a pop of Christmas color.
Celeriac, Cress & Spinach Salad with Parmesan Crisps
The big flavor of sherry vinegar mixed with mustard, oil and garlic in the dressing for this healthy spinach salad recipe serves a dual purpose: marinade for the roasted celery root and a dressing for this side salad. Little rounds of crunchy Parmesan crisps look fancy, but are easy to make and add a perfect textural contrast and salty counterpart to the earthy and spicy greens and sweet-tart cranberries.
Massaged Mustard Greens Salad
A few minutes of judicious massaging will transform bitter mustard greens into a mellow, well-balanced salad spiked with hints of lemon, garlic and Parmesan.
Roasted Squash Spinach Salad
This roasted butternut squash salad is topped with sweet cranberries and a savory balsamic drizzle.
Watercress Salad with Grapes, Blue Cheese & Pecans
This salad formula will never let you down: toss leafy greens with fruit, cheese, nuts and a simple vinaigrette. If you can't find watercress, try substituting arugula, baby spinach or baby kale.
Spinach & Warm Mushroom Salad
In this hearty mushroom and spinach salad recipe, sturdier “mature” spinach leaves hold up better than baby spinach when tossed with the warm mushroom-and-bacon vinaigrette.