24 Winter Salads That Are So Good, You'll Want to Eat Them for Dinner
If you're craving a big fresh salad, there's no need to wait until summer produce comes back around. These warm salad recipes use winter veggies like kale and Brussels sprouts for a tasty base, then add seasonal toppings like roasted sweet potato, sliced apples and pomegranate seeds. Recipes like our Roasted Cranberry, Squash & Cauliflower Salad and Massaged Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato & Black Beans are so flavor-packed, you'll be scraping your plate.
Massaged Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato & Black Beans
Loaded with roasted sweet potatoes and shallots, black beans, quinoa, feta and pepitas, this salad makes for a satisfying meatless meal. Not only does massaging the kale tenderize it, it also helps the greens absorb more of the bright dressing.
Roasted Cranberry, Squash & Cauliflower Salad
Serve this healthy salad as a main course or as a starter for a special meal. To speed up prep, look for precut butternut squash in the refrigerated area of the produce section at your grocery store.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Burrata
This beautiful butternut squash salad with creamy burrata cheese and peppery arugula is perfect for fall entertaining. For the best flavor and texture, remove the burrata from the refrigerator about an hour before use and assemble the salad while the squash is still warm from roasting so the cheese will melt slightly. Feel free to use precut butternut squash to make this recipe easier. If you can find pomegranates, the arils add a bright pop of color and flavor to this healthy salad, but it's just as good--and almost as impressive-looking--without them.
Beet, Mandarin & Farro Salad
Chef Jose "JoJo" Ruiz serves up sustainable seafood in "coastal cuisine"—featuring Mediterranean flavors like the combo of citrus, feta and parsley here—at his San Diego restaurants Lionfish and Serēa. Multicolored beets make this farro salad a pretty addition to any table, but if you're short on time, store-bought cooked beets (found in the refrigerated produce section) are just as delicious here.
Kale & Quinoa Salad with Cranberries
This autumnal kale-quinoa salad is a delicious mixture of texture and flavor. Celery and walnuts add crunch while dried cranberries and apple add a sweet-tart note. We use blue cheese in this salad, but feta, Parmesan, goat cheese or manchego would be just as tasty.
Winter Cobb Salad
This seasonal twist on a traditional Cobb salad swaps in kale for lettuce and spiced butternut squash for chicken but keeps the essential avocado, blue cheese, bacon and egg.
Red Quinoa Salad with Golden Beets & Pistachios
Bright golden beets contrast with the red quinoa for a colorful salad full of texture and flavor. Chopped pistachios add crunch while feta brings saltiness to this stunning salad.
Warm Pear & Spinach Salad with Maple-Bacon Vinaigrette
Mature, larger-leaved spinach holds up better to the warm bacon vinaigrette than baby spinach in this healthy spinach salad recipe. If you don't want the spinach to wilt, let the dressing cool before tossing it with the salad.
Healthy Detox Salad
Skip the cleanse and eat this instead. Packed with veggies, avocado and seeds, this healthy salad recipe is bursting with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Everything can be prepared ahead of time except the avocado. If you love beets, shred one raw and add it to the salad for extra color, crunch and flavor.
Quinoa Power Salad
Make this satisfying salad in the evening and enjoy one portion for dinner, then pack the remaining portion for lunch the next day. Loaded with protein- and fiber-rich ingredients like chicken, sweet potato and quinoa plus power greens, this meal is nutrition-packed!
Roasted Chicken & Winter Squash over Mixed Greens
This hearty salad comes together with little effort, since the squash and chicken can roast together on the same sheet pan. Prep the dressing and the salad greens while the chicken is roasting.
Balsamic Berry Vinaigrette Winter Salad
This festive salad features colorful greens, fruit and cheese tossed with a light and zesty dressing.
Fall Chopped Salad with Spinach, Butternut Squash, Apples & Cheddar
Who says spinach salads are only for spring? Use autumn's tender crop of fresh spinach and other seasonal vegetables to make this fall salad with roasted butternut squash, apples, cheddar and pecans. This colorful and healthy salad would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving menu, but there's no reason to save it for holidays--serve it along with chicken or pork for a healthy weeknight dinner, or turn it into a main course by adding some chickpeas or chopped chicken or turkey.
Sweet Potato, Kale & Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing
These hearty kale salads hold up well for 4 days, making them perfect for meal-prep lunches. To keep the ingredients from getting soggy, dress this salad and top it with peanuts just before serving. For a delicious vegan option, swap in roasted tofu for the chicken breast (see Associated Recipes).
Superfood Chopped Salad with Salmon & Creamy Garlic Dressing
Curly kale forms the base of this salad, but you could use chard or spinach. To the greens, add a multitude of chopped veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage and carrots. Finish with rich salmon for protein and a drizzle of creamy yogurt dressing to bring it all together.
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 the perfect salad. Tasters raved about this easy fall salad. If you can't find Pink Lady apples, any sweet, crisp apple is a worthy substitute. Want to make this salad a main meal? Top with some rotisserie chicken, chickpeas or tofu.
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. To make it a dinner salad, top with shrimp or chicken.
Winter Salad with Halloumi "Croutons"
Halloumi, a firm Greek cheese, softens but doesn't completely melt when heated. In this healthy recipe, halloumi is cubed, marinated and broiled, turning it into crouton-like bites to top this hearty vegetarian main-dish salad.
Baby Kale Breakfast Salad with Smoked Trout & Avocado
Kale for breakfast? Oh yeah! Start your day off right with a breakfast salad recipe full of good-for-you greens and you'll knock out half of your daily veggie quota with the first meal of the day.
Winter Salad with Toasted Walnuts
This salad was one of the favorites chosen from over 1,000 salad recipes for our 30th anniversary issue. In 2004, Deborah Madison waxed poetic about winter ingredients, particularly nuts. "In the chill air of winter, nuts move up to center stage as do their warming, substantial, golden oils--so good with winter salad greens and vegetables, such as shaved fennel, all of which are likely to end up in a salad together," she says. Madison suggested using a mix of lettuces that balance each other here--a mild, tender variety, such as Boston, with a more intense and sturdy green, such as escarole, for instance.
Baby Kale Breakfast Salad with Bacon & Egg
Breakfast salad? Oh yes! Start your day off right with this healthy breakfast recipe. A bowl of good-for-you greens, such as baby kale, will knock out half of your daily veggie quota with the first meal of the day.
Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dressing
Pure maple syrup adds body and rich flavor to the dressing, providing a perfect counterpoint to the smoked cheese.
Beet & Shrimp Winter Salad
This healthy dinner salad recipe gets its staying power from protein-packed shrimp and fiber-rich barley. With a simple red-wine vinaigrette, this quick salad makes just one serving but is easy to double or triple. Look for precooked beets with other prepared vegetables in the produce department.
Quinoa, Avocado & Chickpea Salad over Mixed Greens
Protein-rich quinoa and chickpeas add staying power to this zesty and healthy salad recipe.