21 Salad Recipes to Enjoy Winter Produce

A surprising number of healthy and colorful fruits and vegetables peak in winter. We're using them to make 21 delicious and hearty salads this season.

Winter Salad Recipes to Enjoy the Seasons Produce

Simply Recipes

Just because winter is cold and grey doesn’t mean that you have to stop eating the vibrant and flavorful salads we miss from summer. A surprising number of healthy and colorful fruits and vegetables peak in winter: Crimson pomegranate, lush winter greens, such as kale and chard, purple radicchio, orange persimmon, and ruby red grapefruit.

Cold season produce isn’t just pretty, though. Winter fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients and produce flavonoids and antioxidants that give them extra defenses to survive cold and damp weather. Flavonoids are responsible for the saturated hues of these hearty vegetables, and it turns out that these same substances are pretty good for us too.

We instinctively crave rich comfort foods like soups, stews, and casseroles when the weather gets cold, but there is a bounty of winter veg to eat up during the season. Hearty winter salads are a surprisingly delicious way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet in the new year. Let’s dig in.

Robin Shreeves joins Mark Beahm in compiling this list.

  • Roasted Broccoli Salad with Feta, Barley, and Pomegranate

    Roasted Broccoli Salad
    Sally Vargas

    Cold days don’t exactly scream salad, but what about a warm salad? Tender roasted broccoli with crispy caramelized florets makes a comforting salad when combined with barley, pomegranate seeds, salty feta, and a sweet balsamic vinaigrette. Have it for a light 30-minute lunch or as a side for a cozy roast chicken dinner. MB

  • Persimmon Pomegranate Fruit Salad

    Persimmon Pomegranate Apple Salad
    Elise Bauer

    If you think fruit salad is limited to summer, this pretty persimmon pomegranate salad will change your mind. Chopped persimmons and apples are studded with ruby pomegranate seeds and flavored with floral honey and mint. This simple salad is all about warm colors and refreshing flavors. MB

  • Radicchio Salad with Citrus

    Horizontal overhead view of citrus salad on a white plate. Supremed orange and grapefruit, radicchio, croutons and feta cheese crumbles are visible.
    Aaron Hutcherson

    If you’re missing the sun, let this bright and colorful salad cheer you up. Vibrant citrus, bitter radicchio, and peppery arugula are tossed in a tart vinaigrette. Homemade croutons, toasted walnuts, and crumbled feta add some heft but try it with diced chicken or another protein to make it a meal. MB

  • Cardamom Citrus Salad

    Cardamom Fruit Salad
    Elise Bauer

    The zesty, piney flavor of cardamom perfectly pairs with the medley of winter citrus fruits in this salad. Slices of tart grapefruit are sweetened with honey and navel oranges. It’s a fruit salad that’s sure to stand out at a winter gathering. MB

    Continue to 5 of 21 below.
  • Kale and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon

    Raw Kale and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette on a plate with a fork to the right.
    Kalisa Marie Martin

    Just because it’s a salad doesn’t mean it can’t be indulgent. This hearty brussels sprout salad is enriched with crunchy toasted nuts, crispy bacon, and sweet cranberries. With make-ahead options, this salad is a versatile dish you can make all winter long. MB

  • Winter Chicken Salad with Tangy Miso Dressing

    Chopped chicken salad with oranges and miso dressing
    Alison Bickel

    A good way to get out of a boring salad rut is to try out some new flavors like miso, which adds a mellow nutty sweetness to the dressing in this salad. With sliced chicken, creamy avocado, and a few make-ahead strategies, this is a delicious mid-week healthy meal for winter. MB

  • Grapefruit Avocado Salad

    Grapefruit Avocado Salad
    Elise Bauer

    This salad brings tropical colors and summery flavors even in the heart of winter. Rich, buttery avocado tames bright and tart grapefruit, then it’s all drizzled with a lime vinaigrette. Pair it with a bowl of creamy crab bisque for a fresh take on winter soup and salad. MB

  • Festive Beet Citrus Salad with Kale and Pistachios

    Beet Citrus Kale Salad
    Elise Bauer

    This colorful salad just goes to show that you won’t be stuck with drab food if you’re trying to change the way you eat in the new year. With red and golden beets, blood orange, and toasted green pistachios, this paleo and vegan salad won’t receive any complaints. MB

    Continue to 9 of 21 below.
  • Celery, Blue Cheese and Hazelnut Salad

    Celery Salad
    Elise Bauer

    Aromatic and crisp celery, sweet dates, and salty blue cheese all come together to make a festive side for a holiday meal or a hearty roast. Maple glazed hazelnuts take it over the top with a sweet crunch. MB

  • Grape and Walnut Side Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

    Side Salad Recipes - - colorful salad in a bowl with blue cheese dressing
    Sally Vargas

    Equally pretty as it is tasty, this beautiful grape and walnut side salad is surprisingly quick to make. In just a few minutes you can serve a gorgeous mix of greens, toasty walnuts, juicy grapes, and creamy blue cheese dressing that’ll make you look like a professional grade manger. MB

  • Fennel, Radicchio, and Endive Salad

    Fennel, Radicchio, Endive Salad
    Elise Bauer

    This salad is big on crunch and big on flavor, not to mention the pretty pastel greens and deep magenta. Sweet and licoricey fennel rounds out the slightly bitter radicchio and endive. A fennel and mustard vinaigrette, along with nutty parmesan cheese, brings everything together. MB

  • Radicchio Salad with Green Olives, Chickpeas, and Parmesan

    Radicchio Salad with Green Olives, Chickpeas, and Parmesan
    Emma Christensen

    An elegant salad inspired by Mediterranean flavors. Purple radicchio, briny green olives, and nutty parmesan cheese are coated with a sweet balsamic dressing. The salad can hold its own as a light meal thanks to the nutty chickpeas and sunflower seeds. MB

    Continue to 13 of 21 below.
  • Kale Salad with Balsamic Dressing

    easy kale salad served in a blue bowl
    Elise Bauer

    Many kale salad recipes have you massage the kale to tenderize the leaves. But the vinaigrette in this salad does the work for you. Simply throw everything together and let it marinate before serving. This also makes it a great make-ahead salad. Prep the salad before heading to a dinner party and it'll be ready to eat in time for appetizers. MB

  • Kale Caesar Salad

    Kale Caesar Salad
    Elise Bauer

    If you’re not totally convinced about kale yet, let this kale Caesar salad ease you into the idea. Kale and romaine lettuce are tossed with a creamy parmesan dressing and homemade garlic croutons. Kale and romaine hold up well, so you can even make it in advance for a party. Say hello to your new healthy game-day side. MB

  • Waldorf Salad

    Waldorf Salad
    Elise Bauer

    A classic, regal, all-American salad and a staple of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Waldorf salad is a mix of apples, grapes, and walnuts served over a bed of lettuce. Served as a side, it makes for an elegant upgrade to any cold-weather meal. MB

  • Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

    Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan Salad
    Elise Bauer

    A perfect accompaniment to many winter dishes—think roast chicken or pork chops—this salad has the flavor of zest from oranges in the dressing, and it's dotted with dried cranberries. Wild rice ups the nutrition of this side salad. RS

    Continue to 17 of 21 below.
  • Harvest Salad with Miso-Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

    Harvest Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
    Sabrina Modelle

    This arugula and grain salad is chock full of fruits and vegetables that are plentiful in the winter. Roasted butternut squash, apples, and dried cranberries—plus pomegranate seeds and pumpkin seeds—add lots of flavor and texture to the salad. RS

  • Orange and Beet Salad

    Pouring vinaigrette over a salad of beets and oranges.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Gordon

    Colorful citrus fruits and beets take the dreariness out of a winter's day. The quick-to-make salad rests on a foundation of peppery arugula. Toss with a light vinaigrette, and you're done. RS

  • Avocado Beet Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

    avocado and beet salad
    Elise Bauer

    Any color beet will do for this simple salad that's full of good fat from the avocados. A citrusy dressing balances the sweetness of the beets and the richness of the avocados. RS

  • Classic Carrot Salad

    Classic Carrot Salad in a bowl with wooden serving spoons.
    Michelle Becker

    This salad couldn't be easier to make, and it's full of one of everyone's favorite root vegetable—carrots. Just three other ingredients—carrots, raisins, and mayo—finish it off. RS

    Continue to 21 of 21 below.
  • Root Vegetable Slaw

    Winter Root Vegetable Slaw
    Elise Bauer

    Slaw is basically a salad, right? It's close enough to include in this list, particularly when it's full of winter root veggies like carrots and parsnips. Mix with a Dijon vinaigrette, and you have a great accompaniment to heavy winter dishes. RS