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Share this winter salad recipe at parties and potlucks all season long! Just like my broccoli cranberry salad and butternut squash salad, this statement salad’s jewel-toned ingredients and maple Dijon dressing makes a stunning and delicious side dish to any holiday menu — and all winter.
What Is Winter Salad?
Winter salad can be any salad that is made with seasonal ingredients during the winter months. This winter salad recipe is a combination of full-flavored fall and winter vegetables, fruits, nuts, and greens dressed in a tangy maple Dijon vinaigrette.
Why You’ll Love This Winter Salad Recipe
- Bright, bold flavors in a tangy dressing
- Creamy and crunchy ingredients
- Just roast, whisk, toss, and serve
- Ready in 30 minutes
- Vegetarian, nutrient and fiber dense
- Make ahead, add dressing, and serve.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for this winter salad recipe , what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Butternut Squash – You’ll need about 1/2 of a medium squash for this recipe, but you can make the entire roasted butternut squash if you like and save the rest for later. To save time, you can sometimes find fresh or frozen pre-cut butternut squash cubes. Frozen ones do not need to be thawed, but will take longer to roast.
- Beets – These veggies add color and texture. Cut them in cubes about the same size as the squash, so they cook at the same rate.
- Seasonings – Olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper accent the flavor of the root vegetables while they are roasting.
- Greens – I used mixed greens, but any kind of lettuce, kale, or even spinach works.
- Nuts – This recipe uses pecans, but you could also do walnuts, almonds, or for nut-free options, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- Apples – You can use green or red apples, or even fresh pears. Slice them thinly.
- Pomegranate Arils – If you can’t find them, use dried cranberries instead.
Maple Dijon Dressing:
- Olive Oil – The base of the dressing. You could substitute avocado oil if needed.
- Maple Syrup – I like Wholesome Yum sugar-free maple syrup, but any kind will work.
- Lemon Juice – The acidity helps the dressing emulsify. If lemon juice isn’t available, use apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or even lime juice.
- Dijon Mustard – For added flavor.
How To Make Winter Salad
This section shows how to make winter salad with roasted vegetables, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Season. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Repeat with the beets in a separate bowl.
- Roast. Spread the root vegetables on a sheet pan and roast in the oven until fork tender.
- Make dressing. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in jar and shake to combine, or whisk in a bowl instead.
- Combine. In a large bowl, combine the greens with the roasted vegetables, sliced apples, pomegranate seeds, and pecans.
- Drizzle. Add the maple Dijon dressing. You can serve the winter salad warm or chilled.
One of my favorite things about this winter salad recipe is that the ingredients can be mixed and matched:
- Root Vegetables – Any root vegetable can be used. Try acorn squash, pattypan squash, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, or carrots. Roasted brussels sprouts also cook at the same rate as the squash and beets, so they would make a nice addition.
- Salad Greens – Use heavier greens like kale or spinach if you want to make the salad ahead. Baby spinach, arugula, iceberg, or romaine can work if serving right away.
- Nuts – Walnuts, slivered almonds, and hazelnuts are excellent switches for pecans, if you prefer their flavor. If you want a nut-free salad with crunch, use sunflower, pumpkin, or hemp seeds.
- Citrus – Slices of orange or grapefruit would pair well with the other flavors.
- Cheese – This winter salad is naturally dairy-free, but if you can tolerate it, try adding crumbled soft cheeses (like feta, goat cheese, or blue cheese crumbles), or shaved parmesan.
- Bacon – Crumble cooked bacon and add to the salad.
- Store: Keep leftover winter salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days. If possible, keep the dressing and salad separate.
- Meal prep: You can roast squash and beets up to 2 days in advance and keep in the refrigerator until ready to add to the salad. (Warm them up in the oven or microwave if you prefer them warm.) You can also chop the greens if needed and make the dressing ahead. You may want to slice the apples fresh to prevent browning.
What To Serve With Winter Salad
This festive salad is the perfect contribution to a holiday feast or a weeknight dinner alike. Try these pairings:
- Add Protein To The Salad – Turn the salad into a meal by adding shredded chicken, sliced baked chicken breast, or baked salmon.
- Holiday Mains – Serve winter salad for Thanksgiving or Christmas with roasted turkey, slow cooker turkey breast, surprisingly easy lobster tails, or beef tenderloin.
- 30-Minute Meals – For weeknights, try chicken florentine, creamy mushroom chicken, or baked cod.
More Winter Salad Recipes
There are so many ways to make winter salad — it can be anything using ingredients widely available during the colder months. Try these other hearty salads that are in season:
Winter Salad Recipe
Winter Salad Recipe (Healthy & Easy!)
Colorful veggies like butternut squash, apples, beets, and pomegranate combine with maple dijon dressing for the BEST winter salad recipe.
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Maple Dijon Dressing:
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a large bowl, toss the diced butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of oil (14.8 ml), 1/2 teaspoon of salt (2.84 g), and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper (1.42 g). Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet.
In the same bowl (or another bowl), toss the quartered beets with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil (14.8 ml), 1/8 teaspoon of salt (0.7 g), and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper (0.7g). Arrange on the same baking sheet.
Roast the butternut squash and beets in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a small jar. Stir (or cover with a lid and shake).
In a large salad bowl, combine the mixed greens, roasted vegetables, apple slices, pomegranate, and pecans.
Drizzle the winter salad with dressing and serve.
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Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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