Salads are a no-brainer in summer. Crunchy, cold and light, who doesn’t love digging into a delicious salad with the sun on your back? But winter is a different story. A bowl of raw veggies don’t seem so appealing when you’re covered in layers and craving soups, roasts and slow cooker recipes. However, there’s no rule book regarding what can, or cannot, go into your salad, so why not reinvent your bowl of healthy goodness to coincide with the time of year and your mood? That’s where warm winter salads come in. We’ve rounded up 13 sensational winter salads to keep you satisfied, warm and guilt-free all season long.
1. Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate by Slender Kitchen
The winter months may spark a desire to cozy up with comfort food, but there are plenty of hearty foods that will satisfy this need without pushing you over the edge. This yummy salad combines butternut squash with a hearty helping of quinoa to really give your salad some healthy and filling bulk. It’s a perfect lunch option when you need to ensure you stay full for hours, or even perfect as a side dish at dinner paired with some protein.
Related: 7 Hunger Fighting Salad Toppers
Warm Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Salad by The Real Food RDs
Sweet potato is another one of those good-for-you foods that shines in the winter months. Slice it up and add it to a salad to really take advantage of its comforting qualities. This delicious recipe is paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and even grain-free to boot. For those who like a little spice in your life, the Warm Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Salad is the perfect option for you.
Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Cherries by Ambitious Kitchen
Cherries in a salad? Of course! Thinking outside the box is your best friend when you’re looking to revamp your salads, and this Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Cherries is the perfect hearty, healthy and unique blend to try out. The addition of creamy goat cheese, earthy walnuts and light vinaigrette dressing incorporates delicious flavors you may not be used to incorporating into your diet while also giving you tons of energy.
4. Warm Arugula Salad by Leite’s Culinaria
Arugula is one of those leafy greens that offers the perfect consistency of crunch with a slight spice that’s simply irresistible. This Warm Arugula Salad is made with caramelized red onions, pancetta, and pine nuts, fresh thyme, Parmesan cheese, then drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Can you say yum?!
5. Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad with Apples, Gorgonzola & Candied Pecans by Ambitious Kitchen
There’s something about the combination of cheese and nuts that is simply divine. The richness of gorgonzola and the sweet nuttiness of the candied pecans in this salad is to die for. The salad is made additionally hearty and complex with the addition of the Brussels sprouts, kale, apples and dried cranberries.
6. Salmon, Sweet Potato and Avocado Kale Salad by Slender Kitchen
Another must-have is this Salmon, Sweet Potato and Avocado Kale Salad. This one is perfect for fueling up for hours so you can keep your mind focused on important tasks, and ensure you steer clear of the cookies and candy that may be lurking around your office. This salad is packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats.
7. Winter Chicken Salad by LaaLoosh
Taking note of seasonal produce, this winter salad combines pears and persimmons in the best way. Plus, it will satisfy your need to keep it fresh even during the colder months, but give you major flavor and comfort with every bite. The addition of walnut oil to make this sweet and zesty dressing is just one more thing to get excited about.
8. Butternut Squash and Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Toasted Almonds and Goat Cheese by Ambitious Kitchen
Butternut squash is the hearty center of this dish, and is rounded out by good-for-you kale, vibrant pomegranate, creamy goat cheese and toasted almonds. If this salad isn’t fit for holiday parties, we don’t know what is.
Wild rice is the perfect example of a food that can boast comfort, heartiness and healthiness all in one. It’s rich in flavor, high in protein, and low in fat, too. This Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts keeps it simple yet flavorful with the addition of red onion, craisins, celery and red wine vinaigrette.
10. Warm Thai Chicken Noodle Salad by Hungry Healthy Happy
When carbs are calling your name, let this Warm Thai Chicken Noodle Salad be your healthy go-to. It’s made with whole wheat noodles (or sub rice noodles for GF) to satisfy your need for “comfort” but it’s also loaded with an array of good-for-you ingredients like carrots, courgettes, radishes, scallions, garlic cloves, ginger, lemongrass stalk, red chillies, limes, coriander, and paprika.
12. Warm Sweet Potato Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette by Heartbeet Kitchen
It’s easy to get stuck incorporating the same veggies into your salad time after time, but one thing to remember is to drop your routine and focus instead on what’s in season. This Warm Sweet Potato Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette is overflowing with delicious ingredients including shaved Brussels sprouts, almonds, sweet potatoes and cranberries. The maple mustard dressing is simply the icing on top of a very healthy cake. This one’s paleo-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan!
READ THIS NEXT: 9 Winter Skin Care Solutions