We've waxed on about the Instant Pot for months now. That said, every winter, we reach a point when we've had our fill of starchy comfort foods and feel the urge to shelve the convenient kitchen appliance in the pursuit of meals that aren't so heavy. Enter winter salads.
We may associate delicious produce with warmer months, but plenty of seasonal winter fruits and veggies are just begging to be drenched in delicious salad dressing. From a pomegranate avocado salad with candied walnuts to a sweet potato noodle salad with creamy chipotle miso sauce, these nine winter salad ideas are so delicious that they might just inspire you to unplug your slow cookers.
Pomegranate Avocado Salad With Candied Walnuts
Nothing says winter like fresh persimmons. The winter fruit's bright orange color and soft velvety texture really shine when paired with creamy, salty, funky blue cheese in this salad from Half Baked Harvest. The food blog's founder, Tieghan Gerard, says, "I know blue cheese is not for everyone, so if you'd like use to another cheese, I think crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese would both be delicious."
Lemon Garlic Roasted Broccoli Salad
Simply roasted with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, Tieghan takes broccoli to new heights by pairing it with aromatic garlic, salty feta, and tangy lemon. The lemony balsamic dressing is key in this roasted broccoli salad, she notes. "It adds fresh flavor and keeps the salad from being boring and dry."
Cranberry Roasted Butternut Persimmon Salad
Roasted butternut squash has an undeniably rich flavor that, when paired with maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and a dash of cayenne pepper, will become your go-to winter veggie. Tieghan suggests, "You can serve this salad cold or at room temperature, but my personal favorite it to keep the greens and persimmons cold and have everything else warm."
Celery Pear and Hazelnut Salad
Filled with celery, fennel, and hazelnuts, this salad from The Modern Proper is brimming with winter produce—but the juicy pears with their perfectly ripe texture are decidedly the hero ingredient in this recipe. "Prep all of the components for this salad a day or two ahead of time, and once it's dressed and on [the] table the celery and fennel will stay crunchy (unlike lettuce)," advises co-founder and recipe creator Holly Erickson.
Maple Roasted Squash Salad
Another delicious treat from The Modern Proper, this salad is filled with winter favorites, including acorn squash and maple syrup. "Despite their often-tough skins, winter squash is one of the easiest and most rewarding things to prepare," co-founder Natalie Mortimer notes.
Garnish with bright pomegranate arils for a pop of tang and color and crunchy pepitas for added texture before serving.
Roasted Beet Salad with Chèvre Green Goddess Dressing
Different colored beets not only look incredible but also taste divine alongside sweet roasted carrots in this delectable salad. Top "this salad with a goat cheese green goddess dressing, [packed] with herbs, and plenty of garlic," Holly recommends.
Buffalo Cauliflower Salad With Tahini Ranch
Seasoned with a Buffalo-style sauce and just a sprinkle of smoked paprika for added heat, this roasted cauliflower salad from The First Mess will have you coming back for seconds. "It's definitely crucial to get a Buffalo-style hot sauce here," warns Laura Wright of The First Mess. "I can't totally explain the flavor nuances of sauces in the Buffalo-style, but there's a heavy emphasis on salt and tanginess at work."
Sweet Potato Noodle Salad With Creamy Chipotle Miso Sauce
These days, you can make noodles out of just about anything, even sweet potatoes. Beautiful in color, crunchy in texture, this noodle salad from The First Mess offers a whole new way to enjoy the popular winter produce beyond roasting. "If you don't have a spiralizer, you could follow a handy tutorial from Food52 for julienning the sweet potatoes instead," Laura offers.
Kale Brussels Sprout Caesar Slaw With Pine Nut Parm
A mixture of hearty winter greens—kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts—lays the crunchy foundation for this unbelievable salad, which is topped with a decadently creamy (vegan!) dressing. "The dressing is sunflower seed-based because I appreciate how affordable it is," Laura explains. "The seeds' ability to get surprisingly creamy when soaked and blended up is pretty wild."