For me, there are a few things that happen when the temps drop below 50 degrees. I never leave the house without anything less than three layers of fleece, cashmere, or wool, a warm cup of chai becomes my go-to beverage, and all of my meals involve (or are completely composed of) healthy servings of my favorite comfort foods. I’m talking mac and cheese, chicken noodle soup (with the most delicious twist), and endless bowls of risotto. But in between courses of all my favorite wintertime foods, I make an effort to work in enough of the veggies that help me feel my best. The most efficient and cold weather-appropriate way of making that happen? Warm salad recipes, folks—and I’ve rounded up all my faves right here so you can get your greens this season as well.
If the idea of warm winter salads brings to mind your basic (and admittedly, a bit outdated) spinach and bacon salad recipe, have no fear. These recipes bring together all the best of wintertime produce. Beets, no shortage of squash, greens that stand up to substantial dressings and vinaigrettes, and grains that are hearty and energizing. All right, I’ve kept you in anticipation long enough. Check out the best warm salad recipes below.
Here are all the best warm salad recipes you’ll need this winter, all in one place.
Fall Harvest Salad With Pumpkin Vinaigrette from Once Upon a Pumpkin
Why We Love It: If Sweetgreen ever went under, this salad would be the reason. Quinoa and kale, pepitas and chickpeas, plus big shreds of parmesan cheese put the flavors of the season on perfect display. And if your love of pumpkin knows no bounds, here’s the salad to try.
Hero Ingredient: Don’t @ me—the pumpkin pie spice in this salad just works.
Warm Winter Salad from Feasting at Home
Why We Love It: The name of this salad is simple and straightforward, but the flavors couldn’t be any more beautifully complex. A garnish of dill offers a bright and ever-so-sweet flavor with just a bit of pungency, and dukkah, an Egyptian and Middle Eastern condiment that mixes together herbs, nuts, and spices, is the metaphorical cherry on top.
Hero Ingredient: While I love every single ingredient this salad involves, there’s really no competition—the tahini sauce drizzled on top takes the cake.
Roasted Delicata Squash & Kale Salad
Why We Love It: Colorful and with a little crunch thanks to the toasted hazelnuts, this salad is perfect for a light November lunch or served as a side at your next dinner party. It wouldn’t be out of place at your Thanksgiving table either. Honestly, it might even be better than the pie.
Hero Ingredient: This salad is a love letter to the caramelized deliciousness of delicata squash. If you’re partial to butternut, or kabocha squash is your ride-or-die winter veggie, try delicata on for size. It won’t disappoint.
Warm Farro Salad With Roasted Root Vegetables from Dietitian Debbie Dishes
Why We Love It: Shivering salad stans will appreciate this meal-prep-friendly dish. Farro steps this salad up to main course status, making it satisfying enough to stand in for your favorite soup-and-bread combo or pasta. And it goes without saying, but all vegetables are at their best when left to caramelize in the oven.
Hero Ingredient: If you’re dairy-free, you can omit the optional garnish of goat cheese (or try a plant-based alternative). However, if you enjoy a healthy crumble of the salty goodness, feel free to layer it on with abandon.
Warm Carrot Salad with Spiced Pepita and Cashew Crunch from Bon Appétit
Why We Love It: Vibrant in color and with a flavor that’s beautifully sweet (not to mention all the many health benefits they boast), carrots are finally getting their due. This recipe celebrates the underrated vegetable, boiling the carrot coins for just a few minutes until their crisp-tender bite can shine.
Hero Ingredient: Finishing this salad off with the Spiced Pumpkin Seed and Cashew Crunch is, I repeat, a non-negotiable.
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad With Chicken and Mango Chipotle Vinaigrette from Food Faith Fitness
Why We Love It: Bring a welcome bit of warmth and tropical flavor to your dead-of-winter dinners. Curry-roasted sweet potatoes and cubes of mango plus just a few coconut flakes (don’t question, just eat) put this salad in possession of all the best tastes and textures.
Hero Ingredient: While vegetarians are welcome to leave out the chicken if they’d like, the toasted cashews (a perfect complement to the creamy roasted sweet potatoes) can’t be overlooked.
Roasted Cauliflower and Farro Salad With Feta and Avocado from Cookie and Kate
Why We Love It: This salad is a celebration of all the many fall ingredients that can come together to create the most addicting meals. Salty feta, creamy avocado, and fruity olives make for a truly no-fuss, no-fail salad that packs up perfectly for next-day leftovers.
Hero Ingredient: Roasted cauliflower, let me count the many ways you’re loved.
Warm Honey Mustard Salad from Justine Snacks
Why We Love It: You’ll forget all about the temptation to order take-out once you make this salad. The winter version of our favorite serve-all-summer Panzanella, this salad pairs sturdy kale with bread that’s torn and brushed with the maple-y, mustard-y dressing. Next-level croutons await.
Hero Ingredient: Pomegranate seeds aren’t just pretty. Here, they add a refreshingly bold and tart flavor. In a pinch, dried cranberries work as well.
Charred Broccoli and Red Onion Salad With Shaved Apples and Arugula from Dolly and Oatmeal
Why We Love It: I’m coining a new phrase here—the salad makes the meal. Scratch that, the salad is the meal. Contentious, sure, (after all, it wasn’t too long ago that many of us considered salads to be no more than a few lettuce leaves dressed in a lackluster vinaigrette), but full of abundant autumn flavor, this salad is fully prepared to steal the show. I wouldn’t be opposed to adding a little protein in the form of beans, cheese, or perhaps a bit of chicken to really round this out.
Hero Ingredient: Raw broccoli is… fine. Charred broccoli? Absolutely divine.
Roasted Beet and Potato Salad from Sweet Potato Soul
Why We Love It: If you know me, you know my love of beets often results in a routine of lunches and dinners, and yes, even breakfasts, that include the earthy veggie. Strange as it may seem, I honestly don’t think it needs much justification. If you haven’t heard, beets are GOOD. They’re the base for many buzzy wellness elixirs, burgers, and even pancakes. In this recipe, they’re paired with another root veggie favorite, potatoes, for a bulked-up blessing of a salad.
Hero Ingredient: The best sweet treats come in the form of beets.
Warm Lentil Salad With Roasted Vegetables from From My Bowl
Why We Love It: The best salads are those that seem to find their way to your plate almost by accident. Maybe you have a meal-prepped protein in your fridge, some already-cooked grains, and veggies that have spent some time in your oven. Caitlin, the recipe’s creator, admits that this salad came together in exactly that way. A little bit random, but definitely delicious, this recipe can also be customized with whatever you have on hand.
Hero Ingredient: Humble but hearty, lentils are the protein-packed, nutty legume that has saved many a plant-based eater from a bout of post-lunch, pre-dinner hanger.