When we think salads, we typically think springtime and light, refreshing crisp greens. When it’s cold outside, though, it’s really hard to get motivated to prepare a fresh salad of greens and raw veggies. There’s a secret to making salads a crave-worthy staple in the cooler months. Warm winter salads. That’s right. Who says salads have to be served cold or with raw veggies?
We’ve rounded up 10 Delicious Warm Winter Salads that will have you craving your greens all year long.
Warm + Roasted Winter Salad Bowl
Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows is the queen of healthy, tasty plant-based salads and this recipe is no different. A combination of roasted potatoes and green beans, quinoa, kale, and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) all tossed in a roasted garlic vinaigrette is the perfect way to get a super dose of super foods while still feeling full and satisfied. You can top with some toasted chickpeas or grilled chicken for an extra punch of protein.
Warm Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
Roasted butternut squash, cranberries, candied pecans, and balsamic vinegar. Yes please! If cutting up a butternut squash intimidates you, Minimalist Baker gives instructions on tackling the job, but you can also find pre-diced butternut squash in the produce section of many grocery stores. A little extra expense for a lot of convenience, especially for a weeknight dinner after a long school day (or just pre-cut your own on a weekend).
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
We’ve probably all had some version of this spinach and egg salad with a warm bacon vinaigrette by Smitten Kitchen…and we’ve had it because it’s delicious and therefore it must be included in this warm salad post.
Warm Thai Chicken Noodle Salad
This salad uses whole wheat noodles instead of lettuce, which kind of makes it a pasta dish…but Hungry Healthy Happy calls it a salad, so you can feel better about yourself eating this than a bowl of pasta…or you could serve it over greens or veggie “noodles” made from thin strips of zucchini.
Warm Winter Salad
Sauteed radicchio, fennel, pears, and carrots are topped with chicken, walnuts and Gorgonzola in this warm and hearty main-dish salad. If you’ve never had it, radicchio is a great lettuce for a warm salad…try throwing it on the grill this summer.
Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp
With bowtie pasta, spinach, shrimp, capers, and red onions, this tangy salad is excellent served warm for dinner and then packed cold for lunch the next day. Most commenters added quite a bit more spinach than what is called for to up the greens and the balance in the recipe.
Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad
Our own WeAreTeacher’s blogger, Erin MacPherson created this warm salad recipe, a quick & easy lunch she eats at least once a week. Prep couldn’t be easier with just three main ingredients, carrots, avocado, and sunflower sprouts and a simple sweet sesame vinaigrette. I’ve eaten at Erin’s house and the girl knows her flavors.
Warm Arugula Salad
This warm arugula salad recipe from Jaime Oliver on Leites Culinaria is made with caramelized red onions, pancetta, and pine nuts drizzled with balsamic vinegar and looks absolutely delightful.
Warm Avocado and Spicy Chorizo Salad
I admit, this recipe sounded a bit odd to me at first, then I read the reviews and they are glowing, so I had to include it here. “One of my favorites. Mouthwatering just thinking about it…” “Love this recipe. Made it for friends in record time after work and have also made it for family. Everybody loves it, highly recommend making it!” “One of the tastiest salads I’ve ever eaten, will be making this again and again.” Enough said.
Warm Brussels Sprout Salad
I’m a huge Brussels Sprouts fan, so I can’t wait to try this one from A Beautiful Mess. Creamy dressing and chunky homemade croutons pull the sautéed shredded sprouts together. One commenter said she buys pre-shredded Brussels sprouts from Trader Joe’s, which would make this an even quicker salad to throw together on a weeknight.
Rachel Randolph is a mom to a busy three-year old boy with a baby girl on the way and is married to a high school football and baseball coach near Dallas, Texas. She is co-author of We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, a food memoir written with her mom, and their new book Nourished: A Search for Health, Happiness, and a Full Night’s Sleep (Zondervan, January 2015). She also blogs at www.TheNourishedMama.com and www.laughcrycook.com.