31 Warm Salad Recipes to Keep It Healthy This Winter
Chilly weather is always followed by comfort food; it’s how we manage to get through those months of endless gloom. Though we love comfort food, it catches up to us after a while and leaves us feeling rather sluggish. We know how weird it sounds, but warm salads are the best for this time of year. They’re the perfect option for when it’s absolutely freezing outside but you’re still wanting to chow down on a healthy dish.
Typically, warm salads leverage roasted, fried or baked components that are used to top a hearty bed of lettuce, among your other fave salad toppings. These recipes are sure to give you a boost of warmth and nutrient-dense bites. Try out a warm salad for your next dinner! We’ve got some hearty winter salads that will warm you up and keep your belly satisfied.
What is the definition of a warm salad?
Warm salads are just what they sound like. Picture your favorite cold salad, but transformed into the perfect dish to enjoy during the winter. Warm salads typically feature heartier, cooked ingredients that add flavorful warmth such as meat, potatoes or other roasted vegetables. You can steam, roast or fry the main source of warmth in your salad recipe. A warm salad is made to keep you toasty and satisfied during the cold months when you’re craving greens.
Can salad be eaten hot?
Salads can absolutely be eaten hot, but not extremely hot. We recommend adding cooked and warmed components to your salad, skipping the greens from being cooked. That way your meal will still retain some of that crunch from a salad we all know and love, and remain cozy. It is entirely safe to eat a warm salad, which also means you can reheat your salad dishes without any worries.
Should salad be warm?
Not every salad you prepare has to be warm. The temperature you serve your salad is up to you! The recipes we listed are the best pairings for a warm salad, but can also be eaten cold if desired. Most salads are served cold but warm salads are a great way to get those greens in during the winter.
Do I serve salad warm or cold?
The temperature of your salad is ultimately your choice! We recommend a salad built with warmer components like roasted proteins or vegetables for wintertime, and saving super cold salads for summer. If you’re craving a heartier meal but still want to eat healthy, opt for a warm salad.
Shredded Brussels Sprout Bacon Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
The crunch of this salad is absolutely to die for. Enjoy this festive warm salad with tangy, sweet flavors. (via Half Baked Harvest)
Mediterranean Kale and Farro Salad
Warm farro surrounds a healthy bed of kale to form a Mediterranean-inspired salad that's filling. (via Feel Good Foodie)
Warm Apple Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Warm apples and toasty almonds bring the essence of fall to this colorful and textured salad. With all the most important salad staples — from tangy cheese to sweet fruit — this salad makes for a light and nourishing meal you’ll crave on the regular. (via Bessie Bakes)
Best Steak Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
You'll feel like you're fine dining when you make this super easy winter salad at home. (via The Endless Meal)
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing
When a craving for Buffalo wings hits, it’s impossible to shrug it off. You need to indulge — and this crisp salad allows you to indulge in the best way. In just 20 minutes, you can dig into spicy chicken breasts, crumbled blue cheese, crunchy veggies and a cool-and-creamy dressing to balance it all out. (via Back to Her Roots)
Southern Wilted Lettuce
Spare just 15 minutes to prep this amazing Southern side dish! Douse your cooked lettuce in a warm bacon dressing that's sure to compliment any main comfort food course. (via A Spicy Perspective)
Warm Potato Salad with Bacon and Long Hots
If you thought potato salads were reserved for summer cookouts, think again. Though this medley would be great for any occasion, it’s perfect to curl up with in the cooler months. It’s a quick and easy meal that’s guaranteed to warm your belly. (via Coley Cooks)
Seeded Warm Goat Cheese Salad
Lovers of goat cheese, y’all might have to sit down for this one — this recipe calls for a hefty helping of the creamy stuff. This stunning salad is adorned with red cabbage and blueberries, then drizzled with a tahini vinaigrette that sounds simply irresistible. Plan on eating in isolation, because you *will* be licking your plate. (via Green Healthy Cooking)
Autumn Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are the best veggie to top your warm salad with. Roast them for the ideal texture then add them to a hearty quinoa base for a comforting dish! (via The Endless Meal)
Rainbow Mandarin Warm Noodle Salad
This warm noodle salad is packed full of the nutrients that'll keep you going throughout the winter weeks. Who knew fruit on a salad could be so yummy? (via Chef Bai)
Kale Bacon Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts
You'll be wanting bowls and bowls worth of this delicious salad. It's full of nutrients, but still tastes like the ultimate comfort meal. (via Half Baked Harvest)
Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese
Goat cheese balances amazingly with the butternut squash and dried cranberries in this recipe. You'll want to make this one again and again. (via Salt & Lavender)
Lentil and Roast Beef Salad
We all love a filling Sunday roast paired with fluffy mashed potatoes, but after devouring a meal like that, it’s nice to lighten things up for the rest of the week. This robust salad lets you use up those beefy leftovers in a healthy and refreshing way. (via The Cook’s Pyjamas)
Warm Winter Grain Bowl
Prepping a grain bowl is a great way to make sure your salad is balanced with the nutrients you need. This recipe is protein-forward, making sure you stay full. (via Munching With Mariyah)
Kale and Hazelnut Winter Salad with Warm Sweet Dressing
We all find ourselves in a cheesy, meaty and carb-y food rut once in awhile, especially around the holidays. And once we start to feel the effects, we’re eager to get on board with some healthy eats. This refreshing salad is the perfect solution. (via The Best of This Life)
Grilled Eggplant and Spinach Salad
The grilled eggplant adds warmth to this recipe and fills you up nicely! Indulge in a balance of tart and smoked flavors between all of the veggies. (via Salt & Lavender)
Warm Squash, Parsnip and Kale Salad with Pomegranate Dressing
When the chilly weather rolls around and squash makes a regular appearance in your fall-inspired dishes, it’s easy to forget how delicious it is in a hearty and vibrant salad. Thank goodness this salad is here to remind us. (via Dolly and Oatmeal)
Wheat Berry Salad with Squash, Kale, Currants and Walnuts
Enjoy this salad as-is, or make a batch to meal prep! This dish embraces tons of fall flavors, like sweet berries and roasted squash. (via The Endless Meal)
Warm Millet Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Dried Cranberries and Walnuts
If you’re looking to incorporate more whole grains into your diet, this hearty and tasty salad is perfection. Brussels sprouts offer a healthy dose of vitamins while also adding some crunchy texture. (via Cook’s Hideout)
Warmed Chickpea Cauliflower Mango Salad
Cauliflower is increasing in popularity, and there’s no reason to question why. It’s incredibly versatile and makes a statement in sauces, curries, soups and salads. Though the ingredients in this one-pan dish are simple, the flavors are anything but. (via )
Zesty Lentil Spinach Salad
Deep, rich flavors seem to take over in the cooler months; sometimes we need a bright-tasting pick-me-up. This zesty, lemon-y salad is ideal for such occasions, and it’s packed with enough hearty veggies to pass as a meal without weighing you down. (via Gimme Some Oven)
Honey Garlic Shrimp, Corn and Avocado Bacon Salad
The dressing with this salad is to die for. Enjoy some fresh flavors while indulging in a healthy warm salad for dinner! (via Half Baked Harvest)
Arugula Orange Salad with Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette
Nothing brings a burst of bright flavor quite like a juicy orange. If you’re not keen on sweet, fruity salads, no problem! The peppery arugula and salty feta balance things out nicely, creating a citrus-y and savory blend you can appreciate. (via Natural Comfort Kitchen)
Roasted Potato Beet Salad
Warm veggies adorn fresh and crisp lettuce, making this the *perfect* salad for those chilly winter days. After all, what warms your belly doesn’t need to make you feel heavy. (via Veggie Chick)
Wintery Beetroot and Lentil Salad
This salad is the ultimate fridge clean-out. You’ll use up a ton of leftover produce, all while nourishing your body — totally a win/win! Lentils and pecans bring some extra girth to the plate, ensuring you won’t feel hungry between lunch and dinner. (via Rainbow Nourishments)
Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Take a warmer spin on the classic Cobb salad with this recipe! This one will definitely fill you up and provide the utmost comfort during the winter. (via The Endless Meal)
Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
With their sweet and rich flavor, sweet potatoes offer so much to a dish — and this beauty of a salad is no exception. With warm and nutty quinoa joining in, this salad is the epitome of warming and substantial. (via Green Valley Kitchen)
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This article has been updated.
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