12 Perfect Holiday Salads for Cold-Weather Celebrations

Indian Spiced Lentils with Spinach
Photo: Andy Lyons

In charge of hosting or preparing the sides for a holiday dinner? Try our easy Holiday salad recipe ideas; your fellow diners might just forget about the main dish. These easy holiday salads have less than 45 minutes of prep time, so they won't keep you in the kitchen all day. There's an easy salad recipe for every holiday spread, including classic green bean salads, broccoli salads, squash salads, and so much more.

01 of 12

Winter Slaw with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Winter Slaw with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Carson Downing

The holidays are a notoriously busy time of year, so we made this salad recipe as low-stress as possible. Start by combining pre-shredded kale and purchased coleslaw mix, then add your favorite store-bought vinaigrette. The only thing you'll have to prepare is the star of the show: Fresh blood orange slices. Throw it all in a bowl with wood salad spoons ($9, Target), and you're ready to serve!

02 of 12

Roasted Acorn Squash and Beet Salad

Roasted Acorn Squash Beet Salad
Con Poulos

Play with the cozy colors of autumn by using them in your holiday salads. Here, we combine fresh Chioggia beets, golden acorn squash, and pomegranate seeds. Mix them up and coat the ensemble in our sweet and tangy honey-mustard sauce.

03 of 12

Winter Slaw with Kale and Cabbage

Winter Slaw with Kale and Cabbage
Blaine Moats

Crisp and creamy, this winter slaw features all the classics of summery coleslaw—but with a twist. Vitamin-rich kale and purple cabbage stand in for lettuce. Flavor all those veggies with a zippy vinegar dressing for a holiday salad recipe worthy of your epic spread.

04 of 12

Wheat Berry, Sugar Snap Pea, Radish, and Goat Cheese Salad

Sugar Snap Pea, Radish, and Goat Cheese Salad
Jason Donnelly

Wheat berries are tiny kernels of wheat that pop and turn golden when cooked. We love the fresh crunch they give this healthy holiday salad recipe. For the simple dressing that coats every bite, fill a Mason jar with honey, walnut oil, and vinegar. Shake, pour, then dig in!

05 of 12

Cranberry and Beet Panzanella

Cranberry and Beet Panzanella
Carson Downing

Drizzled with a homemade cranberry vinaigrette, this Italian-style panzanella salad is perfect for your next holiday meal. Start by tossing together veggies and crispy bread cubes, then combine cranberry juice, vinegar, honey, and oil for a slightly sweet-tart finish.

06 of 12

Spinach Salad with Indian-Spiced Garbanzos, Apricots, and Onions

Spinach Salad with Indian-Spiced Garbanzos, Apricots, and Onions
Jason Donnelly

Cinnamon and brown sugar add warm and cozy flavor notes to this holiday spinach salad. We add them to an Indian-inspired chickpea dressing, then embellish the sweet and savory holiday salad recipe with red onion and dried apricots. For crunch, don't skip our 30-second recipe for toasted pappadum crackers.

07 of 12

Holiday Kale Salad

Holiday Kale Salad
Blaine Moats

Looking for holiday salad ideas to please a wide audience? This healthy, easy holiday salad recipe features many seasonal faves, including fresh cranberries, wild rice, kale, and crunchy veggies. Its flavors—and the 20-minutes of hands-on time—will be a winner with everyone, especially vegan and vegetarian guests.

08 of 12

Honey-Soaked Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Cashews

Honey-Soaked Quinoa Salad
Andy Lyons

Hot or cold? Take your pick with this easy holiday salad recipe one home cook describes as: "Oh so yummy served warm or chilled, and it is always a huge hit. This dressing is outstanding!" The honey-soaked quinoa and vegetable salad features slivered apricots, juicy cherries, and fresh greens. Toss in a few cashews for a crouton-like crunch.

09 of 12

Asparagus, Edamame, and Parsley Salad

Asparagus, Edamame, and Parsley Salad
Andy Lyons

A fresh plate of greens is sure to start any celebratory feast off right. Especially when it only takes 25 minutes to pull it together, and you can come to the table calm and collected! Avocado oil and a splash of soy sauce give this holiday salad recipe some Asian flair, while garlic enhances the savory flavor.

10 of 12

Fresh Citrus and Cranberry Salad

fresh citrus salad with oranges
Andy Lyons

Cranberry and citrus team up in the ubiquitous Thanksgiving side dish of cranberry sauce, so why not toss that dream duo into an easy holiday salad recipe? We've added a refreshing kick of mint and ginger to this arugula salad, then topped it with chopped fresh cranberries and juicy oranges for a stunning citrus-infused holiday side. It's tart, tangy, and a fresh accompaniment to turkey, ham, or prime rib.

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Two-Tone Green Bean Salad

Two-Tone Green Bean Salad with Hazelnuts and Parmesan
Andy Lyons

Watch out, green bean casserole: This savory, easy holiday salad recipe has arrived, and it just might usurp you as the top holiday side. Two kinds of beans make this green bean salad extra colorful, while roasted hazelnuts and shaved parmesan offer a nutty flavor alternative to the typical creamy green bean casserole.

12 of 12

Pear and Brussels Sprout Slaw

Pear and Brussels Sprout Slaw
Andy Lyons

Brussels sprouts, pears, dates, and walnuts team up to craft a memorable salad. And if that wasn't enough of a dream ensemble, cannellini beans arrive to add a satisfying dose of protein. Once those beans join the party, this easy holiday salad recipe becomes hearty enough to act as a vegetarian main dish.

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