This Holiday salad is a simple mixed greens salad adorned with orange segments, red onions, pomegranate seeds, feta, and dressed with a simple champagne vinaigrette. It is a light, refreshing salad that is simply perfect for the holidays!
Made with winter seasonal produce, this Christmas Salad makes a great accompaniment to your holiday meal. Serve it with Baked Ham, Instant Pot Turkey Breast, or a New York Strip Roast alongside Perfect Mashed Potatoes, for a memorable Christmas meal.
While most people look forward to the main entree at a holiday meal, this green seasonal salad is my absolute favorite dish on my holiday table.
This Holiday Salad has it all! Made with tender spring greens, fresh oranges, juicy pomegranate seeds, sharp onions, salty feta, and crunchy nuts, this salad is a mixture of sweet, salty, crunchy, smooth, and is perfectly balanced in flavors. The simple dressing finishes the salad with a light touch, allowing each component of this salad to shine through.
And best of all, while most holiday dishes take hours to prepare, this recipe can be assembled quickly! I love volunteering to take this Christmas salad to holiday parties, as it is easy enough for me to make it during the busiest time of the year and it always impresses.
This salad is truly perfect for any winter holiday celebration.
- Salad Greens: For this holiday salad, I find that a mixture of arugula and baby spinach is best. The spinach is tender and mild and the arugula gives this salad a peppery bite. By all means, use spinach alone or a mixture of baby greens.
- Oranges: Fresh navel orange segments add a sweet note to this salad and are a seasonal winter fruit, which makes them the perfect addition to this salad. Be sure to select seedless oranges.
- Pomegranate Seeds: The pomegranate seeds or arils, give this salad a burst of bright tartness. You can seed a pomegranate yourself, or you can purchase a container of pomegranate seeds, which makes assembling this salad that much easier.
- Onions: Red onions help to balance out the sweet and salty flavors of this holiday salad. It is best to soak the onions before adding them to the salad to mellow their sharp flavor. Feel free to use shallots in place of the red onion.
- Cheese: Use either crumbled feta or goat cheese. Or omit the cheese for dairy-free, vegan-friendly salad.
- Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, or pistachios add just the right amount of crunch to this salad. If you have candied nuts, those are a delicious addition as well.
- Champagne Vinaigrette: This salad dressing is a simple combination of champagne vinegar, honey (or maple syrup), Dijon, and olive oil. It is light, sharp, and compliments the flavors of the salad perfectly.
How to Prepare Holiday Salad
This salad is best assembled immediately before serving. However, all the components can be prepared up to 48 hours in advance. I often segment the oranges, soak the onions, toast the nuts, and whisk together the dressing the day before serving. Then it is as easy as assembling the salad and serving.
How to Segment Oranges
- Cut off the ends of each orange.
- Use a knife to cut away the orange skin, working from the top to the bottom, being sure to remove the entire white pith.
- With a sharp thin knife, carefully cut between the membrane to the center of the orange to remove a segment.
- Store the segments in a sealed container in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the salad.
By soaking onions in cold water for 10-15 minutes, it helps to remove the sharp bite of the onions. This allows them to mellow out and add flavor to the salad without overwhelming them. Once you have soaked the onions, remove them from the water, pat dry, and store well wrapped in the fridge before assembling the salad.
It is best to toast the nuts to bring out their flavor. In a dry skillet over medium-low heat, add in chopped nuts. Toast for 3-4 minutes, tossing regularly. Remove from skillet and let cool.
Whisk together ingredients and refrigerate for up to 48 hours before ready to serve.
Toss greens with ¼ cup of the salad dressing. Arrange in a serving bowl. Top with orange segments and onion slices. Scatter the pomegranate seeds evenly over the greens. Sprinkle with feta and nuts. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.
More Holiday Side Dishes
- Scalloped Potatoes--These scalloped potatoes are a classic recipe for creamy, tender potatoes. A holiday must-have!
- Christmas Fruit Salad--Made with festive red and green fruits, this easy fruit salad is a family favorite.
- Sweet Potato Casserole--Richly spiced and full of maple notes, this sweet potato casserole has been given a healthy make-over but tastes 100% delicious!
- Green Bean Casserole--No canned soups in this recipe, but comes together just about as easily!
This seasonal Christmas salad makes a perfect accompaniment to your holiday celebrations. I hope you enjoy it and would love it if you were to leave a comment below.
For the Salad
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
- 5 ounces mixed greens
- 2 oranges peeled, and sectioned
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese
- ¼ cup pomegrante seeds
- ¼ cup chopped nuts walnuts, almond, or pistachios
For the Salad
- Thinly slice the red onion. Place in a shallow bowl and cover the slices with cold water. Let soak for 10 minutes and then drain.
- In a dry skillet over medium-low heat, add in chopped nuts. Toast for 3-4 minutes, tossing regularly. Remove from skillet and let cool.
- Arrange the greens in a large serving dish.
- Toss the greens with ¼ cup of prepared salad dressing.
- Scatter orange segments, red onions, and pomegranate seeds on top of greens. Sprinkle with feta cheese and nuts. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.
For the Dressing
- Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, honey, and salt together.
- Using a mircoplane grater, grate the garlic into the dressing. Whisk well.
- I prefer a mix of arugula and baby spring greens for this salad, but spinach works.
- Soaking the onion is not necessary, but does help to mellow out the sharpness of the onion. Feel free to use shallots in place of the red onion.
- In place of the feta cheese, crumbled goat cheese is a good substitute. Or omit the cheese altogether for a vegan friendly side salad.
- If you do not have champagne vinegar, use white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
- Use maple syrup in place of honey in salad dressing to keep this dressing vegan friendly.