Healthy and simple warm winter salad is made with hearty roasted vegetables over crisp greens then tossed with toasted pecans, cranberries and a delicious maple dijon dressing. It’s perfect for a cold winter day!
Winter Salad with Roasted Vegetables
While you may not immediately put the word comfort food and salad in the same sentence, I challenge you to think differently with this warm winter salad recipe that I am in love with for a main entree weeknight meal.
Hearty root vegetables like butternut squash and beets are roasted to caramelized perfection, then tossed with fresh greens and a tangy yet sweet maple dijon dressing. I love roasted fall vegetables on a sheet pan and they work perfectly for this winter salad recipe, too.
It’s light, refreshing and yet filling for a whole meal. Meal prep it for lunch or serve with a protein of choice for dinner, either way it is a great way to eat your veggies!
Why You Will Love It
- Seasonal: There is something about roasted vegetables in the winter that feels like comfort food and tastes amazing in this warm winter salad.
- Reheats well: This makes it a great choice for meal prep! Just store all your warm winter salad ingredients separately and toss it together for any easy lunch or dinner.
- Loaded salad: If you love a salad loaded with toppings, this winter salad is for you and has it all, tender roasted veg, crunchy pecans and sweet cranberries.
- Easy: Like wholesome food should be! Just chop, roast, combine dressing and then toss it all together.
This warm salad idea incorporates fresh greens with roasted vegetables and a light dressing. Here is how I like to build my winter salad.
Scroll to the bottom of the recipe for the full list of ingredients.
- Roasted vegetables: I used butternut squash, beets, red onion and Brussels sprouts. You could use cauliflower, broccoli or sweet potato, too!
- Greens: I like to use either power greens, which is a mix of baby kale, chard, and spinach or fresh spring mix.
- Toppings: Toasted pecans and dried cranberries.
- Dressing: I made simple maple dijon dressing but any vinaigrette works!
How to Make Warm Winter Salad
A recipe like this winter warm salad is called such because you roast the veggies, let them cool slightly then serve over fresh greens. The veggies are warm, the greens crisp and it’s the best combination of texture and flavor.
- Make dressing: Make the dressing in a salad jar by combining the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with lid and shake, until ingredients are combined.
- Season vegetables: Place butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, beets and onion on the empty baking sheet in rows. Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Roast vegetables: Toss the veggies to combine, keeping them in separate rows. Be careful to not combine them as the beets will ‘bleed’ onto the other veggies. Roast for 35-40 minutes, until the veggies are tender.
- Serve your warm winter salad: Create a bed of lettuce in a bowl, top with roasted veggies, sprinkle fresh parsley, dried cranberries, and pecans over the top. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy.
What to Serve with Roasted Vegetable Winter Salad
This warm winter salad is pretty great as is but a simple protein like roasted butter beans or roasted chickpeas would be delicious! You could even add some crispy tofu or crumbled tempeh to be a bit more filling.
- Roast any vegetable: Feel free to mix it up with whatever veggies you need to use from the fridge! Roasted broccoli, cauliflower or other root vegetables like carrots, parsnips or turnips would all be good. Roasted sweet potatoes are amazing!
- Use your favorite salad greens: Baby spinach or kale would be great in this warm winter salad!
- Seeds: Some crunch with hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds would be great in addition to the pecans.
- Sweet: Add some sliced pears, apples or pomegranate arils.
- Zest: Add some lemon zest to the salad greens or dressing.
Can I eat salad in the winter?
Of course! There is no hard or fast rule when you can eat salad. A cold salad can be a bit putting off though in the winter, which is why warm salad recipes hit the spot between satisfying the desire to eat more greens and still be warm!
Can I meal prep this salad in advance?
Yes, winter salad recipes can be meal prepped and here is how you can do that! Roast your vegetables and store covered in the fridge either in one container or in meal prep containers. Store salad greens in a separate container and dressing separately as well. You can also store your dressing in smaller sized containers that are perfect for on the go.
You can also pack your salad to go! I love this salad container that allows you to separately store your greens in the bottom of the container and everything else on top! There is even a spot with a separate sealed container for your dressing.
How to store leftovers?
Once your salad is assembled it is best to eat right away or within a few hours.
Store your roasted vegetables covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Do not freeze leftover roasted vegetables, texture changes when thawed.
The salad dressing can be store in the refrigerate up to 1 week. You will need to bring it to room temperature and give it a shake or stir to incorporate as the oil will separate from the other ingredients.
More Veggie Packed Recipes
- Pasta with Cauliflower and Peas
- Jasmine Rice Bowl with Curried Vegetables
- Roasted Vegetable Bowl with Miso Dressing
- Bean, Vegetable and Basil Casserole
Warm Winter Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing
- 1 butternut squash peeled and cubed
- 16 oz Brussels sprouts halved
- 2 medium beets peeled and cubed
- 1 red onion sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 16 oz power greens or spring mix
- 1/2 cup pecans toasted
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- fresh parsley optional
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat mat.
- Place the butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, beets and onion on the empty baking sheet in rows. Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Toss the veggies to combine, keeping them in separate rows. Be careful to not combine them as the beets will ‘bleed’ onto the other veggies.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the veggies are tender.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing in a salad jar by combining the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with lid and shake, until ingredients are combined.
- When veggies are finished, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool down to room temperature.
- To serve, create a bed of lettuce in a bowl, top with roasted veggies, sprinkle fresh parsley, dried cranberries, and pecans over the top. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy.