Who says you can’t put together a beautiful salad during the winter months? This one is made with some of winter’s stars – pomegranates, pears, and oranges are piled in a bed of fresh greens and finished off with walnuts, feta cheese, and a quick 4 ingredient honey dressing! It’s perfect for a holiday dinner.
This recipe was originally published in December of 2018, but I just updated it with new photos – the recipe is the same one you know and love.
I call this perfect winter salad a back-pocket recipe because it’s easy enough to memorize, the dressing ingredients are pantry staples, and you can tweak this side salad to fit your preferences! This is the one of the best winter salad recipes to serve during the holiday season, and the best way to enjoy winter citrus fruit!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Pears, Pomegranates, and Mandarins – Winter ingredients shine in this easy salad! The combination of pear slices, pomegranate seeds, and mandarin segments is incredible, and is one of our favorite ways to enjoy nutritious fruits.
- Easy Prep – This salad is easy to throw together last minute, with little fuss!
- Honey Vinaigrette – This salad dressing is the perfect finisher to this salad, and compliments everything so well, with a burst of bright flavor.
- Pears – Be sure to use ripe, but not overripe pears. If they have a bit of give at the top, near the stem, they’re good. Don’t choose pears that feel mushy.
- Pomegranates – You can use whole pomegranates (check out this video for how to open and remove the fruit) or buy a container of just the arils.
- Honey – You can use honey or an equal amount of maple syrup in the dressing.
- Greens – Use any leafy greens you like! Try baby spinach, or massaged kale for a kale salad. I like using a mix of baby spinach and baby arugula.
- Vegan – Use your favorite vegan cheese in place of the regular feta, and use maple syrup instead of honey in the dressing.
- Nuts – Feel free to omit the nuts if needed, or try pecans in place of the walnuts!
- Citrus Fruit Salad – You could make this more of a citrus focused salad by including blood orange slices as well!
How to Make this Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Cut your Fruit. Slice your pears, segment your oranges, and get those pomegranate arils out (see the video I’ve linked above for help).
Step 2: Make the Dressing. This dressing is made with simple ingredients like water, olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, and honey mustard. Tt produces a dressing that’s the perfect balance of tang and sweet. Shake it up in a jar and you’re in business!
Step 3: Assemble the Salad. Place your greens in the bottom of a large, shallow bowl, then add the fruits, nuts, and cheese on top. Pour on the dressing, and toss to combine! Tip: Serve the dressing separately, so guests can choose how much to add to their serving of salad.
This is truly the most delicious winter salad – and it’s a beautiful side dish to pass for any holiday meal! This colorful salad is fuss free, and one of our favorite way to enjoy winter citrus and absolutely deserves a spot on your holiday menu.
Expert Success Tips:
- Assembly Tips – Don’t put the dressing on the salad until you’re ready to serve it. You can prep your pomegranate a few days ahead, but I don’t recommend doing the pears or orange segments ahead of time as they will brown.
- Can I make this salad ahead? You can prep the salad a few hours ahead, but I wouldn’t do it the day before, as the pears will brown. You can also make the dressing up to 4 days ahead and store in a jar in the fridge. Same with prepping the pomegranate arils.
- Is this salad good at room temperature? I recommend serving this salad nice and cold!
- Toasted Nuts – Toasting your walnuts or pecans is a great way to add some extra nutty flavor. Or, try salted pumpkin seeds for a little crunch if you want to keep this nut free.
- Other Fruits – Dried cranberries or cherries would be delicious in this salad as well!
- Customize it – Like apples instead of pears? Swap ’em! Don’t love feta? Try creamy goat cheese. Love pine nuts? Use them! You can customize the template of this gorgeous salad to your heart’s content!
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
This salad is best assembled and served fresh, so the fruit and greens don’t brown or wilt. Store leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for a few days.
Favorite Winter Salad Recipes:
More Holiday Sides to Love:
- Baked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Maple Roasted Brussels & Butternut Squash with Bacon
- Sweet Potatoes Casserole with Pecan Streusel
- Cheddar & Gruyere Drop Biscuits
- Stovetop White Cheddar Mac & Cheese
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
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Winter Salad with Pomegranate and Pears
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 pomegranate, seeded
- 2 medium ripe pears, sliced Bartlett and Anjou work well!
- 3 small mandarin oranges, peeled often called “cuties” in grocery stores
- 1/2 cup walnuts whole or chopped
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
For the Dressing:
- 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar or 1-2 tsp lemon juice, if you don't have ACV
- 1.5 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP honey
- 1 TBSP water
- 1 tsp honey mustard or dijon, if you prefer it
- Make the dressing: Shake all dressing ingredients in jar with the lid tightly secured, or whisk together in a small bowl, until well combined.
- Assemble: Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the dressing just before serving. You can always double the dressing, if you really like dressing!
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