Winter Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

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This Winter Salad is nourishing and delicious, with a wonderful earthy sweetness that comes from melding shredded kale with chunks of velvety roasted beets and creamy sweet potatoes.

Crumbled goat cheese (or feta cheese if you prefer) and pecans lend this recipe a touch of richness, texture and nutty flavors.

Winter salad with dressing being poured on

What is Winter Salad?

Winter salad is a wonderland of color and taste, combining full-flavored fall and winter veggies, fruits and fresh greens that are especially abundant around the holidays. It’s a nutrition powerhouse too, which is another reason to make this often during the cold and flu season.

Don’t feel limited by this recipe either – just like with a tossed salad, almost anything goes! Here are some other options to add in or substitute according to your preference:

  • Greens I use kale in this salad as it holds up well to the other ingredients. You can swap out any greens you’d like but I prefer to choose something with a robust flavor (like arugula).
  • Vegetables Any roasted root vegetable is great in this recipe. Turnips, Rutabagas, Brussel Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Acorn Squash
  • Nuts Walnuts, Slivered Almonds, Pinenuts
  • Cheese Farmers cheese, feta cheese, blue cheese

Baked pecans on a baking sheet and kale on a plate

How to Make Winter Salad

Start by roasting the beets and sweet potato. Just like in our favorite kale salad, the kale is massaged before making this salad. I know this sounds weird but it only takes a few minutes and makes a big difference.

1. Roast & Cool the Veggies

This can be done days ahead of time and it’s a great way to use up leftover roasted veggies from carrots to sweet potatoes.

2. Massage the Kale

Massaging the kale will soften it, tenderize it and change the flavor.

  • Wash and dry kale
  • Remove the ribs/stem from each leaf
  • Massaging the leaves with your hands until they darken in color and tenderize

Winter salad on a plate with dressing on the side

3. Combine and Enjoy

Tangy and bright, with a hint of sweetness, this tasty winter salad dressing recipe is the best way to enhance this dish. For the Salad Dressing, place all the ingredients in a jar and shake well. I double (or triple) the dressing to enjoy throughout the week and store it in a mason jar with a salad dressing lid.

Here too, you can get creative! Include a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice or a tablespoon of orange juice for a pop of citrus. You can also substitute brown sugar if you don’t have any maple syrup.

Toss with winter salad dressing and chill or serve room temperature.


Here’s another reason to love winter salad, the kale will keep in the fridge several days without getting soggy (if using kale), even after being tossed in a yummy dressing.

Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to four days. Make this nutritious salad a part of your cold season diet for good health and good eating all winter long!

More Amazing Salads

Winter salad on a serving plate with dressing on the side
5 from 3 votes
Review Recipe

Winter Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
A nourishing and delicious, with a wonderful earthy sweetness that comes from melding shredded kale with earthy winter vegetables.


  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and diced
  • 2 beets quartered
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • ½ cup pecans toasted
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 8 cups kale
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon each salt & pepper
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

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  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Toss sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place on baking sheet. Toss beets with remaining olive oil and place on pan.
  • Season sweet potatoes and beets with salt and pepper. Roast 35-40 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and cool. Rub the skin of the beets to remove.
  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well.
  • Add salad ingredients to a large bowl, including cooled beets and sweet potatoes. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 423, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 389mg, Potassium: 703mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 12203IU, Vitamin C: 110mg, Calcium: 191mg, Iron: 2mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword winter salad
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Winter salad in a bowl with dressing and the title
Pecans on a sheet pan and winter salad in a bowl with writing
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

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Recipe Rating


  1. My family loved this. I did not have pomegranates so used Saskatoons. Amazing flavors and textures. A keeper recipe!5 stars