We often opt for salads because they're loaded with nutrients. But they can get a little ho-hum with the same old veggies and toppings, and the last thing you want to eat when it's chilly is something cold. An easy way to make a fresh, crisp salad more interesting is to add a little heat (as in temperature)!
With that in mind, we rounded up the best warm salad recipes we could find that will help you vary the nutrients in your diet and change up your routine to include a variety of flavors and textures. Every colorful salad on this list is served warm or topped with a freshly-cooked ingredient. And whether you prefer it as a side or as your main entree, there's a warm salad option here for everyone.
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1. Asian-Inspired Chicken Stir-Fry Salad
You don't have to decide between a stir-fry and a salad. You can have them both at once in this Asian-inspired warm salad recipe!
You'll quickly stir-fry chicken with bell pepper and onion and add it to a coleslaw mix. Finally, sprinkle with a sesame-lime vinaigrette, peanuts and cilantro. No rice is required, making this a great low-carb meal option.
And because this slaw bursts with cabbage, it contains loads of vitamins K, C and B6.
Get the Asian-Inspired Chicken Stir-Fry Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Vegan Taco Salad With Skillet Beans
Think of this fun salad as deconstructed vegetarian tacos. All you'll do is heat up black beans with pico de gallo in a skillet, toss the warm bean mixture with lettuce, blue corn tortilla chips and cilantro and then sprinkle generously with avocado.
It's one of those salads that you'll make again and again because it's both scrumptious and super fast to prepare. As a bonus, every single ingredient is full of digestion-promoting fiber.
Get the Vegan Taco Salad With Skillet Beans recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Roasted Red Cabbage Salad With Pomegranate
When lightly roasted, red cabbage softens just slightly and releases a subtle sweetness while still retaining most of its crunch. The vinegar lends the right amount of tang, and the pomegranate arils bring the perfect pop of brightness.
This warm salad is wonderful to make in large batches, and it keeps well in the refrigerator all week long. When you're ready to eat, warm some in a skillet for a few minutes before serving.
Get the Roasted Red Cabbage Salad With Pomegranate recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Sizzling Steakhouse Salad
A well-presented four-ounce serving of steak can be truly satisfying, especially when you slice it and serve it as the star ingredient atop a beautiful salad. And it's dressed up even more with sprinkles of Gorgonzola cheese and black pepper.
To make this salad better yet, go with grass-fed beef. It'll have more heart-friendly omega-3s and vitamin E than its conventionally raised counterpart.
Get the Sizzling Steakhouse Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Stacked Beet Salad With Feta and Blood Orange Dressing
Root vegetables, particularly beets, are great because they're typically available year-round. Both red and golden beets are full of phytonutrients and so much beauty that it's hard not to love them.
This warm salad pairs both varieties of beets with a zesty orange dressing and salty feta cheese for a flavor combination you won't soon forget.
Get the Stacked Beet Salad With Feta and Blood Orange Dressing recipe and nutrition info here.
6. Warm Italian Pasta Salad With Charred Broccoli and Bell Pepper
Pasta salad is typically served chilled, but not in this recipe. All you'll need is a grill or grill pan.
There's no rinsing of cooked pasta here: You'll simply toss freshly cooked whole-grain fusilli with red wine vinaigrette, onions, broccoli, red bell pepper and pepperoncini.
For a bit of smokiness, you'll char the broccoli and bell pepper before adding them in. And don't forget to finish with fresh basil — it'll add sweet herbal notes to this warm vegan pasta salad.
Get the Warm Italian Pasta Salad With Charred Broccoli and Bell Pepper recipe and nutrition info here.
7. Ghee-Sauteed Mushroom and Grain Salad With Apricots
Mushrooms and ghee are a match made in food heaven. This warm salad pairs the two with a whole grain of your choice.
Topping this simple dish with chopped dried apricots adds a sunny finish and a yummy sweetness to the recipe.
Get the Ghee-Sauteed Mushroom and Grain Salad With Apricots recipe and nutrition info here.
8. Warm Lemony Bulgur Salad With Roasted Carrot Coins and Dill
This warm salad is full of nutritional goodness thanks to the carrot coins, which offer beta carotene, and bulgur, which gives you fiber.
Fortunately, there's more than just good nutrition here — it's a bowlful of deliciousness. The carrots are caramelized to bring out their full flavors. It's also seasoned perfectly and includes fresh dill, scallions and lemon juice.
And don't worry about spending an hour prepping this salad. Unlike most whole grains, bulgur wheat is already steamed, crushed and dried. So it essentially just needs to be rehydrated. That can be done in 20 minutes or less!
Get the Warm Lemony Bulgur Salad With Roasted Carrot Coins and Dill recipe and nutrition info here.
9. Winter Panzanella Breakfast Salad
Panzanella salads are having a moment right now, and for good reason. There's nothing better than beautiful vegetables tossed with the right amount of dressing and greens and toasty bread — except if it has an egg on it, like this one does!
And while we call it a breakfast salad, you can enjoy this recipe any time of day.
Get the Winter Panzanella Breakfast Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
10. Sauteed Citrus Salad
Salads don't need to be based exclusively on leafy greens. In fact, they can be about practically any food you want. For this recipe, oranges play the key role in this side salad that does "double duty" as a dessert salad.
To make it special, you'll saute vitamin C-rich orange slices in olive oil until delightfully caramelized. The finished salad is sprinkled with Champagne vinegar, goat cheese, fresh pomegranate arils, mint leaves and black pepper.
The pomegranate arils give it that extra something special by offering a brilliant pop of color and hint of tanginess. Pomegranate arils are also low in calories and high in fiber.
Get the Sauteed Citrus Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
11. Zesty White Bean and Arugula Salad
Pulses like beans, lentils and legumes are getting their well-earned 15 minutes of fame in the nutrition world. They're full of fiber and plant-based protein.
This warm bean salad is perfectly seasoned with a burst of citrus flavor and finished with a fresh, peppery bite of arugula.
Get the Zesty White Bean and Arugula Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
12. Organic Ham and Egg Breakfast Bistro Salad
Yes — you absolutely can (and should!) eat salad for breakfast. This ham and egg bistro salad is a deliciously nutritious way to start your day. But don't just serve this in the morning; serve it anytime as an all-day breakfast entree.
You'll get high-quality protein from the egg and organic ham. If you prefer to go meat-free, swap the ham for naturally smoked mozzarella cheese. Pair it with seasonal fruit and a whole-grain roll to make it a satisfying meal.
Get the Organic Ham and Egg Breakfast Bistro Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
13. Roasted Potato Salad With Kale and Grainy Mustard
There aren't many things more comforting than roasted potatoes, and with all that vitamin C, they're a great addition to your diet during those chilly days.
Combine that with hearty greens and a grainy mustard dressing, and you've entered a warm-potato-salad utopia.
Get the Roasted Potato Salad With Kale and Grainy Mustard recipe and nutrition info here.
14. Roasted Red Grapes and Blue Cheese Salad
Grapes are one of those fruits that are perfect just as they are. But they're also rather magical when they're roasted for about 15 minutes.
So add a little abracadabra to your next meal by serving this sweet-and-savory arugula salad that's topped with roasted seedless grapes, crumbled blue cheese and toasted pine nuts.
Not only will this salad steal the spotlight, but it'll also win over your heart — literally! Grapes contain polyphenols that are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Get the Roasted Red Grapes and Blue Cheese Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
15. Sweet and Spicy Carrot and Lentil Salad
A little bit of sweet is balanced out with a little bit of spice in this hearty, warm carrot and lentil salad. It's loaded with plant-based protein and fiber to keep you full for hours. It's the perfect meal for weekday lunches, or you can serve it as a side for dinner.
Get the Sweet and Spicy Carrot and Lentil Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
16. Brassica and Leek Salad With Green Goddess Vinaigrette
Romanesco broccoli and Brussels sprouts are some of the best brassicas (that's the name of their plant family), and in this warm salad recipe, they're paired with leeks and tossed in a zesty green goddess vinaigrette. Savory, umami magic.
If you can't get your hands on Romanesco broccoli, cauliflower is a perfect substitution.
Get the Brassica and Leek Salad With Green Goddess Vinaigrette recipe and nutrition info here.
17. Cherry Tomato and Spinach Salad Saute
If you're prepping dinner or lunch for one, here's a quick and simple warm salad recipe just for you.
To make this one really pop, use a colorful mix of cherry or grape tomatoes. Saute them with a sliced garlic clove just until heated through and toss them with balsamic vinegar, fresh baby spinach, sea salt and crushed red pepper flakes for a delicious, savory-yet-sweet salad with a bit of a kick.
You won't actually cook the spinach; it'll just be warmed and delicately wilted. Interestingly, you'll be able to better absorb the non-heme iron in spinach by enjoying the vitamin C-rich tomatoes along with it!
Get the Cherry Tomato and Spinach Salad Saute recipe and nutrition info here.
18. Wilted Kale Salad With Roasted Squash and Maple Dijon Dressing
Gently roasted kale is wilted down and topped with a combination of hearty roasted squash, bright, sweet pomegranate seeds, crunchy pumpkin seeds and a drizzling of sweet-and-savory maple Dijon dressing. You'll get plenty of fiber and micronutrients from the veggies, while the pumpkin seeds offer a dose of healthy fats.
Get the Wilted Kale Salad With Roasted Squash and Maple Dijon Dressing recipe and nutrition info here.
19. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
This festive salad adds cheer to any drab winter day. It's full of colors, textures and good-for-you vegetables. You'll find a blend of sweet, savory, nutty, spicy and even tangy notes that all complement each other.
And while it boasts complex flavors, this vegan salad recipe is actually simple to make. You'll roast diced butternut squash and serve it on dressed arugula with pistachios and dried cranberries. Pure maple syrup in the vinaigrette creates an almost candy-like accent. Yum!
Get the Roasted Butternut Squash Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
20. Herby Tangled Carrot Salad With Tahini Vinaigrette
This warm carrot salad is rich in beta carotene, fiber and vitamins A, C and K. And the vibrant colors will brighten up even the gloomiest of days. The tahini vinaigrette is nutty and zesty and complements the earthiness of the orange root vegetable.
Get the Herby Tangled Carrot Salad With Tahini Vinaigrette recipe and nutrition info here.