Christmas Salad (Pomegranate and Oranges on Arugula and Radicchio)
Elevate your holiday feast with a Christmas Salad with crisp greens, juicy oranges, pom seeds, cheese and nuts. The zesty homemade orange dressing is what sets this one apart!
The perfect salad for Christmas Dinner
No matter what your entree is for Christmas dinner, I’m willing to be that this Christmas Salad will go with it.
It’s a combination of peppery arugula and crisp radicchio, topped with juicy oranges, creamy goat cheese, cinnamon roasted almonds and beautiful pomegranate seeds.
But the thing that sets this salad apart is the zesty orange dressing. It’s creamy but not too creamy, filled with the flavor of fresh orange juice, sweetened with a bit of honey, and made a bit tangy by white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard.
Why you will love this Salad for Christmas
- You can arrange it like a holiday wreath on a round platter with a bowl of dressing in the middle for a stunning presentation!
- It’s versatile and customizable. You can play around with the greens, cheese and nuts, based on what you like and what you have on hand.
- This salad, with its zesty orange dressing and peppery greens, is a nice counterpoint to rich, creamy casseroles and heavy meat dishes that usually dominate the holiday table.
Christmas Salad Recipe Ingredients
- baby arugula – Peppery arugula is my very favorite pairing for creamy goat cheese. One of those plastic boxes at the grocery store is perfect.
- radicchio – like arugula, radicchio has a peppery, mildly spicy bite to it, making it a perfect pairing for sweet oranges. You’ll need half a head of radicchio for this salad for Christmas dinner.
- oranges – Classic navel oranges, cut into segments. If you don’t have time to segment oranges, grab a can of mandarin oranges, drain them and pat them dry for this Christmas salad recipe.
- goat cheese – I use one (4 ounce) container of crumbled goat cheese. Just open the package and sprinkle it on.
- almonds – Cinnamon roasted almonds just SCREAM Christmas, don’t you think? If you don’t have access to those or don’t prefer them, plain sliced almonds are a good substitute in this Christmas green salad. You could also use candied or cinnamon roasted pecans or walnuts.
- pomegranate seeds – Like for my Christmas fruit salad, I buy the little container of just seeds (arils) at the store, rather than buying the whole fruit and struggling with unleashing the seeds. SO EASY.
Christmas Green Salad variations
- CHANGE THE DRESSING – my tahini dressing and citrus salad dressing are also perfect for this salad.
- SWAP THE GREENS – You can use spinach or butter lettuce in place of arugula if you don’t prefer it.
- SWITCH THE CHEESE – Not a fan of goat cheese? How about crumbled feta or blue cheese?
How to make Christmas Salad
1. DRESSING. Make the dressing by simply whisking together all of the ingredients – mayonnaise, oil, orange juice, honey, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper – until smooth.
2. TOSS. In a large bowl, toss the radicchio and arugula together.
3. ARRANGE. Arrange the arugula mixture on a large circular platter with a small bowl in the middle (for the dressing), if you want to make your salad resemble a holiday wreath. If not, any platter will work!
4. TOP. Arrange the oranges, cheese, almonds and pomegranate seeds over the greens.
5. POUR. Pour the dressing into the bowl in the center of the salad, and serve right away.
Home Chef Tips for making a Christmas Green Salad
- When you get to the part where you are cutting the orange segments out of their peel, be sure you do this over a bowl, so that the juice drips into the bowl and you can save it for the dressing!
- Taste the dressing before serving and make sure it’s to your liking. Adjust the flavor with additional honey, salt and/or pepper if needed.
- Love citrus flavor? Before segmenting the oranges, zest one of them, and then sprinkle the zest over the finished salad for an extra burst of citrus flavor and aroma.
How to serve Salad for Christmas Dinner (made in advance)
I’m a BIG fan of prepping for Christmas dinner in advance, so there’s less to do the day of, and this Christmas salad recipe is no exception. Here’s how I do it:
- The dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
- If you’re using a fresh pomegranate, the arils can be taken out of it in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days (but personally, I usually just buy the little cups of pomegranate seeds, becase it’s so much easier).
- The cinnamon roasted almonds can be chopped 2 days in advance and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Try not to eat them all!
- The oranges can be segmented 1 day in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
- The radicchio can be sliced 1 day in advance and kept in a zip top bag in the fridge.
On the day of the big feast, simply assemble all of your ready-to-go ingredients for this Christmas green salad and serve!
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For the Orange Dressing:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Salad:
- 1/2 head radicchio, thinly sliced
- 1 box (5 ounces) baby arugula
- 2 navel oranges, peeled and segmented
- 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese or feta
- 1/2 cup cinnamon roasted almonds, roughly chopped, or sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- Make the Orange Dressing: Add mayonnaise, oil, orange juice, honey, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper to medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Make the Salad: In large bowl, toss radicchio and arugula until well combined.
- Arrange arugula mixture on large circular platter with a small bowl in the middle reserved for dressing.
- Top salad with oranges, cheese, almonds and pomegranate seeds.
- Pour dressing into bowl in center of salad and serve immediately.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 298Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 352mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 7g