The Best Winter Salad (EASY!)

This is the best winter salad and everyone will be begging you for the recipe. It is going to be your new favorite healthy dish this winter! This hearty salad leaves you feeling full, while also giving your body nutrients and letting you feel like your best healthiest self!

This salad is vegan, dairy free, and gluten free and sure to be on repeat for your next meals.

the best winter salad

Notes on ingredients

Please take note that this is important information about the ingredients used in this recipe and the FULL recipe with measurements and details can be found DOWN BELOW (scroll to it) in the recipe card.

butternut squash: amazing for gut health and filled with fiber and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

wild rice: tends to be higher in protein than other rice and is great for bone health and protects against disease. If you do not have wild rice, you can use brown rice or any other type of grain.

kale: an amazing source of vitamin C. The kale is perfect for this salad because it keeps the salad from becoming soggy in the fridge if you have leftovers.

pistachios: adds a delicious crunch and protein.

vegan feta: adds saltiness + creaminess.

pickled red onions: beautiful and bright and adds a burst of flavor.

Dressing Ingredients:

olive oil

apple cider vinegar


maple syrup

lemon juice


salt/pepper/garlic powder

winter salad ingredients

How do you make Winter Wild Rice Salad?

Dice and bake the butternut squash.

Cook the wild rice.

Cut the kale, crumble the feta, and pickle the onions.

Make the dressing.

Add all of the ingredients to a life changing salad bowl.

Pour in the dressing and mix with salad tosser hands.

Commonly asked questions

  1. What type of kale should I use? Really any type of kale will work for this salad. You want a green that won’t get soggy once the dressing is poured on.
  2. What if I can’t find a butternut squash? You can use a different type of squash, or even a diced up and roasted sweet potato.
  3. Can I use a different type of rice? Yes! Any type of grain will work with this salad.
  4. What if I have a nut allergy? If you can not have nuts, you can substitute it for sunflower seeds or any type of seed to add in that crunch.

Extra helpful tips

  • Roast the butternut squash and rice first so you can prepare the other ingredients and the dressing while it is cooking.
  • Pickling the onions gives the salad extra flavor. This can be done ahead of time. Make a big mason jar of them to keep in your fridge!
  • When cutting the kale, first rip it off the stem to avoid having hard bites of the stem.
the best winter salad

More easy vegan salad recipes

Vegan Caesar Pasta Salad

Adzuki Farro Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

the best winter salad

How to store

This salad can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3-4 days. Note that using kale will help the salad last longer and not get soggy as quickly. This is truly the best winter salad!

the best winter salad

Winter Wild Rice Salad

This Winter Wild Rice Salad is going to be your new favorite healthy dish this winter!
serving 4
prep time 20 minutes
cook time 30 minutes
total time 50 minutes

the ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice make according to bag instructions
  • 1 head curly kale chopped
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup vegan feta
  • 1/2 cup red onions (let them soak for 5 minutes in a little apple cider vinegar)

Butternut Squash

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash cubed and roasted (about 2 cups cooked)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • pinch of salt + pepper + garlic powder


  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Dice the butternut squash and add to a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes until golden brown and tender.
  • Cook the wild rice in a pot according to bag instructions.
  • Quickly pickle some red onion by slicing it and adding it into a small bowl covered in apple cider vinegar. Let them sit for 5 minutes.
  • Cut up the kale, crumble the feta.
  • Make the dressing by adding all ingredients to a bowl or mason jar and mixing.
  • Add the squash, wild rice, kale, feta, onions and pistachios to a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and toss.
  • Enjoy!

Danielle Brown

Hi! I’m Danielle Brown, the face behind HealthyGirl Kitchen! I share easy, approachable plant-based recipes that are not only healthy but taste amazing. Follow me on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook for free vegan meal ideas, recipes and healthygirl tips.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion? Feel free to contribute!
Recipe Rating

join the conversation

  1. kelly says:

    another hit, Danielle! thank you for this tasty recipe!5 stars

  2. Marie says:

    This was sooooo good! I used Follow Your Heart vegan feta cheese, and it was incredible!5 stars