Dreary winter weather might give you the blues, but this fresh winter salad with pomegranate and goat cheese will help brighten your day. Seasonal ingredients like fresh pomegranate arils, crunchy pistachios, and creamy goat cheese are perfect for a holiday party or a winter weekday.
Why I Love This Festive Salad
This meal comes together in about 10 minutes with zero cooking… but looks pretty darn fancy.
Chickpeas make this meal vegetarian, but they also make it quick to make. Just drain and rinse ’em – no cooking required. This salad would also be delicious with another protein like chicken, but it would require a bit more prep time.
Pomegranate makes this salad oh so juicy and beautiful – they’re just like little jewels! You can use virtually any type of leafy greens in this salad, but I love mixed greens because they add a pop of color. I chose pistachios because of their beautiful green color and because they remind me of winter parties with my family. We always have them out as a snack during Christmastime. These festive and colorful seasonal ingredients make this a perfect Christmas salad recipe.
To balance out the sweetness from the pomegranate and champagne vinaigrette, I added a bit of fat with goat cheese and pistachios.
How to Make This Easy Salad with Pomegranate and Goat Cheese
1. Combine ingredients
Add salad greens, chickpeas, pomegranate arils, pistachios, and goat cheese to a large bowl. Be sure to reserve some of the pomegranate arils, pistachios, and goat cheese to top each serving.
2. Toss with dressing
Drizzle the salad dressing into the large bowl, add some freshly cracked black pepper, and gently toss to coat.
If you plan on eating leftovers, skip this step, and dress each serving individually.
3. Top and serve
Dish up your salad and add some of the reserved toppings to each serving. Yep – that’s it!
- Make it nut-free – Omit the pistachios or substitute in sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
- Use a different type of nut – Almonds, walnuts, and pecans would be lovely.
- Make it without goat cheese – If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, any crumbly cheese like feta, bleu, or gorgonzola will work.
- Add chicken – If you’d like to add meat, roasted or grilled chicken would work best.
- Make it dairy-free – Omit the goat cheese or substitute with vegan feta cheese.
- Use a different dressing – If you can’t find the champagne vinaigrette I used, no biggie! Any slightly sweet and tangy dressing (balsamic vinaigrette, apple cider vinaigrette, honey mustard, poppyseed, etc.) would taste great.
- Make it vegan – Use a vegan champagne vinaigrette (the one I used contains honey) and omit the goat cheese. You can also substitute with vegan feta cheese.
Winter Salad with Pomegranate and Goat Cheese
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- ¾ cup goat cheese crumbled
- ¾ cup shelled pistachios unsalted
- 4 tbsp champagne vinaigrette
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Combine all ingredients except for dressing in a large mixing bowl. Reserve some pomegranate arils, goat cheese, and pistachios for garnishing.
- Add dressing and black pepper to the mixing bowl and toss to coat.
- Serve and top with garnishes as desired.
- Please note that nutrition facts are an estimate and can vary widely based on amounts and specific types used.
- If you plan on eating any of the 6 servings as leftovers, add dressing to each individual serving instead of all at once during step 2. This will help your recipe keep longer and prevent it from getting soggy!
Originally posted on 2/3/19, updated on 11/22/20
Looking for more festive recipes for the holidays? Here you go!