21 Healthy winter salads that satisfy like comfort food

Mar 4, 2015 at 3:20 p.m. ET

When someone mentions comfort food, steaming hot bowls of soup or heavy winter stews often come to mind. Casseroles and carb-heavy foods like mac and cheese are probably a close second, and anything you can cook in a slow cooker makes the list. But salad isn't often considered comfort food material.

Well, don't dismiss the comfort of a great salad so quickly. A big dinner-size salad packed with winter fruits and veggies and other delicious toppings can help fuel you through chilly, snowy days. Better yet, they do so without making you feel sluggish and weighed down. Here are 21 delicious winter dinner salads to start the salad-as-comfort-food revolution.

1. Cauliflower kale salad with pomegranate, dried apricots and pumpkin seeds

Image: Spoonful of Flavor

Pack your dinner salad with super foods and antioxidants, like this yummy cauliflower kale salad does.

2. Warm steak salad with mushroom browned butter

Image: All Day I Dream About Food

Leftover meat or poultry can turn your salad into a hearty meal, and warm toppings and dressings make it perfect for winter. Try this low-carb warm steak salad.

3. Shaved Brussels sprouts, spinach and pecan salad with bourbon balsamic dressing

Image: Sugar-Free Mom

Brussels sprouts are all the rage these days. Why not turn them into a hearty salad like this one that's topped with bourbon balsamic dressing?

4. Reuben chopped salad with Russian dressing

Image: Peace, Love and Low Carb

This Reuben salad is a great low-carb way to get the flavors of the classic sandwich without the heavy breads.

5. Kale and apple salad with bacon vinaigrette

Image: Girl Carnivore

Did somebody say bacon? It always takes salad to another level, and this kale and apple salad is sure to please.

6. Thai curry chicken salad

Image: Eating Bird Food

Don't give in to the Thai food takeout temptation. Get all the same great flavors of your favorite dish in this Thai curry salad.

7. Sweet and tangy broccoli salad

Image: Cut The Wheat

Salads don't have to contain the leafy green stuff. Broccoli takes the starring role in this low-carb sweet and tangy salad.

8. Apple walnut cranberry salad

Image: Flavor Mosaic

Apples and walnuts and cranberries, oh my! This apple walnut cranberry salad is packed with good stuff.

9. Maple glazed salmon salad

Image: All Day I Dream About Food

All the heart-healthy good stuff in one low-carb package. With spinach, red peppers, walnuts and salmon, this salad is a keeper.

10. Sweet potato salad with hatch chilies and bacon

Image: The Tomato Tart

Fuel up and warm up with this spicy sweet potato salad.

11. Winter fruit and shrimp salad

Image: Krafted Koch

Make the most of winter citrus season with a lovely winter fruit and shrimp salad.

12. Chopped Mexican kale salad

Image: Lauren Kelly Nutrition

Craving Mexican food on a cold day? Make it healthy and filling with this chopped Mexican kale salad.

13. Bella and brie steakhouse salad

Image: Cupcakes & Kale Chips

Get all the flavors of your favorite steakhouse restaurant meal in this steak salad recipe.

14. Buffalo chicken burger salad

Image: Jeanette's Healthy Living

Spicy Buffalo Chicken gets a healthy makeover when turned into patties and served over greens. Try this recipe for buffalo chicken burger salad.

15. Chili chicken kale salad with cinnamon Dijon vinaigrette

Image: The Roasted Root

Chili, cinnamon and other exotic spices help make a chicken salad into a warming winter meal. This chili chicken kale salad is exactly that.

16. Roasted Romanesco, leek and Brussels sprouts salad

Image: With Food And Love

Roasting can bring out the best in winter cruciferous vegetables. This roasted Romanesco salad makes a filling low-carb vegetarian meal.

17. Chopped antipasto salad

Image: Taste, Love & Nourish

Chopped salads are always a hit and this chopped antipasto salad packs in the flavor with salami, ham and provolone.

18. Crispy roasted Brussels sprouts, beets and bacon salad

Image: Nutmeg Nanny

Love beets? Get your fill of them this winter with crispy roasted Brussels sprouts, beets and bacon salad.

19. Bacon cheeseburger salad

Image: Buns In My Oven

Going low carb never looked so tasty. Stay warm this winter with this bacon cheeseburger salad.

20. Kale salmon salad

Image: Food Faith Fitness

Pair winter fruits like oranges and pomegranates with salmon for a bright and healthy meal.

21. Endive, avocado and bacon salad with Chipotle ranch dressing

Image: All Day I Dream About Food

Endive makes a great crunchier alternative to lettuce and chipotle adds a spicy kick to ranch dressing. Warm up with low carb endive, avocado and bacon salad.

Image: All Day I Dream About Food

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