Go green and lectin-free this winter with 6 hearty winter salad ideas: Shrimp & Escarole, Steak & Spinach, Roasted Cobb, Meatball & Bok Choy, Orange & Salmon, Kale & Serrano Ham, all with delicious dressings.

6 Hearty Salads for Cold Weather

January 7, 2018lectinfreemama

When I think of winter food, I think of stews, soups, meatloaf, and rich casseroles. I definitely don’t think of salad. Salads are for spring and summer, when we can munch on greens like rabbits and sip green smoothies outdoors!

Allow me to change your mind. I was inspired by an earlier recipe I did for Sweet Potato, Prosciutto, and Arugula salad that was a huge hit with salad-haters. The reason people love it is because it’s hearty, filling, and rich–everything that doesn’t come to mind when you think about a light, green salad.

Here are 6 ideas for a hearty winter salad that is sure to please all the seasonal rich-food lovers.

Go green and lectin free this winter with a tasty garlicky shrimp and escarole salad with radishes and a caper-herb dressing.

This is the “lightest” of the hearty salads, so we’ll start here, in case you’re still recovering from holiday bloat. This shrimp and escarole salad has radishes, red onions, and a garlicky caper-herb vinaigrette.


Toss together:

  • 1 pound cooked shrimp (tail-on)
  • 1 head escarole, leaves torn
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch radishes, quartered


Whisk together:

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Get five free recipes a week

–> Sign up HERE!



Go green and lectin free this winter with a hearty steak and spinach salad with shirataki rice and real Feta cheese.

For my grass-fed steak lovers, this salad is a delicious take on the traditional “meat & potato” winter fare. Steak cooked to perfection is paired with spinach, shirataki rice, pine nuts, and a yogurt-based dressing.


Toss together:

  • 1 pound cooked, sliced grass-fed steak (4 minutes each side, for medium-rare)
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1 cup shirataki rice (drained & rinsed)


Whisk together:

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup whole goat/sheep milk yogurt
  • salt & pepper


Go green and lectin free this winter with a roasted cobb salad. Roasted romaine is paired with traditional chicken, hard-boiled eggs, avocados, and an adobo dressing.

I bet you’ve had Cobb salad, but have you ever tried roasting Romaine lettuce? Roasted Romaine, plus chili seasonings, and a flavorful adobo cream dressing make for a zesty spin on a traditional summer Cobb salad.


Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F. Brush 2 pastured chicken breast halves (boneless, skinless) and 3 large hearts of romaine (halved lengthwise) with olive oil. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bake chicken alone on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes. Arrange the romaine, cut side down, around the chicken and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the lettuce is browned at the edges and the chicken is cooked through.


Serve each component in heaping mounds on a serving platter:

  • cooked, diced chicken
  • roasted romaine hearts, chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 large, ripe avocados, sliced
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled


Whisk together:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


Go green and lectin-free this winter with a meatball and bok choy salad with red pepper vinaigrette. Pork meatballs, bok choy, mushrooms, scallions, and fresh cilantro with a spicy vinaigrette of fish sauce, lime juice, and red pepper.

This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy for more info.

Salad with meatballs? YES. This one is so delicious, you can hardly call it salad (unless you love salad, in which case, this one is the best). Garlickly pork meatballs with crispy baby bok choy, sautéed shiitake mushrooms, scallions, cilantro, salted macadamia nuts, and a sweet & spicy dressing with lime juice, coconut aminos, golden monk fruit, and red pepper.


Mix 1 pound pastured ground pork with 2 cloves chopped garlic, and a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper. Form mixture into 20 1-inch meatballs. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Remove to a plate, leaving the pan drippings behind. Add 2 cups of sliced shiitake mushrooms to the skillet, and sauté for about 3-5 minutes.


Toss together:

  • cooked meatballs
  • 6 heads baby bok choy, chopped (alternatively, serve each salad bowl an individual bok choy)
  • sautéed shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped salted macadamia nuts


Whisk together:


Get up to 50% off lectin-free groceries
Thrive Market

–> Get my complete lectin-free pantry checklist HERE!

Go green and lectin-free this winter with orange & salmon salad with spinach, fresh navel oranges, hazelnuts, feta cheese, and a Dijon vinaigrette.

Flaky, cooked-to-perfection wild salmon and fresh Navel oranges dress up this bed of spinach. Add garnishments like chopped hazelnuts, real Feta cheese, and a Dijon vinaigrette for a symphony of sweet-savory flavor.


Toss together:

  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 pound broiled or canned wild salmon, flaked
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 2 ounces real Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped


Whisk together:

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste


Go green and lectin-free this winter with a kale and serrano ham salad with pine nuts, parmesan, and a lemon oil dressing.

Bite into a crispy kale salad with serrano ham, pine nuts, onions, parmesan cheese, and lemon oil dressing. Make an optional tahini sauce to dress.


Toss together:

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, torn
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces serrano ham, diced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 ounces parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated


Whisk together:

  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste


Stir together:

  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (stirred)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Noelle Hartt | Freelance Copywriter and Blogger

    January 11, 2018 at 1:15 am

    I love the idea of making a salad with shrimp or steak. Great way to mix things up!

  • Diana Schultz

    January 13, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    The Orange and Salmon salad is delicious! A very special cook made it for me. I’m going to try the Cobb Salad soon.

    1. Autumn.m.boyle@gmail.com

      January 15, 2018 at 1:04 am

      It was delicious!

Comments are closed.

Previous Post Next Post