Eating a healthy salad doesn’t have to be boring! This vibrant fresh vegetable salad with poppy seed dressing is a great way to get your daily dose of colorful raw vegetables. Serve as a flavor-packed side dish or a hearty meal all on its own.
This Easy Vegetable Salad Recipe is:
Loaded with fiber
Packed with vitamins and minerals
A showstopper at dinner parties
Ingredients for the Best Vegetable Salad
This hearty vegetable salad recipe combines crunch, punch, and delicate creamy goodness to round it out. Here’s what’s included.
For the Fresh Vegetable Salad
- Kale: I like to use green curly kale and slice it into thin shreds to soften its texture without massaging it. Brussels sprouts will be the perfect addition if you’re not a kale fan.
- Carrot, Purple Cabbage, and Radishes: Julienned, shredded, and sliced, respectively, for a perfect crunch in every bite. The best part about this salad is that you can sub any of your favorite vegetables with a crunch. Red bell pepper, green pepper, English cucumber, green beans, or a little red onion would work well.
- Roasted Squash: One portion of my Roasted Butternut Squash provides a soft, sweet, buttery texture. A good alternative here is roasted sweet potato.
- Pomegranate Seeds: To add a juicy ruby bite. My husband can’t deal with pomegranate seeds. If that’s you, deseeded fresh tomatoes are an excellent juicy alternative. Something like cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes would be great.
- Parsley: Fresh herbs provide an earthy freshness.
- Pecans: I love to add a nutty crunch to a salad, and pecans are excellent here. They pair perfectly with the buttery, caramelized roasted squash.
- Feta Cheese: The creamy, tangy feta cuts through the sweetness of the butternut squash, pomegranate seeds, and date syrup. Goat cheese and blue cheese make good subs here. Or you could use vegan feta or avocado for a vegan option.
For the Poppy Seed Dressing
Poppy Seed Dressing: This flavorful dressing packs a tangy punch, bringing all the elements of the salad together in one delicious bite! It has to be one of my new favorite salad dressings!
How to Make a Fresh Vegetable Salad ~ Step-By-Step
This easy salad is such a simple recipe to prepare. Here’s what you need to do.
- Prepare Salad
Put all the salad ingredients into a large bowl.
- Salad Dressing
Put the salad dressing ingredients into a jar with a lid, and shake vigorously until well combined. Or use a small bowl and a whisk.
- Pour Dressing
Pour dressing over the salad ingredients, reserving some for the end.
- Toss Salad
Toss the salad.
- Add Butternut Squash
Add the butternut squash and carefully toss to combine.
Serve your salad on a platter or individual bowls and top with pomegranate seeds and feta. Drizzle with extra dressing if desired.
Full recipe and ingredients list in the recipe card below.Jump to Recipe
Tips for Making a Perfect Vegetable Salad
Shred the kale.
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, but it’s easy to be put off by its tough, fibrous texture. You can easily overcome this by either massaging oil into the kale or, as in the case of this recipe, chopping it finely with a sharp knife. The kale will be easier to chew, resulting in a more tender salad.
Don’t add the dressing until it’s time to serve.
This salad contains mostly hardy ingredients that can hold up well smothered in homemade dressing. But if you’re preparing ahead, keep the dressing separate until you plan to eat the salad to prevent the veggies from getting soggy.
~ Culinary Medicine Scoop ~
What are the Potential Health Benefits of Kale?
1Kale May Help Lower Cholesterol
Kale contains substances that bind to bile acids and prevent them from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Because our body uses bile acids to digest fats, the liver has to take cholesterol from the blood to make more, which reduces the total amount of cholesterol in the body1.
2Kale May Lower Inflammation
Kale is a powerhouse of antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body, preventing oxidative stress and, ultimately, inflammation2.
3Butternut Squash May Play a Beneficial Role in Weight Loss and Obesity Prevention
Kale is a low-calorie cruciferous vegetable with a high nutrient density, making it an ideal ingredient to add to the diet to promote weight loss. It also contains a significant quantity of bulk in the form of fiber, which may help with satiety3.
More Vegetable Loaded Recipes
- Vegan Cauliflower Soup
- Tomato Salad with Basil Oil
- Pan-Fried Salmon Rainbow Salad with Roasted Garlic Tahini
- Butternut Squash Lentil Stew (Vegan)
- Curried Chickpea and Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- Slow Cooker Vegan Chilli
Vegetable Salad ~ Full Recipe
Fresh Vegetable Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
- 2 cups (135 g) chopped curly kale
- 1¼ cups (110 g) shredded red cabbage
- 1½ cups (165 g) julienned or grated carrots
- ⅔ cup (100 g) pecans unsalted, unsweetened
- ⅔ cup (95 g) sliced radishes
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 portion roasted butternut squash
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp date syrup
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 small shallot finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp sea salt flakes
- 30 g feta crumbled
- 4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- Prep: Gather and prepare your ingredients.
- Salad: Put all the salad ingredients into a large bowl.(kale, red cabbage, carrots, pecans, radishes, fresh parsley).
- Salad Dressing: Put the salad dressing ingredients into a jar with a lid, and shake vigorously until well combined.(extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, date syrup, poppy seeds, shallot, sea salt).
- Pour Dressing: Pour dressing over the salad ingredients, reserving some for the end. Toss the salad. Add the roasted butternut squash and carefully toss to combine.
- Add Toppings: Serve your salad on a platter or individual bowls and top with feta and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with extra dressing if desired.
Did you enjoy this vegetable salad? I’d love to know how it turned out. Get in touch via the comments section, and let me know!
Thanks for stopping by!