This Pomegranate Mandarin Salad with Avocado and Feta is a festive salad for a winter meal or holiday potluck! Serve it as a Christmas salad in a holiday wreath shape, just for fun.
Winter holidays always make me crave mandarin oranges. While I love eating them as a healthy snack, adding them to salads like this Pomegranate Mandarin Salad (or this Kiwi Mandarin Spinach Salad) perks up my daily dose of leafy greens as well.
This gorgeous orange and romaine salad is bursting with Vitamin C-rich fruit, crunchy pecans and creamy avocado. It's topped with crumbled feta or goat cheese.
Make it festive by serving it as a holiday wreath in a round serving dish, decked out with cheerful coloured fruits and nuts, tiny pomegranate jewels and sprinkled with a little feta "snow" on top.
Fresh, crisp and colourful! This is a 5-star Christmas salad!
❤️ 4 reasons to make this pomegranate mandarin salad soon!
There's no need to wait for a holiday dinner to make this beautiful winter salad with oranges. Enjoy it any day of the week!
- It tastes amazing. A romaine salad with oranges is always a popular choice!
- Every bite is fresh, juicy and nutritious.
- It looks beautiful on a holiday buffet table.
- It will brighten up any dull winter day!
Upcoming potluck or holiday dinner? Let's make this Holiday Wreath Salad! You'll find ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.
- romaine lettuce: I like the crispness of romaine or butter lettuce in this salad as it supports the other ingredients and prevents them from falling to the bottom of the bowl. You can also add in a few other mixed greens or even some massaged kale if you'd like, but I recommend starting with a bed of crisp greens.
- mandarin oranges: Or any of the sweet easy-to peel varieties of oranges, like Satsuma, clementines or tangerines. Use organic if they're available where you live.
- cucumber: Scrub the cucumber, but leave the peel on for added colour.
- avocado: Peel and slice just before serving to prevent browning, or dip in a little diluted lemon juice.
- pomegranate arils: These look like little festive holiday lights brightening up this potluck winter salad!
- pecans: Lightly toasting them brings out their natural flavour.
- feta cheese: Crumbled on top, it resembles snow! Substitute goat cheese if you'd like, or leave it off to keep this salad vegan and dairy-free.
- vinaigrette: A simple citrus vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, shallots, Dijon and a touch of honey dresses this Christmas salad beautifully.
- Arrange healthy crisp greens in a round shallow bowl or platter around a central dish that will hold the citrus vinaigrette.
- Then, top with mandarin orange segments (or other varieties of orange), cucumber, sliced avocado and pomegranate arils. If you're not serving this salad right away, add the avocado just before serving.
- Finish by sprinkling with toasted pecans and a light dusting of feta cheese crumbles.
🔁 Possible Substitutions
- If you can't find a pomegranate or fresh or frozen pomegranate arils, you can substitute blueberries or raspberries or even dried cranberries.
- Use a mix of salad greens instead of romaine. You can mix fresh spring greens with butter lettuce, iceberg lettuce or chopped, massaged kale.
- Use whatever fresh oranges are available where you live. If that's not an option, you could use canned mandarin oranges.
- Substitute goat cheese for the feta cheese if you'd like.
- Keep the red and green holiday theme by substituting shelled green pistachios for the pecans!
- This holiday wreath salad is also absolutely delicious with slightly sweet poppyseed dressing! You'll find my dressing recipe in this Strawberry Kale Salad with Poppyseed Dressing.
Running the peeled oranges under cool running water and using a soft vegetable brush helps make this job go a lot faster. Sometimes a sharp paring knife will work, too.
Removing the white pith is probably the most time-consuming part of making this wreath salad!
⏰ Can I make this Christmas Wreath Salad ahead of time?
Yes! You can make the citrus vinaigrette up to three days ahead of time. Make this holiday salad a day in advance, then cover and refrigerate. Add avocado slices and drizzle with the slightly sweet citrus dressing (or poppyseed dressing) just before serving.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Here are a few ideas for when to serve this holiday wreath salad!
Add it to your traditional turkey dinner, or serve it with one of these main dishes:
- Air Fryer Rolled Stuffed Turkey Breast - so convenient!
- Cranberry-Rosemary Boneless Chicken Thighs - oh-so-good!
- Easy Baked Lemon Chicken - always a favourite.
- Pistachio-Crusted Salmon - salmon for a change!
- Easiest Chicken Saltimbocca - an elegant but easy chicken dish.
- Cranberry Glazed Chili Chicken Wings - easy to make and festive!
- Paleo Hoisin Orange Glazed Chicken Thighs - always a popular choice.
🗒 More Citrus Fruit Salad Recipes
If you love adding citrus fruit to salads as much as I do, you may like these too!
Enjoy every healthy bite!
🗒More salad recipe ideas
When you make this Christmas Wreath Salad, please leave a comment and a star rating below. Thanks in advance! Subscribe to my weekly newsletter and have new recipes delivered straight to your inbox!
This recipe was originally published in 2016. It has been updated with new photos and information. The recipe remains the same!
Pomegranate Mandarin Salad with Avocado and Feta
- 4 cups romaine lettuce, or other crisp mixed greens
- 1 medium long English cucumber thinly sliced
- 1 medium avocado peeled, pitted and sliced
- 2 mandarin oranges peeled and sectioned, pith removed
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ⅓ cup pecans toasted
- ½ cup olive oil, extra virgin
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or Champagne vinegar
- 1 small shallot, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon each sea salt and pepper
- To make a wreath-shaped salad, place a small bowl for the vinaigrette in the centre of a larger round shallow bowl or platter.
- Arrange bite-sized pieces of romaine or other greens in the bowl around the small dish. Top with remaining ingredients, finishing with feta cheese and pecans.
- Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together and pour into the small bowl in the center of the serving bowl.
- Serve and drizzle vinaigrette over all just before serving.
My family loved this salad & it is really festive. Made it for Thanksgiving & will make again for Christmas!!
That's great to hear Carlen! I make it every year for Christmas too. I just picked up everything I need to make it, but couldn't find a pomegranate, so I'll use raspberries instead.😊
I’ve made this three times for different holiday luncheons. It makes a great presentation and everyone loves it!
Thanks so much for commenting, Shelley! I love this salad, too!
Liz @ Books n Cooks
We had this served to use at Friendsgiving and I immediately sent the recipe to family to make Thanksgiving week - so good! We love the bursts of sweetness from the fruit. I could eat this for a meal. Will be making again for sure.
Thanks so much for letting me know, Liz! Agreed--I could eat this for a meal, too. It's a favourite here!
Love this salad! I usually substitute pear for mandarins, and manchego for feta. I always get compliments when I serve this and requests for the recipe!
Thank you for this salad!
I make it all year round. It is absolutely on my top 10 list. I substitute different types of oranges if the mandarins aren’t available.
Thanks so much for commenting, Janice. It’s my favourite salad too!
This is such a good salad for a Christmas dinner! I made it for Thanksgiving dinner and I'm making it again for Christmas. Everyone loves this one!
Thanks Shelby! and thanks for the 5-star rating, too. Much appreciated.
The perfect Christmas salad! I made this last year, everyone loved it, so I'm making it again this year. Thanks!
I make this every year at Christmas too! Happy to hear you like it!
I’ve made this twice! The first time for guests… got several compliments and loved it so much I made it again for my lunches the following week. I stuck with exact recipe and used citrus champagne vinaigrette instead of white wine vinegar. Delish!
Thanks for taking the time to comment, Maren! I'm making that one again for a dinner this weekend. I love your idea of using citrus champagne vinaigrette! Thanks for the 5 stars, too.
I made this last year and it was a big hit with my family. Plan to make it again this year! Love it.
Thanks for letting me know, and thanks for the 5 stars, too!
I made this for a summer party but substituted nectarines for mandarin oranges. It was a HUGE hit for a crowd of sophisticated foodies. The only thing I would do differently next time is reduce the oil in the dressing.
That is such a great idea, Melanie! Thanks for sharing!
This salad looks stunning and I can taste all the goodness right now. Making for Thanksgiving. PS thank you for having a "jump to recipe" button at the top. I have also pinned!
Flavour & Savour
Thanks Breanne! This salad is always a popular one. I serve it often during the holidays! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
I'm pinning this for Christmas! It's so pretty and full of everything my family likes. I like the idea of putting it in a wreath shape. Thank you for a great recipe!
I made this recipe for a family gathering last weekend. It was very well received and I was also asked for a copy of the recipe. I halved the oil content for the dressing as my family aren’t keen on oily dressings.
Does anyone know if you can freeze pomegranate seeds as they are not available all year round and I think they really made this delicious recipe as well as adding colour.
Flavour & Savour
Hi--Great question! Yes, you can freeze pomegranate seeds. Treat them as you would blueberries: pat them dry, spread them out on a baking sheet, freeze until firm, then store in an airtight bag or container. They will last for several weeks in the freezer.
If you make this a head of time...how do you make sure the avocado doesn't turn brown?
Flavour & Savour
Oh that's such a good question, so thanks for asking! I either toss them with a little lemon juice first, or even better, add them just before serving. I've added that to the recipe notes. There's nothing less appealing than brown avocados!
This salad is incredibly beautiful, perfect for entertaining during the holidays!
Flavour & Savour
Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs
Beautiful winter salad! It looks so bright and fresh.
Flavour & Savour
Thanks! The word "cheerful" springs to mind whenever I serve this one! Love all the colours. Thanks for stopping by.
This is such a beautiful looking salad. Love the presentation and would be perfect for the holiday table. Pinning for later.
I love this kind of winter salad - full of healthy ingredients and flavour!
Lovely salad..... I love Mandarin's too.. My mom always puts them in her salads around the holidays. Totally a Christmas thing for me too.
Flavour & Savour
Thanks Trish! I love Christmas traditions, even when they're as simply as adding mandarin oranges to a salad!
This salad looks fantastic! A colorful, tasty and healthy dish is always a winning one!
I love salads like this! Yours is especially beautiful. The wreath is a great idea! Pinned!
Flavour & Savour
Thanks Cathy! We eat with our eyes first, right?
I'm excited because I think I have all the ingredients to make this salad!! yay!
Do you thing herbed crumbled feta would work as well?
Flavour & Savour