Christmas Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

5 from 8 votes

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Christmas Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing is a colorful and refreshing side dish for your special holiday dinners. The dressing is so creamy and delicious!

Christmas Salad with Poppyseed Dressing and a bowl of pomegranates

Christmas Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

This Christmas Salad is a family staple every year around the holidays. The gorgeous spinach salad greens sprinkled with red pomegranate seeds, mandarin oranges, white feta cheese, lends such a festive flair to our buffet table. The creamy poppy seed dressing is so delicious and is really simple to make. The holiday season can be filled with a lot of rich comfort food, so this light and fresh salad is a nice addition to the spread.

A Great Way to Use Leftovers

This salad is a light side that complements a traditionally heavy ham or turkey dinner. However, it also jazzes up Thanksgiving leftovers like you wouldn’t believe! We add shredded turkey to the top and make it more of a main course. It’s so yummy. Try this recipe and make it a part of your holiday meal traditions!

Candied pecans, mandarin oranges, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, and dried cranberries in a white bowl

Substitutions for Christmas Salad

The beauty of a salad recipe is literally anything goes! You can add or subtract as many ingredients as you wish. Use this recipe below as a base and then let your imagination run wild. Here are some ideas of how you can switch it up:

  • Pomegranate seeds add such a delightfully tart crunch to this Christmas Salad. But if pomegranates aren’t in season where you are, add strawberries or raspberries for pops of red color.
  • Diced red or green apples will add more crunch, color and flavor!
  • Turn this Christmas Salad into a summer supper with sliced grilled chicken on top.
  • Toss in a handful of baby spinach leaves for more greenery. Those extra vitamins can’t hurt, either!]
  • Feta cheese gives this salad some bulk and a buttery, tangy flavor. But you could substitute it for goat cheese, cubed mozzarella or ricotta cheese.
  • Slivered almonds, sunflower seeds or cashews would be a delicious substitute for walnuts or pecans. There are also some insanely delicious nut mixes found in the produce section of most grocery stores.

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

The poppy seed dressing is so sweet and creamy, I could eat it with a spoon! My mom routinely substitutes the sugar with Splenda or other sugar substitutes, so you can do that too. Or add additional sugar for a little more sweetness. The dressing includes mayonnaise and greek yogurt, but you can use greek yogurt for all of it if you’d like. Any way you make it, it is delicious on this Christmas Salad.

Poppyseed dressing being poured over a salad

More Mouthwatering Salad Recipes

Raise your hand if you’ve ever made a meal out of side salads. No? Just me? Try it sometime. We have so many gorgeous salad recipes. If you are a fan of this Christmas Salad, try a few of our other favorites:

Christmas Salad in a bowl with a side of Poppyseed Dressing
Christmas Salad in a white bowl with a bowl of pomegranate seeds

Christmas Salad

5 from 8 votes
Christmas Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing is a colorful and refreshing side dish for your special holiday dinners. The dressing is so creamy and delicious!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6


For the salad:

For the Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing:


For the Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
    Poppyseed dressing ingredients in a small bowl
  • Whisk until smooth. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
    Poppyseed dressing in a small bowl

For the Salad

  • Place the Spring Mix in a large bowl.
    spring mix greens in a bowl
  • Top with remaining ingredients.
    Christmas Salad toppings in a white bowl
  • Toss and top with poppyseed dressing.
    Christmas salad in a white serving bowl


Nutrition Information

Calories: 242kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 228mgPotassium: 128mgFiber: 2gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 525IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 83mgIron: 0.6mg

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Poppy Seed Dressing adapted slightly from Betty Crocker

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. I usually substitute yogurt for mayo in recipes. Would the dressing work with double the yogurt and no mayo?

  2. 5 stars
    One of my favorite salads to make during Christmas! Can’t wait to make this again! My family loves this salad! So delicious and yummy!

  3. 5 stars
    So delicious! The perfect salad to have with my Thanksgiving Turkey! Perfect proportions of sweet and salty and creamy, and bright!

  4. 5 stars
    I love everything about this salad, especially this creamy dressing! I want to put it on everything!

  5. 5 stars
    This is such a colorful & beautiful salad! Love all these ingredients combined & the dressing is amazing!

    1. Hi Charmaine, I’m not sure if canned mandarin oranges are what you are referring to by “tin” mandarins. If it is, then answer is yes. You can use 1/2 cup of drained oranges from a can or tin. Thank you for asking!

  6. Do you toss the salad and the dressing before serving or do you serve the dressing on the side? The recipe looks delicious!!

    1. You can do it either way! Usually if I’m feeding a large group, I like to toss it with the salad, just to make things easier.

      1. This salad was absolutely delicious! My family loved it! I made the poppyseed dressing with splenda and it turned out fantastic,thanks was so good.