Enjoy salad even in chilly weather with our delicious dairy free Halloumi winter salad. This hearty salad is topped with warm roasted Brussels sprouts and seared dairy free grilling cheese, it’s perfect for both fall and winter.
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If you’re anything like me, eating salad tends to take a backseat in the wintertime, making it a little harder to get my veggies in during the colder months. Our winter salad recipe is topped with warm roasted Brussels sprouts and seared dairy free Halloumi-style cheese for a comforting salad.
One of my favorite salads is a fried Brussels sprout salad with marinated steak at one of our local restaurants. So I decided to come up with a winter salad that featured roasted Brussels instead of fried ones, and you can top this salad with chicken or steak if you like as well.
This salad has a few steps, but the result is worth it for a filling and warming salad. It’s a great way to get your daily vegetables in cool weather!
Food allergy notes:
- Dairy free
- Gluten free
- Egg free/vegan as-is
- Peanut free (check your pecans for cross contamination if necessary)
- Contains tree nuts
Why you’ll love our winter salad
Our delicious winter salad has warm toppings (roasted Brussels sprouts and seared cheese) that makes this a great salad for cool months. So this salad is also perfect for fall as well, and would make a great side for Thanksgiving or Christmas, too.
This is also a hearty and filling salad, plus it’s vegan as-is but you can add chopped roasted chicken or pan-fried chicken sausage for more protein and a complete meal.
How to make our dairy free salad
Here are the steps to making our salad (this is just an overview, the full recipe is at the end of the post):
- First, start by roasting your Brussels sprouts. Preheat the oven to 400 F, and clean and halve your sprouts (I bought the prepped Brussels sprouts to make this step faster).
- Toss the Brussels sprouts with the oil and seasonings.
- Spread out on a baking sheet and cook for 11 minutes, stir, then cook again for another 11 minutes.
- While the brussels sprouts are cooking, slice and cook the Daiya grilling cheese until each piece has a nice sear on it.
- Allow the Brussels sprouts to cool a bit and assemble your salad with the arugula (or other favorite leafy greens), apple (or pear), pecans, Brussels sprouts, and seared cheese.
- Top with your favorite salad dressings (we share some below) and serve immediately.
This makes a larger batch of Brussels sprouts, more than you need for one salad, so you’ll have plenty of extra roasted sprouts for additional salads if you like.
Dairy free salad dressings for our winter salad
We have a couple of amazing salad dressings on our website that would go well with this salad. If you want a classic dressing, you can try our dairy free ranch dressing over this salad (one of my favorites!).
If you still want a creamy dressing but want some lemon, try our creamy lemon dressing. It’s still dairy free and delicious!
You can also whip up an easy honey mustard dressing that would taste awesome on this salad by missing some Dijon mustard with some soy-free mayo and a bit of honey. I plan on posting a recipe for honey mustard dressing soon!
Swaps and variations
Here are a few swaps you can make for food allergies or taste preferences:
Arugula – Arugula has a nice peppery taste and slight spiciness that works well in this recipe, but if you don’t like arugula, you can use baby romaine or spring mix greens. You can also look for baby arugula for a milder flavor.
Pecans – I used Emerald glazed pecans for this recipe, but you can use plain toasted pecans or even sub for sunflower seeds or pepitas if you have a tree nut allergy.
Apples – I used a honeycrisp apple, but you can use pears as well instead. You can also chop them and sprinkle over your salad vs adding the slices (I did that for the photos mostly).
Options for dairy free cheese
For dairy free Halloumi style cheese, there are 3 options: Daiya grilling cheese (what we used in this recipe), Violife grilling cheese, and Vegrill by GreenVie (not sure if it’s available in the US).
GreenVie is based in Cypus, so I’m not sure if they only sell in Europe (I’ve never heard of their brand before). But Daiya and Violife are available in the US and Canada.
Other options for savory dairy free cheese are the Violife feta cheese or Daiya feta cheese that would both taste delicious in this salad. Just make sure not to heat up the Violife feta cheese since it melts very easily.
Dairy Free Halloumi Winter Salad (Gluten Free)
Roasted Brussels sprouts:
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F
- Prepare the Brussels sprouts by washing, removing any bad outer leaves, and cutting in half. I use prepped Brussels sprouts from the store to make this faster.
- Add the Brussels sprouts to a bowl and add the olive oil, pressed garlic, salt, onion powder, and black pepper. This makes a bigger batch of Brussels sprouts, so you'll have extra Brussels sprouts for additional salads if you make more than one.
- Spread the Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 11 minutes.
- Stir the Brussels sprouts around and bake for another 11 minutes.
- While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, sear your dairy free Daiya Halloumi-style cheese by slicing and cooking in a hot skillet until each side is lightly browned.
- When the Brussels sprouts are done cooking, allow them to cool a bit and then assemble your salad: place the arugula on a plate or bowl, add some of the Brussels sprouts, the seared cheese, toasted or glazed pecans, and sliced or chopped apples (or pears).
- Serve immediately with our lemon dressing or ranch dressing.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist