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This Winter Pomegranate Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts and Balsamic Fig Vinaigrette is my go-to “house” salad. I make it on repeat all winter long. Baby arugula, mixed greens, juicy pomegranates, sweet and spicy maple roasted walnuts, and plenty of crumbled goat cheese. All tossed together with a delicious balsamic fig vinaigrette for a salad that’s simple to put together, healthy, and pairs perfectly with just about any meal. You’ll never tire of this beautiful winter salad.

This post is sponsored by POM Wonderful. 

overhead photo of Winter Pomegranate Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts

I’m not sure why winter gets such a bad rap when it comes to produce. Pomegranates alone are reason enough to LOVE the fall and winter produce seasons. I mean, right?

Yes, yes, correct.

Clearly, I am overly excited about this salad. It has been my go-to winter salad for over four years, and I make it ALL. THE. TIME!

This is also my staple Christmas Salad. I usually end up making it for both Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. It’s just so simple to throw together, plus it pairs well with everything and is so delicious.

Also? This salad is truly a combination of my favorite foods…greens, pomegranate arils, roasted walnuts, and goat cheese.

walnuts on baking sheet

Here is how I make my simple winter salad.

Start with the walnuts and toss them together with maple syrup, cinnamon, and cayenne. These are my healthier take on candied walnuts, and they’re every bit as addicting as they sound. Perfectly sweet, hinted with cinnamon, and just a touch spicy too. Finish these off with flaky sea salt to seal the deal.

While the walnuts are baking in the oven, toss together the salad base. I like to use a blend of baby arugula and mixed winter greens…usually baby kale and baby spinach. Next add in plenty of pomegranate arils. The pomegranate arils are the heart of the salad, so be generous. To make things incredibly easy, I love using POM POMS Fresh Pomegranate Arils. They come already deseeded in a convenient package of ready-to-eat pomegranate arils. The lack of preparation needed makes the enjoyment of these pomegranates that much better.

Plus, adding the POM POMS arils to my salad adds a ruby red pop of color and a sweet burst of flavor – which you all know I LOVE.

Once you’ve added the pomegranates, crumble over some creamy goat cheese and the base of your salad will be complete.

pomegranates and citrus on cutting board

The vinaigrette…

This is my favorite, and only has three simple ingredients, extra virgin oil, balsamic vinegar, and fig preserves.

It’s the perfect balance of savory, tangy, and sweet. I love tossing my simple winter salad with this vinaigrette for the perfect finish. It makes every bite that much more delicious.

pomegranates being pour over Winter Pomegranate Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts

As said, I’ve been making this salad for years, but yet I still look forward to it every single December. And, it’s my most requested salad. Even my brothers enjoy this one. When the brothers enjoy something, especially a green something, you know it’s got to be a VERY GOOD recipe.

So with that, I’m hoping you all give this delicious winter salad a try.

My suggestion? Include this in your holiday menu. It’s so easy to toss together, and yes, it’s loved by everyone! Enjoy. Enjoy!

PS. looking for something similar-ish winter salad but with beets? Try this winter beet and pomegranate salad with maple candied pecans and balsamic citrus dressing.

overhead close up photo of Winter Pomegranate Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts

If you make this winter salad with maple candied walnuts, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Winter Pomegranate Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 589 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Balsamic Fig Dressing


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the walnuts with the maple syrup, cinnamon, crushed red pepper, and salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring twice throughout cooking, until the walnuts are toasted. Remove from the oven and spread the walnuts in one layer. Sprinkle with flaky salt.
    2. Add the greens to a large salad bowl. Add the POM POMS, oranges (if using), cranberries, goat cheese, and walnuts. Gently toss the salad.
    3. To make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake to combine. Just before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad and gently toss. Enjoy!
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horizontal photo of Winter Pomegranate Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts

{This post is sponsored by POM Wonderful. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Half Baked Harvest cooking!}

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  1. I followed the instructions for the walnuts. Pulled them out after 5 minutes and they were black. I confirmed I had the right temperature… maybe a typo in the recipe?

    1. Hi Katie,
      Thanks for making this recipe, so sorry to hear about your walnuts!! Did you stir them at all during the baking process? I would have removed them once they were looking finished. I hope this helps for next time! xx

  2. 5 stars
    I have made this salad as a holiday salad, and it is very special. I don’t know why this has to be a “winter” salad though. All the ingredients, even the pomegranate arils, are available year-round, so I am making it for our spring break guests! The colors and flavors are also very spring-y.

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Amazing!! Love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! xx

  3. 5 stars
    Hi! I’m a relatively new follower and have been loving your recipes and content so much! I made this salad the other night when I had a few friends over and paired it with your crunchy hot honey chicken recipe and herb butter sweet potato fries. Everything was amazing, so delicious! I loved all three recipes but this salad was the star! My friend’s husband was like “surprisingly this salad is my favorite part of this meal it’s so good!” I loved the hint of spice in the walnuts paired with the creamy goat cheese, it was delicious and of course I loved the juicy pomegranate in there! I usually don’t like balsamic vinegar but with the fig preserves in the dressing it was so good! I’m getting more of the ingredients at the store today to make this salad again this week! Thanks so much for your amazing and easy to follow recipes!

    1. Hey Regina,
      Happy Monday!!⛄️ Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! Thanks for your kind message and following along!! xT

    1. Hey Carmel,
      Amazing! Thanks for trying this salad and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xx

  4. 4 stars
    Made this for Christmas and it was excellent thank you! I didn’t have a blood orange, but did have a couple clementines and that worked fine too!

    1. Hey Allison,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and appreciate you giving it a try! xT

  5. 5 stars
    My family isn’t big on salad but I made this for Christmas Eve dinner anyway and it was a huge hit! I had so many compliments on it and it was the first thing gone. Will be making it for every holiday! Thanks Tieghan

    1. Hey Lindsey,
      Happy Monday!❄️ I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it! xx

  6. Not sure what the issue is, but my walnuts keep burning- I significantly reduced the oven time and amount of syrup and it seemed to work on my third try. They aren’t as crunchy as they’re supposed to, but they aren’t burnt either.

    1. Hi Anne,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try, sorry to hear they kept burning for you! I’m not sure why that would happen! xx

  7. Hi Tiegan,
    I am so excited to try this recipe for Christmas but I could not find Fig preserves so I am substituting Apricot preserves for the dressing. Is that something you would recommend?

  8. 5 stars
    Just made this last night for dinner, it is my family’s new favorite salad…the dressing is amazing and the homemade candied walnuts were wonderful!

    1. Hey Jill,
      Happy Wednesday!!❄️ So glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing your feedback! xT

  9. 5 stars
    It tastes as divine as it looks. The arils add just a pop of color that’s festive for the holidays. Simple to make but well balanced. Such a hit!

    1. Hey Veronica,
      Happy Holidays!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it turned out well for you!🎁🎅

      1. 5 stars
        Hi Tieghan
        Merry Christmas!
        I’m always on your website. Your recipes seem to be the flavours I love!
        I made this salad yesterday and holy moly we loved it! Even the husband who is usually scared of walnuts.
        I want to make it for my family in Liverpool this new year’s eve. Can I prep the walnuts in advance and take them in an airtight container?
        Birmingham UK

        1. Hey Marie,
          Happy Holidays!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a try! Thanks so much for your kind message! Yes, you can definitely prep the walnuts in advance!🎄❄️

    1. Hey Beth,
      You could make both a few days in advance. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT

  10. Do you think it would be ok to sub lemon juice for the balsamic vinegar? I can’t have vinegar and usually use citrus based dressings instead. If not lemon juice is there something else you would recommend?

    1. Hey Sheena,
      Sure, I think that would be just fine for you to do! Let me know how this recipe turns out, I hope it’s a hit! xT

  11. Just made the salad last night. It’s about the fifth or sixth time. And it’s such a great combination of flavors. I don’t add the orange and it turns out just fine. The dressing is simple and delicious. it looks so pretty and definitely a crowd pleaser!

    1. Hey Kirsten,
      Happy Monday!❄️🎄 I appreciate you making this recipe so often and sharing your review, so glad to hear it is always enjoyed! xT

  12. Are you supposed to use cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes on the walnuts? The intro says cayenne and then the list of ingredients says crushed red pepper.

    1. Hi Courtney,
      For this recipe, you are going to use crushed red pepper flakes. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx