This winter citrus salmon salad made with hearty kale, fluffy quinoa, tart orange slices, chopped almonds, air fried salmon and a creamy lemon feta vinaigrette is absolutely delicious and sure to brighten up any winter day.
What’s in season is a huge inspiration for me when it comes to keeping my meals and snacks fun, exciting and nutritious. Not to mention in season produce is typically fresher and cheaper.
Citrus is in season in the winter and the perfect time to make this winter citrus salmon salad that’s sure to add a pop of color and flavor to your lunch or dinner!
I’m a firm believer that we have to match our salads to the season (it just makes sense!) and in the winter when I need to brighten up the mood this citrus salmon salad is it. Plus, salmon is a good source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids that studies have shown can help with our mood. A win, win to help keep those winter blues away.
Ingredients for Winter Citrus Salmon Salad
- Lacinato Kale — this is also called dino kale. I prefer this type over curly kale, however you could definitely use curly kale to make this salad too.
- Wild-Caught King Salmon — I recommend wild-caught Alaskan salmon because that means its sustainably caught and wild-caught is higher in omega-3 fatty acids that help to fight inflammation.
- Cara Cara Oranges — Tart and bright Cara Cara oranges add beautiful color and flavor to this salad. Blood oranges would also be a great addition.
- Sprouted or Regular Quinoa — Quinoa gives this salad more plant-based protein and fiber. It’s definitely a pantry staple of mine that can be used in so many ways.
- Almonds — Chopped almonds add a nice crunch to this salad along with plant-based protein, magnesium and vitamin E to every bite.
- Lemon — Lemon adds brightness to the creamy feta vinaigrette.
- Olive Oil
- Fresh Garlic
- Dijon Mustard
- Feta Cheese
- Salt & Pepper
equipment / utensils
- serving bowl
- salad spinner
- cutting board
- blender or whisk
- air fryer (optional)
Cara Cara Oranges
I probably don’t have to tell you that citrus is bursting with vitamin C, an important antioxidant that helps our immune system keep us healthy. It’s safe to say that we could all use a little more vitamin C during the winter months when it’s cold and flu season, so snack on citrus or add it to your meals like I did here!
Cara Cara oranges are such a pretty pink color and have a more mellow flavor than other citrus making it perfect on salads like this one.
Kale yeah! Sure we know kale is good for us because it’s green, but did you also know that kale contains 3 grams of protein per cup and is a good source of vitamin C, and K? It’s a powerhouse green that gives this salad an extra crunchy texture!
Quinoa is definitely one of my favorite plant-based sources of protein and such a versatile grain I think you should have in your pantry to build meals with at all times! It’s also a good source of fiber, magnesium and B vitamins. I like to use sprouted quinoa because some of the vitamins and minerals are betting absorbed that way.
Air-fried Citrusy Salmon
Get out your air fryer to make the most perfect salmon! I really love how fish turns out when I air fry it.
Alternatively you can cook the fish on a pan or in the oven.
Putting the Salad Together
Here’s how to make this winter citrus salad in about 20 minutes.
- Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- While the quinoa is cooking prepare the salmon and place it in the air-fryer.
- While the quinoa and salmon are cooking de-stem and wash your kale using a salad spinner. Dry with paper towels and add to your serving bowl. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil onto the kale and a pinch of salt and massage until the kale is slightly softer.
- Roughly chop your almonds and supreme the Cara Cara orange then cut into segments.
- Place all of the ingredients for the lemon feta vinaigrette in a blender and blend until combined.
- Top the kale with the cooked quinoa, then the orange slices and finally the cooked salmon and chopped almonds.
- Drizzle the lemon feta vinaigrette on top and serve as is or break up the salmon and toss everything together. Enjoy!
Winter Citrus Salmon Salad
- 1 cup quinoa cooked
- 2 1/2 cups lacinato kale
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- dash of salt
- 1 Cara Cara orange cut into segments
- 2 tbsp. almonds chopped
Lemon Feta Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- about 1/2 of a lemon juiced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 small shallot
- 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. Season the salmon and place in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 5-6 minutes checking after 5.
- While the quinoa and the salmon are cooking de-stem the kale and wash. Dry with paper towels and drizzle with oil and a pinch of salt. Massage until slightly softened and place in a serving bowl.
- Roughly chop the almonds and supreme the Cara Cara orange and cut into segments. Set aside.
- Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until combined.
- Top the kale with the cooked quinoa, orange slices, cooked salmon and chopped almonds. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top. Serve as is or break up the salmon and toss to combine. Enjoy!
More Citrus Recipes You’re Sure to Love
- Blood Orange Olive Oil Loaf (GF & DF)
- Lemon Banana Chia Muffins (GF & DF)
- Citrus Fish Tacos with Tahini Coleslaw
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This recipe was originally published in 2020 and updated in 2023.