This simple Christmas Eve salad is the perfect addition to a light meal before the big day

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Need a special holiday dinner salad to wet the appetites of your family and friends? This gorgeous Mexican-inspired Christmas Eve salad, inspired by Nibbles and Feasts, is bright with festive flavor and color.

A Mexican tradition, the Christmas Eve salad or Ensalada de Noche Buena, is served at midnight as part of a celebratory meal. It features a healthy array of fruits and vegetables, including pomegranate seeds, apples, oranges, roasted red beets, jicama, and lettuce. A homemade creamy, sweet and tangy dressing made with sour cream, fresh orange juice, and honey lends a lusciousness to the ingredients that makes them even more appetizing.

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The freshness of this nutritious and delicious salad makes it the perfect accompaniment to the richer and heavier holiday fare served during the Christmas season. But you don’t have to wait until Christmas Eve to enjoy the tongue-tantalizing combination of sweet and savory flavors. Though the ingredients require some prep work, the salad comes together quickly and can be served as an eye-catching side dish for any meal any time you’re craving festive fare.

Pomegranate tip: Getting pomegranate seeds out of a pomegranate fruit is a messy — but oh so worth it! — ordeal that can stain your clothes and anything else the bright red juice splashes on. To minimize the mess, cut a pomegranate in half then submerge each half in a large bowl of water. Use your fingers to pull the skin apart and release the seeds. The seeds will sink to the bottom while the white membrane will float to the top of the water. Repeat with the other half. Remove and discard the membrane from the bowl. Drain the water out of the bowl and enjoy your ready-to-eat, mess-free pomegranate seeds.

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Make the sweet cream dressing

The simple combination of sour cream, fresh orange juice, and honey is all you need to deliciously dress this festive salad. In a small bowl, whisk these three ingredients together and set aside.

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Assemble the salad

The gorgeous colors of this salad will make it the most eye-catching side dish on the table. Cover a large platter with the shredded romaine, then top with overlapping rows of sliced beets, apple slices, and orange slices. Set jicama pieces on top of the slices. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, roasted peanuts, and fresh cilantro. Squeeze 4 quarters (1 lime) over the top of the salad. Arrange additional lime wedges around the salad platter.

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Serve with the sweet cream dressing on the side

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Crispy, crunchy, tender, this dish is packed full of flavor and texture!

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A sweet and simple salad

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This festive dish is the perfect addition to a Christmas Eve feast

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Christmas Eve salad

Yield 10 servings


Sweet cream dressing

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey


  • 3 small heads romaine lettuce, leaves washed, shredded
  • 3 medium beets, roasted, peeled, sliced
  • 1/2 jicama, peeled, cut in 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 red apples, thinly sliced
  • 3 oranges, peeled, sliced
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 3 limes, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, orange juice, and honey. Whisk together and set aside.
  2. Using a large serving platter, layer shredded lettuce leaves. Top with sliced beets, then overlap with apple slices and orange slices. Place jicama pieces on top of slices.
  3. Sprinkle salad with pomegranate seeds, peanuts, and cilantro.
  4. Squeeze 4 quarters (1 lime) of lime juice over top of the salad.
  5. Set additional quartered limes around platter.
  6. Serve salad with sweet cream dressing on the side.

Courses Salad

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