Colorful Mexican Christmas Eve Salad (Ensalada de Nochebuena) is a delicious combination of lettuce, beets, and fruit served with a light orange vinaigrette. While traditionally consumed at the holidays, you'll want to enjoy this dish all year long.
Since Mexico is a large country with numerous regional cuisines, there isn't just one authentic recipe for this holiday salad. Instead you can choose your favorite components and make it your own.
And if you start with beets that are already cooked and prep the fruit in advance, you can enjoy this festive starter in under 15 minutes.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's a unique Christmas salad.
- You can prep the components in advance.
- The dressing only requires 3 ingredients.
For the vinaigrette, you will need olive oil, red wine vinegar, and orange juice.
For the salad, you will need Romaine lettuce (or your favorite greens) and beets. Then choose options such as pineapple, jicama, pomegranate seeds, and roasted peanuts.
You may also see versions of this holiday salad with bananas, plantains, oranges, and/or apples.
While raw beets can be prepared by roasting them in the oven or steaming them, I recommend taking a short cut and purchasing pre-cooked beets.
For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well.
- Compose each salad by layering the ingredients on salad plates or in shallow bowls.
- When ready to eat, pour the dressing over each salad.
In addition, I am a big fan of the cookbook Vegan Mexico by vegan chef Jason Wyrick.
Once the dressing is added to the salad, it should be consumed right away. If you have any leftover dressing, it can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Beets can be steamed, boiled, or roasted. This article How to Cook Beets gives directions and tips for each of these methods.
Jicama is a root vegetable with brown skin and a white interior. It can be eaten raw, and the flavor is similar to apple, but not as sweet.
If you choose to include raw plantains in your salad, choose ripe ones with peels that are almost completely black.
More fruity vegan salads
And for even more recipes, join the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipes Facebook group for support, inspiration, and fun.
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★
Mexican Christmas Eve Salad (Ensalada de Nochebuena)
For the dressing:
For the salad:
- 2 cups Romaine lettuce, cut in strips
- 2 small beets, cooked, cooled, and sliced
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, cubed
- 1 cup jicama, cubed
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup roasted salted peanuts
- Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well.
- Divide the lettuce and other salad ingredients between two bowls or salad plates.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salads and serve immediately.
- While raw beets can be prepared by roasting them in the oven or steaming them, I recommend taking a short cut and purchasing pre-cooked beets.
- For variation, add other fruits such as bananas, plantains, oranges, and/or apples.
- Once the dressing is added to the salad, it should be consumed right away.
- If you have any leftover dressing, it can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.