Traditions from Around the World
Christmas Salad Recipes

Christmas Salad Recipes can help you prepare for Christmas in advance or help you to choose what to bring to a family dinner.
If you are wondering what to make for your Christmas Holiday meals this year – why not take a quick peek around the world and see what other traditional recipes have to offer.
I have collected some unique simple salad recipes and ideas from different countries for you to explore.





A lot of these simple salad recipes can be made ahead by a day or two, - which will save you time on the big day and allow you to visit with your company instead of being tied up in the kitchen.

No matter what country you live in throughout the world, you will find Christmas is celebrated somehow. It is a time of family gathering, forgiveness, remembrance, and prayer. (And of course, presents) Some religions do not mark Christmas on December 24, 25 as their holiday – rather they celebrate theirs in January, such as Russia. And some other religions do not believe in Christmas at all. Some countries actually celebrate for 3 days, Dec. 24, 25 & 26, others for 2 days, and some others, only 1 day.

In many Eastern European countries, the big meal is on Christmas Eve with a smaller meal on Christmas Day – in North America, and Western Europe this is reversed – with the big traditional turkey or goose dinner on Christmas Day.

Here are some traditional Christmas meal ideas from around the world


Green Salads

North America and warm climate countries are pretty much the only areas which traditionally consider serving a green salad with or before the meal during the holiday season. (Although this has now spread to Europe as well). These salads should of course reflect the holidays in colour and ingredients. Cranberries, fruit (especially citrus) and nuts – being the most common traditional holiday ingredients.


Festive Green salad – this one has all the holiday colours and presents very nicely on the holiday table. Very common in North America, Western Europe and the West Indies.

Saigon Salad – although not a traditional holiday salad it sure could be with all the nice colours and ingredients.

Spinach with Strawberries – this one is quite common in North America, especially the west coast. The addition of mandarins to the ingredients makes it extra special for the holidays.

Ensalada Verde – In the Dominican Republic and some other West Indies countries, this is a traditional salad served on Christmas Eve.

Olivier Salada or Russian Salad – this traditional salad was adopted by some countries in the West Indies and is now a tradition on Christmas. In Poland it is made as a vegetarian salad (no meat) and served on Christmas Day. In Russia it is a tradition to serve it on New Years.


Vegetable Salads

A variety of side dishes are normally offered in many countries and some are most definitely traditional. Many of these traditional salads reflect what was available years ago. Today, with more variety available – some of these traditional salads have been “dressed up” for the holidays.


Festive Slaw – North America and Europe - coleslaw dressed for the holidays with apples and a nice tangy yet sweet dressing, a simple Christmas salad recipe.


Beet Apple Salad – European and Scandinavian countries always have a beet salad on their holiday table, although for the festive season, they dress it up a bit.

Potato Salad – This cold version is very commonly served in parts of Germany, Finland, Dominican Republic, Poland, New Zealand, Australia and other countries on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, along with fish or sausages and side dishes, notably beet salad.

Potato Salad - The warm version of potato salad is also very common in parts of Germany, Poland, and Denmark, just to name a few, for the Christmas Eve meal, served with fish or smoked ham and side dishes.


Coconut Milk Rice with Peas – In the Dominican Republic and West Indies this Christmas salad recipe is a must on the holidays, served with potato salad, pasta salad and a simple green salad (ensalada verde).

Ensalada de gallina – In Venezuela and other parts of South America, this is the most traditional Christmas salad recipe. It is a meal by itself with shredded chicken & vegetables flavoured with a mayonnaise and oil dressing.



Pasta Salads

Pasta salad recipes either warm or cold have always been served for nearly any family gathering for centuries. They are indeed loved by all. These cold versions can be prepared in advance which is beneficial to the harried cook on the final day of meal preparations.


Macaroni Salad – In the Dominican Republic this is an important traditional holiday dish and it is found on nearly every holiday table elsewhere in the world as well.

Cold Pasta Salad –In North America, and elsewhere, this old traditional standby gets a bit of a face lift for the holidays with a Christmas salad recipe.

Ensalada de Esparile – This West Indian pasta salad is traditionally served on holidays, even if some of the ingredients for this Christmas salad recipe change from region to region.



Seafood Salads

In many European countries it is traditional to consume fish on Christmas Eve. In most of Europe the fish is fried or broiled, sometimes battered as well. In Italy, full course meals of up to seven varieties of fish and other seafood are served on Christmas Eve. I have here a few traditional seafood Christmas salad recipes.


Herring Salad – In parts of Germany, Italy, Poland and some Scandinavian countries a herring salad is one of their most important Christmas salad recipes and is served with boiled potatoes plus a few other side dishes like beet salad and coleslaw. Sometimes the herring salad is just served as an appetizer with crackers or small bread squares, to keep the tradition.

Octopus Salad – In Puerto Rico and a few other West Indian countries, this Christmas salad recipe is their main traditional Christmas Eve meal.



Check out these Traditional Christmas Dessert Recipes

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