This citrus salad is a bright and refreshing reprieve to a cold winter day. Grapefruits, oranges and mandarins are tossed in a honey dijon dressing and paired with lettuce, feta and onions. If winter is getting you down, this salad will pick your spirits right back up!

Citrus salad with feta and onions on a white platter.
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Salads get a reputation of being a summer thing but I’m here to argue that they can be a really simple way to brighten your mood on a cold, dreary winter day. If you’re like me, and the winter blues get you down every year, I can guarantee this citrus salad will get you right out of your funk!

It’s hard to stay sad with bright, sweet oranges and mandarins and punchy grapefruits in every bite. Plus, the simple honey dijon dressing pulls everything together in a savory way to incorporate the feta and onions.

The gorgeous color is hard to ignore. Just like this winter persimmon salad, bold and bright colors also do wonders for the mind and spirit during dark, cold days.

I’ve enjoyed this winter citrus salad as a side dish and made it a meal by adding some chickpeas or chicken. Either way, every time I eat it I can’t help but think Mother Nature was onto something making gorgeous citrus fruits like these in season during the most depressing months of the year.

Here’s to seasonal eating!

Citrus Salad Ingredients

You can play around with whatever citrus looks best at the time but here are the basics to this citrus salad recipe.

  • Citrus — The main ingredients in this salad include oranges, mandarins and grapefruit, but play around with others as you find them. Blood oranges and Sumo citrus are wonderful varieties this time of year too.
  • Lettuce — Keep things simple with your lettuce of choice. If you like crunch, Romaine or iceberg are good options. Baby greens are also a nice simple option. I really enjoy throwing in some bitter greens to complement the bright, juicy fruit in this salad too. Try endive or radicchio or mizuna. You can also incorporate some thinly sliced pickled fennel for a tangy bite.
  • Feta — You’ll often see avocado added to a fruit salad like this as its creaminess is a nice pairing with the juicy fruit but cheeses like feta or goat cheese can also accomplish the same thing. I like the salty taste of feta with the sweet fruit.
  • Onion — If you’re a raw onion hater, leave these out or try pickled onions instead. Their savory element is a nice contrast to the sweet and tangy citrus.

Honey Dijon Dressing

The dressing is a crucial part of any salad and figuring out the right blend of ingredients to elevate the main elements in the salad is a bit of an art.

To let the citrus shine, we chose a simple honey dijon dressing highlighted with a touch of lemon to keep it lighter than usual.

  • Juice of a lemon
  • Honey
  • Dijon mustard
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

A dressing like this works on a variety of salads. This Brussels sprouts chicken salad is another recipe it complements nicely.

A plate of oranges and grapefruits over salad with a dressing being poured on it.

The Best Way to Cut Citrus for This Salad

Let’s walk through how to get those beautiful thin slices of citrus to accentuate the colors of the fruit in this salad — they’re just so much prettier than chopping or breaking into segments.

First, cut the ends off of the citrus then stand the fruit upright.

Use a small, sharp knife (serrated is best) and cut away the peel from the top to the bottom of the fruit. When doing this, make sure to also remove the pith (the white part that attaches to the fruit).

The citrus should now be exposed and you can slice it into thin rounds, again using a serrated knife.

Orange, grapefruit and mandarin salad on a white plate with a spoon.

Assembling the Salad

A salad like this looks its best when arranged rather than tossed. To assemble the citrus salad, start by lining a serving bowl or platter with the lettuce you’ve chosen.

To make sure every element of the salad has a bit of dressing, drizzle some of the honey dijon dressing over the lettuce before you start layering on the citrus.

Next, gently arrange the slices of citrus on top of the lettuce in an alternating pattern so the pieces overlap a bit.

To finish the salad, top with crumbled feta and the thinly sliced onions.

Pour as much of the dressing over the top of the salad as desired.

My Pro Tip

Recipe Tip

If you let the salad sit for 10 minutes or so after dressing, the flavors marinate nicely before serving.

Tips, Substitutions & Additional Options

There are so many ways you can go with a salad like this, nothing is off limits.

  • Make it vegan by leaving out the feta cheese and swap it for creamy avocado slices instead.
  • Prep ahead by assembling the salad and slicing the citrus a day before serving. Assemble and dress the salad right before serving. This recipe is so gorgeous, it’s great for entertaining.
  • Add chopped nuts for texture. Walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios are some favorite combinations with citrus fruit.
  • Include other winter fruit like pomegranate or berries for flavor, texture and color. Pomegranate salsa is one of my favorite seasonal recipes to make right now for snacking.
  • Use fresh herbs to impart even more flavor to this salad. Mint makes a lovely pairing with citrus.

My Pro Tip

Recipe Tip

Chop up mint leaves and toss them with the lettuce to distribute their fresh taste evenly throughout the salad.

A serving plate with citrus salad and two serving spoons.

I hope this seasonal salad brings as much happiness to your winter season as it does mine. If nothing else, it’s a tasty way to pack in a good dose of vitamin C!

More winter salads to try

Chopped crispy chicken citrus salad — If you to enjoy a citrus salad as more of a meal, combining it with crispy chicken is a winner. This salad is like the grown-up parent to this citrus salad recipe.
Pickled fennel citrus salad — Pairing sweet juicy grapefruits with tangy pickled fennel and peppery arugula equate to one punchy seasonal salad you will love!
Chopped winter kale salad — The fresh cranberry dressing is my favorite part of this salad. It’s a stunning pink color and tastes like the best of winter.

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5 from 37 votes

Citrus Salad

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Citrus salad with feta and onions on a white platter.
A bright, refreshing seasonal citrus salad that highlights the best of the winter season. Enjoy the sweet, juicy and tangy flavors of winter citrus with a honey lemon dijon dressing.


  • 3 cups lettuce or baby greens of choice
  • 3 oranges, peeled and sliced
  • 3 mandarins, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium grapefruit, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

For the Dressing

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper


  • In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together until well combined.
  • Arrange lettuce on a plate or salad bowl. Drizzle with a little bit of the dressing.
  • Place oranges, mandarins and grapefruit slices in an overlapping pattern on top of the lettuce. Finish with the onions and crumbled feta.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 245kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 4gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 292mgPotassium: 507mgFiber: 6gSugar: 31gVitamin A: 1717IUVitamin C: 93mgCalcium: 139mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I couldn’t help but smile while enjoying this salad! It’s such a mood lifter! I used sumo citrus for a unique twist and romaine for crunch. The feta added a nice salty touch. A simple, satisfying salad!

  2. 5 stars
    This is so refreshing! I’m amazed at how simple the ingredients are yet it’s packed with so much great flavor.

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved this salad! The combination of citrus with the honey dijon dressing is so refreshing. Already planning to make it again next week!

  4. 5 stars
    I agree 100%! This citrus salad is like a burst of sunshine on a plate. Had it as a meal with chickpeas as suggested and it was both satisfying and delicious. Will be making it again.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this Citrus Salad over the weekend, and it was such a fresh and colorful dish! I loved how easy it was to prepare; the bright pop of color and flavors really lifted my spirits on a cold winter day. I will definitely be making this citrus salad again.