Our Thanksgiving meal tends to be dominated by white foods, from the turkey and mashed potatoes to the rolls. Though I wouldn’t have it any other way, I’ve decided to brighten things up just a little with one of these colorful fall salads for Thanksgiving. With all that tryptophan and those carbs (so many carbs), we’ll need the vitamins and energy from a vibrant salad to keep us going for the rest of Thanksgiving weekend.
Plus, these salad recipes are so pretty that we could even skip flowers on the table. Well, maybe. Flowers are awfully nice, too.
Bonus: While festive enough for a holiday meal, these salads are also great and easy enough to make any day of the week. Start trying them now to figure out which one will go best with your Thanksgiving dinner. And then keep eating them.
The Carrot and Sake Salad from Heidi Swanson’s cookbook Near and Far and featured at From the Land We Live On is packed with harvest ingredients including nuts, seeds, and carrots. But the sake dressing—whoa. Brown sugar sweetens it and lemon juice gives it lovely, bright flavor, striking a perfect balance. This salad is definitely one to try, even if it doesn’t make the Thanksgiving cut.
As long as you make sure to have sweet potatoes, pomegranate, and apples on hand, the Holiday Kale Salad at Caras Kitchen can be a quick, last-minute addition to your Thanksgiving table. Or throw it together the next day with some leftover turkey on top and you’ll have a great power lunch to fuel your Black Friday shopping.
This simple Roasted Vegetable Salad with Feta Vinaigrette at Cali Zona is a perfect salad if you’re serving folks who aren’t into leafy greens. Plus, it goes as well with steak as it does with turkey, so it’s a good recipe to have in your back pocket. Fresh corn may not be easy to find right now, but using frozen corn in a salad like this isn’t a problem at all. In fact, it makes this recipe that much easier. Kale Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash at Healthy Seasonal Recipes. The dried cranberries and spiced pecans give this recipe a festive, holiday taste that’s perfect for Thanksgiving or even Christmas, if you’re thinking that far ahead.
This Roasted Winter Squash and Pomegranate Salad at Wild Greens and Sardines (above & top) is stunningly gorgeous. Almost too pretty to eat. (Almost.) Be warned: The recipe has ingredients like radish microgreens and pomegranate molasses that probably require a trip to a specialty grocery store. That said, Linda shares other yummy ways to use pomegranate molasses so that you’re not spending money on an unusual ingredient that you’ll only use once.
If, like our family, you get to enjoy multiple Thanksgiving dinners with different branches of the family over the holiday weekend, offer to bring this Turkey Farro Salad with Candied Chickpeas and Clementine Vinaigrette at Lovely Little Kitchen. You make the salad, your hosts donate their leftover turkey. It’s delicious, light, and those leftovers get put to deliciously good use: a win-win.
This Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cider Vinaigrette at Recipe Runner is another super easy, laid-back salad that you can add to the Thanksgiving table, even at the last minute. The star of this salad is the Cider Vinaigrette. Make extra since your guests are likely to ask you to bottle up leftovers for them to bring home. Which might be a really nice gift, now that I think about it.