Brighten your holiday table with these Thanksgiving salad recipes! With grain salads, green salads, and more, you're sure to find something you love.
By now, you probably have a good idea of your Thanksgiving menu. Maybe you’re sticking to classics like sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce, or maybe you’re trying something new. Mashed cauliflower? Mac and cheese? No matter what you’re serving, I hope you’re including a Thanksgiving salad.
Why? For one, color! If you’ve been following Love & Lemons for a while, you know that I love highlighting the colors of every season. In the fall, so much colorful produce is at its peak, but it doesn’t always make its way onto our Thanksgiving tables, where mashed potatoes and gravy take center stage. A Thanksgiving salad is a great way to add color to your holiday plate. Plus, who doesn’t appreciate a few bites of something light and refreshing between forkfuls of stuffing?
You’ll find 15 of my favorite Thanksgiving salad recipes below. Some are super simple, the kind of thing that’s easy to toss together before your meal. Others include roasted vegetables or grains for extra texture and depth of flavor. All of them are colorful and delicious. I hope you find one you love!
Classic Thanksgiving Salad Recipes
If you love traditional Thanksgiving foods and flavors, these three recipes will fit right in on your holiday menu!
Pomegranate Salad with Cider Dressing
When I think of the quintessential Thanksgiving salad, this recipe is what I imagine. It boasts a cornucopia of autumn produce – bursty pomegranates, crisp apples, roasted squash, carrots, kohlrabi, and more! Halloumi cheese adds complexity and richness, and a tangy apple cider dressing ties it all together. It would make a stunning centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table.
Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
My mom asks me to bring this salad to our Thanksgiving dinner every year. Made with just 7 ingredients, it’s simple and refreshing. It contrasts perfectly with comforting Thanksgiving side dishes like mashed potatoes and gravy.
Roasted Vegetable Thanksgiving Salad Recipes
Roasted vegetables add extra dimension to these hearty autumn salads.
Butternut Squash Salad
We’ve all had a mixed greens salad with roasted butternut squash and goat cheese, right? This recipe is a spiced-up version of that classic combination. Thanks to aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, it’s flavorful and surprising. Every time I make it, Jack and I keep going back for more!
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad
Here, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar create a sweet and tangy glaze for crispy roasted Brussels sprouts. This delicious salad tastes great on day 2, but don’t count on having leftovers. If your experience is anything like mine, this salad will disappear in no time!
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
I love this roasted vegetable salad so much that I’d be happy eating it as a main dish! It’s chock-full of exciting textures and flavors. Tangy pickled onions mingle with sweet dried apricots and briny olives, and roasted cauliflower and lentils make it nice and hearty. A bright tahini dressing takes it over the top!
Sweet Potato Salad
This arugula salad combines some of my favorite fall ingredients: cozy roasted sweet potatoes, tangy feta, avocado, tahini dressing, and crunchy pepitas. Add it to your holiday table, and it’ll vanish in a snap.
Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad
If you’ve never cooked with delicata squash before, get ready to fall in love! It has a thin, edible skin and sweet, creamy flesh, and thanks to its small size, it’s super easy to work with. Roast it and toss it with crispy chickpeas, nutty farro, kale, apples, and dried cranberries to create a mouthwatering Thanksgiving salad.
I’m all about the stuffing at Thanksgiving, but if it’s not your thing, any of these grain salads would be a great alternative.
Wheat Berry Salad
I try not to play favorites when it comes to recipes, but this one is something special. I love the way the chewy, nutty wheat berries play off the creamy roasted squash, sweet shallots, and earthy sage.
Pomegranate Rice Salad
Ruby red pomegranate seeds add bright pops of color and sweet/tart flavor to this aromatic rice salad. Make it with any long-grain rice you like – white rice, brown rice, and wild rice all work here.
Buckwheat, Apple, Cranberry, and Avocado Salad
This simple salad is hearty, healthy, and bright. And good news! Despite its name, buckwheat is totally gluten-free.
Fruit-Focused Thanksgiving Salad Recipes
I adore fall veggies like squash, Brussels sprouts, and beets, but so many delicious fruits are in season now too! Show them off in these sweet and savory Thanksgiving salad recipes.
Pear Salad with Balsamic and Walnuts
This simple salad is a fresh, easy way to round out any Thanksgiving menu. I love the way the salty pecorino cheese contrasts with the sweet pears and dried cranberries.
Citrus Cabbage Salad
This crunchy, colorful salad gets better as it sits, so it’s a perfect make-ahead Thanksgiving side dish. Toss the crisp veggies with the dressing up to a day in advance, and add the clementines, avocado, herbs, and seeds at the last minute.
Apples add sweetness to this crisp, refreshing autumn slaw. It takes minutes to assemble, so it’s easy to toss together right before you eat.
More Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes
Thanksgiving Salad with Butternut Squash & Wheat Berries
- 3 cups cooked wheat berries
- Roasted butternut squash cubes, from 1 small squash
- 3 medium shallots, chopped into ½-inch pieces (1 cup)
- ⅓ cup fresh sage leaves
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed
- ⅓ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoons fresh thyme
- ⅓ cup shaved pecorino cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the wheat berries according to the directions in this recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roast the butternut squash for 30 to 35 minutes. Add the shallots onto the baking sheet with the squash and roast for 20 to 25 minutes. Wrap the sage leaves in foil with a drizzle of olive oil and place on the baking sheet for the last 2 minutes. Unwrap and chop.
- Prepare the Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing according to this recipe.
- In a large bowl, massage the kale with a bit of the dressing. Add the wheat berries, squash, shallots, sage, walnuts, cranberries, parsley, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, lots of pepper, and toss. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with more dressing and more freshly ground black pepper. Top with the pecorino cheese and serve.