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This Thanksgiving salad is loaded with fall vegetables and fruit, bacon, and a tasty vinaigrette dressing. It’s a delicious and pretty addition to your table!
It makes a perfect pairing with an Easy Roast Turkey.
Why you’ll love it
This is a shaved Brussels sprouts salad, so similar to a coleslaw kind of base. It’s a hearty salad, but it’s also a way to eat more fresh ingredients during Thanksgiving! It adds a gorgeous touch to your holiday table.
This Thanksgiving salad recipe of course isn’t just good for Thanksgiving. It’s basically a loaded fall salad with seasonal ingredients all dressed up in a homemade vinaigrette that would be tasty as soon as the weather gets a bit crisp!
What you’ll need
- Butternut squash – a sweet and nutty squash that’s roasted until golden
- Bacon – crispy bacon adds a salty, savory contrast to the sweet ingredients
- Brussels sprouts – shredded Brussels sprouts are a great salad base since they don’t wilt, keep longer, and pack a satisfying crunch
- Apple – Honeycrisp is my choice for its sweet and tart balance, and it’s in peak season in September through November
- Pomegranate – these sweet little red jewels are a staple in fall salad recipes
- Red onion – a mild variety of onion with a pretty color and hint of sharpness
- Almonds – adds a tasty crunch in every single bite. You could also use pecans
- Goat cheese – a creamy and slightly tangy cheese that is fabulous in salads
- Dressing – a quick and easy homemade red wine vinaigrette that ties this beautiful salad together!
Can I make Thanksgiving salad ahead of time?
- Yes! You can make this salad a day or so ahead since it won’t wilt like lettuce would. To do this, prep most of the salad as indicated in the recipe, with the exceptions of cutting the apple up just prior to serving (since it browns) and also storing the cheese and dressing separately and adding to the salad just before serving.
- I prep as I go with this recipe (like prep other ingredients while the squash and bacon are cooking, for example). It makes the whole process smoother and faster overall!
Substitutions and variations
- This salad is very flexible! Feel free not to measure everything out exactly, and you can definitely add/sub ingredients depending on your tastes and what you’re able to get from the grocery store.
- I like to buy the containers of Pom Wonderful pomegranate arils to save time, but you can just buy a pomegranate if you prefer and take the arils out yourself.
- If you can get your hands on a persimmon or two, it would be a lovely seasonal addition to this salad. Or swap it for the apple.
Leftovers and storage
- If there are any leftovers of this salad, store them in the fridge in an airtight container for a couple of days no problem. Keep in mind it will soak up more of the dressing over time.
- I would discard it if it’s been sitting out for several hours, though.
More Thanksgiving side dishes to try
Questions about this Thanksgiving salad recipe? Made it? Leave me a comment and star rating below!
- 1 small butternut squash peeled and cut into 1" pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil for roasting the squash
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 6 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 2 dozen Brussels sprouts trimmed then chopped finely (shredded)
- 1 Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apple chopped
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- 2 tablespoons red onion chopped
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup feta or goat cheese crumbles
- 1 tablespoon bacon fat from frying the bacon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 400F and move the rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds (I use a spoon). Peel the squash (I do this quickly using a sharp knife… I just cut the squash into a few pieces and then cut the skin off carefully). Cut the squash into pieces that are roughly equal-sized (aim for about 1"). Add the squash to a baking sheet and toss with about 1 tbsp olive oil and some salt & pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until it's softened and lightly browned. Flip halfway through for more even color (optional).
- Meanwhile, cut the bacon up and add it to a skillet. Fry over medium-high heat until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and leave the fat in the pan (you will use some in the dressing).
- Add the dressing ingredients to a small bowl or a jar and whisk/shake then set it aside.
- Prep the other ingredients and add them to a salad bowl. Once the squash has cooled a bit, you can add that in as well, along with the cooked bacon.
- Add the dressing and toss. Season with salt & pepper, and taste and adjust if needed (e.g. add a little more olive oil or vinegar).
- Serves 4-8 depending on how much people eat.
- This salad is very flexible! Feel free to adjust ingredient quantities or sub depending on preferences/ingredient availability.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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