Thanksgiving Salad Recipe Roundup

It’s hard to mess with Thanksgiving food traditions. The first Thanksgiving after we were married, my husband and I stayed in Boston rather than traveling to see family as we normally do. Since our Thanksgiving table was only going to include the two of us and a friend, I suggested to Ben that we forego the full turkey and I would prepare either a chicken or a couple of turkey parts instead. My husband looked at me as though I’d suggested something truly unthinkable (luckily, I hadn’t suggested something as wild as ham!). So, the three of us did our best with the smallest turkey I could find – we did have some delicious sandwiches and turkey pot pie that year.

As set in stone as our Thanksgiving menu may be, when I’m hosting, I like to use the opportunity to try something a little out of the box. Sides are the perfect way to introduce some new flavors without ruffling too many feathers. With all the rich, warm traditional foods, a crunchy, bright salad (or slaw) is the perfect addition to the meal.

If you’re still looking for something to add to your table, or are tasked with bringing a dish, consider the salads below. Much of the prep can be done in advance and they don’t require the ever-precious Thanksgiving resource – oven space. (Click the names below to go to the recipe page.)


Lacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad Recipe – 101 Cookbooks

A base of finely shredded Lacinato kale to which and abundance of toasted pecans, pecorino cheese, and shredded Brussels sprouts are added. A strong lemon-tahini dressing is leveraged to brighten things up and take the raw edge off of the kale.

Greens with Walnuts, Parmesan and Pancetta Vinaigrette (Milk Street)

Kale Salad with Smoked Almonds and Picada Crumbs (Milk Street)

Mixed Greens with Green Beans, Almonds and Dried Cherry Vinaigrette (Pamela Salzman)

Lacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad (101 Cookbooks)


Moroccan Carrot Salad

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, molasses, turmeric and ½ teaspoon salt. While whisking, slowly pour in the oil. Add the apricots and cumin, then let stand for 5 minutes to allow the apricots to soften.

Moroccan Carrot Salad (Milk Street)

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples, Hazelnuts & Brown Butter Dressing (The Kitchn)


butternut squash salad with farro and pepitas

Recipes This was my lunch last week. I know that it may look less like lunch and more like penance, some apology for eating too many squares of salted-caramel-glazed fanned-apples-atop-1000-layers-of-buttery-pastry. I realize that most people think that when you start serving them bowls hearty grains and roasted squash that you might have an ulterior motive, like their thighs.

Butternut Squash Salad with Farro and Pepitas (smitten kitchen)

Golden Beet and Barley Salad with Rainbow Chard (The Kitchn)

Wheat Berry Salad with Blood Oranges, Feta & Red Onion Vinaigrette (The Kitchn)


mixed citrus salad with feta and mint

Recipes Like many New Yorkers, I have a healthy fear of the Upper West Side’s Fairway Market (the Harlem one isn’t so bad, but the Pulaski Skyway is technically closer to my apartment).

Apple and Fennel Salad with Candied Pecans (Milk Street)

Mixed Citrus Salad with Feta and Mint (smitten kitchen)

Fennel and Blood Orange Salad (smitten kitchen)

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