A Hearty Roasted Carrot, Spelt Berry and Pomegranate Salad for Your Thanksgiving Table

With its festive fall flavors, this salad would make the perfect accompaniment to a Thanksgiving spread — especially if you’re looking for hearty vegetable-based dishes to serve to your guests. Spelt berries become plump and tender after simmering, giving the salad an interesting texture and an earthy whole-grain flavor that pairs well with bright, tart pomegranate, bitter greens and sweet roasted carrots.

Perhaps the greatest thing about a salad like this is that it’s versatile and can be adapted to complement the rest of your meal. If you already have carrots on your menu, the roasted carrots can easily be replaced with other fall vegetables like squash or fennel. Or use rosemary or thyme in place of sage and add some toasted walnuts or pecans if you’re looking for something a bit richer. Robust salads like this one also stand up well long after being dressed, making them perfect for holiday buffets and leisurely meals.

Roasted Carrot and Spelt Berry Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

Serves 4



1/2 cup spelt berries, soaked overnight in 2 cups water (use wheat berries if you can’t find spelt berries at your local health food store or farmers market)

2 pounds multicolored carrots (about 8 large)

1 large bunch of sage, leaves removed (about 30 leaves)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Large pinch sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 cups arugula leaves


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar

Pinch sea salt

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds


Drain and rinse spelt berries and place in a small pot. Cover with an inch of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Cut carrots on the diagonal into long 1/2-inch-thick slices and place them on the parchment-lined tray. Add sage leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Spread out over tray in a single layer and roast for 20 minutes. Stir carrots and return to oven for another 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Place carrots in a wide bowl, add spelt berries and arugula, and toss to combine and set aside.

Make the dressing:

Add olive oil to a small bowl and whisk in balsamic vinegars and salt. Stir in pomegranate seeds and pour over salad, toss to combine and serve.

Need more help with your Thanksgiving prep?

Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer in New York City. Her cookbook At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen is available now. She blogs at amychaplin.com.

Next Up

The One Dish Every Vegan Needs on Their Thanksgiving Dinner Table

Your favorite comfort food casserole but make it vegan.

On My Thanksgiving Table, There’s Char Siu Right Next to the Turkey

My family’s spread is a combination of American and Asian customs.

6 Carrot Treats That Deserve a Spot in Your Thanksgiving Dessert Spread

Pumpkin, pecan and apple may get all the love on Thanksgiving, but they aren't the only flavors that deserve a spot in your holiday dessert spread.

The Veggie Table: Apple Walnut Wheat Berry Salad

Take advantage of the flavors of fall with this savory, vegan apple and wheat berry salad.

The Veggie Table: Navigating Thanksgiving

Just because the traditional turkey tends to take center stage, it doesn't mean there can't be delicious plant-based options for main dishes and sides.

The Veggie Table: Raspberry-Lime Sorbet

This fruity, refreshing frozen treat is made with just 4 ingredients (and one of them is water!).

Welcoming Vegetarians to Your Thanksgiving Table

You've got vegetarians coming over for Thanksgiving dinner -- what should you serve them?