22 Gorgeous Salads to Add to Your Thanksgiving Spread

Bright, colorful and bursting with flavor — these salads will be right at home on any holiday table.

August 17, 2022

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… Because It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

The turkey and traditional sides get all the glory on Thanksgiving Day. What’s not to love about potatoes, gravy and baskets of warm dinner rolls? But, gobbling them all up can leave us feeling, well, stuffed. That’s why we always strive for a little bit of balance when we’re planning our holiday meal — and that means adding a few extra-special vegetable side dishes to the menu. Salad may not be top-of-mind when planning your feast but it makes a wonderful first course alongside appetizers. And, when filled with special ingredients like nuts, fruit and cheese, it’s every bit as indulgent as other options. Just take this chopped salad, for example. It’s an ode to all our favorite fall flavors: toasted pecans, sweet roasted squash, savory bacon, dried cranberries and hearty Brussels sprouts. Best of all, this colorful salad can easily be enjoyed with a spoon, making it ideal for a large family gathering where bowls are passed around the table.

Get the Recipe: Thanksgiving Spoon Salad

Pomegranate, Arugula Salad

Tyler uses homemade vinaigrette to dress this fall salad, which gets topped with fresh pomegranates and walnuts.

Get the Recipe: Pomegranate, Arugula Salad

Roasted Acorn Squash and Portobello Mushroom Salad with Radicchio, Apples and Pumpkin Seeds

This salad makes use of all of your favorite fall ingredients: roasted squash and mushrooms, tart apples and pumpkin seeds.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Acorn Squash and Portobello Mushroom Salad with Radicchio, Apples and Pumpkin Seeds

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Top a crunchy pear, watercress and arugula salad with toasted walnuts, pecans, almonds or cashews.

Get the Recipe: Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Crunchy Sweet Brussels Sprout Salad

Instead of serving the Brussels sprouts whole this year, try them shredded and tossed with crunchy chopped walnuts and sweet dried cranberries. While sauteing the sprouts, add some nutmeg for a hint of autumnal spice and aroma.

Get the Recipe: Crunchy Sweet Brussels Sprout Salad

The Barefoot Contessa's Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

For a salad full of fall flavors, serve roasted butternut squash on top of baby arugula with a few shavings of nutty Parmesan cheese.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Color Crunch Salad

Katie’s salad is a wonderful mix of flavors: She combines four different veggies, sweet apple and pistachios to make this crunchy salad. The whole thing is topped off with a creamy peanut butter dressing. If you have an almost-empty jar of peanut butter, use it to make the dressing — just pour in the remaining ingredients and shake.

Get the Recipe: Color Crunch Salad

Thanksgiving Salad

This loaded salad contains a bounty of fall flavors and textures, earthy pecans, crisp sweet apples, sharp Cheddar cheese, chewy dried cranberries and everyone's favorite topping: crispy fried onions.

Get the Recipe: Thanksgiving Salad

Green Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

The key to this salad is the cranberry vinaigrette: it’s sweet, slightly tart and really livens up the dish. The berries are cooked in honey and water first, then mixed with olive oil and vinegar to make a smooth, silky dressing.

Get the Recipe: Green Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Sweet-and-Savory Kale Salad

Look out, turkey: Giada’s beautiful salad is guaranteed to steal the show. She takes roasted sweet potatoes and pearl onions to the next level by tossing with kale, apple and a pomegranate vinaigrette.

Get the Recipe: Sweet-and-Savory Kale Salad

Butternut Squash and Sausage Salad

Put a hearty twist on the ultimate fall salad by adding sweet Italian sausage. It’s filling enough to hold you over until turkey time, but not so heavy that you’ll pass on the mashed potatoes.

Get the Recipe: Butternut Squash and Sausage Salad

Succotash Salad

Valerie’s colorful salad is a winning combo of tender lima beans, corn and ripe tomatoes. Seasonal spices, like sage and nutmeg, add a touch of cozy flavor that fits right in on any Thanksgiving table.

Get the Recipe: Succotash Salad

Smoky Arugula and Apple Salad

Giada says, “homemade dressing always elevates a simple salad.” To make this easy dressing, she whisks together whole-grain mustard, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Don’t have apples on hand? This salad works just as well with pears.

Get the Recipe: Smoky Arugula and Apple Salad

Spinach Salad with Garlic Dressing

Treat your taste buds with Trisha’s spinach salad. She adds crispy bacon for a smoky crunch, then rounds out the dish with a quick garlic vinaigrette.

Get the Recipe: Spinach Salad with Garlic Dressing

Green Bean Salad with Creme Fraiche

A salad composed of crisp and tender green beans, mustard-creme fraiche dressing and a bunch of fresh herbs tops any leafy green contender in the spread of Thanksgiving sides.

Get the Recipe: Green Bean Salad with Creme Fraiche

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad

Valerie’s warm salad couldn’t be simpler — she sautés smoky pancetta, then cooks shaved brussels sprouts in the same pan. A drizzle of red wine vinegar is the only dressing needed with this savory dish.

Get the Recipe: Warm Brussels Sprout Salad

Pear, Celery and Farro Salad

Already have plenty of veggies for Thanksgiving? Give this grain-filled recipe a try. Farro serves as the heart-healthy salad base, while pear and celery add fresh flavor and a yummy crunch.

Get the Recipe: Pear, Celery and Farro Salad

Butternut and Kale Salad

Ree tosses curly kale with a balsamic vinaigrette, then tops off the salad with butternut squash, pine nuts, prosciutto and thinly shaved Parmesan. To wow your Thanksgiving guests, serve this gorgeous salad on an elegant, elongated platter.

Get the Recipe: Butternut and Kale Salad

Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad

Ina puts an autumnal twist on roasted carrots by caramelizing them with maple syrup. She finishes her five-star salad by tossing the carrots with arugula, goat cheese, cranberries and almonds.

Get the Recipe: Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad

Roasted Beet and Spinach Salad

You can roast the beets in advance for Nancy’s simple salad, then just whip up the vinaigrette and toss with the additional ingredients when you’re ready to eat.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Beet Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

Ranch Salad with Candied Pecans

You won’t believe how tasty this sweet and savory salad is. Chopped romaine is tossed with a simple ranch dressing, then mixed with raisin-walnut bread croutons and candied pecans. Serve as a fun first course on Thanksgiving, or whip it up to pair with leftovers the next day.

Get the Recipe: Ranch Salad with Candied Pecans

Thanksgiving Stuffing Salad

Everyone has a favorite Thanksgiving side, but is it really the holiday without stuffing? All the best elements get mixed together in this fresh, crunchy salad: gently toasted baguette cubes, thinly sliced celery, leeks, carrots, plus plenty of herbs and pickled red onions. The best part is the dressing, an easy vinaigrette spiked with vegetable bouillon for all the comforting flavor you crave. It’s a perfect excuse to lighten the load this holiday or drag every foodie’s favorite day into any season!

Get the Recipe: Thanksgiving Stuffing Salad