31 Thanksgiving Salad Recipes for Your Holiday Table

From leafy green bowls to grain-based dishes, these seasonal sides are bursting with fall flavor. Here are the best Thanksgiving salad recipes to make this year.

Don’t be fooled, the hero of Thanksgiving isn’t the smoked turkey, it’s the roughage. Sure, we dream about piles of potatoes and marshmallow fluff, but our Thanksgiving salad recipes can yield a welcome moment of lightness among the carbs.

A colorful bowl of greens will break up the endless sea of beige in your holiday tablescape. Depending on which salad you choose, it can be a welcome nod to your vegetarian guests too. Let’s put those salad spinners and tongs to good use!

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Favorite Mediterranean Salad

A refreshing take on the romaine salad, this salad recipe adds a colorful splash to the holiday table thanks to its cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, feta and Greek olives. Love to prepare Thanksgiving dinner in advance? This salad can be made ahead of time and dressed just before dinner.
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Butternut Squash Panzanella Salad

Making 8 servings, this fall recipe is perfect for serving at any mid-size holiday gathering. The key to its success? Precut chunks of butternut squash. You can also make substitutes depending on what ingredients you have on hand. Pecans are great in place of the almonds, and watercress works well instead of the arugula or spinach.
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Bacon Caesar Salad

Bring the reliability and creaminess of a restaurant-quality Caesar salad to your table with a recipe that doesn’t complicate. With crispy bacon for a bit of texture and saltiness, even the salad skeptics at the table will dig in.
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Roasted Pear Salad

This fantastical fall salad comes together in a bowl full of color and texture. Sweet roasted pears marry with tart cranberries, crunchy hazelnuts and watercress, bringing tons of sweetness to your bowl. Once everything is dressed in this light vinaigrette, you’ll have a hard time keeping this off of guests’ plates.
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World’s Best Kale Salad

The crunchy, dark green leaves of kale stand up well to the light, olive oil-based dressing for this salad. Parmesan and blue cheese make the salad unbeatable while the cranberries and almonds give us the nutty sweetness we love most in fall salads.
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Mushroom Panzanella

Pillows of sourdough meet tomatoes and an assemblage of mushrooms with warmed goat cheese for a dish so comforting you’ll want to curl up and eat the whole thing. Pine nuts, golden raisins and spicy arugula are the high notes in this luxurious flavor gold mine.
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Boston Lettuce with Roasted Red Onions

The day before Thanksgiving, you’ll fill the kitchen with the intoxicating scent of roasting red onion, a perfect invitation to the oncoming feast. This salad tucks those magenta layers into a beautiful head of Boston lettuce, and adds dots of Gorgonzola and walnuts into this rich take on the “wedge”. A dose of acid from a refreshing orange and balsamic vinaigrette makes this salad bright and assertive.
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Pomegranate Splash Salad

Refresh everyone’s palate with this callback to summer. Cool baby spinach leaves provide a platform for some briny feta cheese. There are so many flavors here to focus on—your tongue popping the juicy pomegranate seeds and sweet raspberries, the earthiness of pine nuts and a surprisingly tart cranberry and rice vinegar dressing.
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Prosciutto, Pear & Burrata Salad

This might be the classiest salad offering your fork will ever find. Prosciutto and fresh burrata meet spicy arugula for a wonderful textural blend. Sweet red pears and capers add a layer of complexity, and the whole shebang needs nothing more than a light dressing of olive oil and balsamic.
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Turnip Greens Salad

To keep things interesting, switch out the greens in your basic garden salad with the dark, vitamin-rich green of turnip leaves. A classic Dijon vinaigrette brings together classic ingredients like cucumber, red onion and tomato, and invites some surprising bites of cranberries and feta. A pinch of cayenne gives this unintimidating salad an unexpected punch.
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Bacon Pear Salad with Parmesan Dressing

Hearkening to a summer picnic table, this fall adaptation has a little of something for everyone. Kale, bacon and pepper jack make a hearty base, while pears add a crunch under the dressing of creamy Dijon and mayonnaise.
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Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Bursting with vitamins and minerals, this powerhouse salad will ensure you get your daily vegetable intake and then some this holiday season. Make this Thanksgiving salad in advance—letting it chill in the fridge is key to allowing the flavors to meld. In need of some sweetness? A ripe pear can be quite the addition.
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Brussels Sprouts & Quinoa Salad

Full of festive color and flair, this Thanksgiving salad recipe is easy to modify—it works well with just about any nuts or dried fruit you have in stock.
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Harvest Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

If Thanksgiving is a holiday of bounty, nothing will impress like this harvest salad. Piled with color, crunch, flavor and texture, each forkful will yield a bevy of ingredients. Earthy beets and apples bring color before you embark on a rainbow of vegetables: carrots, red and yellow tomatoes and spring mixed greens.
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Cran-Orange Couscous Salad

When it comes to Thanksgiving salad recipes, this contest-winning dish takes the cake. Featuring freshly chopped navel oranges, cranberries and a touch of fennel, it’s the perfect dish to pair with your holiday feast.
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Grilled Apple Tossed Salad

A tangy, homemade balsamic dressing pairs well with sweet, tender grilled apples in this quick and filling Thanksgiving salad. Wondering what apple to use here? Check out our guide to the best apples for baking, cooking and eating!
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Winter Beet Salad

For fans of roasted beets, this is one of the best Thanksgiving salad recipes. And it’s well worth the time it takes to come together. Take a shortcut by using packaged salad greens—just be sure to wash them.
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Pear Harvest Salad

End up with way too much leftover turkey? Turn it into a delicious day-after-Thanksgiving salad recipe! The addition of cubed avocados, honey-roasted almonds and pears make this harvest salad not only hearty but healthy as well.
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Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

For a low-calorie salad for your holiday party, look no further than this flavorful Thanksgiving salad recipe! The key to tender Brussels sprouts is refrigerating the salad for as long as possible before serving.
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Roasted Apple Salad with Spicy Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

You’ll find all the best flavors of fall in this harvest salad recipe, like apples, maple syrup and toasted pecans. It’s also the perfect fall dish to make if you have extra fruit after going apple picking.
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Lemon Cranberry Quinoa Salad

Coming together in 30 minutes, this quick Thanksgiving salad recipe is light and lettuce-free. Don’t like cranberries or parsley? Try using diced fresh mangoes and cilantro instead.
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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Honey-Maple Vinaigrette

Bright colors and bold flavors make this one of our favorite Thanksgiving salads to serve! Don’t skip the crumbled blue cheese topping—it pairs exceptionally well with this dish’s sweet homemade honey-maple vinaigrette.
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Wendy’s Apple Pomegranate Salad

A longtime favorite, this tart Thanksgiving salad recipe is sure to create unforgettable memories when served at your next holiday feast. Best of all, it’s ready in just 20 minutes and is only 165 calories a serving!
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Kale & Bacon Salad with Honey-Horseradish Vinaigrette

Uncompromising on taste, this flavorful Thanksgiving salad showcases kale, a highly nutritious green and incredible superfood. Not a fan of this leafy green? Use collards, mustard greens or a mix of spinach and arugula instead.
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Pomegranate Persimmon Salad

Add some sunshine to your fall table with this quick fall salad. It’s ready in just 15 minutes, so guests will be able to enjoy how the sweet, bright persimmons interact with the dish’s puckery homemade vinaigrette.
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Wilted Spinach Salad with Butternut Squash

The epitome of Thanksgiving salad recipes, this dish feels exactly like fall. A decadent start to your holiday meal, the warm balsamic vinaigrette is key to transforming the salad’s simple ingredients into something special. First time sauteing squash? Here’s how to safely peel and cut winter squash.
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Roquefort Pear Salad

Ready in 20 minutes, this seriously quick Thanksgiving salad is perfect for a large crowd—it makes enough for 10 servings and, aside from the dressing, only requires five ingredients! Not a fan of mustard vinaigrette? Try it with this homemade blue cheese dressing instead.
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Sweet Potato & Chickpea Salad

Perfect for a holiday potluck, this Thanksgiving salad recipe is light on the calories, but its flavors are through the roof! For an added crunch, roast the chickpeas in the oven alongside the sweet potatoes.
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Citrus & Roasted Beets Salad

This recipe is great if you’re looking to add some color to your holiday table. The roasted beets add a rich earthiness, which is balanced out by the tart pieces of citrus. Want to make this salad more filling? Add some shredded turkey.
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Hot Spinach Apple Salad

Six ingredients and 20 minutes are all you need to bring one of our favorite Thanksgiving salad recipes to life. This holiday potluck recipe makes 10 servings of fresh green goodness!
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Cranberry-Pecan Wheat Berry Salad

The addition of wheat berries makes this lettuce-free Thanksgiving salad recipe a filling meal all by itself. Can’t find wheat berries? Instead, use kamut, a high-protein ancient grain.

Christabel Lobo
Christabel Lobo is a freelance writer, digital designer and illustrator. She specializes in writing and content marketing related to travel, food, lifestyle, art and wellness. Her writing has appeared in TripSavvy, October Magazine, Zagat Stories, Lonely Planet, AllRecipes, LIVESTRONG.com, Outrigger Hotels, The Hindu Business Line, Open Skies, Trivago, Fodor's, Barclays Travel, London's Evening Standard, Silkwinds, Leaf.tv, HuffPost, and more. She was responsible for researching and updating the Kerala chapter of Fodor's Essential India 2019 guidebook. In addition to having completed her RYT 200 Hatha yoga teacher training, Christabel is also a mixed media designer focusing on web design, illustrations and surface pattern design.