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20 Fall Salads That Totally Deserve a Place in Your Thanksgiving Lineup

Justina Huddleston is an editor and the head writer for TDmonthly Magazine. She has been a freelance writer for several years, though her real passion is cooking. You can see the recipes she creates on her vegan food blog, A Life of Litt...

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Thanksgiving salads

#1/22:

Thanksgiving salads

Stuffing. Mashed potatoes. Gravy. Cranberry sauce. Sweet potato casserole with tons of marshmallows. Pumpkin pie. Broccoli casserole with extra Cheez-Its on top. A turkey so huge, it weighs as much as your kooky Uncle Jerry. This is what Thanksgiving is made of. But salad? Pshaw. 

We know what you're thinking, because we've all thought the same thing: "Why the hell should I waste precious room in my stomach on salad when there are so many other Thanksgiving bounties I'd rather partake in?" It's a valid question, but, friends, we're here to tell you that salad does deserve a place on your Turkey Day table. But not just any old salad. You can't just throw together some romaine and bottled ranch and call it a day. 

What makes these salads perfect for Thanksgiving? An abundance of fall produce, like apples, pears and kale.

Originally published November 2016. Updated November 2017.

#2/22:

Shaved Brussels sprout Caesar salad

#2/22:

Shaved Brussels sprout Caesar salad

Put an autumnal spin on Caesar salad with Brussels sprouts in this recipe.

#3/22:

Apple, quinoa and almond kale salad

#3/22:

Apple, quinoa and almond kale salad

Almonds and apples give this kale and quinoa salad a little something special.

#4/22:

Beet, quinoa and hazelnut salad

#4/22:

Beet, quinoa and hazelnut salad

Earthy, nutty and full of goodness, this salad hits all the marks.

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Farro, mushroom and chestnut salad

#5/22:

Farro, mushroom and chestnut salad

Nutty, savory and full of flavor, this hearty salad can stand up to the rest of the Thanksgiving meal.

#6/22:

Avocado and apple Brussels sprouts salad

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Avocado and apple Brussels sprouts salad

Creamy avocado, tart crunchy apple, Brussels sprouts and Parmesan make this salad worthy of celebration.

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Frisée, gorgonzola and bacon salad

#7/22:

Frisée, gorgonzola and bacon salad

Tossed with a cherry port dressing, this salty, smoky frisée salad will be a dinner party hit.

#8/22:

Autumn Cobb salad

#8/22:

Autumn Cobb salad

Loaded with bacon, sweet potatoes, chicken and more, this autumnal Cobb salad can't be beat.

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Candied pecan, pear, pomegranate salad

#9/22:

Candied pecan, pear, pomegranate salad

What's not to love about this salad tossed with pears, candied pecans, pomegranate and a Dijon dressing?

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Kale and spiralized sweet potato salad

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Kale and spiralized sweet potato salad

Tangles of spiralized sweet potato are tossed with kale and white beans in this fall salad.

#11/22:

Holiday slaw with apples and pomegranate

#11/22:

Holiday slaw with apples and pomegranate

Next to all of that heavy holiday food, this bright and crunchy slaw is a welcome taste of freshness.

#12/22:

Brussels sprouts, kale and apple salad

#12/22:

Brussels sprouts, kale and apple salad

Sweet apples, salty cheddar and smoky bacon stand up to bold Brussels sprouts and kale in this salad recipe.

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Pear and Roquefort salad

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Pear and Roquefort salad

A pumpkin honey mustard vinaigrette brings together sweet pear and pungent Roquefort in this salad.

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Shaved persimmon and apple salad

#15/22:

Shaved persimmon and apple salad

Sweet and tangy honey-lime dressing livens up this salad of shaved fall fruits and queso fresco.

#17/22:

Sweet potato and kale salad

#17/22:

Sweet potato and kale salad

Ginger-roasted sweet potatoes make this hearty kale salad the perfect healthy Thanksgiving choice.

#18/22:

Shredded carrot wild rice salad

#18/22:

Shredded carrot wild rice salad

Wild rice, shredded carrots and some flavorful extras make this colorful dish a perfect Thanksgiving side.

#19/22:

Spinach, apple, maple-cinnamon salad

#19/22:

Spinach, apple, maple-cinnamon salad

Slightly savory, slightly sweet, this salad is tossed with feta and a maple-cinnamon dressing for big flavor.

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Wild rice & acorn squash wedge salad

#20/22:

Wild rice & acorn squash wedge salad

Turn the classic wedge salad on its head with this elegant autumnal version instead.

#21/22:

Pomegranate-arugula quinoa salad

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Pomegranate-arugula quinoa salad

A medley of textures and flavors make this salad of quinoa, apple, feta and arugula truly special.

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