Food & Recipes

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This hearty apple, lentil and pine nut salad makes for an enchanting autumn side or vegetarian entrée.

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

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

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

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

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