If you believe that every Thanksgiving menu needs a bright and fresh salad, this Really Good Thanksgiving Salad recipe is for you! Greens, Parmesan cheese and the best harvest produce is tossed with a simple maple vinaigrette.

Large bowl of salad made with greens, roasted acorn squash, pomegranate seeds and parmesan cheese. Small bowl of vinaigrette next to salad.

Hey friends! Let’s chat about Thanksgiving and this Thanksgiving salad. As you may have noticed, I’m not sharing a ton of Thanksgiving recipes around here this year.

I know in years past, I’ve published a ton of Thanksgiving recipes, like Corn Casserole with Cheese and Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing.

But I’ve found that when I made a bunch of Thanksgiving recipes for this blog in the weeks and months leading up to the holiday, it diminished my enjoyment of cooking my *real* Thanksgiving dinner a little bit.

Since Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite days of the year (and cooking a feast for my family is something I LOVE to do), I decided to scale it back around here and just offer you this Thanksgiving Salad this year.

If you’re looking for ideas for your own menu, I highly recommend checking out the Epic Thanksgiving I created last year.

I’ll also be back next Monday with an easy last-minute appetizer that you can whip up in no time.

Roasted rings of acorn squash on baking pan.

The meal isn’t complete without a Thanksgiving Salad.

One thing I wanted to be sure to share with you this year, though, was this Really Good Thanksgiving Salad.

For me, a Thanksgiving menu isn’t complete without a salad, and I’ve made this same salad year after year. 

When there are lots of rich, heavier dishes on the table, I find that a light and fresh salad with an acidic dressing really helps to balance everything out.

Even if not everybody at the table chooses to partake in the salad, I like having it there. I’ll always have a scoop to my plate!

Small white bowl of pomegranate arils on wooden background.

This Thanksgiving Salad is sweet, savory and simple.

I keep this Thanksgiving salad simple by starting with a big bowl of spinach greens. You could also use arugula, thinly sliced kale, mixed greens, or even butter lettuce.

From there, it’s just a matter of choosing some of my favorite fall harvest ingredients, like acorn squash, pears and pomegranate arils.

Butternut squash and apples would be just as delicious! A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese shavings add saltiness.

Large bowl of Thanksgiving salad with gold serving spoons. Small bowl of vinaigrette and gray linen nearby.

What kind of dressing for a Thanksgiving Salad?

This Thanksgiving salad is lightly dressed in a homemade apple cider vinegar + maple syrup vinaigrette.

This dressing can be made in advance! Keep it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

One less thing to do on Thanksgiving, right?

Other great options would be my homemade citrus salad dressing, homemade tahini dressing or another one of my healthy salad dressings.

How can I prepare this salad in advance?

I’m a BIG fan of prepping for Thanksgiving in advance, so there’s less to do the day of.

As I mentioned above, the dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance.

In addition, you can roast the squash in advance. I would under roast the squash (roast it just 20 to 25 minutes instead of 30). Allow it to cool and then keep it in a covered container in the fridge.

When you’re ready to serve the salad, you can microwave the squash for a minute or two to finish cooking it.

If you’re using a fresh pomegranate, the arils can be taken out of it in advance, and refrigerated.

Then, slice the pear and toss everything together and you’re ready to go!

Psst – this salad is also the perfect accompaniment to leftover turkey chili.

More great Thanksgiving recipes:

The turkey might be the star, but my plate is always filled with all the side dishes. And I love repurposing the leftovers!

Large bowl of salad made with greens, roasted acorn squash, pomegranate seeds and parmesan cheese. Small bowl of vinaigrette next to salad.

Really Good Thanksgiving Salad Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

If you believe that every Thanksgiving menu needs a bright and fresh salad, this Really Good Thanksgiving Salad recipe is for you! Greens, Parmesan cheese and the best harvest produce is tossed with a simple maple vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 medium acorn squash, halved, seeded and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 package (5 ounces) baby spinach
  • 1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly spray rimmed baking pan with cooking spray. Place squash slices on prepared pan and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and cook 30 minutes or until golden brown and tender, turning once halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together maple syrup and vinegar. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until all oil is incorporated.
  3. To serve, add greens to dressing and toss until well combined. Arrange greens on serving platter; top with pear, pomegranate arils, cheese and squash. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 196mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

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Collage of images of Thanksgiving salad and roasted acorn squash with overlay: Really Good THANKSGIVING SALAD