Thanksgiving Salad Recipes

Tasty and Healthy--Doesn't Get Any Better!

Our Thanksgiving salad recipes take advantage of all the wonderful natural flavor of fresh ingredients: fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils. Talk about waking up the taste buds!

Plus, we have Thanksgiving ideas for every course, so check out our Thanksgiving appetizers all the way through to our Thanksgiving cake recipes. We have more Thanksgiving food ideas than you have room in your belly. Oh, yeah, and best of all, all of these Thanksgiving salad recipes make for a gluten-free Thanksgiving!

Green Apple Salad

salad with mixed greens, green apples, crumbled blue cheese

This Thanksgiving salad recipe starts with a base of mixed greens and thinly sliced green apples. Then add the colors and savory flavors of the fall season for a unique dish each time you serve it. The following make great additions:

  • roasted red pepper
  • pine nuts
  • crumbled blue cheese
  • dried cranberries
  • strawberries
  • hardboiled egg
  • blueberries
  • avocado

Toss your greens with homemade classic balsamic vinaigrette. This salad dressing is easy to make and as delightfully fresh as your green apple salad.

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp virgin olive oil

Mix all the ingredients except the olive oil in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking continuously. Drizzle over the salad and toss.

Poached Pear & Blue Cheese Salad

salad with poached pears, greens, walnuts

Poached pears are both elegant and seasonal. Your Thanksgiving dinner menu will look especially well put together when you use pears in your centerpiece, salad, and dessert. Talk about instant continuity of color and taste in your seasonal theme! To poach pears, just follow these steps:

  • 3 firm Bosc pears
  • 3 cups of Riesling (sweet white wine)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 4 strips orange peel

Heat the wine, sugar, and orange peel over low heat in a shallow saucepan. Peel the pears and cut into six equal pieces. Add to the saucepan, making sure all pieces are covered to prevent discoloration. Heat for 15 minutes, or until tender.

Next, arrange the poached pears over greens along with any of the following:

  • blue cheese
  • goat cheese
  • brie
  • walnuts
  • dried cranberries
  • golden raisins

Lastly, to complete this Thanksgiving salad recipe, make the same vinaigrette you created for the Green Apple Salad above. Only difference: substitute white wine vinegar for the balsamic.


bowl of coleslaw

Homemade coleslaw is one of my most favorite gluten-free Thanksgiving salad recipes. This recipe comes from my mother-in-law, not known for her gourmet cooking, but well known for her coleslaw. She made it with fresh ingredients, a little mayonnaise (not because it was bad for you, but because it was expensive), and the secret ingredient, lemon juice.

This coleslaw is very colorful and can change appearance depending on how you cut the vegetables. Dice them by hand, the way my mother-in-law made it; or slice them into short julienne strips the way my husband does it. Both taste great. Here's what you need:

  • 1 large cabbage (red or green)
  • 2 green bell peppers (red is good too)
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp celery seed

Cut the vegetables whichever way you choose. Put them all in a large bowl and toss to mix. Add the mayonnaise and celery seed to the vegetables; toss to mix. Add lemon juice and toss once more lightly.

Waldorf Salad

waldorf salad with bibb lettuce, apples, walnuts

I remember the first time I made a Waldorf salad. It was in home economics class. If you're not old enough to know what "home ec" is, ask your mother. And if you don't know what the Waldorf is, ask your grandmother.

My salad didn't look anything like this, but it was pretty tasty. Since then, the Waldorf has been reinvented to not only look better, but be a little better for you, too.

  • Bibb lettuce
  • 1 sweet apple, cored and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup slightly toasted walnuts
  • 3 Tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk the yogurt and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper. Toss with apple slices, celery, and walnuts. Add to a salad bowl with Bibb lettuce and toss.

Spinach Salad with Warm Turkey Bacon Dressing

spinach salad with hard-boiled eggs and red onion

This Thanksgiving salad recipe is an elegant dish that's packed with flavor. It's a guaranteed hit as part of your Thanksgiving dinner menu.

  • 16 oz baby spinach
  • 16 pieces thick-sliced turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 8 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 large hardboiled eggs, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp bacon drippings (okay, bacon grease sounds gross, but tastes soooo good)
  • 6 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash, pat dry, and cut the stems off of the spinach leaves and set aside.

Heat the bacon drippings on low. Whisk in red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and sugar. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the spinach, turkey bacon, mushrooms, and red onion in a large salad bowl and toss. Add sliced eggs, being careful not to break the slices too much. Drizzle with warm dressing. Serves 8-10 side salads.


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