We might associate Thanksgiving with comforting, creamy green bean casseroles, mountains of mashed potatoes, and turkey smothered in gravy. (Not to mention slices of both pumpkin and apple pie.) And those are all well and good—but the very best Thanksgiving tables have something leafy or green to balance out our plates.
And it doesn’t just need to be a pile of lettuce. Your Thanksgiving salad can come in all shades and shapes: shaved Brussels sprouts, roasted fennel, tart green apples. Here, I’ve combed through our salad selection and picked out 25 of my favorites to add to your feast.
Oh, and if you’re looking for more menu inspiration, don't forget to head over to our Food52 Automagic Menu Maker!
If you want everyone's eyes to light up when you bring out a kale salad, just do as EmilyC does and throw in some salty salami and meaty walnuts.
Radicchio is infamously bitter, so here are a couple ways to tame it: squashy carrots and a jammy balsamic dressing.
For an utterly fall take on a classic Caesar salad, ditch the romaine and use hearty Brussels sprouts instead. We love they don't wilt under the dressing.
Horseradish's spicy, punchy personality works wonders with sweet, earthy fall vegetables.
Warm, sticky dates star in this squash salad. Funky blue cheese keeps the sweetness in check (you could also swap in feta if you want).
Melted cheese? On salad? Yes. Don't say we didn't warn you: Once you start with this trick, you won't be able to stop.
Down-to-earth beets get a lift from juicy citrus and zingy ginger—and we're here for it.
Roasted vegetables can be salad, too! The goat cheese adds some tangy creaminess and the hazelnuts, some much-needed crunch.
Slightly-spicy mustard greens are a great way to liven up squash. If you can't find them, escarole would be a nice substitute.
Shaved Brussels sprouts get tossed with a brown-buttery vinaigrette (as life-changing as it sounds), then topped with salty pecorino and lots of walnuts.
Butternut squash, nubby farro, and more brown butter because, no, we can't be stopped. This one is curried for warm spice.
If you've only been serving slaw alongside summer spreads, now is the time to right that wrong. Just follow Deb Perelman's lead.
A grainy salad that's full of our favorite fall things: apples, dried cranberries, and crunchy hazelnuts. If you want to add some cheese, who's to stop you?
A Caesar-inspired kale salad that pays homage to the glory that is roasted onions. If you can't track down ricotta salata, feta would work too.
This chive-sage dressing is good on just about any grain salad in the colder months, especially this one with farro and sunny beets.
When you need a break from the turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy, this refreshing endive salad with raw citrus is here for you.
Calling all mushroom lovers. These roasted beauties are simply flavored with garlic, parsley, red wine vinegar, and little else.
A kale salad that's as just about famous as a kale salad can get. Including two types of cheese—creamy cheddar and crumbly pecorino—definitely doesn't hurt.
Yes, you could and should include these tingly pickled grapes in other fall salads, from broccoli to fennel.
A potato salad that's more salad than potato. Peppery arugula and winey Dijon are a perfect match for the spuds.
A confident, hearty salad that would love to be served next to any roasted meat, from turkey to pork shoulder.
Bulgur is an A+ way to make any salad a little more substantial. Here, it teams up with kale and apples (mustard greens and pears would be a fun riff).
Fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and a handful (yes, a literal handful) of fresh herbs make this fall-forward salad one we will crave on Thanksgiving—and for the rest of fall and winter.
If you have yet to shave fennel into thin, pappardelle-like ribbons—well, what are you waiting for? A mandoline is very helpful here.
Sometimes simple does it. This salad includes parsley, basil, dill, and chives, plus sesame and sunflower seeds for crunch-crunch-crunch texture.
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