This Thanksgiving salad is a blend of mixed greens, fresh apples, pomegranate seeds, blue cheese and candied pecans, all tossed in a homemade vinaigrette. An easy and festive salad that makes any holiday meal special!
When I’m looking for a salad that features seasonal produce, I turn to classics such as winter fruit salad, brussels sprouts salad and this simple yet satisfying Thanksgiving salad. Need more help with your holiday meal? Be sure to check out my complete guide on how to cook a turkey!
No meal is complete without a green salad, even around the holidays! My Thanksgiving salad is the perfect mix of sweet and savory ingredients, and takes just minutes to put together.
HOW DO YOU MAKE THANKSGIVING SALAD?
Thinly slice your favorite variety of apples, then place them in a bowl of mixed greens along with crumbles of blue cheese, sweet candied pecans and fresh pomegranate seeds. Make a homemade apple cider dressing with a handful of pantry ingredients, then pour the dressing over the salad and toss everthing together to combine. Serve immediately and enjoy!
TIPS FOR THE PERFECT THANKSGIVING SALAD
- This recipe will work with most types of apples. My favorite varieties are Pink Lady and Honeycrisp, but I’ve also made this salad with Braeburn, Fuji and Envy apples. Avoid Granny Smith apples, as they are too tart in this application.
- I like to buy a wedge of high quality blue cheese and crumble it myself. Pre-crumbled blue cheese often contains anti-caking agents and stabilizers, and it doesn’t have as complex of a flavor.
- You can buy candied pecans at the grocery store in the produce area or salad dressing aisle. Or, make your own with my recipe.
- Looking to save on prep time? Grab a container of pre-prepared pomegranate seeds and a tub of triple washed greens.
MAKE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS
In my opinion, all holiday salads need to have make ahead components to minimize the time spent in the kitchen on the big day! For this Thanksgiving salad, the dressing can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. I also chop the nuts, crumble the cheese and remove the pomegranate seeds from the fruit at least one day in advance. On Thanksgiving day, simply slice the apples and toss everything together.
This salad is fabulous as-is, but you can add other ingredients to make it your own.
- Fruit: This salad also works with mandarin oranges, pears or persimmons instead of the apples.
- Nuts: No pecans on hand? Try candied walnuts or sliced almonds instead. You can even try using toasted pine nuts or roasted cashews.
- Cheese: When I’m not in a blue cheese kind of mood, I substitute in feta cheese, shaved parmesan or ricotta salata.
- Add-Ins: Feel free to add other complementary ingredients such as shaved fennel or thinly sliced red onion, or swap out the pomegranate seeds for dried cranberries or dried cherries.
- Dressing: The dressing for this salad is an apple cider vinaigrette, but you can also use a homemade or store bought balsamic dressing with great results.
Thanksgiving salad is so good that you don’t even need to wait for November to serve it – I enjoy this one all year round!
More salad recipes
Thanksgiving Salad Video
For the salad
- 7 cups mixed spring greens
- 1 1/2 cups sliced apples I prefer Pink Lady or Honeycrisp
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup high quality blue cheese crumbled
- 1/2 cup candied pecans coarsely chopped
For the dressing
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon shallot minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the mixed greens, apples, pomegranate seeds, blue cheese and candied pecans in a large bowl.
- Place all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, whisk until combined and dressing has emulsified.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad mixture to taste, then gently toss to coat. You may have dressing left over. Serve immediately.