Home > Salads > Thanksgiving Salad Thanksgiving Salad November 19, 2019 | 6 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. This simple Thanksgiving Salad comes loaded with roasted butternut squash, fresh baby spinach, candied almonds, feta cheese, and dried cranberries. The salad is dressed with an easy three-ingredient balsamic dressing. Looking for more holiday side dishes? Make sure to try these famous mashed potatoes, this classic Thanksgiving dressing, and our favorite roasted brussels sprouts. Do you serve salad on Thanksgiving? In my opinion, Thanksgiving Salad should always make its way to your table–and not just on Thanksgiving! It’s a great way to add color, freshness, and variety to a plate often filled with delicious – but heavy – side dishes. A good salad is always one of my favorite side dish options, especially if it’s loaded with roasted butternut squash – yum! While making a salad with homemade dressing might seem daunting as you’re preparing the rest of the Thanksgiving dinner, this salad is meant to be as easy as possible. The dressing only requires three ingredients and the salad has only five main ingredients. And most of those ingredients are store-bought and pre-prepared. Below is a quick ingredient breakdown. Thanksgiving Salad ingredients Roasted butternut squash, tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper Baby spinach Dried cranberries (or dried tart cherries) Honey-roasted sliced almonds Feta cheese (or goat cheese) Dressing: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey (of course, seasoned with salt and pepper) How to make Thanksgiving Salad The photos above correlate with the descriptions below to make this Thanksgiving salad. Drizzle olive oil over cubed butternut squash. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Toss the squash in the seasonings and oil; then bake. Flip the squash to bake evenly. Tip: Use a LARGE sheet pan: the more space the squash has, the better it’ll roast in the oven. When squash is overlapping on a sheet pan, it ends up steaming instead of roasting. This will make the squash taste soggy, instead of deliciously caramelized. Add spinach to a large bowl. Tip: Remove any large stems and tear large pieces in half. Add squash on top. Tip: Allow squash to cool to room temperature before adding to the spinach so it will wilt and start to “cook” the spinach. Add candied almonds and… Finally, toss on the dried cranberries and crumbled feta cheese. This is a picture of the dressing; simply add the ingredients to a mason jar and shake to combine. Tip: To get the ingredients to emulsify, shake them vigorously in a mason jar instead of just whisking in a bowl. With the ingredients in a mason jar, you can always shake to recombine if needed. Quick prep tips Buy pre-cut butternut squash. Not having to peel and cut a squash can be a real timesaver. Many grocery stores sell squash that’s peeled, cut, and ready to roast. Use candied almonds. While you can make your own (and I share how to in this Mandarin Orange Salad), it will save time to just buy salad-ready candied almonds. These are my favorite (not sponsored). Make in advance: The dressing can be made ahead of time and stored in the mason jar in the fridge (just shake to recombine). All the other components of the salad can also be made ahead of time and stored separately in the fridge. Toss together before enjoying this Thanksgiving Salad! How to prepare butternut squash in advance The squash can be peeled and cubed 2-3 days in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to roast. You can also roast the squash a day in advance and reheat it before serving. Cook the squash slightly al dente the first day (about 15-20 minutes). Let cool completely and then refrigerate in an airtight container. When ready to serve this festive salad, transfer the par-baked squash to a sheet pan and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through, tender, and golden. A good Thanksgiving menu: Pair roasted butternut squash Thanksgiving Salad with the following dishes for a great Thanksgiving menu! Crockpot Turkey Breast Roasted Sweet Potatoes Green Bean Casserole Watergate Salad Dinner Rolls Cornbread Muffins Pecan Streusel Pumpkin Pie More delicious holiday salads Roasted Veggie Salad (Panzanella) Roasted Sweet Potato Salad Wild Rice Salad Pear Salad Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Thanksgiving Salad 5 from 2 votes - Review this recipe This simple Thanksgiving Salad comes loaded with roasted butternut squash, fresh baby spinach, candied almonds, feta cheese, and dried cranberries. The salad is dressed with an easy three-ingredient balsamic dressing. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Thanksgiving Salad 5 from 2 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe This simple Thanksgiving Salad comes loaded with roasted butternut squash, fresh baby spinach, candied almonds, feta cheese, and dried cranberries. The salad is dressed with an easy three-ingredient balsamic dressing. Course Salad, Vegetarian Cuisine American Keyword thanksgiving salad Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Total Time 45 minutes Servings 6 -8 servings as a side dish Calories 140kcal Author Chelsea Lords Cost $6.12 Ingredients▢ 1 bag (16 ounces) pre-cubed butternut squash Note 1▢ 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil▢ Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper▢ 1 bag (6 ounces) baby spinach▢ 1/3 cup honey roasted (salad-ready) sliced almonds Note 2▢ 1/3 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries▢ 2-3 ounce crumbled feta cheeseDressing▢ 2 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil▢ 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar▢ 2 and 1/2 teaspoons honey▢ Pinch of fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepperUS - Metric USMetric InstructionsBUTTERNUT SQUASH: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the butternut squash and chop it into small bite-sized pieces. Place on a large sheet pan and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper (to taste; I add about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Arrange the squash in an even layer on the tray. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and stir. Return to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes longer or until tender, but not mushy. Set aside and allow to cool for a bit before adding to salad. DRESSING: Combine all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake to combine. Taste and adjust to personal preference. (Add more honey if you like sweeter, season with additional salt as desired.)ASSEMBLE: Add spinach to a large bowl, removing any large stems and tearing large pieces if needed. Drizzle half of the dressing over the spinach and gently toss. Add roasted (and cooled to room temperature) squash, almonds, cranberries, and feta cheese. Very gently toss the salad ingredients.SERVE: Serve salad onto plates and drizzle the last bit of dressing onto individual servings. Enjoy soon after being prepared, since this salad doesn't sit well with the dressing and ingredients. If you want to save leftovers, only dress and combine the ingredients that will be eaten the same day. Recipe NotesNote 1: Squash: If you prefer to peel and chop your own butternut squash, you'll need 1 small-to-medium-sized butternut squash, which will yield about 4 heaping cups of cut squash. Note 2: Almonds: I buy the "salad-ready" honey-roasted almonds for this salad. To candy your own almonds, combine 1 cup sliced almonds with 1/3 cup white sugar in a large skillet. Set the heat to medium high and stir constantly. The sugar will begin to melt and become a sticky liquid and then cling to the almonds. This takes about 3-4 minutes -- watch carefully and stir constantly to avoid burning the nuts. Spread the candied almonds on a sheet of parchment paper and let harden. Break apart and use in this salad. Nutrition FactsServing: 8servings | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.5g | Protein: 2.2g | Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 3.2mg | Sodium: 38.3mg | Fiber: 1.8g | Sugar: 7.4g We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.