Don’t take away from our creamy, hearty Thanksgiving classics. But this new salad is amazing alongside them: it’s a fresh, bright and crunchy green salad with a sweet and crunchy pear or apple, toasted hazelnuts or pepitas, a simple lemon vinaigrette and, optional, vegan goat cheese.
Not only is it a colorful addition to the Thanksgiving table, but it contrasts beautifully with heavier dishes, aids digestion (hello bitter greens and vinegar!), and comes together in just 15 minutes! Yes, it’s that simple to brighten up the table. Let’s make some salad!
This salad was born during our team Thanksgiving last year. And when we posted the meal on Instagram, you asked for the recipe. We promised to share it in the future, and today is that day, friends!
It is inspired by the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, fall ingredientsand the desire to make something super simple that would complement more traditional Thanksgiving dishes.
How to Make This Thanksgiving Green Salad
The base of this salad is a mixture of sweet, tender young shoots And chicories such as radicchio, endive and/or frisée. Chicory adds a textural contrast, a touch of color (hello, pretty purple radicchio!) and a slight bitterness that awakens the taste buds and promotes good digestion!
We toss the greens with olive oil, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar to lightly coat them with coarse, bright flavor. Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper add pleasure to your taste buds!
Then we toast the crunchy nuts and/or seeds. Pepitas are our favorite because they’re super quick and easy, but hazelnuts and almonds are delicious too!
The other crunchy ingredient and star of the show is sliced apple or pear. Our favorite for this recipe is Asian pear because it’s the crispiest and sweetest, but other sweet and crunchy varieties will work too!
The final (and optional) ingredient is vegan goat cheese for a rich and creamy component. But with all the richness of a Thanksgiving meal, we don’t find that necessary!
We hope you LOVE this salad! It is:
Easy to do
& Perfect for the Thanksgiving table!
It pairs wonderfully with rich, creamy dishes like most Thanksgiving classics! For our team celebration meal, we paired it with our Vegan Green Bean Casserole, Easy Gluten-Free Vegan Cookies, Classic gluten-free vegan stuffing, Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken ThighsAnd Epic Vegan Sweet Potato Pie.
More Thanksgiving Salads
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Well done friends!
Servings 4 (side portions)
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Green vegetables and vinaigrette
- 6 cups tender young shoots, torn into bite-sized pieces (we recommend rock lettuce, green leaf lettuce or butter lettuce // or mixed greens)
- 3 cups endives of your choice, cut into bite-size pieces (radicchio, endive and/or frisée // or a mix of greens, but we prefer some bitter greens in this salad for flavor balance and digestive benefits)
- 1 ½ teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or sub-champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar)
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 small medium Asian or Bosc pear, core removed, thinly sliced (or substitute another sweet, crunchy apple or pear – Fuji, Honeycrisp or D’Anjou)
- 1/4 cup toasted nugget seeds (or crushed hazelnuts or flaked almonds)
- Vegan goat cheese (optional // for in-store purchases, we like Treeline //if not vegan, regular goat cheese would also work)
If you serve with homemade vegan goat cheese (optional), prepare it at least 30 minutes before serving. This adds extra decadence but isn’t essential, especially when paired with a creamy or decadent meal!
If you don’t already have toasted chips (or almonds or hazelnuts), toast them first. In a small skillet, toast over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally until the nuggets begin to pop and puff up – about 3 to 5 minutes – or until the hazelnuts/almonds become fragrant and slightly golden – about 6 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Roughly chop the hazelnuts if they are whole.
In a large serving bowl, add the tender baby lettuce and chicory. See notes below if you are preparing the salad in advance to bring to an event. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar, then sprinkle with a few pinches of flaky salt (lightly crushed between your fingers) and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Stir to evenly coat the greens. Taste and adjust, adding more oil for richness or, if dry, lemon juice for brightness, vinegar for sweetness, salt for overall flavor, or black pepper for heat.
Add the pear or apple slices and the toasted pepitas (or nuts) and mix again gently, only a few times. Immediately before serving, garnish with vegan goat cheese (optional) and freshly ground black pepper. Appreciate!
Best when fresh. If preparing in advance, store the components separately. Not suitable for the freezer.
*If you are preparing in advance to bring to a meeting (we do not recommend preparing more than 12 hours in advance), it is best to keep the components separate (greens, apple or pear, dressing, salt, pepper, pepitas, vegan goat cheese) and assemble just before serving. If you cut the apple or pear in advance, toss the slices with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated using 1 dash of sea salt and 1 dash of black pepper and no optional ingredients.
Portion: 1 side dish Calories: 76 Carbohydrates: 5.5 g Protein: 2.7 g Fat: 5.4 g Saturated fat: 0.9 g Polyunsaturated fats: 1.7 g Monounsaturated fat: 2.4 g Trans fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 63 mg Potassium: 167 mg Fiber: 1.9 g Sugar: 2.6 g Vitamin A: 219 UI Vitamin C: 3 mg Calcium: 12 mg Iron: 0.8 mg