How to Make Easy Thanksgiving Salad

Thanksgiving is a time for bringing loved ones together and enjoying delicious meals. One dish that never fails to impress is a Thanksgiving salad. Bursting with fall flavors, this salad combines sweet and savory elements, making it a delightful addition to your holiday feast. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to create this scrumptious Thanksgiving salad, from selecting the ingredients to assembling the final dish.How to Make Easy Thanksgiving Salad

Ingredients You Need

To prepare the Thanksgiving salad, gather the following ingredients:

  1. Spring mix salad greens
  2. Red onion, thinly sliced and soaked in cold water for about 10-15 minutes. Drained and dried after soaking.
  3. Roasted butternut squash, peeled & cut into 1.5” cubes (See recipe below)
  4. Apples, peeled & cut into 1-inch cubes (Toss with lemon juice to prevent browning)
  5. Smoked gouda cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  6. Dried California dates, pitted and sliced
  7. Bacon, into ½ pieces and fried until crispy
  8. Dried cranberries
  9. Crushed walnuts

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps to create the perfect Thanksgiving salad:

Step 1: Roast the Butternut Squash

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Peel the butternut squash and cut it into 1.5-inch cubes.
  • In a large bowl, toss the squash cubes with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg, ensuring they are evenly coated.
  • Spread the seasoned squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Roast the squash in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until they are tender and slightly caramelized.How to Make Easy Thanksgiving Salad

Step 2: Prepare the Maple Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, stone-ground mustard, Dijon mustard, and homemade maple syrup.
  • Whisk the ingredients together until well combined and the dressing has a smooth consistency.How to Make Easy Thanksgiving Salad

Step 3: Soak the Red Onions

  • Thinly slice the red onion and place the slices in a bowl of cold water.
  • Let the onions soak for about 10-15 minutes to remove the sharpness.
  • Drain the onions and pat them dry with paper towels.How to Make Easy Thanksgiving Salad

Step 4: Assemble the Salad

  • In a large salad bowl, toss the spring mix salad greens with the maple Dijon vinaigrette dressing until evenly coated.
  • Add the roasted butternut squash, apples, smoked gouda cheese, dried California dates, crispy bacon, dried cranberries, soaked red onions, and crushed walnuts to the salad bowl.
  • Gently toss all the ingredients together until they are well combined.How to Make Easy Thanksgiving Salad

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy

  • Once the salad is fully assembled, transfer it to a serving dish.
  • Garnish with additional crushed walnuts and dried cranberries if desired.
  • Serve the Thanksgiving salad immediately and enjoy the explosion of flavors.How to Make Easy Thanksgiving Salad

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I prepare the salad dressing in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the maple Dijon vinaigrette dressing ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Shake or whisk it again before using to ensure it’s well mixed.

Q: Are there any alternatives to bacon for a vegetarian option?

Absolutely! You can substitute bacon with crispy tempeh or roasted chickpeas for a delicious vegetarian version of the Thanksgiving salad.

Q: How long will the salad stay fresh?

The salad is best enjoyed fresh. However, you can store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Note that the texture and flavors may change slightly upon refrigeration.

Q: Can I add other ingredients to the salad?

Certainly! Feel free to customize the salad to your taste preferences. You can add roasted pecans, candied walnuts, or feta cheese for added depth and flavor.

Q: Is it necessary to soak the red onions?

Soaking the red onions helps to remove their sharp and pungent taste, making them milder and more pleasant to eat. However, if you enjoy the sharpness, you can skip this step.

Q: Can I make this salad in advance for Thanksgiving dinner?

While some components of the salad can be prepared ahead, it is best to assemble the salad just before serving to maintain its freshness and crispness.

This Thanksgiving salad recipe featuring roasted butternut squash, apples, dried cranberries, and bacon is a delightful addition to your holiday table. The combination of sweet and savory flavors will surely impress your guests and leave them asking for seconds. With our step-by-step instructions, you can easily create this scrumptious salad and make your Thanksgiving celebration even more special. Happy cooking!

Jessy Lion

From the heart of my bustling kitchen, I, Jessy Lion, share my love for food, bringing a wealth of 25 years of culinary experience to your table. Aged 40, my life revolves around not just cooking, but also cherishing, and crafting unique experiences around food.

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