Keep Your Thanksgiving Spread Fresh with Our Favorite Fall Salad Recipes

18 bright, cool, and crunchy dishes to lighten up your autumn holiday table.

By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on November 14, 2022

If you think the Thanksgiving side-dish game ends at stuffing and mashed potatoes, think again. A refreshing fall salad can bring much-needed lightness to the otherwise carb-laden holiday meal. Bright and sunny Italian citrus—studded with briny olives and the crunch of pistachios—shines so very brightly alongside roasted turkey. Swapping out the bird this year for a redder roast? Bitter greens like arugula, watercress, radicchio, and chicory are at their loveliest when paired with rich, rare beef or venison. And sturdier salads, like those featuring beans, grains, and raw or roasted root vegetables, are make-ahead marvels perfect for tucking in the fridge ahead of time or for toting along to pot-luck-style Friendsgiving feasts. Whatever your holiday plans this year, these excellent fall salad recipes will bring all the freshness to the table you and your guests need.

Red quinoa, which is similar in flavor and texture to the more common white variety, adds pretty autumn color to this warm and hearty root vegetable salad. Get the recipe >

The flavor of raw collard greens combines perfectly with tender roasted sweet potatoes and tangy, rich goat cheese in this hearty starter from chef Pierre Thiam. Get the recipe >

Crispy pancetta, peppery arugula, and sweet sautéed shallots give a fall spin to the classic Italian bread salad. Get the recipe >

Good quality preserved tomatoes extend panzanella season well into the winter in Camilla Wynne’s flavorful take on this hearty Italian dish. Get the recipe >

In Swedish home cook Asa Johanson’s recipe, a chunky cashew pesto made with sharp, pungent Västerbotten cheese is tossed with chopped arugula to yield an unctuous salad with a robust umami flavor. Get the recipe >

Walnuts and Parmesan add richness to this crunchy salad from The Yellow Table's Anna Watson Carl. Get the recipe >

Not a fan of mayo? Then this vinegary German potato salad recipe is for you. While some versions of the classic recipe call for first sautéing onions in bacon fat, we prefer them left raw so that their gentle crunch and allium heat retains a bit of pop against the fatty smoked pork and starchy potatoes. Get the recipe >

This salad is adapted from one served at Brooklyn’s beloved and now-shuttered Franny’s. Peak winter citrus is paired with a savory relish of toasted pistachios, Castelvetrano olives, parsley, shallot, and hot pickled peppers. Get the recipe >

Four types of citrus enliven shaved fennel and charred squid in this bright and sunny winter salad. Get the recipe >

Salty-bright preserved lemon and rich cultured cream offset gently peppery arugula in this pretty, simple side salad. Get the recipe >

In this bold vegetable dish, roasted, pickled, and raw beets tangle with a creamy orange-yogurt dressing. Combine the ingredients just before serving to keep the red and yellow beets from staining each other. Get the recipe >

Crunchy cashews coated with maple syrup and sesame seeds, and a boldly piquant dressing of Shanxi vinegar, add texture and verve to the classic kale salad from chef Cara Stadler of Tao Yuan in Brunswick, Maine. Get the recipe >

Hearty winter beets, kohlrabi, and heirloom radishes are lightened with sprouted lentils, mung beans, and sunflower seeds in this earthy salad from Jessica Koslow. Get the recipe >

A bean salad can be a beautiful thing, particularly when dressed with a brightening vinaigrette. For this winter version, radicchio and celery add crunch and texture. Get the recipe >

Aleppo pepper, raisins, and raw cauliflower marry in this crunchy fall dish. Get the recipe >

Generous dressing and lots of added texture elevates the humble crunchy root to new limits in chef and writer Fatima Khawaja’s simple recipe. Get the recipe >

Peppery greens and nutty sesame seeds are enlivened with earthy gochugaru flakes and an easy lemon vinaigrette in this simple cold-weather salad. Get the recipe >

Sweet-tart fall fruit and a generous handful of fresh herbs perk up bitter winter chicory for a refreshing fall side dish. Get the recipe >

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