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This is the best Thanksgiving salad! It has everything a fall salad needs like butternut squash, cranberries, kale and goat cheese. Toss it in a cinnamon spiced vinaigrette and serve as a side dish to go with your Thanksgiving dinner.

thanksgiving salad with roasted butternut squash and apples
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I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a salad as a side dish to go with my Thanksgiving dinner. Having something fresh and crunch to go along with all the carbs brightens my meal. And this one has it all!

Ingredient Notes

  • Roasted butternut squash
  • Spinach
  • Candied pecans
  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Goat cheese
  • Apple chips (optional)
spinach salda with apples squash and cranberries

How to Roast Butternut Squash

The most time consuming part of this recipe is the roasted butternut squash. You can buy pre-peeled and chopped squash, but doing it yourself saves money!

Start by peeling the squash using a potato peeler. Next, make sure you have a sharp knife and cut off the ends. Cut the squash down the middle lengthwise then scoop out the seeds. Cut the butternut squash into small, bite-sized pieces.

To roast the butternut squash, toss with salt and olive oil then bake on a large sheet at 450°F for 30-45 minutes.

Make-Ahead Instructions

The best Thanksgiving recipes are the ones you can make or prep in advance! Here’s how to prepare this thanksgiving salad recipe a couple days before:

  • Roast the butternut squash and store in an air-tight container
  • Make the salad dressing in a small jar and store in the fridge

Toss all of the prepped ingredients with the brussels and kale with the goat cheese, cranberries and dressing then serve!

pouring vinaigrette on thanksgiving salad

If you love this recipe as much as I do, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and tag me with @what_mollymade so I can see it and feature you.

More healthy Thanksgiving recipes:

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5 from 4 votes

Thanksgiving Salad

Prep: 20 hours
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
This is the best Thanksgiving salad! It has everything a fall salad needs like butternut squash, cranberries, and goat cheese. Toss it in a cinnamon-spiced vinaigrette and serve it as a side dish to go with your Thanksgiving dinner.

Save this Recipe!

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Servings: 8 servings



  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 12-16 ounces baby spinach
  • 1-2 honeycrisp apples cored and cubed or thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
  • ½ cup pecans or candied pecans chopped
  • 1 cup dried apple chips optional

Spiced apple cider vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. If you haven't already, peel the butternut squash, slice it in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seedy center. Cut the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes.
  • Roast the squash: Spread diced butternut squash on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Toss to coat the butternut squash. Bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. The squash will be fork-tender and slightly golden brown on some sides when it's done.
  • Make the dressing:While the squash is roasting, prepare the spiced apple cider vinaigrette. Place all of the ingredients in a medium sized mason jar and close the lid. Shake well until thoroughly mixed, about 30 seconds – 1 minute. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Assemble: add the spinach to a large serving bowl. Top with the dried cranberries, roasted squash, apples, goat cheese, pecans and dried apples if using.
  • Toss the salad with reserved salad dressing when ready to serve or leave as is and have guests dress individual servings.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.5g | Protein: 9.4g | Fat: 11.7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 81mg | Fiber: 4.9g | Sugar: 12.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

the best thanksgiving salad

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Recipe Rating

1 Comment

  1. Julie Grant says:

    5 stars
    I always make my own salad dressing, it’s so easy and 100% better than anything in a bottle. So I made this dressing to go with a different salad I was making for Thanksgiving. I really liked the dressing but decided I didn’t think it would work well with the salad I planned to make. So kept the dressing in the fridge and after Thanksgiving made the salad recipe that goes with the dressing recipe…what a concept, huh? This salad is amazing! Even my S/O said if salad always tasted this good he’d eat it all the time. I did swap out a sweet potato for the squash, just because it was there. And 2nd time around added leftover turkey for a great lunch with extra protein. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes!