When it comes time to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, most of the attention goes to the main course, the stuffing, sides, and desserts. With all that food on the table, having a salad may seem unnecessary and even boring. Well, we are here to tell you that you should definitely plan a beautiful salad for your Thanksgiving menu.
With all the heavy foods you’ll be serving, it’s nice to have something light and refreshing. But don’t get us wrong – salads can also be hearty and satisfying. Just check out at these 15 Salads that are Hearty Enough to Be the Main Course. You’ll Never Be Bored With These 31 Satisfying and Scrumptious Salads, either.
So, move that seitan roast over to the left a bit and slide the mashed potatoes over to the right. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of room on the table for these seasonal, exciting, and delicious salads for your Thanksgiving feast all found on the Food Monster App.
Source: Sweet Potato Caesar Salad
Caesar salad is one of the simplest salads out there, but that is its strength. In this Sweet Potato Caesar Salad by Florian Nouh, it’s recreated for fall with hearty sweet potatoes, creamy vegan Parmesan dressing, and a sprinkling of cheesy breadcrumbs. It’s filling thanks to the sweet potatoes, full of flavor, satisfying, drool-worthy, and it offers so much more satisfaction than any salad you’ll order in a restaurant. Trust us, you won’t want to go back to old routines if you ever do it homemade.
If you’re looking for a salad that’s crunchy, savory, sweet, and with a little bit of heat, then you have to make this Chinese Cabbage Salad With Tofu and Spicy Peanut Dressing by Gabrielle St. Claire. It’s bright, colorful, practically effortless to throw together, and flavorful. The peanut dressing contains no added sugar with a burst of citrusy flavor from fresh orange and lime juice.
This Green Bean, Corn, and Squash Salad With Basil Dressing by Jodi Kay is the perfect recipe for when you’re craving greens and you’re up to your knees in squash. The green beans and corn are given a quick blanch using a kettle of boiling water just to brighten the colors but keep the crunch. The garlicky, lemony basil dressing can act as a marinade if you have time to let the salad rest before serving. The toasted pine nuts add those creamy and rich notes, along with more crunch. Use whatever you have one hand or in the garden.
Step outside of the box with this unique Roasted Radicchio and Carrot Salad With Shallot Vinaigrette by Sarah Gory! This is a simple salad that pairs the slight bitterness of the radicchio and the sweetness of roasted carrots with a bright shallot-based vinaigrette. It’s vibrant, fresh, and a beautiful pop of color on any table.
Source: Carrot and Celeriac Noodle Salad
This Carrot and Celeriac Noodle Salad by Lindsay Cotter is simple, light, and healthy lunch option. Carrot and celeriac noodles are tossed in a mixture of Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and lime then topped with roasted pumpkin seeds for a nice crunch.
Who knew cabbage with a drizzle of dressing could be so flavorful and elegant? In this Roasted Purple Cabbage With Green Goddess Dressing by Alison Marras, cabbage wedges are roasted gently in the oven, dressed with a refreshing mixture of tahini and basil, and then topped with crunchy, smoky hazelnuts. This dish is delightfully textured, vibrant, and best of all, good for you!
This Zucchini Ribbon and Caramelized Hearts of Palm Salad by Tori Cooper is a salad like no other. It has a base of zucchini ribbons topped with sweet corn, blackberries, herbs, and avocado with caramelized slices of hearts of palm mixed in. The vibrant, lemony, and herby dressing would steal the show if it weren’t for the slightly sweet, crisp hearts of palm. The balance of basil, salty, sweet, and sour in this salad is near perfection.
Source: Kale Falafel Salad Bowl
This Kale Falafel Salad Bowl by Stephanie McKinnie is the epitome of comfort food. It is spicy, flavorful, and hearty enough to be considered a meal. The salad itself has so much flavor, texture, and nutrition that the tahini jalapeño vinaigrette just puts it over the top!
Source: Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad
This unique, Thai-style Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad by Tori Cooper has all sorts of deliciousness happening! It starts with a medley of bright and vibrant veggies – green cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers – then there are the salty-sweet candied cashews, then some crunchy ramen noodles, all tossed in a spicy red curry sauce. You’ll never look at salads the same after this one.
Each component of this Roasted Beet Salad With Pumpkin Seed Dukkah and Lemon Garlic Dressing by Jodi Kay is delicious on its own and even tastier when layered together. Roasted beets lend some sweetness to the dish, the quinoa is fluffy and filling, and the creamy dressing is very Caesar-esque. The dukkah is also a great way to sneak some seeds into your diet and we suggest making more than you need for the recipe to have on hand for other salads and sandwiches.
Source: Broccoli Salad
This delicious raw Broccoli Salad by Buffy-Ellen Gill has a flavorful Italian twist. Think salty sun-dried tomatoes, rich Kalamata olives, zingy red onion, and crunchy red bell pepper, all drizzled in a sweet and tangy balsamic dressing. This nourishing dish can be divided into two meals. To serve more, try adding chickpeas and potatoes to give it some added bulk!
If you’re the type of person who likes a lot of stuff going on in their salad, this Tempeh Bacon Salad With Marinated Mushrooms by Christine DesRoches is the recipe for you! Crunchy lettuce, tempeh bacon, tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, creamy cashew, and sun-dried tomato dressing … the list goes on. This salad is savory, delicious, and nutrition-packed!
Raw radishes can be very spicy, but roasting radishes mellows them out and brings out their sweetness. If you think you don’t like radishes, you must try them this way in this Roasted Radish and Brussels Sprout Salad by Jenn Sebestyen. Paired with Brussels sprouts that are roasted until crispy and tossed with bright lemon juice and thyme, this is the perfect dish for the holidays.
Source: Wedge Salads With Shiitake Bacon
To give you fair warning, once you try these tiny Wedge Salads With Shiitake Bacon from the Cruelty Free Family, you may have a tough time going back to the traditional kind. These are so fun to eat! Shiitake mushroom “bacon” and cashew-based blue cheese dressing is propped on a crunchy wedge of iceberg lettuce for the yummiest (and tiniest) salad bites you’ve ever seen! Enjoy a bunch on your own, or serve them as a unique appetizer.
This Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Salad from Crazy Vegan Kitchen is full of zesty flavor, thanks to the cumin sumac dressing. Roasted cauliflower and sweet potato are mixed with fresh spinach and pomegranate seeds, then tossed with a dressing made from apple cider vinegar, sumac, and pomegranate molasses. The addition of pomegranate seeds adds a burst of sweetness that complements the roasted vegetables.
Source: Spinach Salad With Barley Bacon
This Spinach Salad With Barley Bacon by Zsu Dever is warm, chock full of good-for-you ingredients like Porcini mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, and leeks, and is deliciously smoky and flavorful. This tasty dish also includes barley bacon. Barley is nice and chewy when cooked and lightly crispy when cooked in some oil making it a wonderful stand-in for bacon. Whip this salad up and see for yourself!
Source: Sweet Potato and Beet Salad
This Sweet Potato and Beet Salad by Ksenia Prints takes ordinary ingredients and combines them in such a way to make a unique dish. Beets and yams are sliced and roasted until tender and creamy, then stacked on top of each other, sprinkled with watercress leaves, and drizzled with a salty-sweet umami miso dressing. Serve this refreshing salad as an elegant starter and your guests will never look at sweet potatoes and beets the same!
This Sauerkraut Salad With Apples and Onions by Bianca the Green Creator is easy to make and the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dinner. It is a truly delicious combination of contrasting flavors and textures, with the toasted walnuts, grated carrots, fresh chunks of tart Granny Smith apple, and cumin.
This Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Salad by Aysegul Sanford is a medley of flavors. First, cauliflower is roasted in a mixed spice dressing and roasted in the oven until tender. They’re then combined with lentils, Medjool dates, and toasted almonds on a bed of greens. Topped with red onion and a drizzle of creamy dressing, this salad is warm, sweet, and a little bit sour.
Source: Warm Root Vegetable Salad
This Warm Root Vegetable Salad by Sonja Trurnit belongs on your Thanksgiving table.. Adding lentils into the mix adds both a protein and an earthy flavor. Left al dente, they remain firm, giving the salad a bit of bite. Finally, sliced avocado adds a satisfying creaminess.
21. Quinoa and Beet Salad With Hazelnuts
Source: Quinoa Salad
22. Roasted Sunchoke and Apple Herb Salad
The sunchoke, also known as the Jerusalem artichoke, is a tuber that is in the same family as the sunflower and is actually not too similar to conventional artichokes at all! In this recipe, roasted sunchokes are combined with apples along with a bit of spice and herbs to make a tasty side dish that is perfect for fall! Plus, it seems fancy since the sunchoke has not yet become a ubiquitous addition to the average table. This Roasted Sunchoke and Apple Herb Salad by Emma D’Alessandro is a great, light addition to a heavy meal.
23. Roasted Carrot Salad With Charred Scallion Cilantro Pesto
Source: Roasted Carrot Salad
The roasted sweet carrots and caramel-y red onions paired with crunchy sweet corn in this seasonal veggie salad is phenomenal. Corn kernels function as a healthier, cheaper substitute for the sweetness of dried fruits and the crunchiness of the nuts in salads. The charred scallion cilantro pesto is a sweet and vinegary sauce that is most commonly served with fresh seafood, but we think it tastes oh-so much better on this vegan Roasted Carrot Salad by Zoe and Mia Lau.
24. Cheesy Cashew Cream Stuffed Fig Salad
This Turkish-inspired Cheesy Cashew Cream Stuffed Fig Salad by Katharina Boden is composed of fresh figs stuffed with homemade cashew cream. The cashew cream is a great substitute for the sweet-ish Turkish cheese. It has a soft texture, almost like tofu but is more like a thick grainy cream cheese. The crispy green and fresh cucumber with a pleasant lemon dressing go perfectly with the sweet stuffed figs.
25. Vinegret: Russian Beet Salad
Vinegret is traditionally beets tossed with some other root veggies, vinegar, and pickles.This sort-of-traditional take on the Russian beet salad is cheap, healthy, and easy to make. This recipe by Annie McGee swaps out the vinegar in favor of fresh lemon juice that adds the perfect level of acidity to the dish.
26. Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Source: Bright Beet Salad
If you’re getting bored of salads get ready to get excited – this salad by Dana Sandonato is anything but ordinary. Ruby red beets are shredded, then tossed in a citrusy vinaigrette along with creamy chunks of avocado, carrots, edamame, hearty quinoa, and toasty pumpkin seeds. Then, the whole Bright Beet Salad is drizzled with a tangy, lemony dressing that will rock your socks.
These salads are so beautiful, so creative, and so delicious, your guests may forget all about the main course. We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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