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    Thanksgiving Kale Salad

    I know you are going to try it… and you are going to love it!! This is the perfect green oasis amidst the meaty and buttery holiday spread. Not only is it pleasing to the eyes, but it’s loaded with your favourite holiday flavors like that creamy, nutty roasted butternut squash, festive cranberries and sweet maple syrup. It doesn’t stop there! Add some crunchy, tart apples and salty goat cheese, some fun chickpeas, and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds over the rustic goodness of your kale and everybody is going to fall in love with this fall salad!

    All of you have some kind of salad on your holiday spread, right? There is at least one member of the family now a days who is always on the lookout for that green leafy dish. You want to make something more special than your regular lettuce and tomatoes for them during the holidays. When you present a salad looking as pretty and inviting as this one, don’t be surprised if the rest of the crowd gorge on it too. It might even be your first dish to get emptied.

    Everything about this salad is going to brighten your holiday table. Different colors ranging from green to orange to red to white is so inviting and so delicious. It’s a perfect mix of crunchy sweetness and acidity over your favorite green. Yes, kale is still a favorite at the Beisers’. We absolutely love it’s rustic texture and flavor in salads or even in cooked form. All the toppings on this salad take the kale flavors to new munching levels.

    This is how to create festive vibes with your kale:

    I am using a butternut squash that I picked up few days back. Come fall, I love to experiment with all these different squashes and try to add them in as many meals as possible. Butternut squash is great when you roast it, and the nutty creaminess gets accentuated by slowly caramelizing in your oven. All you have to do is peel that tough skin off, cut the flesh into cubes and spread the cubes evenly on a tray lined with greased parchment paper. Season them with olive oil, salt and pepper. This time I am adding some chickpeas with the same seasonings along side with my squash. Roast them for 25 minutes at 400°F.

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add a little olive oil to your kale and massage them with your hands. Yes… lucky kale!! Kale needs that pampering to bring in that great gentle taste. This massage breaks down all the toughness of the leaves and prepares them for that salad perfection. Massage the leaves until they just start to wilt, but are still crisp. You want the leaves still crisp and chewy, just not tough and rubbery. So don’t over massage your kale, as believe me, there is something worst than stubborn tough kale, and that’s mushy kale!

    I am using pre-cut kale but if you are using whole leaves you can slice the stems out with a knife or rip them out by running your fingers along either side of the stem. It’s less precise, but it works.

    Once that’s done you have time to prepare this zingy swwweeet dressing while your butternut squash is still in oven. Quickly whisk some extra virgin oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

    Slice an apple into thick match stick like wedges.

    And once your roasting is done, all you have to do is garnish that huge platter of kale with squash cubes, chickpeas, apple sticks, dried cranberries and goat cheese. Dress it with your dressing and sprinkle on some sunflower seeds.

    And there you go!! Your Thanksgiving salad is ready to rock!! People who are going a little anti-kale these days are going to remember why they loved this green in the first place… Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, lot’s more holiday treats coming your way!!

    Thanksgiving Kale Salad on my Gypsy Plate… Enjoy!

    Try these other great side dishes this holiday season!
    Classic Squash Casserole
    Lazy Sweet Potato Mash
    Butternut Squash Blossom
    Crispy Roast Brussels Sprouts
    Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel
    Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
    Green Rice Casserole
    Cherry Tomato Gratin

    Thanksgiving Kale Salad

    Thanksgiving Kale Salad

    Yield: 8 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
    Total Time: 35 minutes

    Add some color and freshness to your Thanksgiving spread with this delicious kale salad. The wide array of flavors combine for a salad that tastes as beautiful as it looks.



    • 12 oz kale
    • 1 butternut squash
    • 1 14.5oz can chick peas
    • 2 small Granny Smith apples
    • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
    • 8oz goat cheese
    • 2 Tbsp shelled sunflower seeds


    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
    • 1 tsp dijon mustard
    • Salt and pepper to taste


    1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
    2. Remove skin from butternut squash and cut flesh into cubes, approximately 3/4 inches square.
    3. Spread cubes of squash and drained chick peas on a tray lined with greased parchment paper, season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast 25 minutes. Check for doneness, you can always throw them in for a few minutes longer if the squash is not soft enough.
    4. In a large bowl, add 1 Tbsp olive oil to chopped kale leaves. Gently massage the leaves until they are slightly wilted.
    5. Slice apple into matchsticks.
    6. Whisk together all dressing ingredients.
    7. Spread kale on a large platter. Arrange squash, chick peas, apple, cranberries and goat cheese over the bed of kale. Drizzle dressing over salad and sprinkle on sunflower seeds.
    Nutrition Information
    Yield 8 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 375Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 13mgSodium 1162mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 8gSugar 13gProtein 14g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

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    split image of kale salad on a blue platter above, and a close up picture below
    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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