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This Fall Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Goddess Dressing celebrates the bounty of the season in a beautiful combination of tastes and textures. From crunchy toasted pecans to tender roasted acorn squash, crisp juicy apples to tart dried cranberries, it’s a healthy Thanksgiving side dish that won’t weigh you down!

Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipe salad

This harvest salad is a lighter, more vibrant option for your holiday table, which pairs perfectly with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and any of your other Thanksgiving favorites. And who wouldn’t want these fresh, seasonal ingredients on a festive table?! They are the quintessential flavors of autumn!

Healthy Thanksgiving Salad in a wooden bowl

How to Make a Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dish:

This recipe calls for roasted acorn squash, which is tossed with maple syrup and seasoning for a crispy, caramelized, sweet addition to the salad.

While the acorn squash roasts in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes, you’ll have just enough time to make the dressing and prep the rest of your nutritious ingredients!

Healthy salad recipe with pumpkin dressing for Thanksgiving

For the Healthy Pumpkin Goddess Dressing:

This is the easiest way to make a homemade salad dressing — just blend everything together!

Healthy salad dressing in blender

The creamy base of the pumpkin goddess dressing is nonfat Greek yogurt, in order to keep it light. If you prefer a more decadent taste, just substitute with either sour cream or mayonnaise (or a combination of the two).

You’ll love how the creamy tang of the yogurt is contrasted with sweet pumpkin and zesty seasoning. It’s subtle and festive, without overpowering the salad.

The creamy and healthy pumpkin salad dressing is really just a fun twist on my favorite Green Goddess Dressing, which is a time-tested and well-loved recipe that was passed down to me from my mother-in-law’s friend. It’s a must-try!

Healthy Salad Dressing Recipe with Pumpkin

So toss together some of autumn’s tastiest ingredients in a beautiful and delicious salad that is perfectly “fit” for the holidays! It’s a delicious Thanksgiving side dish to help you enjoy this special time of year  with family and friends.

But don’t worry — you don’t have to wait until late November to enjoy the goodness! This salad is also a great healthy side dish with a warm bowl of roasted butternut squash soup, or you can add some chicken on top for a light and satisfying main course.

Pumpkin dressing on healthy thanksgiving side dish salad

Recipe Variations:

  • Swap out the acorn squash with roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes;
  • Use toasted walnuts or roasted pumpkin seeds instead of the pecans;
  • Omit the sliced apple and replace it with sliced pear;
  • Use mayonnaise in lieu of the Greek yogurt for a creamier, less tangy dressing.

You might also like these healthy Thanksgiving side dish recipes:

Fall Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Goddess Dressing

4.50 from 4 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 167 kcal
This Fall Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Goddess Dressing celebrates the bounty of the season in a beautiful combination of tastes and textures!

Ingredients
  

For the Pumpkin Goddess Dressing:

  • 1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt or sub with sour cream or mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ cup sour cream or additional plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree I used the canned version
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic or about ¼ - ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

For the Salad:

  • 1 acorn squash plus olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt for roasting*
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup toasted pecans
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 pkg. 5-6 ounces mixed salad greens (you can use any blend that you prefer, but I like a mix that includes broccoli slaw, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and chicory)

Instructions

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and combine. Chill until ready to use.

ROAST THE ACORN SQUASH:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Slice squash lengthwise, remove seeds, and slice horizontally into ½-inch thick rounds. Place sliced squash in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and salt, to taste. Toss squash to coat.
  • Bake squash at 400 degree F for approximately 20 minutes (or until tender and caramelized), flipping halfway through.

ASSEMBLE THE SALAD:

  • Once the squash has cooled, cut it into bite-sized pieces and place it in a large salad bowl with the remaining ingredients. Add Pumpkin Goddess dressing and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Notes

*can substitute with diced roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash
Recipe Variations:
  • Swap out the acorn squash with roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes;
  • Use toasted walnuts or roasted pumpkin seeds instead of the pecans;
  • Omit the sliced apple and replace it with sliced pear;
  • Use mayonnaise in lieu of the Greek yogurt for a creamier, less tangy dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the salad and dressingCalories: 167kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 4gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 172mgPotassium: 359mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 2045IUVitamin C: 11.8mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 0.8mg
Keyword: Fall Salad, Healthy Thanksgiving Side, Thanksgiving Salad Recipe
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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