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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!


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)



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


  • 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.


  • 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.


*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.


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

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!

Read More

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  1. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says:

    This is such a gorgeous salad, Blair! I love all of the hearty ingredients and colors in here. And I’m in awe of that pumpkin goddess dressing. I think I could eat it by the spoonful! 🙂 This sounds like the perfect salad for Thanksgiving!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks so much, Gayle! I’m kind of in love with the dressing, too. 🙂

      1. Julie says:

        I am very excited to make this beautiful salad this Thanksgiving! I just wanted to clarify on the dressing: if I opt not to use sour cream and just use all plain greek yogurt it would be a total of 1 1/2 cups of the yogurt is that correct?

        1. Blair says:

          Hi, Julie! I’m so glad that you’ll make it! You are correct — you want 1 1/2 cups of the yogurt total if you’re omitting the sour cream. 🙂

  2. lindsay says:

    i might just stare at this salad all day. GORGEOUS! and love the dressing

    1. Blair says:

      Thank you, friend!!!

  3. Jen | Baked by an Introvert says:

    This salad is stunning, Blair! I’m a salad girl and love to see new creative ways to enjoy it. I want to drink that dressing! It sounds delicious!!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks so much, Jen! I’m a salad girl too…love them — especially when they involve lots of textures and flavors!

  4. Anna @ Sunny Side Ups says:

    This salad looks absolutely glorious, Blair!! It’s bursting with so much flavor, and holy cow–that dressing! Just YUM!!

    1. Blair says:

      Thank you, Anna!! It’s a keeper. 🙂

  5. Bethany @ Athletic Avocado says:

    Oh my goodness, this salad is everything I would want and more! I think I could drink that dressing, it sounds incredible!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks so much, Bethany! I hope that you find a chance to give it a try! 🙂

  6. Michele Byberg says:

    Please send me to my email address all your salad recipes. They look fantastic. Thanks

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Michele! I don’t have all of my salad recipes on email, but if you just do a search for “salad” in my search bar on the blog you should see a list of everything I have posted in that category! Enjoy. 🙂

    2. Jen says:

      This sounds wonderful! Can the squash be roasted the day before and reheated? What do you recommend since the oven space will be limited.

      1. Blair says:

        Hi, Jen! You can absolutely prep most of the ingredients in advance and then just assemble the salad right before serving. The squash can be roasted ahead and stored in an airtight container for a couple of days. To reheat, spread the squash out on a foil-lined baking sheet and warm in a 350 degree F oven just until heated through. You can also serve the squash at room temperature.

        Toast the pecans and make the dressing in advance, too. I would wait to slice the apple until you’re ready to assemble, but otherwise most of it can be ready to go! Enjoy. 🙂

  7. janita says:

    so making this for thanksgiving this week — beautiful and sounds oh so tasty!

    1. Blair says:

      Awesome! Enjoy, Janita!!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Why do you have Greek Yogurt listed twice in the dressing recipe?

    1. Blair says:

      The recipe calls for a 1/2 cup of sour cream, OR you can use an additional 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt. Sorry that wasn’t clear! You could also use mayonnaise in lieu of the sour cream, it just wouldn’t be quite as light. Any of those options will work, though!

      1. Jennifer says:

        Okay, thanks.

        1. Blair says:

          No problem! Enjoy! 🙂

  9. Laura says:

    5 stars
    Can you store this dressing in your refrigerator and if so for how long?

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Laura! Yes, definitely! I would say that it probably keeps for a few days in the refrigerator. Just give it a good stir or whisk when you’re ready to use it again! 🙂

  10. Pamela says:

    Seeing the rind left on the chunks of acorn squash in the salad took me aback…squash rind in my forkful of otherwise delicious salad would not be pleasant! I’ll plan to take off the rind after the slices have cooled from roasting, or use chunks of roasted sweet potato instead. I look forward to taking this to a church potluck this weekend!

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Pamela! I hope that you enjoy! Sweet potato would be a nice substitute, but the rind is tender after roasting, so I promise it’s not bad! 🙂

  11. Lauren says:

    Thanks for the great recipe ~ I’ll be using this for Thanksgiving! How did the dressing come out as such a vibrant color? Mine is only a pale tan/creme vs the bright orange/yellow..

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Lauren! I’m not sure why mine would look different. I didn’t do anything special other than what the recipe says. Hope yours still tastes good!

      Have a wonderful holiday!

  12. Caryn Crasnick-Maloney says:

    Made this salad dressing yesterday and absolutely loved it! New Fall favorite!

    1. Blair says:

      That’s wonderful, Caryn! I’m glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know!

      1. Paula says:

        Blair can this dressing be made ahead of time and if how many days? Looking forward to sharing it with my family!

        1. Blair says:

          Hi, Paula! Yes! It’s good in the refrigerator for at least a few days. You’ll just want to give it a good shake, whisk, or stir again after it’s been sitting. Enjoy!

  13. Amanda says:

    Loved this so much last year I want to make it again this year! Do you mind if I give you a shout out and post it on my blog (I am posting a whole Thanksgiving Theme Menu with all of my go-tos). I will link right to this page too! Let me know ????

    1. Blair says:

      That’s great, Amanda! Yes, thank you for sharing it with your readers! 🙂

  14. Jonny says:

    5 stars
    Aside from the fact the pumpkin goddess dressing was unique and delicious, I’m in a position where I prepare foods infront of an audience. That paired with the fact that I had every ingredient on hand except for pumpkin puree…

    This led onlookers to watch me add yogurt, syrup, sour cream, garlic, vinegar among other things to a blender… with none other than a frozen pumpkin pie. (Of course I scraped the filling and discarded the crust.)

    At a glance onlookers saw a “blender nightmare” that turned out to be one of the most delightful seasonal salads they’ve ever tasted.

    Thankyou for this.

    1. Blair says:

      That’s great, Jonny! 🙂

  15. Jackie says:

    3 stars
    I made this salad yesterday for a Thanksgiving potluck. Despite all the yummy flavors in the recipe, we found it to be a little bland. It really cries out for a shallot or red onion. Maybe I should’ve put more garlic in it. Thank you for sharing this recipe! ❤️

  16. Emily says:

    Hi – I have a questions on the olive oil, syrup, and cinnamon . Is it s used in both the dressing and roasting the squash? If so are the amounts listed under ingredients split between the dressing and squash? Thank you

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Emily! The ingredients for the dressing are listed separately from the ingredients for the rest of the salad. So for the dressing, you’ll need 2 T olive oil, 1 T maple syrup, 1/4 t cinnamon. For the squash, there aren’t any specific amounts listed for those ingredients — just a drizzle and a dash will do! 🙂 Enjoy the salad!

  17. Nichole Sedberry says:

    Can you make the Squash a day early. I’m prepping for my next office Thanksgiving. ????

    1. Blair says:

      Yes! That should work fine. Enjoy!

  18. Carole says:

    5 stars
    This is amazing! I wanted to just eat the dressing by the spoonful! I might add chicken or turkey breast for protein. Will definitely make again!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you, Carole!

  19. Fay S says:

    I’ve been making this for the last two Thanksgivings, it’s always a big hit. I’ve fallen in love with the dressing… there’s always some
    In my fridge.

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you, Fay! We’re so glad you enjoy it.