I don’t know about you, but my family typically skips the green salads on Thanksgiving because there is already so much food and not enough room (on the table and in our stomachs). I know a lot of families do salad on Thanksgiving, and if you’ve been tasked with bringing one to your family Thanksgiving (or really any get together during the holidays), this salad is perfect. It’s sweet and savory and filled with so many fall flavors- it essentially makes the perfect starter to any holiday meal.
Since my family skips this part of Thanksgiving, why am I making this giant salad? Well, I’m trying to eat light this week in preparation for all of the heavy eating I’ll be doing later in the week. With my husband and I both members of big families who live nearby, we have two Thanksgivings this week, which means a lot of food and a lot of dessert. Anything I can do to keep it light until then, the better off I’ll be.
To start, I use a couple of different greens as my base. I like romaine for the texture, I like spinach for the nutrients, and I like the spring mix for the beautiful colors.
The toppings for this salad are where it’s at though: dried cranberries, goat cheese, granny smith apple chunks, crispy bacon, roasted pecans, and red onion. I’ve provided you with amounts in the recipe listed below for a salad for a crowd, but I can’t lie, when I’m making this for myself, I just throw everything on until it looks good 🙂
And lastly, this dressing. I can’t even describe to you how perfect this dressing is, so you just have to try it. I’m a hater of bottled salad dressings. Once you start making your own dressings, store bought salad dressing will no longer even taste good to you. And why even buy dressing when making your own is as easy as throwing a bunch of ingredients you probably already have in a mason jar and shaking them up!?
This dressing is a combination of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup (hello fall!!!), minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle it over the salad and toss just before serving, and it is pure perfection.
So whether you’re eating light this week or bringing this to your holiday party, I guarantee this will be a new go to recipe for you. Let me know what you think, and Happy Thanksgiving Week!!!
Bacon and Apple Fall Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
6 cups romaine lettuce
2 cups baby spinach
2 cups spring mix lettuce
5 pieces of crispy bacon, crumbled
1 granny smith apple, chopped into small chunks
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup roasted pecans
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 red onion, sliced finely
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Thoroughly wash and dry greens. Then add romaine, spinach, and spring mix to a very large salad bowl and toss to combine.
2. Add toppings to salad: bacon, apple chunks, goat cheese, pecans, dried cranberries, and onion.
3. Add dressing ingredients to mason jar: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Shake well before using. Drizzle over salad and toss just before serving. Store any remainder in the refrigerator.