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Day After Thanksgiving Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

If your family is anything like mine you’re going to have some pretty spectacular food adorning your Thanksgiving table. Possibly too much spectacular food. After dinner folks will be pushing their chairs back and rubbing their bellies. One or two will utter that they ate too much. Some will collapse on the couch but will be more than happy to hobble back to the table for coffee and pumpkin pie after the dishes are cleared and the goodies are set out for the finale.

Hard to believe the next day you’re likely to do it all over again…there’s really nothing better than Thanksgiving leftovers. My husband will be making a turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce sandwich. And, he’ll start thinking about and planning it way before lunch time.

Me, I’ll be eating that salad you see in the photo. In fact, I eat that salad all year long because I love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. Did I say Love it??

It’s light, refreshing, crunchy and a little bit sweet. Organic salad greens mingled with leftover turkey, apple chunks, maple-glazed walnuts then studded with dried cranberries, pepitas and a sprinkling of feta cheese. I typically dress it with salt, pepper, good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. But, if there’s cranberry sauce left over I just might make a cranberry vinaigrette to drizzle over top.


Day After Thanksgiving Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette


Fresh organic greens (baby romaine or mesclun are favorites)

An apple, cut into 1/4 inch thick one-inch slices

Pecans or walnuts (How about these Maple Glazed Walnuts from Elie Krieger?)

Dried cranberries

Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Turkey, cut into bite sized pieces

Feta cheese, crumbled

Rinse and dry the organic greens. Sprinkle with apple pieces, maple glazed nuts, dried cranberries, pepitas, and turkey. Toss with cranberry vinaigrette (recipe below) and top with crumbled feta. Muah!

Cranberry Vinaigrette

4 tablespoons cranberry sauce

4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (white balsamic if you have it)

6 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

3 tablespoons orange juice

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

a squeeze or two of lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a small bowl or 2 cup measuring cup and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Or, if you prefer whip it all up in a blender.

If you’re making this salad for only one or two people you may want to cut the vinaigrette recipe in half.

Here are some wonderful recipes for Thanksgiving and all season long…


The WHOLE Gang: Friday Foodie Fix—Thanksgiving Inspired

I Am Gluten Free: Thanksgiving Curried Butternut Squash Soup (GF EF CF Vegan)

Elana’s Pantry: Cranberry Apple Stuffing (GF CF)

Lexie’s Kitchen: No Bake Pumpkin Pie Filling (GF EF CF Vegan)

Gluten-free For Good: Cherry Cobbler (GF EF)

Simply Gluten-Free: Sunbutter Truffles (GF EF CF Vegan)


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Reader Comments (12)

This sounds lovely for the day after all that rich food!

Nov 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShaina

You are so right Nancy - the Thanksgiving meal is filled w/all those sauces, cream, cheese and butter - YUM! but the next day I'm ready for something simple and clean - this salad fits that bill! Love the photo!

Nov 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSMITH BITES

Yum! This looks delicious, Nancy!

Nov 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn | Add a Pinch

Nancy this salad looks perfect!! I don't think that I can wait until after Thanksgiving though :)

Nov 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTickled Red

This is fabulous! Can't wait til the day after :) Have a great Thanksgiving my firend! xo, carol

I love the cranberry vinaigrette idea - I'll give it a shot!

Leftovers are wonderful!

Nov 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterInTolerant Chef

Like you, I love love love salad and love your cranberry vinaigrette!

Nov 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternaomi

YES! Greens. The perfect post-feast meal. I am so glad that this year I won't be putting myself through the gluten/sugar crash. Hmmmm, we wonder why we get soooo tired after the meal ... my theory ... all the gluten and sugar. This year is going to be much healthier : )

Like your festive background!

Nov 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Oh how right you are, we will be eating salads for a few days, kitchen is already filling up with food and treats, glad I don't diet, I would be beat.
Thanks so much for a really nice salad recipe, looks and sounds wonderful.

Nov 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMedifast Coupons

Nancy, that is one beautiful salad! I know I'd love it. That dressing sounds nice, too! Yes, it's ridiculous how much food is on the Thanksgiving table each year. Not hosting this year and leaving the day after Thanksgiving for a trip, so I think we'll do better this year. ;-)

Have an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving, Nancy!

Nov 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShirley @ gfe

This looks like the perfect day after Thanksgiving salad!

Nov 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
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