• Sharon Rhys

Thanksgiving Salad

Updated: Jan 5, 2020

Thanksgiving is just next week! We can definitely get all the help we can by preparing simple yet delicious sides whilst focusing our efforts on the main course. Here is one side that is easy to prepare and delicious even at room temperature.

This Thanksgiving salad consists of roasted acorn squash, quinoa, maple pecans, pomegranate and arugula accompanied by balsamic dijon mustard dressing. At first glance, the salad seems to incorporate many ingredients but most of them can prepared the day before the actual meal.

I recommend roasting the maple pecans the day before. Additionally, the pomegranate can be deseeded and dressing made ahead of time. Both can be stored in the refrigerator until ready for assembling.

Right before entertaining, just toss the ingredients together and serve with your main course.



Makes (salad): 2 – 3 servings

Makes (quinoa): 1 cup cooked

Makes (dressing): ¾ cup


Roasted Acorn Squash

425 gm / 15 oz. acorn squash (washed, dry and sliced to desired shape)

2 tbsp. maple syrup

½ –1 tbsp. grapeseed oil

¼ tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. salt or to taste

black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Place sliced acorn squash onto a lined baking sheet. Toss acorn squash with maple syrup, oil, dried thyme, salt and black pepper to taste.

  3. Arrange the squash ensuring that they lay flat in a single layer.

  4. Roast for ~20 mins flipping the squash halfway through.

  5. At the end of baking time, they should be tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

Maple Pecans

113 gm / 4 oz. whole pecans

3 tbsp. maple syrup

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. smoked paprika

¼ tsp. sea salt or to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Place pecans on a lined baking sheet. Toss pecans with maple syrup, spices and salt to taste.

  3. Arrange the pecans ensuring that they lay flat in a single layer.

  4. Roast in oven for ~15 mins stirring them halfway through.

  5. Once the syrup has thickened and pecans are fragrant, remove them from the oven.

  6. Cool and set aside.


1/3 cup quinoa

2/3 cup vegetable broth

¼ tsp. dried thyme


  1. Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh strainer. Rinse under running water for a minute or two. Rinsing is crucial as this removes bitterness (saponins) on the outside of the quinoa.

  2. In a saucepan, add the rinsed quinoa, broth and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.

  3. Cover the saucepan and simmer the mixture on low heat.

  4. Simmer until all the liquid is absorbed ~ 15 mins.

  5. Once the liquid is all absorbed, remove the saucepan from heat. Let the quinoa steam in the saucepan for ~ 5 mins.

  6. After ~ 5 mins, fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set aside.

Balsamic Dijon Mustard Dressing

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tbsp. maple syrup

½ tsp. vegan mayonnaise

½ tsp. sriracha

¼ tsp. salt

black pepper to taste

1 garlic clove (finely minced)


  1. Place all dressing ingredients except olive oil in a medium sized bowl. Whisk all ingredients until well combined.

  2. Then, add the oil in a slow stream whisking constantly until all ingredients are well combined.

  3. Set aside or refrigerate.


2 – 3 cups


1 medium fruit (deseeded and refrigerate)

Assembling the Salad

**Only assemble the salad right before serving time.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, place the quinoa, pomegranate and arugula.

  2. Add ~3 tbsp. dressing. Give all the ingredients a light toss.

  3. Place the tossed ingredients on a large serving plate.

  4. Top the tossed ingredients with roasted acorn squash and maple pecans.

  5. Serve immediately with more dressing on the side.


  • Remaining dressing can be kept in the refrigerator for ~2 weeks.

  • Remaining pecans can be stored in an airtight container and eaten as is.


Did you try this recipe?

If you did, let me know how it went. Don’t forget to tag your photo with #sncxkitchen when you share on Instagram.

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