Diabetes-Friendly Thanksgiving Salad Recipes

Bursting with fresh ingredients like apples, pomegranate seeds and fennel, these festive diabetic-friendly salads are the perfect way to incorporate a healthy side dish into your Thanksgiving meal.

Staff Picks

Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dressing

Rating: 4.4 stars 2
Pure maple syrup, as opposed to artificially flavored and colored “pancake” syrup, is an extraordinary cooking ingredient. Here it adds body as well as rich flavor to the dressing, providing a perfect counterpoint to the smoked cheese.

Simple Green Salad with Citronette

Frisée and radicchio are both assertive, slightly bitter greens that add color and texture to any salad. Match them with mellower-flavored greens, such as red leaf lettuce, baby spinach or even Boston lettuce.

Mixed Green Salad with Grapefruit & Cranberries

Rating: 4 stars 3
Grapefruit juice is the base for the tangy vinaigrette on this salad studded with grapefruit segments and dried cranberries. It serves 12 as a starter or about 6 if you'd like a large portion per person.

Kale Salad with Preserved Lemon & Walnuts

Rating: 3.75 stars 4
In this kale salad recipe, we massage dressing into the kale leaves until they're tender and coated with flavor. Topped with bold Mediterranean flavors--olives, walnuts and preserved lemons--this healthy salad is as delicious as it is nutritious. Look for preserved lemons at specialty-foods shops or online at surlatable.com. Or, to make your own, see the recipe on eatingwell.com.

Fennel & Orange Salad with Toasted Pistachios

Rating: 4 stars 4
For this elegant salad, sweet-tasting fennel bulbs are thinly sliced and tossed with salty toasted pistachios, sweet oranges and tangy lime juice. Jícama or radishes add another layer of texture and earthy flavor.

Bold Winter Greens Salad

For this cousin of the Caesar salad use a combination of winter greens, such as radicchio and escarole; the anchovies and lemon juice temper their bitterness. Vary the amount of garlic and anchovy according to your preference.

Gram's Holiday Slaw

Coleslaw is the perfect side dish for picnics and summer cookouts, but it's also a great choice for the holidays. This recipe takes your basic cabbage slaw to festive heights with the addition of dried cranberries and toasted walnuts.

Grape & Fennel Salad

Rating: 4 stars 3
Crunchy fennel and celery are combined with grapes in this delicious salad recipe.

Arugula & Pear Salad

Besides giving this salad a nutty crunch, walnuts are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants. For an added flavor dimension, crumble some Gorgonzola cheese over each salad.

Romaine, Red Onion & Orange Salad

Sweet oranges and sharp red onion perk up romaine lettuce in this colorful salad.

Pink Grapefruit & Avocado Salad

Rating: 4.67 stars 3
This is a special-occasion salad that pairs grapefruit segments with creamy avocado, pungent red onion, crunchy pomegranate seeds and aromatic, herby basil. Look for grapefruit with firm, shiny skin that are heavy for their size, which means they will have lots of juice. Store grapefruit for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the refrigerator.

Burnt Orange & Escarole Salad

The oranges in this healthy salad recipe are caramelized in honey and not actually “burnt.” The result is a citrus flavor that's more complex than just slicing the fruit onto your greens. Serve with roasted chicken, turkey or ham.

Inspiration and Ideas

Curried Waldorf Salad
Rating: Unrated 5
The famous Waldorf salad, full of apples, celery, raisins and walnuts, gets a healthful makeover with a touch of golden curry. It has nearly twice the fiber of typical versions.
Mixed Greens & Oranges with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Rating: Unrated 2
Orange zest and juice are whisked with balsamic vinegar to dress this salad of arugula, oranges, romaine and red onion.
Spinach & Grapefruit Salad
Rating: 4.33 stars

The combination of pink grapefruit sections, dark green spinach and white jícama is both visually and texturally appealing. Toasted poppy seeds give an extra lift.