Thanksgiving is easy with this Harvest Salad made on just two sheet pans! Tossed with a simple Honey Mustard Vinaigrette, you’ll have something extra to be thankful for this year.
My immediate reaction upon first bite of this Harvest Salad was wow, heaven tastes incredibly like autumn! It seems like no other words are necessary, buuuuuut there’s always more we can talk about anyway. Suffice it to say, though, you want this on your table ASAP.
Do you have Thanksgiving traditions? It wasn’t exactly a tradition, but my favorite Thanksgiving memories are from when I was younger. On Thursday morning we’d all pile into the mini van and drive up to our cousins in Long Island, where the extended family gathered each year. The kids played games and with my cousins’ two dogs, until it was time for a huge dinner that stretched down the entire length of the dining room and into the living room. Then, as the night came to an end, my brothers and cousins and I traipsed down to the basement, where we spent the night.
It sounds like any traditional Thanksgiving. One year I’m pretty sure we even made pilgrim hand puppets and acted out a celebration of the harvest.
That was the most intense we ever got for the holiday, until I went abroad for a year after high school. All of my foreign friends thought Thanksgiving was the strangest holiday, and couldn’t figure out what exactly we were celebrating. Although, truthfully, there are some American holidays that I don’t understand either.
Anyway, as the day drew closer, everyone took turns using the only two ovens in the entire building to cook for our potluck. I convinced the school’s caterer to make us a turkey based on my mom’s recipe (it didn’t taste quite like home). Then, I spent Thanksgiving eve being super craftsy, which resulted in a pile of miniature turkey place cards, made of brightly colored construction paper. My inner child thrived that night.
What I learned that year is that it’s easy to get stressed as you rush around the kitchen, trying to have your table ready and looking fabulous, just like in Better Homes and Gardens. And, when expectations are so high, things are bound to go wrong. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving horror story? I’ll set the ball rolling.
One year not too long ago, we played host to my cousins. Thursday morning found my mom and me in the kitchen, hair growing progressively frizzier from the combined heat of the oven and stove. Trying to ‘save the best for last,’ we waited until the last minute to cook the turkey. Finally the time came to gather around the dining room table. Everyone ooohed and aaahed as the food was carried out, when suddenly there was a loud gasp from the kitchen. Definitely not something you want to hear when the turkey is being carved.
Well, as it turns out, turkeys come with a some kind of plastic bag inside the cavity. There should definitely be a massive warning sign, because we did not know that, and failed to remove it before cooking the bird. I dubbed it the Year of No Gobble. Despite screwing up the pièce de résistance, it’s pretty funny. Granted, at the time, it was a huge disappointment, and we only really laughed about it later.
I think that happens a lot in life, though. Hindsight is 20/20 after all. You probably already know that it’s easy for the holidays to leave you feeling frazzled, losing sight of what’s truly important. This year we’re shifting gears. The food on your table will still taste fantastic, while letting you focus your attention on appreciating your loved ones. So, what’s first on the menu?
Sheet Pan Harvest Salad
This is not a drill. All it takes are two of those well-worn, familiar members of your kitchen crew. Just chop all your vegetables, throw them in the oven, and then you’re free to do as you please for about half an hour!
Not only do you have fewer dishes to wash, but you still have a dish that is bomb.com to serve to your guests. I’m not sure if any vegetable assortment ever tasted more like the epitome of a harvest salad than this one. It’s full of in-season produce, like brussels sprouts and butternut squash. Eating the rainbow is unbelievably easy when you use an assortment of fresh ingredients like these, so you know you’re getting all those nutrients, too.
Of course, unless we want to make people blush, we need to dress the salad. Roasting the vegetables bring out a caramelized flavor, further highlighted by the Honey Mustard Vinaigrette. If you ask me, this is the type of dressing that everyone should make extra of and store in a jar in the fridge for any salad. It’s barely sweet with a tiny bit of spice, and the deep yellow color is the same one that makes all the trees look so gorgeous this time of year.
Now that you’ve got your Harvest Salad in the oven, you’re in the mindset of easy, simple, and downright delicious Thanksgiving meals. Let’s keep that relaxation going with some Orange Soup, just the thing to bring on all those happy, cozy feels. Can’t forget about dessert (or breakfast the next day– you know it’s going to happen), so whip up a batch of these whole wheat Pumpkin Streusel Muffins.
See? Thanksgiving can be made in a snap.
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram to share!
- FOR THE SALAD:
- 1.25 lbs butternut squash, cubed*
- 1 lb brussel sprouts, quartered
- 8 oz button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:
- scant ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Spread the vegetables in a single layer between 2 sheet pans. Divide the oil, salt, and pepper between them. Toss to coat evenly.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the vegetables and rotate the pans, then bake for 15 minutes more.
- While the vegetables are in the oven, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar. Shake vigorously to emulsify.
- Toss the vegetables and dressing together in a large bowl.