This Thanksgiving Salad Is 100% Trader Joe's Products, 1,000% Delicious

Trader joe's Thanksgiving
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Many Thanksgiving feasts treat the salad as an afterthought, dishing out a gigantic bowl of lettuce as a formality to balance out the butter-bombs that fill most plates. This kale salad is loaded with Thanksgiving favorites -- pumpkin seeds, roasted squash, and sugary maple syrup among them -- plus a little spice and pomegranate seeds.

That sounds like something that you'd have to hit a bunch of stores and fruit stands to pull off. But each and every ingredient here can be scored at Trader Joe's, including pre-cut butternut squash and packaged pomegranate seeds, which saves a ton of hassle. Don't worry. You can tell everyone you bought them from stores all over town, not just from some dude in a Hawaiian shirt.

Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Pomegranate, and Pumpkin Seeds

1 box TJ's pre-cut butternut squash
2 teaspoons olive oil + ¼ cup olive oil
½ cup TJ's pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large, juicy-ass lemon)
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 bag TJ's pre-cut kale, large stems removed
½ cup TJ's pomegranate seeds
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Heat oven to 425°F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss squash (you'll want to cut larger chunks into smaller cubes) with 2 teaspoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, stirring squash occasionally after the first 15 minutes until it's golden and tender. Remove squash from oven and set aside to cool.
  • While that squash is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, shallot, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and the cayenne, then whisk oil into it slowly (like, pour it slowly… whisk fast). Boom. Dressing.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine kale with about ¾ of the dressing and use your hands to massage it into the kale, shiatsu-style. Add more dressing as needed. Reserve any leftover dressing for another use/to drink the next day when you're really craving that flavor but too lazy to make another salad.
  • Add the cooled roasted squash (not while it's steaming!) and pomegranate seeds to bowl. Toss it all together to combine, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

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Melissa Locker is a writer in New York and only eats marshmallow Peeps. Follow her on Twitter @woolyknickers but don't follow her in real life.